WHY A GOOD START IS HALF OF THE BATTLE
Alex Park on why you should not wait for the perfect moment but take the moment and make it perfect.
Alex Park who is a Korean born and an Australian raised millennial is a marketing professional with over 10 years of consumer and business-to-business marketing experience. Alex told me marketing doesn’t feel like a job for him but more so a part of his soul which taps into his natural strengths (goal-driven, learning, resilience, gratitude, optimism) enabling him to do good, have fun, and feel successful. In his job, Alex studies the problems his customers face (e.g. how to sell more and service better), then delivers the right solutions through his library of insights in the most desired format (e.g. emails, website, blog, whitepaper, webinar, events, consultants) in the time of his clients’s convenience. Alex commented saying that he is very fortunate to be working with high calibre colleagues both local and abroad, interacting with decision makers in sales and service across Australia and New Zealand further fueling his passion for learning. Marketing is a lifelong skills that is transferable and this is why Alex loves it so much.
Health is Alex’s priority because without strong body, one lacks the mind and soul to propel against various tests life throws at us. His health regime includes going to the gym 5 times a week, reading self-development books, helping others (e.g. mentoring) to enrich their lives, giving others clarity and hope as well as challenging them to realise their full potential. Lastly, Alex has unquenchable passion for learning because life never stops teaching and he loves bettering himself each day for the rest of his life.
Being awe-strucked by Alex’s amazing journey, I reached out to him and I’m glad to have him take time out of his busy schedule to give us an authentic and in depth insight to his story.
1. Humble Beginnings
Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?
My favourite slogan is Nike’s “Just Do It.” You can’t wait for a perfect moment in life. You have to create then own the moment. If you are a student, your start should be seeking work experiences (paid or unpaid) to enable you to be job ready. If you are from overseas with limitations (e.g. language, working 20 hours per week, employers favouring locals), do volunteering for the not-for-profit, join clubs and societies which will hone your understanding of Aussie values (e.g. stewardship, integrity, community, personal excellence) and be Australia ready. If you are a working professional, ask yourself “am I living to my life’s purpose or living the dreams of others?” Make time to understand your strengths through coaching or tools (e.g. Gallup Strength Finder) and be life ready. Life is too short and nothing is more unfortunate than not understanding our identity.
To me, inspirations are everywhere from books, colleagues, friends, mentors, family and I’m empowered when I act upon my heart on goals, fiercely protect it and remain hopeful despite the odds then coming out triumphantly with a smile on my face.
Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?
I don’t believe there are any creative strategies or secret ingredients in the recipe for success. I live by the motto of “work hard, have fun, be curious about yourself and the world around you to find our life’s purpose. “Two life encounters taught me how to get started to pursue a meaningful, purposeful life.
Encounter 1 — first ever international student vice-captain (Year 2003)
I wanted to study medicine at the university and in order to be eligible, medical schools looked for an all-rounder, not an academic machine. I had no extra-curricular activities (e.g. Duke of Edinburgh) nor was I part of the SRC (Student Representative Council), but there was an opportunity to become the school captain in year 12. To become a school captain, one needed to earn respect from students, parents, teachers and community. I had none other than support from the teachers and some peers. Luckily, I enjoyed public speaking and when I was given the opportunity to make a captaincy speech in front of Wednesday school assembly, I won the hearts of 300+ students which led to me being elected as their first-ever international vice-captain in the school history.
Encounter 2 — meeting and understanding the role of a mentor (Year 2006) This encounter is where I felt first hand that a good teacher can change everything, whilst a good education can change anyone. I met my marketing lecturer (now my mentor) Dr. Theresa Teo who shared her real-life experience in her lecturing which was a refreshing experience, as lecturers tend to pick examples widely available from textbooks/internet. She was authentic, had the confidence to admit what she knew or didn’t know, and constantly looked for innovative ways to engage students and teaching us life skills (i.e. entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship) in form of assessments and class activities. She gave us an assignment to interview a business leader in an industry/company we wish to work in the future. Others treated this as an assignment to get grades but I saw this as a door-opener to pursue my then dream of becoming a “news presenter” at Channel 7 Sunrise. With this mindset, I googled Sunrise’s switchboard, got the details of then Executive Producer “Adam Boland” and within a month, received the “ok” sign for the interview, which then led to me working as an intern and met my then role model “David Koch” who graduated from the same high school.
A good start is half the battle. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.
Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?
Instead of repeating what’s worked and being content, be curious and hungry, always look for new ways of doing things with your life and work. Most importantly, I strive to understand the why and train myself to see how what I do fits the big picture. I develop such discipline by seeking insights from mentors, learning the best practices offline/online, self-reflection, as well as seeking and acting on feedback from those around me to never stop learning. Every day is a new chance to make a difference in my life.
3. What is your definition of success?
Like each snowflake has its own identity, each one of us has a unique purpose, strength and story. If choices you make in life are driven by your heart, you can fiercely protect it no matter what curveballs life throws at you, to me that’s a success. Work hard, play hard, and never stop learning. As Richard Branson said, “pursue happiness then the money will follow.”
Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?
Failure is a perspective. One doesn’t fail, just a success being postponed. If people experience failure, it’s because they give up too easy or they want to play it safe or they adjust their personal discretionary energy based on ROE (return on effort) and not commit 100%. If one feels they’ve failed, it’s because they had the wrong vision in the first place.
5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?
My favourite advice life quote is from the book, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” Advice I’d like to share with everyone is:
1) Understand your life purpose — what can you protect fiercely and remain strong when the going gets tough.
2) Find a mentor who is willing to help you grow.
3) Develop a passion for learning. You will never cease to grow.
4) Cherish your family.
To view Alex’s work and get in contact with him visit www.linkedin.com/in/alexjypark/
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