The Knowmad: From Following the Beaten Path to Bringing Inspiration
September 21, 2015
Although Christian Sextl always knew that he wanted to live an extraordinary and purposeful life, he spent a decade following the beaten path, not finding a way to bring into the world what was inside of him. It’s a startling revelation from this idea-addict, this described ‘Informator’, the nomadic knowledge worker whose passion for coffee runs so deep he carries his own Aero Press, hand coffee grinder, and portable kettle in his backpack. Some people spend their whole lives running in the corporate treadmill. Not Chris. Luckily, he had the courage to jump and follow the life-long itch to spend his time with more meaningful projects that would make him and others happy. In March 2015, Chris and his girlfriend Mercedes signed on to support Knowmads Hanoi, a course for Entrepreneurship, Personal Leadership and Sustainability. They helped facilitate the course for the third team of students during the March – April program, and, inspired by its success, decided to stay for the fourth team of students over summer.
The path to get to this point wasn’t easy, and Chris might instead have ended up in a suit in some office, if not for a workshop called “Find the Job that Makes You Happy” in his native Germany. He didn’t find a job that made him happy, but gained a vision of a lifestyle: the life of a traveling entrepreneur, giving workshops and coaching to inspire people to change their lives. What sparks his passion is his own process of growth. “I always loved when I stumbled upon something that would change or improve my life, or when someone gave me a feedback that would create more clarity in me. I know how great it was for me, and that’s why I want to give the same inspiration to others. Because I know that there might be just this one little information that might change someone’s life.” At Knowmads Hanoi, Chris is doing exactly that: inspiring young people to make a positive change in their lives, and helping them make their dreams come true. On the side, he is experimenting with different media like websites, webinars, videos, coaching or books to develop his own projects in the area of personal development.
On the market potential for alternative education in Vietnam, Chris has a positive outlook: “With the growth in economy, more and more people now realize that they need to invest in themselves in order to be successful in their careers and business.” Having worked with a team of 20 young people – mostly Vietnamese – in Knowmads Hanoi Team 3, Chris was impressed by their level of openness and proactiveness. The students’ drive for creating social changes inspired him: “Most people in the program had projects aimed at creating positive change in society – something much more fulfilling than just making money.”
Chris finds the co-working space useful for his changemaking work. “The best thing is the environment. It’s a very cool café, but you know that you’re here to work. I hardly procrastinate when I’m here.” “And there is great coffee!” He added. He certainly enjoys it more than a corner office in Germany.
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