[Creators Spotlight]: I see a lot of lousy leadership out there, and I want to inspire a better version of leadership - Calvin Bushor
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Calvin Bushor. Calvin, Vice President Of Software Engineering at Rocket Homes, talks about his childhood and shares an important piece of advice for content creators to handle criticism.
Creators are the heart and soul of Tealfeed. As they continuously work towards feeding us more information every day, it's only fitting to bring out their journey for the world to know.
In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us.
Today we have with us Calvin Bushor. Calvin, Vice President Of Software Engineering at Rocket Homes, talks about his childhood and shares an important piece of advice for content creators to handle criticism.
Continue reading to find out more!
Who has been the biggest influence in your life? What lessons did that person or those people teach you?
I owe so much to so many people in my life that have invested in who I am. My family starting with my parents and my sister, have always been there for me. They have pushed me beyond my own perceived capability. I've also been lucky to have great coaches in my sports-life and mentors in my work-life who have helped build my foundation.
These pillars of my life have given their time, energy, inspiration, passion, candid honesty, and love to me. I cannot thank them enough for the generosity and care that they have shown me over the years.
Tell us about your childhood, what was the best part? Is there any specific incident that has largely influenced the kind of person you are today?
I was lucky to have a happy childhood that some may consider your typical American life, and I have my parents to thank for that. My parents come from complex backgrounds where neither had much of an educational or financial foundation to stand on, but that didn't stop them from wanting more for my sister and me.
They worked hard to ensure my sister, and I lived in a community surrounded by opportunity, good influence, friends, and fun. While we didn't have much money, we never felt short-handed because my parents taught us that we didn't need much to get a lot out of life.
I would describe my family as resourceful. When others may look around and not see many toys to play with, we learned to invent our fun by creating games ourselves with what we did have.
I believe being resourceful is one of my family's superpowers because it's how my sister and I continue to live today and have leveraged it in our lives and careers. We're able to "figure it out," no matter what it is because we don't believe in can't. Instead, we believe in how can we.
Playing soccer was a big part of my life. My dad had a way of inspiring me to want to win and win in the right way. I was never the star player, but I always made others on the team better, and I believe it's anchored to being resourceful. When our team was losing, I never let our team think we were out of the game, and I like to think this helped us overcome adversity and win.
I owe a lot to my soccer coaches too. One specific coach invested a lot in me, and he is someone that I continue to share his lessons I learned about building a great team. He understood that he was teaching kids more than soccer.
He was teaching us about life. Well, I was listening. I write a lot of my content based on the fundamentals he taught us all those years ago. It's why I believe many of the teams I've led have turned into something special. I've also learned a lot from some awful coaches who put good coaching into perspective over the year. I owe a lot of my career and the content I write to lessons learned from playing soccer for almost twenty years.
Where is your hometown, and what was it like when you were young?
My hometown was in Southeast Michigan. I was born in a Detroit hospital, and my parents moved my sister and me to the suburbs.
The suburbs of Detroit where I grew up were farms turned into subdivisions where hundreds of homes were built. As kids, we would ride our bikes to and from our friends' houses to play various games. Hockey. Soccer. Football. Tag. Swimming. Video games. You name it, and we played it. We had a lot of fun as kids.
How important a role does content play in your life? Are you a full-time content creator? Why did you start creating content?
Writing and content creation is the critical way I get to express myself and my creativity. It's an outlet for me, much like exercise or painting is an outlet for others.
I started to create content because I wanted to help people, and I felt I had a relatable story. Then, during 2020, I saw an opportunity in the technology leadership space to teach others how to build great teams.
There are very few places where people can learn about becoming a leader in technology, and It was perfect timing. While my focus was teaching others about this niche, this sent me on a quest to learn a lot about content creation, marketing, grammar, writing strategy, and so much more.
Learning these tools and the critical skills of good content creation helped me significantly impact the audience I was writing for, and I started to see more people engage with my content. This combination of learning and increasing engagement helped me build momentum, keep writing, and connect with more people.
While I would love to create content as a full-time gig, it's currently a hobby because my day job is living as a technology leader, where I get many of my content ideas.
My goal is to write authentic stories from real experiences in leading within technology because a lot of the training I learned from was all theory. I've struggled with applying these theories during my career, and I want to provide something more tangible and tactical for readers that they could use in their day-to-day.
What's that one aspect of being a content creator no one talks about?
Writing about content creation is a big niche, so I don't think I could unveil anything new. I'll share what I struggled with, though. I ran into content creation burnout. The ideas stopped flowing, I lost momentum, and I needed to take a break. Unfortunately, burnout is real in the content creation world, and it's hard to dig yourself out of it. However,
I think that healthily managing burnout and maintaining momentum is the difference between someone who creates content as a hobby and those who do it for a living.
What's the most satisfying part of being a content creator?
My goal is to help people learn about technology leadership. When someone highlights my content, reaches out for more information, or says thank you, I know I helped someone, and that feels great.
What are you up to currently and what are your long-term career goals?
Besides leading technology teams, I am a dad of two young kids and a husband, so much of my time centers around family. In addition, I am an avid hobbyist, so I have too many things to focus on, which can sometimes be frustrating, but it's also part of who I am.
Long-term, I see myself running my own ship in some way, shape, or form. It could be a full-time content creator, joining an early-stage startup, or building my own business. I believe content creation will play a part in this because it helped me learn the critical skills needed to pursue such an adventure.
What drives you to create content regularly?
My goal is to help people learn more about leadership, and I have a story to tell. I see a lot of lousy leadership out there, and I want to inspire a better version of leadership, one that I got to experience and too few don't.
We see evidence of this from the great resignation where thousands of people are quitting their jobs. I believe a lot of this is rooted in poor leadership, and we need stronger leaders who are focused on people over profits.
What's the most challenging part of being a content creator?
The grind. Brainstorm topics. Write your first draft. Edit. Edit again. Find images. Edit again. Strategize your SEO plan. Set up an email campaign. Publish. Republish on social media. Respond to comments and engagement. Repeat every day, every week, forever.
How do you make sure that you aren't affected by nasty comments and negative things said about you?
Caring about the negative engagement was challenging at first because, as a creator, you have good intentions. You don't want to look bad or say something incorrectly. You want to be credible and respected. I say "at first" because negativity comes with the territory of a content creator.
You learn strategies to put your content in a healthy position to reduce the negativity flowing in, and you learn to ignore the trolls. You also know how to neutralize them in your responses as time goes on or trigger them if that's your intent. You won't make it very far as a content creator if you can't handle negative comments or trolls with a sense of humor and a backbone.
Anything else you would like our audience to know about you!
I am finding this question harder to answer compared to the rest for some reason. Writing about leadership or work is easy. But, writing about yourself is always hard. So, without sharing too many details, I will express that I believe many content creators have something in common and that many of us have experienced points of adversity in our lives.
It's hard to tell a good story without something deeper behind it, and when you get to know content creators, they all have depth to them well beyond what they publish. I've found that good content comes from experiencing some challenging situations in work and life, and I can relate to that.
I also love dogs, and my childhood dog's name was Hobbes. He was my best bud.
Why did you start creating content on Tealfeed?
I crossed paths with the creators of Tealfeed on LinkedIn. We connected, and they shared their vision with me. I was excited about the opportunity to publish content with Tealfeed, and I am grateful that my content is helping others through their platform.
Since joining, I've seen many great content creators join the platform and get recognized by readers for their hard work. I consider myself lucky to be a part of this community.
How would you want people to remember you?
I want to be known as a coach and mentor who helped others become better leaders. As a content creator, I want to be known as someone who makes relatable content and teaches people complex things in a consumable way.
What's success for you and when you would consider yourself to be successful?
I feel the most successful when I help someone. Helping can be teaching something new or inspiring someone to want to be more. I want to be a resource for people to grow in their lives. So helping others through telling stories or teaching lessons I've learned is built into the foundation of my content and the model for my success.
To every individual who's planning to start out as a content creator, what would you like to advise them?
If you are interested in creating content, I encourage people to practice by hitting the publish button. It's only by the act of publishing will you learn your niche and the skills necessary to understand what content creation is all about. Set little goals.
My goal is to write every day and publish once per week. When I set these goals and practice them, I experience the most growth and satisfaction as a creator. Publish and put yourself out there.
Few maintain consistency, few remain unique, and fewer are the ones who do both of these right, and earn a spot in Tealfeed Spotlight.