“Find that one thing that makes you different or create it.” Filipe Carrera
Filipe Carrera is an international speaker and coach. He has a vast experience in networking, social learning, digital marketing, communication, collaborative work. He is a presenter in more than 50 countries, awarded for “Most Outstanding Trainer in Europe” and “Most Outstanding Trainer in the World” by JCI, a Professor of Master and Post Graduate Programs at ISEG, University of Lisbon and visiting professor in several different universities. Author of the books “Digital Marketing: Version 2.0”, “Networking – Your Professional Survival Guide” and “Communicate 2.0 – The Art of Communicating in the 21st Century”.
We met at Business on the Hills Conference where he was a guest speaker and we were eager to know more about him and his journey. And how could we miss out on that? For Social Freaks he shared his story, his ups and downs on the way to professional fulfillment.
What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was actually to get to the things I am doing now. My career started in a bank, I was a Risk Analyst that has nothing to do with what I am doing now. I needed to be free, not being stuck in an office the whole time. I had this job for two years but found this wasn’t the life for me. At the same time I founded my own company – Business Plans for European Funds, but when people started working with me I discovered a very disturbing thing about myself: I didn’t like the day-to-day Management.
I found myself in a stage in my life where I either had to continue doing something I didn’t like and retire at some point, or I do something nobody is doing. I took that leap of faith and I jumped. It didn’t happen in a day but by being very persistent. I started with 1-2 conferences and now I am on the plane 100 times a year on average.
A valuable lesson you have learnt?
Sometimes you earn more in order to pay for your unhappiness. At the end of the day there are many people, who are absolutely miserable, although professionally successful, and we can see they have drug or alcohol abuse problems. It’s a pity because everything is all about you and what you really want in life.
There is a lot of vanity in business. Most people are there for the ego trip, sometimes this compensates their self-problems. If you have a company that has 20 employees, you are more important than a company with 5 people, but at the end of the day are you happy with that? Your company’s revenue might be 5 million but at the end of the day are you satisfied?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start his own business?
Sometimes people are trying to look for business or an activity in a money-oriented way and they pick something that does not fit their profile, but can bring them money: “Oh, look over here there is no pizzeria, I will do a pizzeria, because I need the money.” But the way you attract money is when you have passion. Suddenly the way you talk about it changes, you start attracting resources, you start attracting people who don’t mind being in a crappy office and probably not even getting paid because they are into the project and into the vision that you have.
Is passion the ultimate condition?
If you don’t have passion you see a lot of doors closing, so you shouldn’t be only madly in love with the idea, but also have the pragmatic mind. At some point you will need to compromise and if you are madly in love you won’t be able to do so. And secondly, resilience – if you don’t have resilience you will give up when you face your first obstacle.
What is your advice to the youth of Bulgaria, who would like to follow your example?
There are a lot of opportunities and we are the center of the universe, each one of us. Thirty years back, you couldn’t go anywhere. Now you can just catch the plane and change the reality. You can have so much information, you can have so much collaboration around the world. That’s what I work for: to help people excel technology in their personal and professional lives.
If you could meet your younger self what would you tell him?
Don’t be afraid of being different. Very often you are put in a box by family, society, educational system: ‘’dress like this’’, ‘’be like this’’, ‘’go like this’’. At some point in life, I discovered that being different is my competitive advantage. If you are the same as everybody else, then you are a commodity. Sometimes people entering the job market don’t understand that they are sending CV-s like sending prices of commodities. They are equal to other thousand CV-s. That’s why you either have something that makes you different or you create your own difference.