Randy Komisar is a good guy. He’s a Silicon Valley CEO. Listening to him speak is like being sat down by your down-to-earth uncle, who wants to give you career advice. Komisar is good at giving interesting advice about ‘following your passion’ without sounding trite or overly motivational. A lot of us get stuck on questions like “what is my (one) passion in life?!” Rather than worrying about the right answer to that question, he recommends thinking of your passions as a portfolio of interests. Then just try to match your interests to the opportunities in front of you. As long as you’re moving in the right direction you’re getting there.
(If you only have time to watch one of these, watch the first one).
In this second video, Komisar discusses staying balanced. The balance changes as your priorities change. He talks about money, opportunity and power (the 3 things people always wish they had in the career) don’t always come in the same package. We need to be careful that our career doesn’t take up too much of our lives and sometimes it’s worth it to say, sacrifice money and power in order to increase opportunities.
He also suggests that we should never put ourselves in a situation where we can’t say no, by handcuffing ourselves to too many obligations (i.e. having too many time or money expenses). Keep your eye on the ball (your values) and, as much as possible, give yourself the freedom to make the changes that respect the balance.
Reality check: When Komisar cut back in his life he went from being a full-time CEO to a doing part-time-CEO-temping. He made heaps of money as a CEO and, when he cut back, he made slightly-smaller heaps, but still probably more than you and me and everyone who will ever read this post combined. It’s easier making financial sacrifices when doing so doesn’t mean you’ll have to make any real sacrifices at all.
Still, I think he’s giving us some good advice here.
Randy Komisar’s book is The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur.