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Hermione Wilson – Creating your Path


Hello Everyone! Welcome back to Project 5K’s podcast series. Today, we are joined by Hermione Wilson who is a journalist and assistant editor at Dovetail Communications. Dovetail publishes business-to-business magazines in various specializations including spa, food science, wood design, and biology. Hermione will be sharing her path to becoming a journalist and advice for students who are considering options for post-secondary.

What challenges did you have upon finding a career that you enjoy?



When we were children, there was a certain career that sparked our interest and we couldn’t wait to pursue it. As the years go by, our childhood dream fades as we realize that it’s not what we want anymore or we become intrigued with another career. There are also people who feel lost as they don’t know what they want their future to look like.

For many people like myself, post-secondary is quickly approaching and we have to decide on a path that suits our abilities, interests, and career goals. It is hard to envision a clear destination point especially when we are not exposed to many careers.

Hermione started as an English major at an American college. After a few weeks, she decided to switch into a communications program with a double major in French.  After graduating, Hermione was debating if she should pursue further education or look for work immediately.

This is Hermione’s journey to discovering journalism:

1.She volunteered at an organization to support Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.

2.The volunteer coordinator discovered that she knew French and offered her an opportunity to visit Haiti.

3.After her trip to Haiti, she worked as an advertising manager for a small, Christian magazine in her hometown.

4.She eventually took on a writing role at the Christian magazine.

5.She pursued an accelerated post-graduate journalism program at Humber College.

6.She received a position at Dovetail Communications!

There is a lot of pressure for us to plan out our entire life at a young age; however, one opportunity will lead to another and we will eventually end up in the right place.

What advice do you have for students who are unsure of what to pursue in post-secondary?


There are some people who know exactly what they want to become and have outlined specific steps to reach their goal. It can be frustrating if you are unsure of what you want to pursue when your friends seem like they have everything figured out.

Hermione suggests researching about careers that you can apply your strengths to, job shadowing, and speaking with people in different professions. She also suggests starting with a degree in a subject area that you enjoy in highschool. Your opportunities are never limited by the first degree you receive because pursuing further education is always an option.

How did you overcome doubts about whether or not you’ll succeed as an adult?


There are so many successful people out there and you might wonder if you can become like them. Throughout life, there are going be times when you doubt yourself and believe that you can not achieve your goals. Surround yourself with a good group of people who encourage you to see your potential.

During Hermione’s undergraduate degree, she focused on getting through the five years. After Hermione graduated, she was a bit overwhelmed as she was unsure if university had prepared her for the real world. To ease her worries, Hermione said to herself,

“I put in the work, it’s just a matter of finding opportunities.”

It will be hard and competitive to achieve success, but perseverance and a good work ethic will open up opportunities to you.

Being a journalist, does writing become a chore rather than an interest or a passion?



There are certain skills that are required for each career. For example, journalists need to write on a daily basis. Sometimes, doing a task repetitively can become a chore even if you loved it in the beginning. Nevertheless, an advantage Hermione enjoys about writing so often is the improvement she sees in her articles.

“There’s a story that really sparks [my] interest again or [I] speak to an interesting person and I want to convey that in my writing.”

Every job eventually becomes a routine, but there will be certain moments that remind you of why you became intrigued with it in the first place. However, if you completely lose interest, it is never too late to have a career change.

From being a student to working as a journalist, how have your experiences changed you as a person?


Believe it or not, Hermione used to be a shy person and found it difficult to approach people. However, she became confident over time as she had more practice with interviewing people. To succeed in a profession that fascinates you, take as many opportunities as you can to master the required skills.

How can someone become a confident and effective communicator?


Connecting with different people is amazing because you can listen to their stories and learn from their experiences. However, the first step is to approach people. Never let your insecurities outweigh the opportunity to get to know someone. Try to erase the negative thoughts in your mind telling you that you’re not good enough or smart enough to talk to someone. As Hermione says,

“Don’t be afraid to open up to people, be curious, and be willing to admit that you don’t know everything.”

Asking someone a question can flourish into a great conversation; fear shouldn’t be the only thing holding you back from cultivating a bond with people.

Final Words


There was a video production lab at Humber College that Hermione wanted to attend. However, she thought that it would be too technical for her. Hermione regrets letting that opportunity slip away because learning is the objective of being in an academic setting.

Many different opportunities will be presented to you in life. If it interests you, even a little, take the chance and learn more about it. There will be times when you shy away from something because you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of people who are more experienced than you. However, everyone needs a starting point to improve their craft.

“Especially when you’re in school, learn new skills. Don’t be afraid to try everything.”

Even though the future may seem foggy right now because you can not see where you’ll end up, having patience and working hard each step along the way will bring opportunities to you if you’re willing to take them.

You will find a path that makes you happy. Good Luck!



Don’t do it for the Resume

As I enter my final year of high school, thinking about post-secondary fills a good chunk of my already barely-there free time. And, of course, this isn’t just me. Many people are frantically researching schools and programs, furiously scrolling through university forums in hopes of finding helpful application tips, bombarding their post-secondary friends with questions ranging from campus life to academic workload, and trying to beef up their resume.

We all know that grades are important, but they are not everything. [Don’t get me wrong, getting the highest grades you possibly can is always a good idea.] More and more universities are including personal profiles to get a glimpse of who you are as a person. Yes, a book-smart student probably will succeed in university, but a book-smart student with excellent communication skills developed through community involvement is even better. Rounded students who have a background in many different areas, ranging from academics to sports to various other extracurriculars, are sure to have essential skills that traditional school simply cannot teach. Being immersed in teams that depend on you, making professional connections, and leading a team are just a few of many experiences that help you to develop skills for future (and present) success.

That being said, I have heard countless students say, “I need to join as many teams as possible so I can put it on my university application” or even “I don’t like doing this, but it will make me look more qualified for this program.” Essentially, they are doing it for the resume/university application. And this is NOT what you should be doing. If you are truly passionate about the activity and are willing, even excited, to put time and effort into it, then you should 100% go for it!

On the other hand, if you are only doing it for the resume, I advise you to think again. Do you really want to be spending your time on something you don’t even like? Are you going to put in enough effort into the activity so that you will learn from it?

Most of the time, doing things for the resume does not only affect yourself. Most likely, you will be involved with a team. And, as I am sure you can relate, nobody likes having a team member who doesn’t care and doesn’t do anything.

Demonstrating leadership, commitment, teamwork, and creativity in a small organization are way more significant than just saying “I was a part of this giant charity.” Simply being a part of something doesn’t mean that you have done something.

With this in mind, do things you are interested in. Do things that you will put effort into. Do things that you will learn from. And, by all means, fill your university applications with descriptions of what you have done, the impact you have made, and what you have learned in the process!

The takeaway? Do things you love, regardless of how “good” they look on a resume. You will learn much more this way.

Do you have a Keeper?

No matter how old we are, we all need friends who we can share funny stories with, spend time with, and overcome hard times with. Throughout life, we’re going to meet many different people. If we’re lucky, the friends we meet in high school are going to stay in our life. When we grow up, we can talk about all the embarrassing things we did in highschool and how we were stressing about that 2% mark drop on Teach Assist. So, what qualities does a good friend have? Not everyone’s values are the same, but if we have friends right now who have these qualities, we have keepers.

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Andrew Yang – How to Start Up your Future


Meet Andrew Yang. He’s the founder of a marketing execution firm called 3 Avenues. His focus is on using technology and creativity to help his clients launch themselves forward. Fun fact, he originally wanted to be an astronaut or an astrophysicist, and he didn’t actually end up studying business in school. He graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in… math.

Math is super cool and all, but what? That’s pretty unorthodox. But we’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg.

Andrew is the founder of the FLOW dance club in Kingston, now one of the largest organizations of its kind. Of course, that means he’s pretty good at dancing. So good, he once performed as the opening act for a certain Canadian band by the name of Hedley.

20,000 people? No. Big. Deal.

We talk about his experiences being bullied, being broke, and everything in between. So I hope you enjoy Nick’s interview series with Andrew. The motto is “I like to have fun with everything I do…. And make a little bit of money, too”

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Reaching for Stars with Ali Nasseri : Passion

The idea of space, a symbol of endless curiosity, has always fascinated me, as I am sure it has for many others. It has especially inspired my first ever guest, my instructor UofT’s DEEP, Ali Nasseri. He is an aerospace engineer, a researcher, and the chair of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.
Ali discussed how passion and persistence led to him achieving his huge dream of being involved in the space community.

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Live In The Moment

Back in June, we desperately wanted exams to be over and dreamed about summer. For most people, especially the ones in grade 11, it was a year full of emotional stress, tears, over thinking, and life talks with friends.

So how come when we have 2 months off to think about whatever we want OTHER than school, our minds are still frantically racing about reaching the cut-off average for university or what program will be right for us?

We are always told to do what makes us happy or do what we’re passionate about. However, at this age, we don’t really know ourselves and especially not what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Sometimes we wonder if something we enjoy now will be a chore if we have to do it as a career. Even though we’re just teenagers, something we also have to consider is what will make us money.

The other day at work, I was having a conversation with a colleague about two different programs I’m thinking about applying for university. “Choose whatever makes more money, that’s what it’s all about these days.” Sad, but pretty accurate. “Be realistic.” 17 year old me may want to do something that I think will be fulfilling, but 30 year old me may wonder why I didn’t listen to what everyone said about money when I’m unemployed. Exaggeration or reality? Who knows. It makes us question the reasoning behind why we must follow the systematic route that society molds for us just to make money in the end.

There seems to be certain steps that we have to follow in life to be deemed as “successful.” Being a student, school is our whole life. It’s hard not to seek self-worth from getting high grades or being accepted into a prestigious university.

Everyone wants to get it right on the first try. We want to pinpoint one specific destination that will provide a happy and comfortable life. Not to mention, we feel the need to know how to get to the “perfect” career. No one wants to work hard towards their goal just to fail and have to start all over again… or realize what they wanted to do so badly isn’t what they want anymore. Truth is, most of us will switch careers a couple times throughout our life.

At the camp I worked at this summer, a colleague worked in finance for multiple years, but decided that she doesn’t like it anymore and wants to be a teacher. So, she went back to school and worked at Summer Institute to network and gain experience. She’s working with teenagers and people in university, but she had the courage to take action and pursue a different career. We just have to learn to accept uncertainty and embrace change.

Everybody hates hearing “There’s still time.” But, there really is. Focus on now, and let the future shape itself because it is non-existent right now. It’s the experiences, mistakes, lessons, and knowledge that we gain now that create our future. No matter how badly we want to wave a magic wand so it can paint a picture of our future, we really can’t.

Through all the stress during school, there has to be some things that were enjoyable. For me, the first highlight of my year would definitely be travelling to Greece, Italy, and Spain for our school trip. From climbing the Acropolis in Greece, visiting the Piazza Del Duomo in Italy, and eating Paella in Spain, it was something I never thought I could do at this age. The second highlight would have to be that I interviewed a spa director and wrote a feature article for Spa Inc. Magazine for my co-op placement at Dovetail Communications. I wanted to gain journalistic experience and I got a huge opportunity to write for them which I am thankful for. Think about two things that you enjoyed and remember that the upcoming school year will be bearable thanks to the good moments.


Everything will work out.


Thanks for reading! Are you someone who stresses about the future too much? Well, remember to RELAX. Let me know what you enjoyed about your school year. 🙂

Talking, Persuasion, Connections with Manu Goswami (4/4)

Winding back 7 years, when you start debating competitively. How has debate changed you?

Debate is what really helped Manu gain a lot of self-confidence. That’s something that he found through a number of channels, whether that would be his experiences and connections, but one of Manu’s largest barriers to confidence was that, at the time in Grade 7, he had a speech impediment.

Compared to a lot of others, Manu was lucky. He only had a small lisp that stopped him from accurately saying the “r” and “s” letter, but that alone already crippled his confidence. It was an issue that cut to his heart, and made him want to do something about it. Debate was his unique solution to overcome his speech impediment.

What this illustrated to Manu was the fact that when we have a problem, our first reaction shouldn’t be considering it as a problem. What does he mean? Well, at first he believed that his lisp was a huge problem, but he never viewed it as something that could potentially help him become a better speaker. These problems and roadblocks are not something that should be viewed as a flaw or weakness, but rather  building blocks for creating a new strength.

Debate was a perfect platform for all of this. Manu found the people in the community so supportive and incredible.”Sure they’re nerdy”, but so many of them have such ambitious goals.

Manu continues to cherish those moments where he met all these talented and interesting people from countries around the globe, like Bermuda, China, and Germany. Bonus? Whenever he wants to start a business, he can see whether he can ask for the help of anyone in that community.

Through debate, the kid with a lisp discovered that his voice still matters.


You’ve done a TED talk. Any tips for the people back home, to engage them and boost their public speaking skills?

The key thing is the message. A lot of times, it doesn’t matter how you say something, what’s important is that you have something important to say. Manu has two key points that he always keeps in mind:

  1. TAKE PRIDE. Be proud of yourself and the message that you have to share. Manu’s “personal brand’ is that he shares raw, practical fact that will help people to enhance their lives. Stuff that is actionable, that you can take, grab, and do the next day.
  2. DONT’ TRY AND BE A COPYCAT. Whatever you share should always come back to yourself and your own unique message. Of course, Manu takes a few lessons from other people when it comes to public speaking. He imitates Gary Vaynerchuk’s raw message and delivery. But at the same time, Manu emphasizes the practicality of his message and custom-tailors it for his main audience: students.

Always give before you get, can you expand on that?

This one comes from Gary Vaynerchuk too. It’s a rule called 51/49, meaning that in every conversation, you want to be ok with giving 51% and only receiving 49% back in return.

That’s what Manu bases a lot of his actions on. You can’t always expect to get something in return. That’s such a common misinterpretation of the rule. Just because you helped someone doesn’t mean that they will help you. There are no guarantees.

But “the best actions in life that you can give to people are the actions you can give to people and never expect something in return”. Why? Because those are the people who become your #1 fans. The ones who actually end up commenting and engaging with you on social media. Even if you aren’t going to be getting some money (or even becoming friends), you can benefit in so many other ways.

Karma is real. There’s no proof of this, but when you do good things, good things will happen to you. The problem is that people are just looking too short term. A time span of 2 years might not even be enough. We should be talking about 5 to 10 years down the line.

Manu shares a story about Bill Clinton. When he was the president, he met a young kid from Guinea when he was 7. He told that kid he could do anything he ever wanted.

10 years later, when this kid was 18, he walked right up to Bill Clinton and told him that he had changed his life.

Manu advocates that for every action you take, you should be considering your legacy. It might not have a direct impact on the people you see. In two or even three years you might not see the tangible results. But over the long run, you can and you will have a significant and large impact.

Who are the people who can help us? And who has helped you?


Manu is big on connecting people in whatever industry. There are a few mentors that Manu has learned the most from, and those are Michael Hyatt and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Michael Hyatt is a Dragon on Dragon’s Den. He sold his company recently for 400 million, but still remains that cheapest man that Manu knows. He will go to a second-hand store and start negotiating to lower the price. Michael taught Manu to not only care about the money but also the relationships, along with giving lots of advice for speaking and other initiatives he is taking.

The second role model and mentor for Manu is Gary Vaynerchuk. As background, this guy is a multimillionaire who runs a marketing firm called VaynerMedia. He’s huge on personal branding. What Gary V taught Manu was that empathy is built into everything you do in business. You need to build a business out of people rather than numbers.

To get in contact with both of these mentors, Manu had to be super persistent. He didn’t just send an email and hope for the best. Instead, he made a point of engaging with them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. That meant always commenting, sharing, and engaging. That’s how he got on the radar of these super busy founder and business people.

On the flip side, that engagement on social media wasn’t even the most important part. Instead, the most important part is that you are on the road to be just like them. You are actually taking action rather than just fanboying.

Looking to start meeting interesting people? LinkedIn is probably the best platform to do this. Ew. [we know] Isn’t LinkedIn for business people? Who cares. You need to reach out. Search up a keyword, reach out with LinkedIn Mail. If you write properly, tailor it to what they do, what you want to return (how you can help), and explain why you’re a person they need to meet, you’ll be surprised by the quick results.

Best Connections are the ones that you already have. How do you approach growing your network?

  1. Don’t be annoying. You don’t have to be a hassle and a pain in the butt. 10 dm’s on Instagram and Twitter is pushing it. Remember that there is a key difference between reaching out and engaging. Sure you can send a LinkedIn message, but if they don’t’ get back to you, no big deal. Make sure that you engage them by commenting, retweeting etc. They’ll see your name and they’ll be more inclined to actually talk and listen to what you have to say.
  2. Whenever you try to go in and meet someone, never go ing for the ask early. Never say that you need money or help etc. Treat every connection as if they are the best person in the world for you. You never know where you could go from a conversation. Opportunities always start with a conversation. But, you are never going to have a real, deep conversation with someone if you go in for the ask too quick.

What have been you most absurd calls on LinkedIn?

One of them involved starting a cat business. She wanted to know whether animal rights would allow her to sell cats (NO!).

Another involved a 10-year-old who wanted to start a hedge fund. Manu thought that was weird, not because he thought the boy can’t do it, but because he was inspired by watching the “Wolf of Wall Street”. He thought he could figure out how to use penny stocks to elevate his chances of quick success. Then, he would go after the blue chips.


Anything else you want to say for teens looking to get out there? Final words, anything! Shine!

It’s straightforward. There might be a number of reasons you might not think that you can be this person, there might be a number of reasons that you think “WOW Manu is making more simple than it is”. Stop thinking that.

“One thing you have to remember about me is that I’m just a young kid, just like you, that just did it. Beyond the motivational crap, it comes down to playing the game and putting your chips into the things that actually count.”

Are you passionate about an issue? Then do something about it.

Were you outraged about the Muslim travel ban? Frustrated because you thought that you couldn’t do anything? Then go research organizations that you can go and partner with to help tackle the issue.

Are greenhouse gasses your hot button issue? Then look into partnering with politicians and taking real action. You truly underestimate how much people want to hear about you and what you have to say.

There’s all this talk about how youth aren’t going to the polls and vote. There’s a reason behind all this concern. It’s because people actually care about us and what we have to say.

So you might not be able to get a ballot and vote, but if we want our voices to be heard, we have to start capitalizing and taking action on the ideas and issues we are really passionate about.

“Yes, this is all motivational stuff, but I just want you to start somewhere. Stop thinking about ideas and put your chips into the places that actually matter.

Understand that if you hustle, work, put in the time, and understand that things DON’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT, then you will succeed. Even if you can’t guarantee success, then it comes down to positioning yourself to be in a better place and building off that.


Technotronics & Entrepreneurship, Manu Goswami (3/4)

Technotronics, Entrepreneurship

What’s your ideal team?

“I work with people who have skills that I don’t have”.

In all of his projects, Manu is always looking for someone with a complementary skill set. For example, he works with technical people because he himself can’t code. On the other hand, what he is good at is all the marketing, connections, and sales involved.

The other important criteria for Swish when it comes to getting things done is to find people who hold you accountable. He needs someone to be honest and say the occasional

“Swish you are being a dick. Get to work. Stop complaining!”.

The best co-founders and people to work with are the ones who are straight up honest and know how to give constructive criticism.

You are really passionate about social entrepreneurship, and you’ve been working on a startup called Technotronics. How is that going?

So background. Technotronics is a wearable tech startup that is creating technology that allows athletes and coaches monitor the athletes in order to create better training, optimize rest time, and predict potential injuries.

As a wearable tech startup, Swish is going up against big names like HTC and Google, both of whom have way more resources and connections than Swish.

So what does he think makes Technotronics stand out? It’s the excitement, intuition, and his own belief that “anything can be done if you put your head to it”.

The product they are trying to build would incorporate Augmented Reality and trackers, and they currently have partners in the NBA and the NFL where they can test out their prototypes they are developing.

One of the best thing Swish loves about startups is that if things don’t work out, then at the very least he knows he can fall back on the personal brand and the connections he has made before moving on to his next big thing. Either way, he’s learning something new and setting himself up for a better position. It’s a win-win situation.

Technotronics, you’ve put in the work, man hours, how does patience fit into that? The quote is that “entrepreneurs are the most impatient people you will ever meet.” How do you manage that?

Swish is quick to remind us that, hey he get impatient too. Everyone gets impatient. Everyone wants to see things happen quickly. You can tell from all the accelerated programs, how people want to graduate quickly. We want quick things.

One common misconception that Swish wants to address, is the notion that patience is simply waiting for things to happen. One of the biggest problems in this world is that people are too complacent as they just wait for stuff to happen. Patience doesn’t mean avoiding action and settling into complacency.

Instead, Swish wants to share an idea from Gary Vaynerchuk that on the micro level, the small decisions you make every day, you move quickly. You are deploying, testing, getting out there and talking to people. On the macro level, the big ideas, big initiatives that you want to come true, you have to wait and allow that to happen over say the next 5 years.

Patience means getting out there, hustling, and making things happen. The patience kicks in when you are waiting for the long term results of your work

That’s a perspective shift that a lot of people need.

Macro patience, micro speed. On the big scale, give things time. On the small scale, always be moving.


Technotronics and Brooklyn Nets. Manu, How did that even happen?

To give a little bit of background, Manu is working on a wearable tech startup called Technotronics, that is working to provide a product that allows real-time monitoring of athletes to more accurately predict rest time and potentially monitor injuries. He is currently partnered with organizations like the Brooklyn Nets and Raptors 905 in order to test his prototype.

The funny story was that NBA player Trevor Booker actually reached out to Manu on Instagram. The reason was that his business partner Gary Baze saw Manu comment on a Gary Vaynerchuk post, and Manu seemed like “he was pretty competent”.

So Gary Baze messaged Manu, and because he has too many message requests, Manu never saw it. Trevor messaged Manu, and he didn’t see it for 4 days. But Trevor was really interested in meeting the next time he came to play the Raptors.

When he came to meet him, Manu made sure to avoid the “ask”. Meaning he chose not to pitch an idea and sell something (rookie mistake). He chose to just share his projects, ideas, where he was going, and TREVOR was the one who helped out and took the first steps in proposing a partnership.

The story goes to emphasize the importance of putting yourself out there and how it can make a big difference. Manu comments that he sees a lot of people putting themselves out there, posting videos, blogs, and audio who are getting a lot of flak for their work. A lot of their friends are like “Why?? Who are you?”

Really, Manu goes on to make the point of saying that a lot of people won’t get you. That’s ok. It comes down to the concept of building a personal brand and who you are. He wants to reassure everyone that when it comes to a personal brand if you focus on building a brand with other people as opposed to on their backs, that if you focus on staying humble and giving as much as possible, then you will win in the end.

How do you know when to listen to criticism that people are giving, and when to just drown out the noise?

Big question. Who is the person? Because if it’s a grandma or brother, then Manu is listening. The librarian giving us the stinkeye? Maybe not. If it’s someone who has been jealous of you for their entire life, then don’t take their criticism to heart.

The next part that I personally found fascinating was how Many stated that he doesn’t take advice for anything that has something to do with his dreams. He only listens if it’s about the tools he is using or specific actions he is taking. But if someone ever tells him that “he shouldn’t be an entrepreneur” he never takes that advice. If something is truly your dream, then don’t listen to the haters.

Your end goal is like a ship. You have to turn it in the right direction no matter what. You always get to choose the direction, and if you surround yourself with people who are there to help and empower you, then that’s how you are going to make it to where you want to go.

Criticism is truly difficult to take. Even a guy like Manu talks about times where he has had to face some harsh criticism and doubt himself. One of the biggest pieces of criticism is:

“You’re doing too much. FOCUS!”

To embellish the analogy Manu gives us, if you are a ship, you gotta pick a direction and commit to it. Can you imagine a huge ship just choosing to spin around in circles? It never works.

Be laser focused, and do only the things that you are passionate about. It doesn’t always have to just be one thing, but don’t start spinning in circles.

What is your why? Why the tech company? Why did you want to be a UN ambassador?

  1. Fulfillment. Manu’s mission is to help people. That’s not just something he says lightly (because a lot of ‘entrepreneurs’ say that to rationalize their actions). The reason he goes out of his way to take calls and interviews (like this one) is that he genuinely cares about people. He doesn’t want to build his brand on the backs of others, but with them.
  2. Legacy. Gary Vaynerchuk has an incredible quote: “regardless of whether you want to accept it or not, you’re writing your legacy right now”
    1. Every action that we take, content we post, meeting we attend, is an element of your overall legacy
    2. 10 years from now, he might not remember the meeting he just came out of, but maybe there’s the potential that something would come out of that conversation that can have a lasting impact and change his legacy. That’s what Manu is always hustling for, he looking for those magical moments
    3. One story or source of inspiration? There’s a man who designs the covers for the New Yorker. In an interview, he was asked why he goes to his desk every day? Turns out, all he ever does is doodle and draw cartoons. There will be times the man will be 80% finished a cartoon, and then he will mess up. In pen. Which means that he has to throw away his work for the day. But he keeps going every single day because he is always looking for that miracle moment. And if he goes to work every day, that is how he can position himself to win. There is no such thing as guaranteed success, but there is such a thing as positioning yourself for success

What do you believe that a lot of people think is crazy or wrong?

Dropping out of school = Success. The people who drop out of school and succeed are the very people who never wanted to drop out in the first place.

No one wants to drop out of school because if you truly care about success, you want to go to school, get a degree, do things. People who succeed after dropping out of school likely never predicted that they would drop out of school in the first place. It’s just that their situation changed and a better opportunity came their way.

Like what you just read? Give us a like, and share some of your thoughts in the comments below! It means a lot to us 🙂

Deciding on Schools and the Future, Manu Goswami (2/4)

School, The Future

You have a life…you know what you need to do. How’s life at UofT?

People tend to look down on U of T and say it’s really hard. To a certain extent, this is true, because there are hard profs who expect a lot. But the reason he loves it is that at U of T, he has found a program that works for him and can accommodate his crazy travel schedule.

Something worth noting is that what he is currently studying has very little to do with his passion for business and entrepreneurship. Manu is currently in a program examining peace and conflict studies, majors that are far far away from entrepreneurship and business.

But what that means for him is that the majority of his coursework and the load is actually just writing papers! There are no in-class exams, he can travel and do what he needs to do.

The other benefit for him is that what he is learning can actually really help him if he chooses to enter the field of politics.

One of the most important insights that Keshav and I learned from this chat, was the Manu does not see university as something that is going to get him a job, which is a  mindset that a lot of people have. Whether that’s right or wrong, this viewpoint is his own and is what works for him. 

He actually takes pride in that. The exact quote “My life is unconventional, I like it that way. I am going to continue that way.”

So what are some of the items that we can take away from Manu when it comes to planning for university and your future? Look for a program that fits you and your needs. Do what is right and comfortable for you. Keep in mind that university isn’t just some factory that’s going to prepare you for a job. It’s an experience and a place to learn valuable skills.

Many of the people listening are going through the process of choosing universities. What was your uni application process like? What do you think people should look for?

In Manu’s words, his “process was the same as everyone else” where he “wrote an essay, applications, got nervous, got cocky” and everything in between.

The big difference for Manu was that he had a set of expectations and items that he wanted to check off when he was looking for a university.

  1. Find a university in a beautiful city
  2. Find a place with a lot of opportunities
  3. Find a great community that he could benefit from based on his entrepreneurial dream

All of those factors together are what ultimately pushed Many to choose the University of Toronto.

So what should you look for when choosing a university?

If you are really looking for a job, the reputation of your university doesn’t matter anymore. What matters the most when choosing your university is that every action you take should map to something, where “something” is your end destination.

What matters the most at university is truly the people you meet, and how you are using the opportunities around you to accelerate your grades, extra-curriculars, non-profits, or business.

There are too many people that gravitate towards that reputation and believe that once they have that reputation, it’s all they need. But it’s not… That’s a logic and belief that may have been true around our parents’ time. Sadly, there are going to be a ton of U of T grads, that are going to be unemployed, while there will be tons of Ryerson grads who are taking the spot that they want.

What really matters the most is your passion. How you take advantage of your opportunities. How you make the most of what you have. More than anything, connections > reputation.

Something that pops out is that you are studying a political science major. Has that always been your thing? Why are you studying it if your passion is entrepreneurship and business?

Manu has actually been a competitive debater for 7 years, he was known as a competitive debater before all the Top 20 under 20 stuff came up. He enjoys talking about issues and analyzing them deeply, and it has always been a huge part of his life. One of the things that he ended up doing was a policy internship in DC, an experience that was a dream come true and changed his life.

If anything his choice of study is indicative of his passion, not something that is immediate, but a potential area he wants to explore later. [I get a feeling we’re talking to a future prime minister here] Politics wasn’t something that came out of nowhere like “volcanic studies”.  He still gave a lot of thought to his choice of major and evaluating his passions, but when picking his school, the most important factor for him was all about his school-life balance, and what he actually wanted to accomplish outside of school.

What’s next for you?

He hopes he has no idea what he is going to be doing in the next 2 or 3 years. Keeps life exciting. [that’s something I find so admirable, going with the flow?]

In the short term, Manu is planning to move to New York in May, while taking online courses from U of T so he can complete his degree.

In summary, he’s trying to be trying to do things that are “super practical and aligned with his goals”, which appear to lie in the realm of entrepreneurship, marketing, and the general umbrella of business. He’s going through some of the final rounds of interviews with google in their digital marketing department, and he might even be fielding an offer from Gary Vaynerchuk to work on his personal team.

For sure, the next few months are going to be consumed with his work on Technotronics, his wearable tech startup. On top of that, he’s working part time at a venture capital firm in business development, since it pays wells, gives him access to valuable connections, and a path to a sustainable career.

“But hey, ask this question in 8 months and I hope I will give you a different answer”

With so many projects, when you finish them, how do you decide where to go next?

In Manu’s eyes, an entrepreneur is someone who can’t stay in the same place after the growth stage of a business. So he is constantly assessing whether he can add value to his current project or whether there are other potential things that he could be working on.

That’s why he starts so many projects. It’s not because he wants to add to his resume, but it’s because that for his current project, it begins to feel like he can’t add anymore value and he starts to feel really bored.

So how decide where to go next? He picks out 4 to 5 areas that he wants to work in. Dead simple. Right now, the NBA, Bollywood, entertainment, and music are some of his current areas of interest. Of course, he’s never going to be an NBA player, but he’s always looking for a way to see if he can add value and influence some of these areas.


In life and entrepreneurship, there are always a lot of “pivots” or changes in direction. Let’s say you pivot and move from where you originally intended. How do you embrace that? Once you pivot, do you naturally assume that things are going to work out in the pivot direction?

What is a pivot? It’s when you have a change in direction or strategy of your business. To many, a pivot is figuring out something that will interest you even more than what you are currently working on right now.

For example, his company Rafiki media was originally supposed to be a social media agency, but he decided to pivot it into a brand management agency. Not because there was more money to be made, but because the conditions in his own life changed.

On Instagram, he was reached out to by an NBA player by the name of Trevor Booker. There seemed to be a lot of Bollywood actors who needed his help. Manu saw the potential to help them build and manage their brand, and opportunity that he thought was larger than social media.

Project 5K Podcast: Focusing, Motivation, and Working harder vs Working Smarter with Manu Goswami (1/4)

Never miss out an opportunity because you think it’s too far out of your reach or you think it will never work. Near the end of March this year I decided to reach out to Manu Goswami, a man I look up to for advice on for getting started and focusing on the pain points that really matter.

For those of you who don’t know Swish, he is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, and a venture capitalist he is also a recipient of Canada’s Top 20 under 20 award.

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