Week 1: What I’ve learned so far

Teaching English in Beijing, China
Photo courtesy of vagabondrhythm

Whew, man what a week. Learned so much about blogging and interviewing people. Just a quick summation of things I learned.

  1. That people (even famous ones) are genuinely nice people
  2. That everyone makes mistakes (just wait till the cons)
  3. Have to be positive
  4. Failure is ok
  5. Everybody is human
  6. Brevity is wisdom, keep it concise (when speaking to others) – thanks Craig!
  7. Everybody especially well known people are busy
  8. Blogging is hard
  9. Don’t blast people with 50+ interview questions
  10. I have to be more personable

Here are the things I have learned from the different interviews:

  1. Craig Newmark – Treat everyone the way you want to be treated.
  2. Rob Malda – The greatest achievements have to do with the people in our lives
  3. Walter Lewin – When doing something we love we give it our best effort
  4. Jimmy Wales – Failure is a stepping stone to success, not a barrier

To add to this list, I wanted to put into words the mistakes I’ve made thus far. Originally I had this brilliant idea that I ask people 50+ questions and tell them “[pqr]don’t worry, just pick and choose the questions you want to answer[/pqr].” In the end my idea was brilliantly unrealistic. They’re too busy. It’s like asking them to do my homework and then turn it in for me.

Since then I whittled my questions down to 10 or so. Still very good questions which give us insight into their mentality and optimism. Honestly, looking back I’m like what the fudge was I thinking?!!! Haha! Well, like I stated earlier, mistakes are to be expected – especially when you’re learning.

Interestingly this morning while getting breakfast at a local restaurant (portuguese sausage, eggs and fried rice from loco moco) I saw an older guy with a football shirt that had an interesting statment. It read “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. That’s so true. [pq]What I lack in skill I’ll definitely make up in determination and desire[/pq].

One of the interviewees stated that my interview request wasn’t personal enough and that while I did not offend him, I might have offended others. I bypassed being personal for the sake of being concise and to the point. I realize that most rejected due to the fact that I really am a nobody – for now. So far I have been rejected serveral times. If I were contacting them in behalf of TIME magazine or Wired it would be a different story. I’m not discouraged by this reality but realize that I have to start somewhere. If it were so easy, everyone would be doing it. Soon – very soon, these circumstances will change. Until next week!

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