My personal narrative, the longer format

Backpacking in Vang Vieng, Laos, 2008

This writing is an exercize in connecting the dots, which we should all do from time to time. It’s a journey through memory lane as well as a recollection of moments registered through journalling, which I have been practicing for more than 20 years (everybody should do it too, it’s like doing therapy for free).

As a Brazilian, being born in a working-class family basically means that you are fated to have your life pre-designed. Typically, you follow the steps of your parents, beginning with standard education, heavy pressure to get into a public university, some odd jobs to raise all the pocket money possible and, after graduation, facing the usual battle to get the first job. Once you have made it, you are supposed to consider yourself happy, get married, and enjoy life playing soccer and drinking beer with your best friends. That was all, my mom had thought, until early 2003 when I took the initiative to apply for a traineeship program in Potsdam, Germany. Enthusiastically and doubtful, I put all my efforts into that application. Two months had passed, and the German-stamped envelope finally arrived; it was a “yes”, and that was the beginning of a series of events that led me to found HIKE today.

Following that amazingly surprising outcome, many beer cans were opened, numerous cheers celebrated, smiles, good laughing, and some tears at my hometown’s airport. Suddenly I was hit with different feelings, assorted faces, and an odd language; I had arrived in Berlin. Back then I hardly spoke any English, and my German was non-existent. Now I realize how pretentious I was in expecting that a place would be exactly as my mind had projected. From Berlin’s airport to Potsdam’s train station, I realized that some feelings are simply so profound that they belong only to the ones who’ve been through them, and alone, during those 65 minutes, I experienced scents, temperatures and emotions that would seem silly if written here. They were mine, and if translated into one word, that would be “discovery”.

Since then, my journey has been illustrated with significant independent-driven discoveries. It hasn’t always been easy or romantic, but by walking off the beaten path I could experiment things that otherwise would never have come across my way. Essentially, in my past 20 years I have witnessed that it’s out of your comfort zone that you truly become aware of your inner soul, beliefs, fears, dreams, passions, prejudices, and everything related to self-awareness. I have been fortunate to allow myself the freedom to explore the beauty of self-awareness; consequently, I have realized that I want to drive my existence towards something meaningful and tangible.

I have always been curious and passionate about designing products and services that have the power to add real value to people’s lives by offering solutions to their physiological and psychological needs. Consequently, today I am glad to introduce myself professionally as a scientist, turned entrepreneur, investor, coach, mentor; above all, I am and have always been a strong people-person. As you can see through my Linkedin, I have been fortunate to work with world class people and companies, having excelled on the startup and scale up world, where I deeply connect with the culture of pragmatism, dynamism and purpose-driven leadership. Despite all the good-looking brands on my CV, these are external metrics; on the other hand, the experiences I had through all the amazing people I’ve met are all internal and there’s no dollar sign I can put on them. I feel grateful and privileged for the journey so far.

Through the Jungfrau mountains in Switzerland, 2009

I learned that I thrive when working with people who are curious, open-minded and ambitious on their own terms; through authentic conversations, I feel the power and joy of inspiring and getting others to reach their potential. This is my calling and what I want to deploy, develop and grow at HIKE.

I am always driven to walk the talk, and I love talking to strangers. I am not afraid of initiating new ventures and am passionate about entering new territories. Through my own initiative, I have lived and worked in Germany, UK, Canada, Switzerland, USA, China, and Malaysia. I truly embrace diversity and I like to think I was born to be a citizen of the world. As a good citizen, I have independently — and with very limited resources — explored more than 60 countries. I am also a father of two, a marathon runner, surfer, and a lover of the world and all its nuances.

With the iconic Jack Welch, in Harvard Business School, 2012

I truly believe that authentic leadership — learned through intense and multiple experiences driven by your own initiative and with the support of strong communities — is the key to making this world a more tolerant, accessible, real, and possible place. I work to empower and cultivate more of such leaders.

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