Why an unconventional talent?
A common definition of unconventional is…
“not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed.”
My journey does not resemble the typical career path. It has not conformed to what is “generally done or believed” to be the acceptable journey.
First, my career has taken me through a number of unique fields and roles (Food Service, Retail, Medicine, Coach, IT, Software, Marketing, Consulting, and Executive Management). My professional acumen has come at the hands of experience more than education. It’s not that I am not formally educated, but that I never completed my formal education, insomuch as the norms expect, getting that coveted piece of paper; the college degree.
I studied engineering, advertising, liberal arts and pre-med curriculums, accumulating a lot of hours, but due to a number of varying circumstances, I never graduated from my college of attendance—The University of Texas at Austin.
Because of my lack of a college degree, my professional journey required strong personal determination and a persistent fighting for a space at the professional table. There was a time when I wondered if I would ever break out of the confining box of not having a college diploma. Thankfully as I matured and demonstrated my intellect and ability to learn, a number of business leaders gave me opportunities to do things I either should not have been able to do, or most people wouldn’t have expected that I could.
Due to the nature of my unconventional journey, my exposure to business concepts is wide and deep. My natural curiosity landed me into places where I had to grasp what was happening around me or fail.
After many years of unique experiences my curiosity, natural intellect and dogged determinism have resulted in a strong business acumen and accumulated wisdom.
I am grateful to all those who have helped me grow on my journey and thankful for those who saw enough potential to give me grand opportunities.
No Myers-Briggs, colored parachutes, or DISC profiles can box me in. I am uniquely me, driven by my curiosity, love for truth, beauty and goodness and a strong and sincere faith that God knows the plans that He has for me.
If you are looking for someone with talent and ability, I have some, just read my endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn. If you are only looking for someone who fits a cookie-cutter mold, someone who made the traditional journey with a bachelors degree or MBA to somehow prove their ability and worth, then you are not looking for me and that’s alright.
The Road Not Taken
In pursuit of professionalism, there are two roads, they diverge at the diploma. I took the one less traveled by, along with Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Paul Allen (Microsoft), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Michael Dell (Dell) , Sheldon Adelson (Sands Corp.), Dave Thomas (Wendy’s), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Author), Ray Bradbury (Author), Charles Dickens (Author), William Faulkner (Author), Mark Twain (Author), Steve Jobs (Apple), Richard Branson (Virgin), David Green (Hobby Lobby), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Sean Hannity (Journalist), Matt Lauer* (Journalist), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Matt Mullenweg (WordPress—the software that powers this website) and finally Robert Frost (Author, the Road Not Taken). …and that has made all the difference.
I look forward to working with you someday.
Richard M Brown
*Matt Lauer later obtained his degree in 1997 at the age of 39 by writing a paper on work experience and delivering the commencement address.