“I Let My Failure Weigh On Me For A Couple Weeks And That Was The True Failure” Words of Wisdom with Benjamin Shahin
“When I failed to meet my first deadline during the NYC elections in Novemeber 2017 I had signed up one of the candidates for Mayor and wanted him to post issues during his campaign. Missing the deadline to capitalize on this opportunity was not a fun experience for me and I viewed it as a personal failure. The problem was that I let it weigh on me for a couple weeks and that was the true failure. When you realize that failure is part of the process of success it has less of an impact on you and can actually be turned into motivation and further hunger for success. Do not be afraid to fail because accepting failure and letting it weigh on you is the only time that you really fail.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Benjamin Shahin. Benjamin is the CEO and Founder at Allyus.org, a location based political social network which runs on a mission to empower citizens to be more engaged in the political process and impact policy decisions. Bringing to this mission my passion and drive to change the political landscape at a time when technology can be applied to promote healthier democracy and create value as never before possible. Leading an integrated team that includes FullStack Developers, Researchers, Data Scientists, Designers and Marketing and Digital Media Specialists through the envisioning, transformation and delivery of Allyus’ offerings.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I did my Masters in politics and I am passionate about changing the way that people receive information. I spent time in the military and I see violence as the least appealing solution to conflict. In order to prevent negative outcomes we need to open dialogue between conflicting groups so that we can work towards solutions instead of just butting heads.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I was able to ask Edward Snowden what he felt about a more Direct Democracy being implemented in order to battle corruption in politics, despite what people think about what he did it was still a unique experience.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I have been on the ground for many events which received heavy media coverage, not to support either side but to speak to the people and hear their story. This includes things like the impeachment of the President of Brazil and the inauguration of Trump, as well as other things such as violent conflicts which are often misrepresented by the media. My company is the embodiment of these experiences, the sheer will to represent the people with no interference from outside sources or special interest groups trying to spin their narrative. It puts the Users first and does not sell them out for their data. This is not something you see in most modern social networks.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
This project takes up most of my time but I am submitting a proposal to a museum which will request the use of military waste in order to create sculptures that send a message of peace.
Something like turning swords into plow shares.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Remain consistent and lean. You will always have failures, do not let those failures affect your will to succeed, understand them as part of the process and keep moving forward. The mistakes will only get bigger as the playing field gets higher. Do not let mistakes shake you, do not be afraid of mishaps, just learn from them and push through with a good attitude.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Paul Caruso, someone well seasoned in the Startup Industry and former head of the Startup Program at Sisense. Without him showing me the ropes I never would have been exposed to the world of Tech Startups. He showed me the ropes and brought me into an earlier company he was working on. A great friend and a someone highly skilled whom I learned a tremendous amount from.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I am creating a platform that empowers people to be more involved in policy. Shifting the paradigm from “what can I do to change this hige problem” to “If we all work together we can solve this problem” is my goal. So to answer the question, I have not yet succeeded but as long as I am giving this goal 100% then I am doing my job of bringing good into the world.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why.
Not to be afraid of Failure — When I failed to meet my first deadline during the NYC elections in Novemeber 2017 I had signed up one of the candidates for Mayor and wanted him to post issues during his campaign. Missing the deadline to capitalize on this opportunity was not a fun experience for me and I viewed it as a personal failure. The problem was that I let it weigh on me for a couple weeks and that was the true failure. When you realize that failure is part of the process of success it has less of an impact on you and can actually be turned into motivation and further hunger for success. Do not be afraid to fail because accepting failure and letting it weigh on you is the only time that you really fail.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
“Don’t say ‘I’m having a bad day.’ Say ‘I’m having a character building day.’” — Les Brown
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)
Elon Musk of course. He is showing the world that you can make money while making the world a better place. Helping the world see that private companies can innovate while still making a profit will hopefully create an environment where corporations can be more socially responsible. If that isn’t enough — SpaceX.
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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.