We had the good fortune of connecting with Sidney James and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sidney, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
I believe success is an internal and external individual measurement, there is not a one size fits all. Internally success could be eating a healthier diet, prioritizing better, or budgeting finances better. Externally success could be getting a raise on your job, purchasing a new, or graduating from college. Success is derived from the individual. So when I’m measuring success, I like to know what task and journey am I about to go on, then how do I break this task down into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual achievable tasks for ME. This allows me to be consistent and persistent in the pursuit of the task and journey knowing that I’m accomplishing goals and seeing constant progress every step of the way that to reach the desired outcome of my journey or task.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The thing that I believe sets me apart from others is my discipline, willingness to learn, consistency, and persistence. My whole mantra is to control the things I can control and let the chips fall how they fall. I’m ok with whatever the outcome is as long as I know that I have done everything possible within my will and current knowledge base to accomplish the goal. I learn from that situation and apply the learnings to the next one.
My path was not the most traditional path. I had a lot of different challenges trying to come into technology. One of the biggest hurdles was trying to figure out how to even get into technology growing up in Montgomery, AL. Montgomery is more a traditional place when growing up and not centered around technology and innovation. So makes it difficult to be exposed to non-traditional career paths. For most people when they hear technology their brain automatically jumps to STEM learning or being a software developer. The technology industry is so much more than that. There are careers such as Product Management (which I’m currently a Sr. Product Manager at Smartsheet), Program Management, Cybersecurity, UX/UI Design, UX Research and I could go on and on. I love the process of taking a raw idea to a live product in the market and helping people solve their problems. So that’s the thing I’m most proud of that is that with all of the challenges and never knowing about Product Management growing up I get to do what I love to do every day build new products from scratch and solve problems with technology. The thing that I have learned most is if you make a plan and have discipline, be willing to always learn, and stay consistent and persistent you can accomplish anything regardless of where you come from!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I’m a southerner in Seattle, WA, I would say for good new orleans creole brunch I would go to Toulouse Petite, or if you want a some good southern fried chicken and waffles Simply Soulful and for Fish and Grits Comfort Zone.
Lunch I would explore Pike Place Market Downtown, some good places are Pink Door, Place Pigalle, Jack’s Fish Spot.
Dinner I would go to Bellevue area and have dinner at The Lakehouse and a speak-easy downstairs Civility and Unrest.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be able to just shout just a single person because so many people have made a huge impact on my life along my short journey. As the saying goes it takes a village to raise a child, I have been truly lucky and blessed to have and be connected to so many amazing and strong friends and family who support, mentor, love, and encourage me along my journey. So this shoutout has to go to ALL of them, some are still living and some are not but without their conversations, love, and encouragement I’m not sure what choices I would’ve made along this journey. This shout-out is specifically for ALL of them!