My atomic family of three (me, my Mom, my Dad) left war-torn Croatia in 1993, determined to make it abroad. After living in the United States (Indiana & Minnesota) for 3 years, we moved to Miyazaki, Japan.
There were no English schools so I got put into local Japanese school where I learned fluent Japanese.
In 2000, my Dad's contract as a Philosophy professor at the university in Japan ran out and we moved to Hong Kong. I basically grew up in Hong Kong until I went to university in Canada in 2009.
I used to longingly look at people who gave talks on topics related to their industry as if they were "special" people with "special" powers. I never thought I'd ever write articles online that anyone else cared about.
Until I started posting content on LinkedIn in 2019 and realized people did kinda care about my unique point of view.
When I quit my product manager job in February 2020 without a plan, I felt naked — no job title, no reputation and no clue how to describe myself. I couldn't even call myself an entrepreneur because I was in month 1 of my entrepreneurial journey.
I wanted to create a paper trail of what I was doing to make sure I'd get employed again in the future. Sharing my journey transparently ended up building my personal brand and I made a name for myself.
I love checking out different LinkedIn profiles and analyzing them for what's good and what's incriminating. I have a database of good and bad LinkedIn profiles that help me get inspiration for when I help my clients optimize their LinkedIn profiles. (No, I don't use my database to plagiarize.)
During my first job in Tech as a product manager, I learned how to give the best product demos from my boss who was a demo wizard.
I didn't really get how valuable this skill was until I went back to corporate in October 2021 and started giving product demos. Turns out most product demos suck and it was a ridiculously easy way for me to stand out.
Now I coach product teams to use the powerful of awesome product demos to get buy-in for their product vision and make a name for themselves like I did.