My life can be described as a recurring episodic cycle of relative calm, punctuated by crisis, transition and reflection both in my professional and personal life. This constant series of change and transition when viewed from the outside will make me look like a man who is uncertain of himself and his mission in life. While during times of transitions and great change in my life this has certainly been the case, it has mostly to do with my quest to constantly learn, grow and change and to push the boundaries of my body, mind and soul.
I was a one-time aspiring PhD student in philosophy who became disillusioned with the whole tenure process and decided to do something else. I somehow became an owner of several franchise businesses while also teaching myself to program software during my free time and selling it on the side. I found a way to leverage these skills to transition back into the workforce initially as a software developer. This included a short stint in a start-up cutting code for an artificial intelligence call center system, to working for a boutique consulting company developing web applications for Fortune 100 companies.
For nearly a decade since 2007, I was involved in the field of project management initially as corporate employee then as an independent consultant, trainer, coach, educator and writer which included being an instructor at five universities and colleges, writer for several industry publications and event speaker. My main motivation for such a high level of engagement with this niche discipline and field, was as a thought experiment to see how far I could take the field of project management and build an independent, project-based career platform on this vertical profession.
One of the things you learn in that profession is to mitigate risks, and though my goal was ultimately to be a philosophical writer, I had a feeling that attempting to pursue such an endeavor from the ground up and from scratch would be a high risk. At the time I was married and had “normal” responsibilities such as debts and obligations. Furthermore, social media was gaining prominence and seemed a means to brand, market and get your message out to the world with a level of efficiency and effectiveness that went well beyond media mechanisms of the past.
So I decided to ride on the coat tails of the profession of project management that I happen to be in at the time and wanted to see if I could spin it in a different and unique direction, by using my broad, philosophical interest in many different fields and articulating it in a more integrated and holistic fashion. The endeavor exceeded my expectations and I was able to fashion it into a unique career of consulting, writing, speaking, teaching and evangelizing the field in my own voice, which you can find more about at projectation.com.
I have now come full circle and back to my love of philosophy and my mission now is to articulate this in a manner that is direct, provocative and bold, but that is also literate, erudite and balanced. This will be done primarily through my books as an author, this website and pretty much any medium that allows me to write, speak and present, as there is no time in the history of our world where one has more channels to communicate thoughts through words, speech and gestures then now.
This entails that one who philosophizes and is the author of media, is also an educator that should conduct their business affairs as an entrepreneur. That is why I consider myself an A.P.E.E. (Author, Philosopher, Entrepreneur and Educator).
My first published book is titled “I Think, Therefore I Plan: Mastering the methods and meditations of project management“, a book, like my life, that makes you philosophize on the “how” (methods) AND the “why” (meditations) of managing projects in work and life… This book fulfills this need like no other in the industry! An upcoming book titled “Sex, Lies and Philosophy: The genealogy of the Will-To-Desire and its discontent” is in the works and volume one is planned for 2018.
But this is just the beginning as I desire to articulate, philosophize and educate you about… nearly everything. I hope you enjoy the journey.
Don Kim, A.P.E.E.