It was 2004, the year that changed our lives in more ways than one:
Facebook was launched.
Sex and The City and Friends launched.
President George W. Bush was re-elected.
I landed my first “unadvertised” position – at the United Nations in New York. I had just completed my filmmaking education from New York University, and all I could find were low-to no-paying jobs on production sets.
Thanks, but no thanks!
Around that time, I learned that United Nations Television in New York was producing a video package for the World Summit 2005, the largest gathering of world leaders in history.
I picked up the phone, called, and the next thing I knew I was talking to the Head of TV Production, Enrique Yeves, who invited me for a meeting with him the next day. And…
I have a confession to make.
- I DON’T attend as many networking events. If I do, I hardly meet a lot of people. That’s the introverted side of me. I hate exchanging false niceties.
- I DON’T have a standard elevator pitch, so to speak.
- I DON’T actively work on pitching my services to prospects.
Yet, I have worked on projects for organizations, ranging from United Nations and Google to The Boston Consulting Group and the City University of New York.
And have coached several executives, including partners at law and CPA firms, CEOs at multinationals and hospitals, alumni of Ivy Leagues and other universities, and startup founders. So, what’s my secret of attracting prospects? I didn’t land all these gigs because I have a godfather. Far from it. I moved to the United States at age 26. From Pakistan.
I didn’t even know what a cold call meant until after I made one to the Head of TV Production at the United Nations (Enrique Yeves) and landed a project, my first one, as a result of it.
January 24th, 1984.
A young man – just a year shy of 30, dressed in a double-breasted jacket and bow tie – takes the stage to address a crowd of more than two thousand people in an affluent city of California to launch a movement that will revolutionize how technology is seen and used.
Twenty-One Years Later:
June 12th, 2005.
The same man – now exactly 50 years old, with gray hair and rimless glasses – takes the stage, once again, to address a crowd of more than 20 thousand people at one of the prestigious institutions of the world in California to deliver a legendary commencement address that people will continue to share and learn from – even after his death.
That man, who the business world can’t seem to get enough of, managed to build a brand that almost everybody owns a part of. Literally.
It is thanks to him that apple is not just a fruit anymore.
He, some say, was the Alexander Graham Bell of this generation.