Today at Fortune and Fortune Connect we learned from Everette Taylor, and here were my takeaways from our conversation. He is the CEO of Kickstarter and shared with us when you find alignment with your Ikigai. That perfect balance of Mission, Passion, Vocation and Profession.
He was sharing openly that when you don’t have the luxury of making choices, you have to do things you aren’t necessarily passionate about when you come from humble beginnings. It reminded me when I was in my survival state, I didn’t necessarily have many resources to fall back on if things didn’t work out compared to maybe many of my peers who come from well-off families. He helped me see how far I’ve gone since those times.
I love what he said about having an immense responsibility to give back to the community, being one of the few black CEOs in tech. It reminded me how often I looked around and did not see many Asian sellers in my career and how out of place I felt. When I met people for the first time, they will ask me things like are you in IT? These little micro aggressions or comments might not seem like a big deal, but when you are working with C-suite executives working on large deals that pay the bills, you want to be on equal footing and not hear comments like you look like you could be 25 years old. I always explain to my mom when she asks me to dye my hair, mom me having a lot of gray hair is actually helping me out because in business, you want to seem like you have a lot of experience. It helps you build credibility in conversations with decision makers who are often much older than me.
I’m happy for Everette, and the passion he exuded when speaking about his career made me happy that there are people who are living a fulfilled life through leading by example.
It was interesting to hear how much harder it is for people of color to raise capital due to networks and how the systems currently work. She spoke about the importance of supplier diversity.
I identified with walking into rooms where I don’t look like everyone and have experienced racism growing up that still impacts my confidence to this day.
What stood out to me was when she said, “I’m not everyone’s cup of tea”. What a great reminder that, especially if you are challenging the status quo, there is always going to be people who are going to be triggered by what you have to say, but those are the moments that actually make a difference in the world that will cause them to reflect and think differently.
Thank you to Mila and Everette for being examples of authentic, courageous leaders.
Davidson Hang is currently in Sales at Cheetah Digital which is a Marketing technology company located in NYC.
Davidson is an avid networker, personal growth- life and business coach.
He loves spreading the love and regularly helps people create and design the life they want for themselves.