I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Patel, the founder of Transizion, a college counseling and career services company that connects mentors to students and professionals. After graduating from the George Washington University and serving as a career ambassador for students there, Jason founded Transizion to help veterans, professionals, and students with college and career advice. On a daily basis, Jason manages a team of over 20 dedicated professionals, from content writers to college mentors to career professionals. Together, his team has served over 2,000 students. Under his purview, Transizion has guided students and professionals to over $1 million in scholarship rewards, admissions to top universities, and job offers from top companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Booze Allen Hamilton.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get to be where you are right now?
Jason was born to middle-class parents, both immigrants, who showed him the values of opportunity and hard work. Growing up, he was bullied a lot, but it was through this challenge he learned how to persevere and adapt. As a student at the George Washington University, Jason helped fellow students find internships, apply to jobs, improve interview skills, and rewrite resumes, which is how he unearthed his passion for helping people achieve their goals.
After graduating, Jason volunteered with helping students and veterans find college and job opportunities; after one of his students earned a full ride to a top school, the student’s mother implored Jason to start a business and better disseminate his consulting philosophy. Transizion was born, and since then, Jason has competed both in business and Brazilian Jiujitsu extensively.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How did this quality help you overcome obstacles on the path of becoming an influential and inspiring leader?
I’m definitely an extrovert, perhaps excessively so. I love people and can generate much of my own energy by learning from others, hearing different perspectives, and, frankly, arguing about a solution. When I’ve run into obstacles, I’ve always made sure to consult others and ask for advice. We don’t know everything, so asking for help isn’t something that simply engages others; it’s tactically the smart thing to do. The relationships I’ve built during my relatively short time in business have been sources of energy and inspiration.
What does it mean to be mentally-strong in the hyper-competitive world of running a business or an organization?
Mental strength is about sacrifice, composure, and adaptability. You need to be willing to incur great short-term costs to run a business. That means giving up vacations, relaxation time, and spending your hard-earned money on a dream that might not come true.
Composure is critical because you will endure far more losses than victories, especially when you first start. This means you need to keep your chin high and take each loss with humility.
Finally, adaptability is all about learning from your mistakes and making sure your product, people, and message are always improving.
A lot of people in the business world feel as if talking about mental health makes them appear weak. How do you feel about showing mental strength and setting an example of what it takes to have strong mental stamina to succeed?
At some point, you need to stop caring what detractors might think and go do it. This means asking team members how they feel about their workload and whether you can offer them help. Your goal should be to help team members help your customers. You want to put them in the right position to succeed.
Is there a particular person, a book, or place of wisdom that has inspired you to become a successful and mentally-strong leader?
I’ll avoid clichés and give you two offbeat responses. I think 50 Cent, aside from his social media shenanigans, is a captivating and inspiring figure. He’s never met his father, his mother was murdered, and he was born in right in the middle of the drug epidemic. Yet, he was able to generate his own hype and leverage it into multiple business deals, including one with Vitamin Water and another to produce a successful TV show.
I also think Obstacle is the Way is an outstanding book for those enduring business trials. It comprises a great number of stories of historic and admirable figures who turned their tragedies into successes. Turns out that failure is a part of the process.
Can you give us 5 tips on maintaining strong mental health stamina to succeed in the modern business world? Tell us a little about why each point matters.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would ask many of my peers to seek out stoicism as a guiding philosophy. Today’s online environment effortlessly promotes negativity over the things that matter – triumph, struggle, and the stories of those who get no coverage. Lashing out over what you see and hear is no way to live; instead, focus on how you react to challenges and obstacles, and live a good life by appreciating every step along your difficult journey.
If the readers of this interview series would like to read more about you, how they can reach out?