My Stanford experience summed up. Had this awesome day planned out. Woke up bright and early so I can explore the Stanford University campus grounds prior to all my meetings. Meeting with Stanford’s CEO Leadership Team around 10:30 AM and then meet with my friend Paul (and friends) at Stanford’s Design School later in the day. But then my car breaks down and thought my entire day was ruined.
What did I learn at Stanford?
Don’t let one bad incident ruin your entire day. Its up to YOU to choose your destiny. Your destination depends on your decision to remain positive or stress free and not focus on the negative.
And Mike, this is for you because the inspiration you came up with has crossed my mind a few times…
Just F-ing do it!
So starting my day off, downing a double shot of espresso and having a small bite to eat. I got in my car, carefully backed out of this narrow garage and made my way to Stanford. Stanford is about an hour away from San Francisco city.
Arriving around 9:30 AM my car started giving problems. From a loud clicking noise to a faint burning smell. The dashboard displayed “Alternator/Battery Problem” and next I had difficulty moving the steering wheel (no power steering).
Luckily I was pulling into Stanford campus grounds and not stuck on some random road or freeway, I quickly pulled into the first parking slot I see open.
Putting the car in Park, I thought to myself, wonderful, RF Special Permits only, and I had just drank this large Starbucks Caramel Macchiato.
I really lucked out because within the 5 minutes I was digesting and visioning how my entire day was ruined, I had seen a Yellow Truck drive by that said “AAA” on the side. I quickly flagged him down and the inspection ~ diagnosis began.
After telling him my symptoms, he quickly knew to look at the Drive Belt and indeed, that was the cause of it all.
The Drive Belt got worn out, got off the track a little, split and began tearing apart.
I was not going to make this CEO Leadership Team meet up as I can not just leave the car here, it would of got towed. Although thats fine because I will just make the next meetup which is in a few short weeks anyways.
So long story short, he called a tow truck (10 AM), wrong tow truck showed up an hour or so later (11:30 AM), needed a tow truck with flat bed because my car is 4 wheel drive and had to wait 2-3 hours for another tow truck with a flat bed to arrive.
Finally the proper tow truck arrived around 1:45 PM.
So while I was waiting for the proper tow truck and trying to remain positive, I was trying to create some strategies on how I can make this day work to my advantage. Finally after exhausting all my options, everything evolved and came together so that I didn’t have to babysit the car to the garage.
Remember that big cup of coffee I drank, say 4 hours ago? What goes in, must come out and I was holding it “in” for 3+ hours. So to say the least, I was excited to see the car go.
But where did the car go?
Car went to a mutual friends garage up near UC Berkeley. The garage agreed to sign off for the car and begin its repairs necessary which allowed me to stay behind and meet up with my friend Paul.
Car was gone and I had to make a bathroom run. My phone was nearly dead from all the calls I made. And I was starving. Quickly made my way to the Library because I figured there would have restrooms and outlets to plug my laptop in. Finished my business and booted up my laptop so I can charge my phone. Meanwhile I asked Paul if he can bring me “any kind” of food he can grab on his way down so I can take a rest.
In the mean time, I sat next to this guy, he looked like he was from Hong Kong.
My desktop wallpaper is “of” the Hong Kong bay so I showed it to him.
After showing him my computers wallpaper, he got all excited, because he was from Hong Kong.
So we chatted a little, exchanged business cards ~ info and instantly became friends. His name is Leo, he is studying international finance there at Stanford and is hoping to go back home and use his skills in the Hong Kong financial market in the coming years. He was so impressed about how young I was, didn’t even finish High School and have my own multi national company. And whether or not I had any advice for him, business or life related.
I felt so honored that a Stanford student has asked me such a question. Now, you have to understand, Here I am, a High School drop out, feeling a a little inferior to this guy because he is studying in one the worlds best schools that will hopefully shape him into tomorrow’s leaders. So I thought about how I will answer for a few minutes and answered the following as confidently as I could;
Don’t be afraid to fail. If you’re going to fail, fail fast and learn what you can why you failed, move on to something else and use what you’ve learned from yours ~ other peoples mistakes.
After I said it. I had realized all my years of “being” an entrepreneur for life type of guy, that it has taught me many important life lessons. And here I am (the high school drop out) sharing the knowledge with a Stanford student studying international finance.
I then took a quick nap while waiting 4 PM to come around and woke up to see the strangest things.
Woke up to square shaped, floating clouds, it was such a twilight zone type of feeling…
Can’t remember if this was like the square shaped mario brothers game I had seen once a REALLY long time ago or what. So I snapped a photo.
So I started journeying out to find the D.School (Stanford Design School) building. Walking around on campus, I took some pics. This was by far one of the most beautiful Universities I had been to.
Arriving the Design School building, first thing you see is the official D.School bus.
Getting a tour of the D.School was exciting. The way a lot of the furniture and rooms were constructed, was done so “portability” was kept in mind. Everything was portable, universal, could be moved around. It was developed in the type of way so the creative side of you wants to jump out and make something really cool.
Entrance had portrait photos of all the 2012 years students. Main open space had this huge “MAKE” on the railing. Upper labs had so much creativity going on that no wonder it was considered the lab. Walls were slide-able and write-able as if they were giant sheets of white boards. Desks, Shelves, Chairs in all shapes and size were available and ALL portable.
Moving on to our meetup. Paul showed us his DECK (Power Point Presentation of his company) and described what Kalibrr was, how they were planning on making strategic partners to gain traction and what the next steps would be. Lots of ideas flowing and I think our little meetup will help Paul and Kalibrr in many ways.
Paul has a startup based out in Philippines called Kalibrr. Kalibrr is an online academic school that educates people the type of skills a company “these” days are looking for. The online schooling is 100% for FREE. Right now Kalibrr is focusing on the BPO sector inside the Philippines and is hoping to expand to a variety of different sectors and countries in the coming years. Kalibrr wants to change the world by educating the skills they need and later matching the students with a job. Its revolutionary and in time it will “disrupt” the way companies hire people. Yes I said it, DISRUPT!
Big kudos to Paul, his efforts and passion for this project will turn it into a huge success, I just know it.
Some pics of our collaboration, the android jar that held all the jellybeans we eventually snacked through and Paul standing on his head. Don’t ask.
We then hit Palo Alto’s main street, almost pissed off Kim by parking in her spot (inside humor) and had some delicious Turkish foods.
Wrapping up the night we got some desserts at this place called Paris Baguette which reminded me a lot of this popular bread shop in China, that was very quite successful. I had to take the photo to share with my friends in China.
Met some great people and learned to keep cool even during stressful times.
Thanks for reading and catch you some other time on another journey.