(This post is part of a pact I made. Click here for the full story.)
Meet Pablo. A Colombian who grew up in Cali, the world’s passion capital.
In spite of living in the US since 10th grade, passion continues to run through his veins. As he wrote to me: “Ever since I remember it has been my wish to be an entrepreneur and to drive forward a business that I am passionate about…”
That’s where Pablo’s career Nirvana lies.
Note to self: Your passion is a big (fat) clue to your career Nirvana. What are you passionate about?
Today, as the Chief Philanthropic Officer (CPO) and brain-child of Helping Mind, Pablo is able to fully express his passion. As a not-just-for-profit, Helping Mind stands for more than profit. Like any conventional business, it must recover its production costs, yet like a non-profit it’s driven by a cause.
That cause emerged from Pablo’s dreams while working in corporate America, with Microsoft, developing distribution channels in the Caribbean.
In Pablo’s words: “During my corporate years I worked on my free time on a business idea of a company that would produce great quality products and truly give back to people, (helping) them and their communities both locally and abroad. Travelling to Colombia and seeing the level of poverty and need always made me think about the need to start a company which like Helping Mind (would) truly…empower people to progress. I’m convinced that by helping people and empowering them to become better individuals…I will obtain a true sense of spiritual accomplishment and leave a mark or legacy long after I am gone.”
His dream became a reality earlier this year, when Helping Mind’s e-commerce site was launched.
As one of his fans on facebook wrote on his funwall:
“This business idea hits the center of the bulls eye of our collective social consciousness. Corporate America needs more entrepreneurs like Pablo. Good luck and count on me on whatever I can help to make this a success. YES YOU CAN!”
Pablo credits his grandfather as his source of inspiration.
“…My grandfather…was truly my inspiration, an honest and hard working individual, someone who loved to serve and help his community and friends. (He’s) someone who provided me with the ethical compass that has guided me throughout my life.”
Note to self: Open up to positive role models – welcome their shining light into your life.
As smooth as Pablo’s ride may sound, it had a few detours along the way. After working with Microsoft he set up a small family business. And for the last four-and-a-half years, he worked with a financial institution that did not survive the recent economic shake up.
Even so, Pablo is still smiling and optimistic as ever. He says that: “Given that Helping Mind is a new company we still have a lot of terrain to cover. We are sure we will cover this terrain happily and we will be help lots of people throughout the life of our company. For the time being there hasn’t really been something that hasn’t worked (for Helping Mind), besides the occasional drawback on something due to an external factor – which we can’t really control. At this point we are really excited that things are moving forward well and that we have launched a great graphic t-shirt collection in the US that will enable us to help people in need. …I certainly have absolutely no regrets besides sometimes wanting to go to sleep earlier which lately I haven’t been able to as I am juggling many things at the same time. In a nutshell Helping Mind is now a reality and we are only moving forward.”
Note to self: As long as you’re learning, nothing is the end of the world.
When I asked Pablo about the major lessons he’s learned throughout his career he wrote back: “Listen to your inner self, surround yourself with good positive people, do a bit of research, believe wholeheartedly that you will succeed and drive forward your business execution with focus, determination, professionalism and lots of passion.”