Today we’d like to introduce you to Kidsan Barnes.
Hi Kidsan, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born in Kingston, Jamaica and relocated to the South Florida region in 2000. When I was 18 I got my start at a domestic telecom giant, and almost a decade later God gave me the courage to jump ship to a smaller international satellite communications player. That was the best step that I could have made in my career and life as a whole. It opened the door to where I am now. The exposure to satellite communications comes with its own geekification, all of a sudden, I was a young business professional born and raised in Jamaica, but with my Telecom experience, I was getting thrown at almost any country you could imagine in Europe and Africa. From there, I started my own non-profit to gain experience in business ownership, the goal was to provide connectivity in the slums of Kenya. I also completed my Executive MBA from Florida International University, a strategic program that was in alignment with my career goals and did not disappoint with the global exposure, lessons on innovation and the focus on geopolitics in today’s world. It all came together!
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s not an easy road, especially if you are not born with a golden spoon. There are many struggles and challenges that I have faced from mental endurance to physical endurance to work-life balance and toxic work environments. We will always have never-ending challenges, it is important to build up your faith and know that joy comes in the morning and no challenge lasts forever (unless you allow it to). I have been thrown career curveballs, some by choice and some not so sought out, what it becomes is an opportunity to pivot and realign with the end goal in focus. Shameless plug here as well, after many years of travel, my physical health was challenged with some back issues. I was blessed enough to find a solution to this challenge by incorporating a “wellness routine” for my spine. Dr. Adam Friedman of Care Wellness made miracles happen for my life to continue on the track I was on.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I like to say that I am a small part of the puzzle that helps to keep the world connected. Connected to family and friends by voice or data. I have had several different roles that touch on global connectivity from both a service provider and an equipment manufacturer perspective. My main function is normally in the commercial arena, and because it is technology, I work hand in hand with many different types of engineers to ensure the technology can do what is promised. I focus on putting Intellian equipment on anything that sails, specific to me Cruise Ships and the Latin America region (sometimes also the Caribbean). If it sails and needs connectivity, I can help make it happen.
Most of the solutions that I work on are more complex type solutions requiring customization and variable features. I chase two types of people around all day, you are either on a team that can utilize our technology, or you are an engineer that is helping me close an issue, work on a product or educate clients on updates. The skill needed to lead multi-country projects is one that cannot be taught. It takes the perfect balance of empathy tied with business sense and leadership skills. Once you hone in on these traits and you clearly understand your industry, it is amazing how your career can unfold. I have been able to successfully close million-dollar deals and lead projects in more than a dozen countries and I am well on my way to having set foot in almost 50 countries. These were never lifelong goals, but definitely something I can say I am proud of.
I am currently writing a book that outlines my experiences from a global perspective and how they tie into our lives from a socio-economic and geo-political perspective. I also want this book to motivate others to focus on their dreams, as it can never be too big.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is linked to the individual goals that you set, so that makes it very relative. Achieving what you envisioned is a success. Is it that gold medal? Is it that promotion? Is it a better work-life balance? Is it focusing more on family vs. work this week? If you have achieved whatever it is that you set out to do, then there goes your success!
- Instagram: @kidsywidsy