COMMUNITY: Tim Salau's Playlist
Founder of Mentors & Mentees
Who are you?
My name is Tim, I'm a community builder and the founder of Mentors and Mentees community organization. I'm also a content creator, as well, on Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook, and I actively build community around topics such as career mentorship. In addition to that, I'm really focused on using my community building skills as well as my passion for product and UX to create career opportunities for people who are interested in leveling up in their careers so they can live a more purposeful life. I'm also working at Microsoft as an AI product manager and I'm actively working in partnership with brands like Bird and Waze as a brand ambassador. I'm partnering with them on customer advocacy and some of the technology that they're developing that's changing the world and how people move and think about technology as a whole.
Overall though I'm really passionate about community building. My full time job is community building, community building, community building. It's what drives me every single day when I wake up to when I go to sleep. So I'm always looking for ways to connect with the community that I'm passionate about; the ones that believe in career mentorship and that see the opportunity to craft a new world, design their own life, and one live a more purposeful life. I don't only do this outside of work but I live it and breathe it inside of Microsoft as well. A lot of what I feel when it comes to culture and music informs what I think about, you know, things that bring people together.
Where did you get this love of community? That's not necessarily a common thing that people love, right? Where does that come from.
Yeah, man, I completely agree. I'm the son of a pastor. I grew up in the church listening to Gospel music and I went to church every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Basically, my entire life. So I've always been around community in the sense of having people who believe in one faith who gather together, praise, and worship. People who keep up with each other, help each other, support each other, go to each other's houses, and build an organic family experiences. So you can say that community was part of my upbringing. You know, I became deeply rooted in community in the sense of faith and it didn't hurt that I had my cultural roots in Africa as well which highly emphasized my love of the community. It brings belonging.
So I think it's always been a part of my DNA but in the last two years of my life, I really realized that, as a whole, I was called on this earth to build communities. The unique and powerful thing about it is that everything is rooted in love. Some people think that they're called to be entrepreneurs, some think that they're called to be artists or the world's best marketers. I realized, you know, that I'm a community builder and that's just who I am, and I can't deny that. There's power in that statement and the way that I walk to my mission.
How did it feel when you realized this as your mission? When I think about it, it reminds me of this quote, "The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why." Was this how you felt?
I found comfort in the fact that I could go anywhere, any place, talk to anyone, because I knew my authentic self. I knew what I was capable of, what I was capable of reaching, and that I was grounded in something bigger than myself. Maybe some days I have doubts, but I know what keeps me spinning. I know what'll get me up to the next level because I’m reinforcing my beliefs every day and I’m repeating to myself every day that I am this person. I completely agree that when I realized who I was and my purpose, I realized the need to align myself with helping others find their's as well. I don't care what someone else is doing or what someone else brings to the table. I know what I bring to the table and it has made me much better as a person.
Because I know my unique skill set and I know where I can add value. And I think that, you know, when you really find solace in your own identity, which is, you know, which is tied to your purpose, you're able to work yourself to win. You're able to pick apart all of the things that aren't really aiding you to get to the next level but also amplify the things that are, which is the things that aligned to your strength, what you're good at and what makes you happy. And with me, I could do community building for free and be happy. It's not just like, oh, "I do community building on the side." No. No. No. No. No. I'm creating content for the community that I care about. So people who are looking to level up in their careers understand these things: How do I find a mentor? Right? How do I really think about what's my career roadmap? You know, how do I really get that job? How do I build a rapport with my manager? How do I really have those conversations around salary negotiating. Things that matter to me should matter to anyone who is looking to go somewhere with their career.
Being a community builder matters when I'm going in and working as an AI product manager, right? The question becomes how do I craft technology in a way where it speaks to the community that I'm building for and the individual customers that I'm building for as well. Like, what role does technology play? What stories can our A.I product and our end users tell at the end of everyday. Like I really think about community in every facet of the life. I think it becomes an obsession and it becomes something that I'm comfortable obsessing over because I know one, it's what I was called to do, and, you know, it's something that I'm thankful for because of my growth.
What is your music listening process? How do you incorporate music into your life?
Man, I need energy. The reality is that I haven't listened to as much music as when I was younger. I used to be a music nerd. I mean I remember back in the day when we had Limewire. I was on Limewire like crazy man and I was on there for any free cut. Like if any of the latest songs/albums came out, I was immediately downloading them. That was like my favorite piece of software, the power to share anything with anyone instantly. All that music really got me through college. I can remember the songs that came out when I was in college. I think that was around the time Drake was really, really popping. If you're reading this, it's too late. If you're reading this it's too late was an entire vibe. He was dropping so much music man!
He was dropping bomb after bomb. I was also listening to a lot of different music at that time such as jazz when I was studying and things like that. So music for me has always been about energy and aura. In my life right now, there's just so much music that I just need something to amp me up at all times because I'm always on GO! So I've really been playing one song consistently
I play Nonstop everyday because I'm like, I don't really need other music, I need that song. That's it. I'm not listening to other music, it's just the fact that I just need that song. I'm always listening for music just to push me a little bit farther. The motivation is crazy. Right. Basically to get me to right in my mind. So I'm like, okay, all right, I can go today. Right. You know what I'm saying? No matter what, whether I'm at work or I'm going to work or I'm just in my own solitude and it really does get my mind right in a big way.
You only listened to Nonstop? Or do you listen to playlists or anything like that.
It's been just Nonstop or Elevate. I mean, Drake's album has been pretty good. Music is such a luxury, you know, you got to find time to listen to and love music. It's also a privilege to create the ambience that you want and that's something I haven't had the time to do to be honest. I used to do that so much because music would be the thing that mellowed me out. I would always listen to understand the artist's different perspectives. In addition to find what drives them. So no I don't really create my own vibes anymore but I would love to do it a little more.
But you know, I gotta listen to Nonstop. The energy is so high!