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The "who" outfit

Who am I?

Let's start with the surface. Imagine me. Dressed up.

What you see first, the jacket of mine, is my name- Szymon Bielecki. See it as a bleached white and red jeans jacket. To those of you who do not come from central or eastern Europe, it may seem a little special, sometimes maybe exotic? But if you are Polish, there is the oldschool baggy Levi's jeans
jacket feel to my name, after all, Szymon isn't a very modern name. These of you who are not familiar with the Slavic names, you may look for familiarities on the jacket. That's where the worldwide known label of Levi's comes in- call me Simon- it's easier. Feels less exotic now, more familiar. Why the colors? My jacket- name, screams "POLAND!!!!". -cki surname, after all. Besides, as my good Hungarian friend never hesitates to point out (Mr. Nonn, winking at you), unreadable combinations of letters next to each other appear. So typically polish.

Go below the jacket. You'll see a black hoodie that says "TKU IB", which stands for Tamkang University- International Business. I live in New Taipei City, where Tamkang is located. What I study, live, read, watch, and observe is Business, both international, and local, Taiwanese. Hoodies aren't very formal, are they? Why use it for a thing as serious as International Business. Well, my choice of clothing would be the hoodie, because I'm not a very serious person. Sometimes. Often. But below the hoodie. You'll see. Besides, isn't there more than a 10000-dollar-suit-big-name-big-title-big-check-full-wallet-platinum-credit-card-and-maserati to a business? Ever heard of startups? This particular environment connects young, not so posh and not so formal people. They would often wear a hoodie to work, meeting, sometimes even (oh boy!) to a conference and investor meeting. Why so serious?

But then, if we get more familiar (say, you bought me a coffee ;) ), I may even take off my hoodie for you and show you more of myself. What I'll wear underneath, when I'm meeting people who matter, would be crisp white, freshly ironed white shirt- my character. Remember when I said I'm not that serious? Maybe. But I have rules and things I believe in. I strive for excellence, and expect same from everyone around me. Be serious. About your life. About stuff that matters. We had a small talk, I was wearing a hoodie. But if we're familiar with each other enough that I start taking off my clothes, you'll notice I'm serious about things. I care. I want. I expect. I try to know. I take responsibility.

That white shirt is hiding a slightly over weight body under it, but you can see a bit of muscle (now remember, it's a symbolic muscle, if you expect to see a bit of muscle... well, not in winter). This symbolizes few things. First of all, there is the bit of fat. That's the laziness, and procrastination. It happens. That pizza-and-XBOX combo ain't too healthy. But there is the muscle. Even though I have my moments of weakness, I try to get stuff done. And well, I think I usually succeed at it. I would often challenge myself, do the extra few pushups on Saturday night: go to a conference, read a new book, organize something, work on voluntary basis for something that develops me.

You look down from the torso and you'll notice a pair of black chinos. They're simple, nothing special. But they do look elegant. But go well with a hoodie too. And they're black, can go well with a lot of other colors. That's my attitude. I am a simple guy, I don't want that much. I want to do my own thing. I don't need the flashy. I want what's for me. See, these pants didn't suit my dad, and he said I should not wear them either. I should wear fancy suit pants, or at least big label jeans. But I decided to give these black chinos a try, and they suited me. Maybe they don't make me look that great, unless you do appreciate the casual business style. Maybe I do not look rich in them, no big tag on them, right? But I look decent. That's what I want to look like. And well, they go so well with everything, they leave room for different colors. I think I am an open-minded person. I have my rules, but be nice to me, and I'll be nice to you. I try many different things. I have many different kinds of friends. I will go for a beer with friends, in front of a 7-11 at night, but I will also go to an innovation conference.

Finally, the shoes. Cool classic sport sneakers, maybe some basketball or tennis shoes, perhaps skateboarding? And all of them with the tick on the side. Today, it's the white ones. But you always see me wearing sneakers of this one particular brand. This symbolizes two things. I am loyal. I am loyal to my ideas, my values, and myself. I am loyal to what I commit to. Just like I wouldn't buy the stripes shoes, always the tick ones. This brings me to another point. That tick is a big brand. Branding is what interests me. I really enjoy seeing what different logos communicate, even way indirectly. I wonder what makes me buy this particular brand of shoes every single time, and what to do to do the same with my own brand in the future. Here I realize: yeah, that's what I want to do. I want to pursue a marketing career and at some point in life, would love to be on my own, have my own thing, own company. The idea of self-employment has always been very attractive to me. Maybe that's why, unconsciously, from 16th year of my life, I've been involved with people from the startup and entrepreneurship environment.

One last thing you notice is that reusable shopping bag that I carry my books in. I am a big believer of socially responsible business, one that works for the people, the planet, and is sustainable. After all, this shopping bag wasn't made in a sweatshop but rather handmade, bought from a small independent seller at a market. In the bag, you'll see few books. Something about Lean Startup, perhaps, maybe a book for Chinese language learning (Taiwanese edition, of course), and my computer. I like mobility and to always be ready, so I always have it with me.



This is me. You saw the surface, you saw what's beneath. If you wanna see even more, spend some time with me, get to know me, read the post, and engage in discussion. I may show you even more.

Cheers,
Szymon

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