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What's Your Story? - Issue #7

Sunletter from Ondřej Bárta
What's Your Story? - Issue #7
By Ondřej Bárta • Issue #7 • View online
Every story has a beginning, a plot, and an end. If you’re reading this, your story is still being written. You’re in the plot part. Maybe there’s a plot twist on the very next page; who’s to say? And perhaps you’re still at the beginning of the actual storyline.

I never liked the word “networking”. In my view, it dehumanizes the activity of finding new personal or professional friends. Yes, I don’t want connections on LinkedIn; I want to find people with whom we’re on the same wavelength and can be personal friends or build things with.
I had the privilege of breaking into my professional industry relatively easily. I learned to code websites my first year into high school. I didn’t learn to do that in school. My classmates introduced me to coding, and from then on, we grew in skills together. The formal education where I went wasn’t bad at all; my classmates and I were just eager to dive deep and quickly into particular directions.
Surround yourself with driven people, and it’ll be way easier to maintain your own drive. So that’s what I unintentionally did. As I was experimenting with web technologies, I started posting some of my experiments on Codepen (a service that lets you write code snippets and share them with others along with a preview of what your code produces). That’s where Abdoc (a company that later grew into Avocode) reached out to me to ask if I’d like to work with them.
Fast forward two years, I decided I wanted to move to Prague for the summer before my last year of high school. Through the people I knew, I learned about this exciting co-living project called Techsquat. I packed my things, and shortly after summer started, I went on my journey. As a reckless youngster, I had no idea what I was in for, but I went for it anyway. This experience has turned my life around. After these two months in Prague, I realized that I could do things that I previously didn’t think I could.
At that point, I started intentionally surrounding myself with people I liked either for their personality or their abilities. I found both to be very inspiring. Along the way, we’ve also built a good product, and life was good.
After putting a pin in that project we built in Prague, I went searching for another endeavour. I attended Startup Weekend in Stockholm and spent a week exploring the city. I made new friends there and got a job proposition. In the meantime, I also visited Berlin and met with a couple of startups building some exciting projects. I decided to stay with a project named Bitwala, back when it was a team of about 15 people. Since then, it has grown to over 200, and I grew alongside it. I helped build the product from the ground up and got to work with and learn from some fantastic people.
Alongside all that, I helped crowdfund for charities. I built my own side projects from which I learned a ton. I built projects for others where I always gained some new experience. And the story ain’t over. Neither for me, nor for you.
Why do I tell you all of this? Simple. This is a part of my story. It’s not all that glamorous, but it might inspire someone else to follow through with what might seem daunting initially. And many people I spend my time around have various fascinating stories of how they got to what they do now and how they keep growing. And their stories deserve to be heard.
Career Tales Brand - stairs in a frame representing upwards mobility into an unknown space
Career Tales Brand - stairs in a frame representing upwards mobility into an unknown space
Career Tales is a project we’ve been working on with Pavlína. Mostly behind closed doors for now. This project focuses on the one resource that makes the most significant difference when you’re building a career. The people around you. At least virtually, you’d be able to surround yourself with people from the industry. People who are motivated to make a difference in the world.
The idea for it is not fully realized just yet, but that makes it exciting. In a couple of evenings, we prepared the infrastructure for the website, and now we focus on giving it character and, most importantly, content. By providing anyone who’s just starting access to the people from the industry, we hope to help them on their own path. Stay tuned for more updates!
Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with good people. It matters more than you might think. It can make or break your life story.
Have a wonderful Sunday!
PS: As an introverted person, I usually don’t have the time of my life meeting new people. So I understand any hesitation people might have about approaching experts in their field. But I got to meet some incredible people just by, e.g., texting them on Instagram or approaching them in real life. Be brave. I found that more often than not, people will be happy that you approached them.
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Ondřej Bárta

More personal than Twitter, less personal than a fika. No awkward silence, there's always something to say.

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