The Blog of Jake Kelfer
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Success Spotlight with Brian Bloch: Financial Analyst for Apple Music and iTunes
How do you define success?
Think of the people you consider to be successful – most likely they are still working every day at getting better at what they love, even though they probably surpassed the objective level of ‘successful’ a long time ago.
Success is a moving target, the constant struggle to accomplish more today than than I was able to yesterday. It is the feeling of fulfillment I get when I accomplish one of my goals. The way I see it, if I’m not moving forward, I’m [at best] stuck in place – a sitting duck waiting for others to pass me by.
What are your biggest goals?
I have two:
What is the philosophy that you try to live by?
Fear is useless – take the leap and enjoy the ride.
I don’t see the point in worrying about what could go wrong. The only way to find out is to just go for it and learn along the way. As you get older you regret the things you didn’t try, not the things you tried that didn’t work out. To me life is just one big lesson. You start out as a baby and you literally know nothing, you are just living by instinct. Every day you learn more and more until one day before you know it, you are teaching others the things you have learned.
You are featured in my book in the chapter titled The Keys to Building an Irresistible Resume. What is your number one piece of advice for people looking to get their first internship/job?
When you’re networking and applying to jobs, be yourself, and don’t settle for a job that you aren’t stoked about. In order to find a good fit for you, you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable to failure. If there isn’t a real possibility that they will choose someone else for the job, you probably aren’t pushing yourself hard enough to find a job that will challenge you. Allow your strengths to guide what type of job you get, and allow your interests to guide what kind of company you go to work for.
What is the biggest takeaway from working at Apple?
Working at Apple is a challenge every day. The biggest takeaway so far for me has been learning to embrace the fluid nature of the job, and thrive in an uncertain environment. Many days go by where I don’t accomplish a single thing on my to-do list, and that is totally okay. My priorities can be derailed by a number of different things, so being open to that type of curveball is absolutely necessary.
Something that has helped me to be successful in this environment is following the practice of “Organized Abandonment”. Basically, classify your to-do list into 3 parts: urgent, important, and would be nice. Then don’t spend any more time that day thinking about the things that aren’t either urgent or important. This allows you to organize your goals, focus on the things that matter, and abandon the things that can wait.
What are the best pieces of advice you have ever received?
Again, I have two:
If you could have lunch with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
I’m going to cheat a bit here – but I’ll keep my answers short to compensate. If the people are still alive, I think I still may have the opportunity to meet them – so I’m naming 6 people.
In no particular order: (alive or dead)
The Fundamental Round
Favorite food: Gyro
Favorite book: Harry Potter Series or Freakonomics
Favorite movie: Gladiator
Favorite athlete: Chris Paul
Favorite sports team: USC Trojans
Favorite song: Stack Shot Billy by The Black Keys
Favorite quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Attributed to Albert Einstein
Biggest role model: Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski)
Animal you most resemble (looks or personality): Baloo from the Jungle Book because I love the simple things in life.
You can connect with Brian here: