Lessons learnt in the surf applied to life

Every surfer will tell you that surfing is not just a sport, it is a way of life.
I entirely agree; some of the things I learnt surfing are also totally applicable to life outside of the water.

Here are some of these nuggets:

  • Never turn your back to the ocean: Observe what’s in front of you. The good, the bad, the ugly, face it and embrace it.
  • Surf in every condition:
    There is only one way to improve. Practice and practice again.
  • Eddie would go:
    You might not always have a good session but you will never regret getting in the water. Don’t hold back, go for it!
  • Respect priorities:
    Learn the rules of the game and when it’s your turn to play, don’t let anyone steal your opportunity!
  • Be humble:
    The ocean will always be more powerful than you. Don’t let it remind you, it hurts – a lot.
  • The winner is the one having the most fun:
    It doesn’t matter how well you ride, how man waves you catch, how radical (or not) your maneuvers may be as long as you are having fun you are doing it right!

And finally, last but not least,

  • Keep our oceans clean:
    There is no metaphor in this one. The ocean is not only the playground of surfer, the ocean is life. We must protect it.

Marie Sornin

 

Life hack: How to read more?

One of my 2018 new year’s resolution was to read one book per month. To do so, I made some simple yet powerful adjustments to my daily life: I swapped social media time for kindle time.

Easier said than done… after multiple failed attempts (as I am sure most of you can relate), the trick that worked for me was to delete most of my social media apps from my phone, carry my kindle in my bag everywhere I went and consciously reach for it during down times: commute, airport, line at the super market, hairdresser… That worked. I read 17 books in 2018!
Also always line up your next read before you finish your current one.
If you need some inspiration, here my 2018 reading list (not in order of preference). I recommend all of them, especially the ones in bold:

  • Powerhouse by James Andrew Miller
  • Porcelain, by Moby
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Hit makers by Derek Thompson
  • 50 shades of grey by E.L. James
  • Future presence by Peter Rubin
  • Shoe dog by Phil Knight
  • Grit: The power of passion & perseverance
  • Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  • Post American World by Fareed Zakaria
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • The shock doctrine by Naomi Klein
  • Exponential living by Sheri Riley
  • Born a crime by Trevor Noha
  • The rules of civility by Amor Towles
  • Part of the tribe by Kevin Richardson
  • L’Horizon a l’envers by Marc Levy

    Marie Sornin

How to [really] change your habits

This is one of the most powerful presentation I have seen about shaping your life with good healthy habits.

18 min well spent….

Marie Sornin

The art of asking

One thing I want to do more of this year is ask.
Might it be being curious, asking for help, asking the right question…

Here an awesome testimonial of what can happen when you dare to ask:

You can follow Amanda Palme on Twitter @amandapalmer

Marie Sornin

Do you believe in magic?

Live music from NYC Subway on Periscope

Do you believe in magic?

I do. Actually, I believe in the magical power of technology.

Something quite extraordinary happened to me on Periscope’s launch day.
As I was getting on the NYC subway, I hear this guy playing the saxophone. His music was really good. I mean real good!
Listen to him here:

Isn’t he great?

Since the launch of the Periscope app, I have been playing with it, looking for interesting stuff to broadcast (like my #travelroulette experiment).
So as I hear this guy’s tunes, I get my iPhone out and start Periscoping him.
I thought that good live music from NYC subway would surely get some some attention.

In a few seconds, over 150 people joined in from UAE, London, Belgium, Italy, Scotland, etc… They were complementing his music, requesting songs, and begging me to tip him (which I did, twice!).

Over150 people joined on Periscope
Over150 people joined on Periscope

I told him that he was playing for an audience an international through my Iphone. He couldn’t believe it. I showed him the app and explained how it worked.

In 4.50 min of footage attracted over 2,000 hearts (equivalent to favorites or likes) and generated apprx. 2h30min viewing time!

What was supposed to be a simple subway ride magically turned into a wonderful shared experience.

I carried on with my commute with a smile on my face and an unexpected sense of lightness and gratitude.

If, you feel like creating some magic into your life, download the Periscope IOS app and share your best moments with the world!

Live music from NYC Subway on Periscope
Live music from NYC Subway on Periscope

Marie Sornin

Before buying a one way ticket to the US

** For Australians citizens mostly **

I have already written a blog titled “How to make it in America”, this post is about the preparation you need before buying a one way ticket to the US.

I have been in New York for about 3 months, and apart from still not having any credit history (which is pretty much the key to unlock any type of service in America) everything is going pretty smoothly.
So here are some observations for Australians who want to relocate to the US.

They are based on my experience from contemplating the idea of moving to the US to living like a New Yorker.

1- Know what you want:

Knowing exactly what you want to do is a must before you start engaging with contacts in the States.

Until you clear what position you are looking for, what type of company you want to work for and why, you will get asked to figure it out before going any further.

2- Activate your contacts:

Once you have a plan, it is time to get in touch with your network: friends, ex colleagues, recruiters, inspiring people that can link you with opportunities and knowledge about the American market.

Don’t forget that they are likely to get people asking them for such tips all the time, so be creative in the way you approach them.

I once attended a presentation by Tim Ferriss (author of the four hour work week) one of his tips is to “trade” information.
This is how he managed to become an early investor in start-ups such as Linkedin and Evernote.

Before we decided to move, my husband went to Miami for a conference.
He made some great contacts there, and took one of the executives out for dinner.
A few months later, that same executive referred him for a role at Google. The next day, he got a call from Google’s recruiter.

3- Are you eligible to work in the US?

Sooner or later during this journey, you will get asked if are you eligible to work in the US.

That is when you need to pull secret card: The E-3 visa.
It is a unique status for Australian citizens part of a trade agreement between Australian and the US established in 2009.

All the details can be found here on the Australian US embassy site.

This status makes it very easy for companies to sponsor Australians on a 2-year working visa.

The main difficulty is that very few recruiters and HR departments know about it.

To be successful at lifting the “are you eligible to work in the US” barrier, you must be able to demonstrate how a company can sponsor you on an E3 in 3 weeks for less than $2,000 fees.

If you can’t do that, your other options are L1, H1, etc. visas. They are extremely complicated, costly and lengthy to obtain. 

When I started talking to my employer about transferring to New York, the E3 was one of the first things I mentioned. I repeated it in every single communication, only to find out that when my position was approved, HR was about to start the immigration process for a H1 visa (intra company transfer), which was not guaranteed.

I had to patiently go over the E3 status again, prepare a detailed summary of the requirements for the employer and employee.
That information allowed HR to get sponsorship approval from the immigration consultant working on my case.
3 weeks later, I landed in New York with my work permit in hand.

4- Make the trip:

You can do all the prep you want, it is not until you get yourself there that things will accelerate.

Organize your trip by lining up as many meetings and interviews as you can.

When you are there, don’t be lazy. As hard as it is to fight the jet lag and go from meeting to meeting, just do it.
If someone throws you a contact: call them and meet with them.
Adapt your schedule to make the most of it!

4 months before moving, I spent one week in New York.
I tried to book a quick meeting with my now boss before I arrived.
On my first day there I tweeted this: 

He noticed it and made time to catch up with me on my day before last.
When I left, I was in a position to follow up on a job offer.

5- Follow up:

After your trip, you will need to close on the opportunity that you want.
Follow up on the visa, contract, benefits, and relocation.

It is a very important phase. Once you leave, the excitement fades, people go back to their daily routine and your opportunity becomes another task.
Don’t let that task fall at the bottom of their to do list because you are far away.
This is a difficult exercise of applying pressure without become that annoying person.
Patience and positivity help a lot.
I listened to more reggae than usual during that time. 
What will be your way to stay on top if?

6- Get ready:

Once you have a job lined up or a moving date, you start a marathon of things to do. What you will need is just pure simple organization mastery!

When you review your financials, over estimate the savings that you will need.
As mentioned above, until you get credit history (6 months of having your Social Security Number) you will need cash!

When I think about life in the US, that quote attributed to Steve Jobs “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” comes to mind. I will also ad be vocal, move fast.

Marie Sornin

A year in the life @TwitterAU

In July 2013, I was part of the start up team @TwitterAU. Just a year later I am heading @TwitterNY as the lead for international development for Twitter Amplify.

Here my Tweets that summarize a year @TwitterAU

Day one felt just like going back to school.
At the time, I had no idea that Twitter was going to come up with @dronie, the ultimate selfie machine

We kicked off with a week of intense training (anyone in my group at NHO would agree), followed by the Twitter global sales conference.

Although, I would have staid in San Francisco fro ever, we head back to Australia and set ourselves up in the first hone of @TwitterAU.
Apparently, the Australian team was the only team globally to not complain about being in corporate center… must have been the view…

Later, we had to trade the view over Sydney harbor for some awesome new team members

Plus, we do work from anywhere, so the view always changes
@Dannykeens probably remembers me doing IOs in his car between meetings.
With that in mind, I decided to take WFH one step further

Working through time zones, we had a few late nights throughout the year

And there was even some stressful times (private joke for those in the sales team)

Thankfully, the team (and the cat) was always been there!

 

Of course, all this we lead to some great work

And even some swooning with our clients

 

We felt the success,

Then @Maria started and life got a lot sweeter, with cupcakes and double birthdays !

 

Later that year, the opportunity of a trip to New York came up and one tweet changed everything…

Goodbye @TwitterAU

Thanks for an epic year

#BYEFRENCHIE