On this week's episode of The Quest for New Inspiration, TEDx speaker Raj Subrameyer, joins to discuss how to constantly work on yourself while building your brand.
I am an international keynote speaker, author, and tech career strategist who helps people to land their dream job and become successful leaders. I have helped countless individuals discover their zone of genius and leverage it to live a life that they love. I am also the author of the book - Skyrocket Your Career. I have given multiple TEDx talks and I am a sought-after speaker being featured in numerous TV news segments, podcasts and publications, including CBS, FOX, NPR, NBC, Entrepreneur, CEOWorld Magazine, Authority Magazine, Career Addict, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success and The Good Men Project. My areas of expertise include career advancement, leadership, motivation, productivity and entrepreneurship. All info about me can be found here - www.rajsubra.com
Raj: [00:00:00] My name is RA Meyer. I'm a tech career strategist. So it's a fancy name for someone who actually helps people in the tech space to find their dream job and become successful leaders in the industry. I've been in the tech space for over 16 plus years now, and I've helped over 50 plus P people get unstuck in their careers.
And have passive life and career transformation as well. So that's my main job being a tech career strategist, but I also do a lot of speaking and writing. So I write for a lot of, uh, publications like entrepreneur Forbes and, um, other publications. And I do a lot of speaking for. Company, private events and conferences as well.
In fact, uh, in 2021, I gave two Ted stocks, which is kind of the highlight of my speaking career. Um, yeah. Wow. But yeah, that's, that's me. I live in Chicago and I started my company with [00:01:00] one single mission, which is to impact. People to have passive life and career transformations. And that's why my whole work is based upon.
And that's why I show up every day. And that's why I do what I do. All
KT: right. So I know the, the audience can't really see your background, but one kind of question to kind of get to know you a little bit more based on just your background. Um, what is kind of your favorite art piece that you have ever bought?
Because I noticed you are a lot of photography around you.
Raj: Oh yeah. Thanks for asking the question. So, uh, all the photography. The pictures you see in my background in my office right now, are taken by my wife. So she does photography as a hobby. And, uh, of course I have two frames showing my TEDx stocks, uh, in the background, but, I would say that all the things you see around are pictures, which my wife actually took.
And then I have a pretty picture. My two year old son, uh, did for [00:02:00] me, which is in the background as well. But yeah, I love, having inspiring environments, you know, and, uh, my wife took a lot of pictures and she just kept. Having it in her, uh, folder. Then I said, you know, you have to show this to the outside world.
So we have her pictures all over the house. and, uh, yeah. And then I'm on, uh, when, when I'm doing keynotes or talks and stuff via zoom, and then a lot of people ask me, wow, that's a really pretty picture where you get from then. I, I would say I get it from the next room where my wife actually works. So.
KT: That's awesome. I love it. I love all the photography and stuff. That's actually one of my hobbies, I guess. But right now I work at a garden center, so I'm just taking APIC bunch of pictures of plants, but it's pretty cool. So my wife does
Raj: that as well. Uh, well, flowers, Bees in inside a flower, sucking the nectar out of it, you know?
And, uh, I, I think you need an eye and appreciation for nature for that. [00:03:00] And, we do have in the living room and other places, uh, pictures of, uh, flowers and nature, the ones you see is pictures, beaches, and. you know, uh, and other historic monuments, we travel to, we, me, my wife and I travel quite a bit, and these are all just collection of pictures from our travels.
KT: well, you mentioned your, uh, TEDx talks, so that's obviously a pretty big milestone. How did you get there? What kind of were those stepping sounds? What was that motivation to get
Raj: there? It's funny, you ask that because, uh, whenever I speak at conferences, people say, man, you're funny. You're inspiring.
You know, how do I become you? Then? I said, uh, I, I usually say that it takes about 15 years to get to the level I am in right now because just taking a step back to paint the picture for your audience, I grew up as a shy introvert, a kid. In fact, just talking to a girl would feel as if I'm gonna get a nervous breakdown.
I still remember this, uh, in my eighth grade, I had this crush [00:04:00] on a girl and it took me two months just to say hi to her because every time I approached her, you know, I was shaking and I was so nervous. That was the type of person I was. And then, and, uh, when. 19 years old, I had a trigger event, uh, awakening, where I realized that all this well I've been living a life based on other people's opinions.
I was letting, letting other people's opinions be my reality. And I put in so much effort to please other people . And so in putting that kind of effort to please myself, right, for myself, things I wanna do in life, I should have put in more effort for that. So once I came to that realization, I literally.
Took a paper and pen and started writing down all my fears. Right? I had fear, fear of being ignore fear of being judged, fear of public speaking, and did fear of failure and a list of all the fears. And literally next to each one, I put different strategies, which I thought at that point [00:05:00] of time was gonna help me overcome those fears.
Now, coming back, the question of speaking fear of public speaking was one of my biggest fears till 2011. I. With a nervous wreck. I, I worked in it, but still like talking in meetings. If I put on the spot, I, you know, I didn't know how to react. This kind of continued throughout till 2011. And then I still remember this moment vividly.
Uh, I was at work and then I saw this email. For a conference. It said this, this conference software conference happening in Seattle, you should come join us, attend this conference, get inspired and stuff. I've seen millions of emails like this, but I usually just delete it. But this time around, I just kept looking at the email.
The email was actually, it was asked if the email was stopped to me saying, dude, you are this person who's trying to work on all these fears. Why are you hesitating to work on.
Oh, what screw this. I'm [00:06:00] going to do this, attend this conference. So I swiped $3,000 of my own credit card when I was broke and I didn't have money, but I still went to Seattle and there, I saw a lot of, uh, speakers there saw a lot of talks and frankly, there were good talks and bads and in one of the bads, that's when I got this epiphany saying, man, Seems like anyone can actually give a talk, what better way than actually becoming a speaker to get rid of the fear of public speaking.
So to cut a long story short, I took a lot of notes. Did a lot of networking with speakers in 2011. Then in 2012, I started speaking in small, small meetup groups. Then in 2013, after seven months and 23 trial runs, I gave my first conference stock and it was a huge hit and fast forwarding to 2021. I've spoken at a hundred plus conferences I've done over 10 plus keynotes.
I've done two Ted X stocks. The reason I was painting this picture and sending some [00:07:00] context is that there's this beauty in getting uncomfortable to get comfortable. And that happens when you actually get out of your comfort zone and try new things. Right. And talking about TEDx, I really wanted to impact people.
Through speaking. So four years ago I had this vision that, you know, what I wanna speak on the really big stage, which would be TEDx. And Ted is number one, TEDx is number two. So I said, you know what? I wanna become a TEDx speaker, but I don't know how to do that. So I, again, when I say I'm a tech career strategist, that's reason behind it.
Everything in my life is a strategy, including getting the TEDx stock. So. I came up with a strategy about different things I need to do. And then for four years, I worked towards that. And then, after I put in, I built some social proof, got some speaking experience, attended a six month TEDx co tech coaching program for speaking all the jazz.
Then finally, uh, last [00:08:00] year I started applying for different tech chapters, which takes a lot of time and it's a lot of interview process. And finally, my dream became a reality. So that's kind of the. Whole story behind my speaking experience and how I, got my Ted extracts as well.
KT: Wow. That is a mouthful.
I, that is crazy. I love how you just like, you know, had that fear and just took it. Like, I don't know, by the. By the corner by steering wheel, by the rain yes.
Raj: Still you just have to face stuff head on. And I think that's, that's when you see different opportunities. I think 90% of the people in this world, they know what has to be done, but they have this fear of the unknowns.
Okay. What would happen if I take the next step? What if they fail? But you could rephrase that question saying, okay. If you don't take that step. How are you continuing to fail? Right. So there's different [00:09:00] ways of looking at things. And from my perspective, I'm still a work in progress. Don't get me wrong by no, no means I'm like Tony Robbins, but the point is I've become a lot better since I started at the age of 20, right.
Uh, in 15, 17 years down the line. I am here speaking to you, speaking in front of people. And, uh, I think this was my calling and, uh, yeah, I'm, I'm still gonna take it further and let's see what happens.
KT: Yeah, I actually, um, about maybe a year or two ago, I don't remember how long it was when, um, I was looking for just like random speakers and for our inspirational slot and your name, I had just come across it.
It was in the home building industry I was looking for. But your name was. Literally on multiple things and I was very impressed. And then when I got this opportunity to connect with you, I was so excited. So I'm very honored to get to talk to you today.
Raj: Thanks for having [00:10:00] me, uh, because I'm really always excited and grateful for people giving me an opportunity to share my story.
And, uh, it's people like you and other. Folks, like podcasts I've been on, you know, they, uh, helped me, remind myself from time to time. Why am I doing or what I'm doing? You know, all having imposter syndrome and self doubt. And I think being a guest on podcast is a good way to remind yourself about who you are because you have you're horses.
Talk about it, and then you remind yourself. Yeah, man, I was talking about overcoming fears and now why am I scared about. You know, uh, enrolling in this course. Right. So yes, it, it's interesting. It's a full circle.
KT: I am the queen of imposter syndrome. Like that is pretty much one of the things that have like driven this podcast is because at first I was reaching out to people and I, I had this mindset that, oh, no one was gonna respond.
No one wanted to share this advice. No one would [00:11:00] give me the time. Like. I had put those phrases in my head, no one had told me that I had put it there. And so that self-doubt was just stalling me. And once I found, and it's still there, we're still, we still put it on a shelf. She's still there. But, um, once I found the way to like, kind of move past that podcast had, has become what it is and is growing to this day.
So I'm very excited.
Raj: Couple of things, right? When you talk about imposter syndrome, which at least personally, I keep in mind and the people I coach in the tech space. I tell them the same thing as well. Everyone has imposter syndrome. Okay. That's part of being human, especially when you're trying something new.
Of course you don't know. How to do it. So of course you feel as if I, I, the right person, you ask all these questions to yourself, you label, you put different labels on yourself. No, I don't think I'm enough. I don't think I'm good enough. Right. Everyone goes through imposter syndrome, but that's a good thing because that's gonna give you that fear [00:12:00] and you can use that fear to feel the drive.
You need to actually succeed in that. In, in that, in that, uh, whatever thing you're gonna do, right? Sarah Blake, um, the founder of spans. She has a great phrase, which of course I don't remember right now. She said some, something in the lines of, if you don't know. Something then it's good because that means you're gonna do it differently.
Right? It's something on those lines. And it's very inspiring. That is the imposter syndrome. Everyone, including me have imposer syndrome, but it's just about how you see it. And the second thing is so many people around you, including you are gonna put different labels on yourself that you're not the good enough.
You don't matter. You know, you're not the right person to do this. Uh, you know, you should concentrate on something else. But you should also remember that you are in control of what labels you wanna associate yourself with. You could either associate yourself with labels. Like, I don't matter. I'm not good enough.
[00:13:00] Or you can associate yourself with labels such as yes, I could do this. I was born to do this. I'm gonna try it out. I'm gonna learn from this experience. So, so you associate yourself with what labels you want because that. Are actually neutral. You, you label them as past or negative. Right. And that's the thing you really need to think about when you feel that you're not good enough, then that's, that's a good thing to have, because if you're out in your lazy boy, couch, drinking beer and watching sports, which I do by the way, but you gonna do that 24 7, right?
So you need some fear to get, get your ass a out of the couch and then do something about it. So imposter syndrome is good. Embrace it. And you associate, you wanna associate yourself with the labels you want to associate yourself with. So those are some things you generally want to keep in mind. And that is something which I've done at time.
And again, for the past 10 years [00:14:00] to get to different things, which I'm doing right now.
KT: Yes. I love that. Okay. So with all of this inspirational talks you do in all of. Just an inspiring life. You've led so far. Who inspires you?
Raj: Yeah, of course. The cliche answer would be my wife, but that is true because, uh, we have been dating since 2011. When I was a nobody. And then she was there seeing my whole growth progress, and now I'm married to her and we have a mocha baby. She's white, German, America, a mocha baby. And then I'm brown, Indian dude, of course, from my Texas accent.
You already probably know it's not born in the United States, but the point is, um, she has been the backbone and the cornerstone of everything I do. in fact, talking about the journey of getting to become a speaker. I used to make a record videos of me speaking, and then ask her to gimme feedback on what [00:15:00] I'm doing wrong.
What I could improve on she herself is a state level debate champion in speaking comes naturally to her. So I had to take some coaching from her. So she's my coach. She also, my. Uh, editor in proof reader for all my articles, which I published in entrepreneur and for my book, uh, skyrocketed career, she was the first person who literally read through the entire book and gave me feedback and edits and stuff like that.
Right. So she's the backbone of everything I do in life. but if you talk someone in the motivation space, who has inspired me, it. He, he's not that well known as Tony Robbins, but he has this podcast called the school of greatness and it changed my life. And then I went to a conference called the summit of greatness and he inspired me so much.
And, uh, I've binge every podcast episode. He has thousand. [00:16:00] 120 episode, I think right now. Wow. He's also a New York and bestseller and he's a lifestyle entrepreneur. but Lewis house is definitely, one of my inspirations outside my, uh, wife, I would say,
KT: well, that's always beautiful to say it really is
Yeah. And I'm sure whenever she hears it, she'll appreciate it as well. So, um, do you want, you mentioned it, but do you want to go in a little bit more about your book?
Raj: Sure. Yeah. Um, I think it would be good for your audience as well, because I think a lot of people are struggling with the same problem. So my book let's first set some context here.
So my book is called skyrocketed career and the subtitle list, the no bullshit approach to find your dream job be successful in it and transform a rockstar. To give you the history behind it. So in 2020, COVID hit. And a lot of people got laid off. A lot of people didn't get their promotions. [00:17:00] A lot of people got demoted and they started contacting me via LinkedIn saying, Hey, I have a family, I don't have a job.
Please help me, please help me. So from the first week of March to mid April, I held about 40, 45 people, via are LinkedIn for free it, because of course they do not have the money. Right. And, uh, some of the, and. The strategy, which are strategies, which are sharing with them. And for majority of them, it started working out like people got jobs in the midst of the COVID pandemic, people got promotions, and then they kept saying, dude, the things you said, you know, really inspired and helped me.
That's when I started realizing if a lot of people are, are on the same boat. Why not, I do something which could help the mass audience who are going through the same journey. That's when I decided to write the book in the midst of the pandemic, a, um, started the book April 27th, 2020. And I wrote the book contents of the book within the first 30 days, uh, every day from eight to [00:18:00] 10:00 PM, because literally I live those strategies.
Then I teach those strategies, but no one told me that writing a book is one thing and then proof editing production. And the whole thing is another thing. So that day took me several months. And finally, in November, mid November, 2020, uh, I released my book. It hit number five on the Amazon bestseller list three times.
And then in 2021, I was very lucky and grateful to get the silver medal for the best nonfiction book by reader's favorite, which is like the Oscars for movies. Similarly, a reader's favorite for books. Right. So, yeah, that, that that's the history behind the book. But the main thing about the book is they help people get unstuck in the career years.
So I start with how to identify. Your ideal career options, right? And then once you identify your career options, how, what are the different things you need to do from LinkedIn profile adaptation, from resume, resume creation, right from brand building. [00:19:00] Then once you get interviews, how do you ACE interviews?
And once you get the job offer, how do you. Negotiate a salary salary. Okay. Now you got the job. How do you be successful in it? Okay. Now you're successful in it. How do you set yourself miles apart from the competition and become a rockstar star performer. So I take people through the whole life cycle, the job life cycle, combined with my real experiences with strategies.
And when I. Subtitles the book, the no bullshit approach. I literally mean that because it's 99 pages of just strategies and my experiences so that you can relate to it. It has worksheets, it has activities you can immediately do. So, yeah, so that's what the book is about. And, uh, people can always check it email@example.com and you can download the first chapter for free because.
I, I, I get it because, a lot of people talk about their books and then you buy it and then it's so crappy. So in order proven that from happening to other people, I give the first chapter [00:20:00] for free. And then you can decide whether you wanna go further and buy the book. But yeah, it's available on all books stores and, uh, that's, that's.
The background about my book and how it'll help people. Perfect.
KT: Well, I will be sure to put that in the show notes. Um, a couple last questions, cause I don't wanna take too much of your time, but you mentioned kind of at the beginning that you kind of had this evolution through your life. what was your, your on yourself kind of think of, you know, you being on Ted talks and stuff like that.
And what do you think he'd say.
Raj: My younger self would say, damn man, I never knew you could be this kind of guy. And it's funny you ask that question because a lot of people who grew up with me during my childhood, they're still dumbfounded that. How this person, a shy introvert, a kid earning a minimum salary who has a, nobody became an international keynote speaker, bestselling author, uh, [00:21:00] and a tech career strategies running a six figure business, right?
People still cannot fathom. How did the transition happen? And again, as I was saying, it took me. Now 20 years to become an overnight success. That what I tell people, because it's all about the small, small steps, which you keep doing consistently over a period of time, then you eventually start seeing the results for your effort.
So coming back to your question. Yeah, my, I think my younger self would be really proud of who I've become and it's a proof to people that you don't have to be born smart. Born rich, but you can make yourself smart, make yourself rich. If you are consistent, if you believe in yourself and you have the mindset that, you know what, I have my own skillset, I was born on earth for a reason.
I'm gonna figure out what that is, screw other people. And I'm, I have my own path. So if you have that, my then. Anyone can make a [00:22:00] transformation and trust me on this, I'm an average person. If I'm not smart, like people in MIT or Harvard, but I could compete with them because I know O other things, strategies, which have picked about a period of time.
Right? So it's all about how you show up, how you build your brand, how you communicate your confidence, you know, and I think those are the key things you wanna keep in mind. And if you have those things, You can be successful in anything you do. The key is just be consistent and do the work because we are, we live in this world.
Of, um, Instagram and Facebook, where we see all these influencers putting posts of them next to their Ferrari lamb Burgy and stuff like that. But no one knows the story behind that. Maybe they're already $2 million in debt and they're just making a persona, you know, false persona into social media. So.
People immediately think that, oh, I wanna become like that. Right. But then they want results [00:23:00] immediately. No one believes in the power of delayed gratification, which means that you put consistent effort, do the work and then you'll start seeing results. But those are some food for thought for your listeners in case you wanted to change something or do something with your life.
KT: Wow. Not okay. Not that you haven't already given so many gold nuggets of audio, but do you have any last piece of advice you wanna add?
Raj: my last advice would be, to really stand out from other people and establish yourself. You have to build your personal brand. Your personal brand is a number one thing, which is gonna sit to you apart from the competition.
Your personal brand is a number one thing which is going to give you opportunity is your personal brand is the number one thing which is gonna help discover, Your next career path, your next, next fashion. So building a personal brand is gonna be really, really important, especially right now when the thousands of people are playing for the [00:24:00] same job, why it's gonna make you stand up from other people.
So your personal brand focus on that, and then things start happening to you automat.
KT: There you have it. Well, if anybody is lacking inspiration, make sure you just play that last two minutes on a loop, cuz that is full of gold. That was amazing.
Raj: Thank you. Yeah.
KT: If anybody wants to learn more about you or get in touch, find your book and so where could they find
It's a couple of places. First one is all my life's work can be found on my personal website, which is raub.com, which is R AJ U B R a.com. And there you'll find out how I help people, how I do my one-on-one coaching group, coaching, all the details about me to get my buck. You could go to skyrocket your career book.
Dot com. And as I said, you can download the first chapter for free and you'll have links to various stores where you could buy the book as well. [00:25:00] And of course, if you wanna connect with me, I live on LinkedIn. So literally just ping me, follow me because I put content out every single day on various different topics and just ping me because I love, uh, building my network and connecting with new people as well.
So that those are the ways you could, uh, support me and get in touch with me.
KT: Yes. Well, I will be sure to put all of those links in the show out below, but thank you so much for your time today. That was seriously full of gold inspiration, and I am so honored to have you on my podcast.
Raj: Thanks for having me.
And I also wanted to. Take a second technology for showing up, consistently on your podcast and, uh, giving a channel for people to share their stories. So keep doing what you're doing and, uh, appreciate, whatever you're doing for the community.
KT: Oh, well, thank you so much. That means a lot.
And that is it for this
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