My time at Newmind was nothing short of thrilling. It was good—overwhelmingly good—and quite challenging. When you accept an unfamiliar task, you sometimes get that white knuckle sensation of plunging forward as if on a roller coaster.
When the challenge is compounded several times over, that feeling can intensify fear and self-doubt. Mix in a healthy dose of excitement and you get exactly how I felt when I accepted a position at Newmind. As the position combined two fields I was somewhat unsure of—technology and sales—it was awesome, scary, fun and memorable all at once.
In fact, I was so intimidated by the idea of working a sales position for a technology company that I didn’t even apply when I first learned of it—even though I knew of Newmind Group and was very impressed by what I had heard. After a month of hesitating, I took the plunge.
It was exhilarating—from “selling” Matt Vollmar some coffee as part of a job interview to toiling away as an unpaid intern in order to be brought on as a paid intern, and eventually as a full-time employee. My friend and colleague Nick Yarosz taught me the critical art of becoming a Gmail ninja and subsequent master of our sales process on the Education Team.
I pressed in and learned how to answer technical Chromebook questions on the fly with a customer—truly uncomfortable territory for me. The leadership at Newmind encouraged me, spurned me forward and provided resources and support so I could grow.
Make new mistakes
One of our core values reads, “Make new mistakes.” There is a variation on this that we review in some of our team meetings:
“A Newminder has a strong internal drive to learn new things.”
In other words: Newminders rise up and wrestle with the unknown. We iterate and learn and put fear of failure beneath us as we grow. This is what I learned best and cherish most about my time at Newmind—some of my best work came when I was pushed into something uncomfortable and forced to take uncertain steps in order to kick start the momentum.
Get stuff done
Watching fellow Newminders step outside the lines, assess a project or problem and focus on a solution and G.S.D. (Get Stuff Done), has been nothing short of awesome. I love the courage and tenacity of my colleagues. Out of the nest, little birds. We will crash or fly today, but we won’t stay in the warm haven of comfort. We will rise to meet the cold wind again, regardless of yesterdays great achievements or dismal failures.
I like to think I have adopted the “make new mistakes” value as a permanent piece of my internal mental culture. I’ll certainly need it as I pursue two goals; Ministry life and coffee. The first goal has been an area of focus for most of my life, though I only ever did it part time.
In the spring of 2014, Matt Vollmar and I were hanging out and he mentioned that it takes 1,000 hours to master a new skill. When he said that, something clicked into place for me and I began taking a serious look at going into ministry full-time. An opportunity to do that came up this November and I realized that I need to this giant step now.
The challenge here is that I am not able to get a full time wage from my Church at this time and I must do something to supplement my income. I started looking for work but was quickly urged by a close friend to consider starting my own business.
Make things better
I love roasting coffee and have been a home roaster for years. I also have roasting experience on a professional level at Coastal Coffee Roasters right here in Summerville, SC. Coffee is truly a passion for me and as of this writing, the plan is to start small, building my own coffee roaster in order to start with as little debt as possible.
Sounds like a great platform for a guy looking to iterate, learn and make some new mistakes.
Newmind will miss you, Slye, and we wish you well on the journey ahead! Read more about our friend and colleague in Meet Newmind: Joshua Slye.