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Fred Brandon is an entrepreneur, focusing on SharePoint solutions and consulting. Today, Fred will share how he “accidentally” fell into SharePoint, Twitter and Periscope, to move forward.

Successes at a glance:

  • Entrepreneur, problem solver, and SharePoint expert:
    • Lectures and presents to organizations around the world on leveraging SharePoint as a solutions platform

Fred’s story:

  • Fred is a SharePoint solutions architect whose goal is to help businesses streamline their processes. As Fred explains, SharePoint (SP) is a knowledge management tool that helps with everything from document management to online forms to intranet/internet pages. Even though he is considered a go-to expert on SP, Fred didn’t intend it to be his vocation. Rather, he fell into it by “accident.” Fred started out in the IT field and was working for a non-profit org in DC that utilized a lot of online systems. One day, the org decided to adopt SP and tasked Fred with learning it. Simple as that. Fred gave himself a crash course on SP, not knowing that this would the be the start of a major career pivot. Keep in mind, SP is not intuitive and is a very robust program. However, it was the “learn this, teach us” mandate that helped Fred find his niche. A second major “accident” that happened on Fred’s journey was Twitter. Fred wasn’t big on social media but as he became immersed in SP, he started engaging more on Twitter and later, Periscope, as a SP expert. For Fred, it was a necessity; providing him a more real-time, connected experience as keeping up with emails became a challenge. But taking that leap onto Twitter opened the doors for him to increase his network and relationships which became the springboard for him to become an entrepreneur. Today, Fred lectures and presents on SP all over the world. By finding his calling in SP, Fred got to fulfill his early passion for travel and experiencing different cultures.

Setback failure or time when things fell apart:

  • The hardest moment that Fred faced was losing his father, 5 years ago. This was a devastating period in Fred’s life and the moment when things “crumbled.” As a result, he lost focus and spiraled into a depression.

The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:

  • As difficult as losing his father was, Fred has since gained the strength and courage to move forward. Fred shares that a traumatic event, like losing a parent, can “make you or break you.” As difficult as it was, there was a moment in which Fred asked himself, “what would my father want for me?” It was that moment that helped Fred reset. The knowledge that his father would not want him to simply give up and be depressed allowed him to start moving forward again.

Knowledge bursts:

  • Getting started on SharePoint:
    • Fred’s first lesson: don’t pull your hair out! It takes time to learn SP and because there are so many facets to it, pick the ones that are most important to you. Narrow down, as SP has something for IT pros, administrators, and developers. If you try to do too much, you’ll get frustrated, so stay in your lane. It comes down to knowing your focus and asking for help, when you need it.
    • Get some great resources on SharePoint.
  • Resource or cultural experience that inspired Fred to move forward:
    • First Things First by Stephen Covey: this book helps Fred put all of his many interests and aspirations in perspective. As someone who likes to learn about a lot of topics, Fred finds this to be a great resource for learning the art of prioritization.
  • Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
    • Twitter and Periscope: Fred finds both of these to be a game changer. In the beginning, Fred was more of an observer. Once he started sharing content, this changed his perspective completely and helped him bridge new connections. Fred describes how important social media is to his business today: “when I go somewhere, I can take you with me;” especially with the 360 cameras available today.
  • How Fred recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
    • Fred goes to the gym and finds it a place where he can reset and work out his frustrations. Fred shares that the easiest way for him to “unplug” is to “plug in those earbuds” while at the gym.

Start Moving Forward with Audible and two free audiobooks:

Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:

  • “Invest more” in yourself, financially and knowledge-wise. Don’t forget to invest in others too. Share your knowledge and experiences with others so they can move forward.

Parting wisdom (in a few words):

  • “Know your worth.”

Connect with Fred: