As a kid, David struggled to walk by someone in need. He was always tugging on the sleeve of his parents and asking for spare change to drop in the cup of a homeless man or woman. It’s this compassion that led him to join the United States Coast Guard and is now pulling him into entrepreneurship.
As his Service Commitment comes to a close, David has put increased focus on developing his own company, Passions and Talents, with a simple mission: help people find careers they love!
“It’s sad the language people use when talking about the work week: ‘dreaded Monday’, ‘hump-day Wednesday’, and ‘living for the weekend’”, he says. “It’s a big problem to tackle, but wouldn’t it be great if we were excited to wake up on Monday and take mass transit to our jobs. Can you imagine the impact it would have on not just our work productivity, but our outlook on life in general?! At the end of the day, I just want people to be really happy!”
So what is his solution at Passions And Talents?
“Any leadership training starts with a simple notion: to lead others you must first know yourself. The same principle applies to your career. You shouldn’t limit yourself to your college degree, or even your previous work experience. To be engaged, happy, and successful in a career, you must know your strengths. Passions and Talents is going to be an interface that helps you identify your those strengths, and will give practical guidance on how to apply them to a career search.”
He’s identified nine key strengths roles that exist in the workplace and is building an assessment to help identify which ones people most associate with. It’s a person’s top two roles that really matter, and a person’s results will give specific guidance on how to use that knowledge in a career search.
“Ultimately, I’d like a person to hit submit on the assessment and they’re automatically rerouted to a career marketplace with open job listings that match their strengths. It takes time to get there though, and as a non-technical founder I have to be smart about how much I take on at once. In a world that moves too fast, I’m okay to take my time and do it right.”
David is also involved in the Bay Area Chapter of Bunker Labs, not just as a community member, but recently taking on the role of Community Manager. “Knowing how to start a business is hard…I don’t even know what I’m doing a lot of days. Bunker Labs is changing that for Veterans like me, and I wanted to be a part of that.” So far, things are going well with him there; he learns something new in every strategy meeting, is happy to take on various jobs, and is eager to offer his ideas.
So how does he juggle being in the Coast Guard, starting a company, and staying involved with Bunker Labs. He’ll tell you that he hasn’t perfected it yet, but he’s finding that he simply needs to sit down at the beginning of each week and plan out when he’s going to work on what. “My first priority is my military service. Working around that, I allot time between Bunker Labs and my own company. I’m becoming pretty good at saying ‘no’ to other things so I can keep my focus where it needs to be.”
When he’s not working, you’re likely to find David training for a triathlon or casually rowing around Lake Merritt. “Working out keeps me grounded; I’m still pretty competitive, but I’m finding it’s more important to simply enjoy the peacefulness of being in motion. A good workout is like hitting the reset button on stress.”
If you want to follow David as he gets his Passions and Talents ready for launch, you can visit www.passionsandtalents.com and sign up for his newsletter. As a thank you for partnering on his journey so early on, you’ll get a discount on his strengths assessment.