The Dear Accountant podcast is the ultimate mentorship tool: advice, stories, and career introspections from executives, leaders, and idea makers in the accounting industry. My guest this week is the renowned medical doctor and disease hunter, Dr David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc. What he’s gone through was beyond intense - he was a 6-foot-3 gym addict and former quarterback (aka "the beast”) at Georgetown University. Overnight his life changed with a rare disease. He has nearly died five times. He’s a role model for all of us - not only to take charge of your own life, but turn hope into action!
1. LIVE AS THOUGH YOU'RE PLAYING OVERTIME
In a sporting event, overtime is the extra time you didn’t think you’d have in which every second counts. Dr. Fajgenbaum believes this to be true of every second that we are alive; living your life as though it is limited, he argues, can bring about a unique appreciation and understanding that can help guide your decision making processes. In overtime, there’s no time for wasted movements or mistakes, and all of your actions require your full attention. Dr. Fajgenbaum argues that this can be applied to all aspects of life, and that although living with this limited mindset can be terrifying at first, it is ultimately extremely clarifying for how you choose to allocate your time and focus.
2. FIND YOUR PASSION, CHASE AFTER IT
Early on, as soon as you find your passion, chase after it. Although finding it may be hard, Dr. Fajgenbaum explains that matching your skill set to an action to make a difference is an approachable way of building this passion; once you found something, start running after the goal that you’ve determined for yourself. Even if this ends up being the wrong direction, you’ll be a faster runner when you figure out the right direction in the future.
3. FIND A GOOD MENTOR THROUGH YOUR PROBLEMS
None of us can go through this process alone; mentors are invaluable additions to this career journey, and Dr. Fajgenbaum discusses the importance of mentors who can be very honest with feedback, point out roadblocks that are likely to arise in areas that you are working, and help you become a better professional. One small piece of advice that he offers is to start a mentorship by bringing a specific career problem that you are trying to solve to the mentor, ask about the problem, and see if they have experience that can help with the problem. As David explained, when you’re working on a specific problem together, the mentee can gain more practical advice and the mentor has more fun!
🎧 To learn more about how to make the most out of your career, where to find your passion, how to build an effective mentorship, or find yourself a mentor in Cece, head to the Dear Accountant Podcast here.
🎙 “Dear Accountant” podcast is a uniquely insightful and entertaining podcast for aspiring young business professionals. Each episode is packed with actionable advice to help young finance professionals get ready for whatever challenge they may face next. Aside from all of the many cool things in accounting (technical topics and trends), we bring in industry experts and influential leaders to share their journey, insights and perspectives. We will also cover topics that were not taught in school - life essential skills such as personal finance, emotional intelligence, mentorship, networking, body language and human behaviors, and so much more!
💬 About our guest, David Fajgenbaum: Our guest is a groundbreaking physician-scientist, and disease hunter; at the age 25 he went from being a beast-like college quarterback...to receiving his last rights while in medical school and nearly dying four more times battling an extremely rare disease. The experience would transform him from a patient on the brink of death, whose illness stumped specialist after specialist, into one of the leading researchers in his field. He’s now sharing lessons he learned about life, hope, and resilience in his national bestselling memoir, “chasing my cure: a doctor's race to turn hope into action,” which has been translated into five languages.
📖 Get the amazing advices from the 20 mentors in the “Dear Accountant” Book: The book offers a unique immersion into the lives and careers of 20 inspiring leaders in finance from different disciplines - their backstories, pivotal moments, career trajectories, and hiccups along the way.
🎧 Listen to Cece’s interviews about her passion and mission in writing this book and paying it forward to help young professionals to find meaning and fulfillment in their life and career: