What does a new student want to get from LinkedOn Autopilot?

Looking forward to building a strong network using LinkedOn Autopilot from Jeffrey on Vimeo.

Jeffrey: Hello. This is Jeffrey Veffer from LinkedOn Autopilot. My guest today is someone who has moved twice in the past year. You’ll hear why that has been significant for both him and his family. He also has transitioned from a full-time position over to more of entrepreneurial view of the world. And we’ll hear a little bit about how that is going as well. He’s recently become more engaged in a not-for-profit. He’s just got back from traveling within the past couple of weeks and I’ll let him explain that more to you. My guest today is Mathias Ssenabulya, and I’m happy to have him with me.

Mathias: Thank you so much. It’s good to be here.

Jeffrey: Mathias, I wondered if you could talk a little bit about your journey especially on the side where you’re interacting with your not-for-profit.

Mathias: Yeah. So I’m in technology. I’m in IT. I’ve been doing software consulting for about 15 years. Most of my work was with major banks and large multinational companies. And I guess over the years, I just had an increasing feeling of dissatisfaction with what I was doing on a daily basis and just feeling like I wasn’t really making an impact. Over time, I looked at entrepreneurship as a solution, more flexibility. I wanted to do more. I guess more work that just impacts people. And so I guess, over the years, I did different trainings, met different people, met you actually at the foundation, which through that, I’ve surrounded myself with people who think in those terms. There are not that many people that have the entrepreneurial bug.

So I guess to answer your question, one of the big areas of my life that I wanted to change was how much I was contributing to the well-being of other people. I come originally from Uganda in East Africa and it’s a completely different world. There are definitely the challenges of the third world. But at the same time, I’ve always felt an energy there that really can’t be. I’ve never really seen that duplicated anywhere in the Western world. And so I wanted to do more to connect the best of that world with the best of this world. So I actually came across a program where they hit a couple of my interests.

So the program is actually pairing up entrepreneurs in Uganda with entrepreneurs other places in the world. The idea being, to help the entrepreneurs get off their feet through basic consulting just by virtue of being in different places and being exposed to, I guess, in different way of doing things. There’s a lot that can be learned going both ways. And so actually, recently last year, I ended my full-time gig and it allowed me to spend some time going to Uganda and actually interacting with the entrepreneurs there, which is it’s just much more fulfilling.

After working for many years, I’ve been fortunate enough to make a decent living. But money is often people find is just not enough to make you happy. It’s when you’re doing something that you care about and you can actually see the impact that you’re making on the world, that’s just much more fulfilling than any amount of money can bring.

Jeffrey: Now, was there a specific time when you realized that you really needed to shift gears and change your career and make that change to entrepreneurship?

Mathias: There were actually multiple, multiple times. I guess as time went by and the people that I was exposed to, I went through a couple of shifts. I don’t know if I can pinpoint them exactly. But I guess working backwards, it was almost as if I got more and more reinforcement, more and more stories of people around me who were going after what they wanted in life and it just kind of added to the possibility. So I guess the last major shift would be the point where I actually decided to stop doing the full-time work for the big banks.

Before that, probably the earlier major shift was just realizing that my dream of being an entrepreneur was actually possible. And yeah, I guess just seeing that, it was possible. The other one I can think of is a shift where I realized that the reason I had decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I was a kid. Yet I eventually became self-employed with quotes around it because it was still identical to a full-time job. But the thought was that if I’ve always wanted to do it, if I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, then why am I not doing it? And it really came down to limiting beliefs. Beliefs I had about whether it was possible, how hard it would be and actually visualizing myself in that position. And that was another shift where I just realized that it was possible.

Jeffrey: Yeah. It’s a similar situation for a lot of people where all of the sudden, they wake up maybe it’s something where they’ve decided that it’s a situation where it’s now or never to go ahead and fulfill the dreams of being an entrepreneur. And like you said, there are a lot of those limiting beliefs that people have in mind especially working in the corporate world. I know that in my case, I worked for a number of years in corporate marketing and corporate development before I went out on my own and I’ve had to challenge a lot of those limiting beliefs as well. And I still struggle with those on a regular basis.

I wouldn’t say that they’ve ever completely gone away, but it becomes something where on a day-to-day basis, I don’t know about you, but I feel like I am helping, I am contributing more to just general people’s well-being and well-being of entrepreneurs.

Mathias: Yeah. The ironic thing is that what was holding me back was an idea that it would be really difficult. The funny thing is that when I finally made the transition, I found it way more difficult than even I could have imagined. The other day, I was telling a friend of mine, if I knew how hard it was going to be, I never would have made the leap. But the greatest thing about it is that it’s challenging me to be the best person I could be, the best. It really exposes your weaknesses and it’s the greatest opportunity to overcome those weaknesses like you’re saying with limiting beliefs and skills and the whole thing.

Jeffrey: Nice. And we’re talking before you actually start the LinkedOn Autopilot course. What are you intending to get out of it?

Mathias: One of the biggest, this is also a realization. It’s that I think one of the biggest factors I find that when you study people who have been really successful is their ability to connect with people, get a sense of what it is people need, what it is people want and to be able to give value in that way. And that’s increasingly emerged as something that I really wanted to improve. And so LinkedIn is one of those really underutilized tools that everyone has access to.

And I think it was a presentation that you did actually that awakened me even more to the possibility within LinkedIn as a way of connecting to people. And so it’s an area of my life and my business that I want to really improve. It’s that ability to connect to people and really find ways of making their lives and businesses better just through being able to expand the network of people that I’m connected with.

Jeffrey: Yeah. We actually hear that a fair amount from people who say that maybe they’ve set up a profile on LinkedIn that was years ago and they haven’t really done much on it recently. And when they come back, they don’t realize the power of it or how much it’s grown and how much that it’s really taken as the default business network for people around the world. And so making connections and sharing great content and building credibility is all something where I think it just takes a little bit of time and a little bit of learning. But once it becomes more of a habit, more of a routine, it’s something that pays dividends long-term.

Mathias: Yeah. I don’t know how long LinkedIn has been around. But before any of these tools, the scale that you could connect with people was just not the same.

Jeffrey: Exactly. It’s opened up a whole other realm of possibilities for people to connect globally. So I wanted to thank you very much. I know we’re going to follow-up after you go through the material and see what changes have come about.

Mathias: Thank you so much. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to digging into the material.