Meet Miguel Esparza. He’s a multi-careerist based in Chicago. He is a marketing executive and sommelier. He has lived all over the world, and we met over LinkedIn. Here are Miguel’s insights.
On his motivations for many careers
What drives me forward every time is knowing that I am learning new things every time. I make a personal challenge to at least learn one new thing every year. Whether it is learning downhill biking, scuba diving…Becoming a sommelier was the consolidation of a long time passion behind the world of wine and spirits.
Advice to aspiring multi-careerists
Follow your passion and instinct. To fill in the cliché: life is just too short to not seize all of the opportunities out there to continue growing and learning. Never before there were so many resources and tools to fulfill personal interests and passions. Also, having multiple careers opens your mind. Get to know amazing people….Then you can apply across careers, making you a unique individual.
Time. The most precious asset these days, of course. If only time was endless you might say. But also, when there is true grit, time becomes just one of the components to beat to reach what you aspire for. In my case, becoming a sommelier required long hours of study, required sometimes giving up some of the spare time out of my marketing career and put long hours of reading and practicing. Luckily enough, I had the unconditional support of my wife and family to go through that hardship.
On how careers are mutually beneficial
My two careers made me reflect and have different perspectives when I needed. While my marketing career is my ¨formal¨ career, I find in my sommelier career my own personal oasis to take a mental break and refresh my mind at different times. Being a sommelier exposes you to very cool people, places and conversations that is only excellent food for the mind and keep you refreshed and rolling.
On finding balance
My lovely wife Aline is the bravest, smartest and supportive woman I know. We as a family are supportive of each others interests as we know this is part of continue to grow as human beings and much of the reasons why we felt in love with each other. Raising two kids, requires great communication and family organization so we can both manage our shared but also personal agendas.
On something wishes to have learned sooner
I wish I could have known how exciting and rewarding it is. While, of course, there is some additional effort you need to put behind it, the experiences you get out of it are immense. I wish I had started earlier!
I recently read a book that I find excellent for those individuals looking for some inspiration about a new career. The Book of Beautiful Questions by Warren Berger.
Warren describes himself as a ¨questionologist¨– he has mastered the act of making questions. He goes in depth into different topics rising ¨beautiful questions¨ on topics such as leadership, creativity, connecting with people, among others. In this journey, the reader will find powerful examples of questions that make anyone reflect, think and get inspiration. I recommend this book to whomever has asked herself what is my purpose? What am I good at ? etc. (note: questions only, answers not included, those are on you)
Overcoming the stigma of multiple careers
I think the stigma is that you can’t have really two careers — either because of time, resources or priorities. That it is just not possible. I have my on personal mantra: “You can do anything, but not at the same time.” You do have to be clear about prioritization and working around agendas, but it’s totally doable.
On how to sublimate ego at the day job
I think that most people who have dual careers might find themselves in that dilemma at some point. The way I manage is being very clear of what career at this moment I have prioritize in service of allowing me to have the second one. If you give a purpose to your actions then the journey becomes less stressful than it happens to be.
A Day in the Life
My daily routine to my marketing career: new product developments, launch of new products, budgets, advertising, share of market, sales revenue.
For my sommelier career, I run that over specific events: special wine tasting, wine event, design wine menus, etc.
Where to find Miguel
Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author.