By staying connected, I have managed to accomplish various personal goals — become an effective software engineer, overcome clinical depression, and start a company (MakerSquare, the school that merged the NYC, LA, and Austin campuses with Hack Reactor). I strongly believe that two primary factors helped me surmount these challenges: my own effort and staying connected. I want to elaborate on why staying connected has been so valuable.
Became a software engineer.
When I was in college, I had discovered that my professional passion was tied to entrepreneurship. I wanted to build a web application based company that would allow students in the same class to easily communicate. While I was in college, I did not know how to code, which resulted in not successfully launching this company. An individual that was aware of my entrepreneurial goals recommended going to a coding school.
After graduation, I did just that — I became a software engineer. Exhibit A of staying connected — I learned about coding schools which I never heard about through my online searches. Having heard this from someone I knew provided me an opportunity that I may never have new existed (who knows, MakerSquare may not exist at this point).
Started a company.
Upon graduating from the coding school, a different friend (Harsh Patel, current COO of Hack Reactor and fellow founder of MakerSquare) mentioned his interest in starting an education-focused startup. We knew each other from a philosophy based spiritual group growing up and we always managed to meet up 1–2 times a year. We worked on this project together before the other future co-founder of MakerSquare shared his interest in starting a coding school in Austin. Fast forward 2 years, I was able to build a relationship with a founder of Hack Reactor, Shawn Drost, and we visited the White House and were acquired by Hack Reactor. Exhibit B of staying connected — I started and sold a company!
My thoughts on staying connected? It is very beneficial for our personal and professional goals. It also provides each of us the opportunity to be more empathetic — empathy wouldn’t hurt our political system, that’s for sure.
Relationships allow many individuals to help others reach their goal and vice versa. Whether your goal is to become a world class soccer player, lead a company as a CTO, or overcome health challenges staying connected is a vital component to success. See thoughts on how to gain support from the relationships here.
Through new relationships I have gained from school (University of Illinois, Hack Reactor) and otherwise, I have gained a lot. Simply put, even with the internet available I am learning more and finding more opportunities through friends and connections. I hope I am returning the favor! :)
Opportunities from staying connected:
— from my Hack Reactor relationships — improving my salary negotiation skills in talking to SF graduate Jonathan Katz, learning how to deal with mental health through a classmate in Hack Reactor, and becoming a public speaker through Lynda Wellhausen, an Austin graduate
— from Dave Hoover, the founder of DevBootcamp, I became more aware of how to start an effective coding school
— from my childhood friends, I was able to keep my self busy while facing clinical depression (https://medium.com/@ShahShaank/my-story-co-ceo-to-clinical-depression-983c7e227b43?source=linkShare-411efd1f01c-1483625380)
— through introductions, I am now closer to my goal of being a more effective public speaker; I have been able to speak at 15+ schools and universities among 10+ other opportunities in front of large audiences
There are a number of opportunities that have presented themselves through staying connected. Main message — make an effort to stay connected as I believe it will help you the same way it has helped me. Great relationships is true wealth (post — ”How to be wealthy as eff”
Your thoughts? How has staying connected help you with your personal/professional goals? Comment below or reach out (630–551–8482 email@example.com).