Tag Archives: millenials

From the Paper Chase to Solving Problems, Simply

Financial freedom is the driving motivation for many millennials. That goal often drives many to choose majors and career paths based solely on earning potential, rather than any other factor. But, what happens when you go down that path and discover that you would prefer to solve problems for other people instead?

Jared Gold, Chief Simplicity Officer at Brevity
Jared Gold, Chief Simplicity Officer at Brevity

Meet Jared Gold, the super connected Chief Simplicity Officer that founded Brevity,  a digital media marketing company providing tailored services to small businesses. But, if you had met Jared when he was a George Mason freshman, owning a business wouldn’t have been on his radar. Knowing he wanted to do well financially, he tried out a variety of majors that could get him there. From finance, to exercise science, then ultimately decided to major in Operations Management and I.T. systems. Attracted to the big picture thinking, and the scarcity of math, Jared was felt like he finally made it. Lucky enough to nab a good paying software company job, Jared was ready to start building his adult life. But, within the first couple of months, Jared realized that he hated that environment. Looking for a way out of the 9 to 5 grind, he read the 4 Hour Workweek and  it literally changed his perspective on everything.

Buy the book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1aeib7V
Buy the book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1aeib7V

Jared realized he didn’t want to spend his days waiting for 5 pm to roll around. Instead he started building a marketing solutions business that focuses on digital media. After a couple of months of doing a few pro bono sites by reaching out to potential clients, he landed his first paid client. That first client was Jared’s signal to commit.“I had to force myself to succeed.” So he quit his job and launched his business. Two years out and Jared knows he made the right decision.

But, what were some steps that secured his success? When Jared left his full time job, he had saved enough money to support himself during the most trying months of building his clientele list. Although maintaining the motivation to keep working towards that first client was not easy, Jared was able to focus on building his business instead of his finances.

However, his greatest success in starting his business was learning how to live without the fear of failing. Failure, for Jared, was not earning enough money to pay his bills. But, as he watches his business grow, that fear becomes non-existent. Through building Brevity, Jared has been able to learn his strengths, identify his weaknesses and become a networking machine.

As a millennial entrepreneur, Jared sees his generation in a slightly different light. Having worked hard for his current success, Jared is concerned by the attitude of many of his peers.

Many millennials live with this ‘”woe is me attitude’” and expect things to just come to them. By positioning yourself and networking to the right group, you can take control of your destiny.

This concern stems from the habit of the “work, party, rinse, repeat” life cycle that doesn’t help professional millennials take initiative or get ahead and eventually leads to unfulfilling lives. On the other hand, Jared is quick to point to leaders within the millennial generation as his source of inspiration.

My peers who are overcoming challenges and achieving their goals and are moving at a quicker rate than their predecessors. Our savvy and not being afraid to make it happen are unique to our generation. I think they are inspiring.

Jared’s drive to build a business he loves has lead him to be generous with his wisdom and resources he thinks might be helpful. Through Brevity, Jared has found his passion and himself.

How Being Foolish Can Pay Off

Nestled in between an antiques store and a bike shop, Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux pairs the coziness of a local cafe with tastiness of your favorite sandwich shop. A cycling themed cafe, it attracts the full range of patrons making it the ideal location to meet with the inspirational Alex Hanse. Balancing a full time job with a clothing company, Foolies, and a podcast, Dream Without Limits Radio, would lead anyone to see this young man as a magician.

Photo Credit: Carey Mays
Photo Credit: Carey Ebanks

By inspiring young people the world over, Alex Hanse has staked his claim as an influential millennial leader driven by one thing: changing the world by inspiring others to follow their dreams.

Originally from Miami, Alex developed his talents in Sports Medicine at the University of Florida. After working in a variety of roles, a co-worker during his AT&T days encouraged him to pursue his dreams of working in the arts and entertainment industry. Taking that leap of faith landed Alex at Full Sail University where he truly explored his creative skills.

Driven to promoting powerfully positive messages, Alex and a friend took the risk and invested in their clothing company Foolies. Over time, they have built a variety of shirts that inspire with messages like “Have Faith without Fear” and “Dream without Limits.” Although his shirts were gaining traction, Alex kept finding other people who were also chasing their dreams. He was so inspired, that he decided that he had to share their stories through his podcast, Dream Without Limits Radio (DWLR). Since then, Alex has been giving back to his community by sharing his story by visiting schools, through his ebook A Shot of Espresso: Motivational Thoughts to Pick You Up, and a variety of other ways.

Photo  Credit: Carey Mays
Photo Credit: Carey Ebanks

While Alex’s wisdom is overflowing, the three top  lessons he’s learned along the way. First, pursuing your dreams isn’t hard, but you have to commit. Sleeping in until 11 am, isn’t going to get you there, you’ve got to put in just an hour a day and you will be able to move your project along. Second, if you want to engage a celebrity, or other higher level person with your project, you have to bring them an idea that has a plan behind it. Busy people don’t have time to engage in something that isn’t concrete. If you want that celebrity to get involved, make it so all the person has to do is say “yes” and participate. Finally, never underestimate the power of word of mouth. If you are working on something that you are passionate about, talk about it, get the word out there. If you find out about someone who is doing something interesting, talk about it. Don’t leave all the goodies for yourself.

Photo Credit: Carey Mays
Photo Credit: Carey Ebanks

Divulging every bit of Alex’s wisdom would probably break the limits of this blog post, but if you want to learn more about Alex and subscribe to his podcast follow this link here. If you want to check out the clothing that is impacting lives, check out his site here.

Are there other lessons that you have learned in your path to following your dreams? If so, share them below in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Environmentally Conscious and Loving IT!

Clayton Louis Ferrera leading a session at the Hive.
Clayton Louis Ferrera leading a session at the Hive.

If you have never been to Florida, one thing that might surprise you is the abundance of wildlife. It is not uncommon for residents to come across alligators, squirrels, or the occasional bear. While for most this can induce cartoon-like freak outs, for Clayton Louis Ferrara it is just a part of nature’s beauty and fuel for his work to educate the community about our most precious gift, the environment.

Ferrera spent most of his young life volunteering at research facilities in Stuart, Florida like the Marine Life Center of Juno Beach under Larry Wood and the Florida Oceanographic Society where the young naturalist was able to establish his scientific foundation. From that foundation, Ferrera deepened his knowledge with dual degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies at Rollins College. Upon graduation, Ferrera had planned to pursue a Master’s in Science Writing at MIT. While volunteering at the Oakland Nature Preserve the summer before he was to start at MIT in 2009, Ferrera’s efforts to fund a Head Curator and Director of Education position came through.

After two years of leading the nature preserve, a group of students from UCF presented at the Florida Wildlife Federation’s Board meeting that was being hosted there. Since then, Clayton Louis Ferrera has been actively involved with IDEAS for Us, a UN accredited NGO that educates and empowers people to advance sustainability through action. Starting as the National Science Director, he then became the South Eastern Regional Director and ultimately took on the role of Executive Director on January 1st of 2014. His passion for IDEAS has allowed the organization to gain momentum in truly empowering citizens for sustainability.

Using a chapter model, the all volunteer staff has been able to grow IDEAS beyond the borders of Central Florida with members all over the world. Ferrera’s passion for IDEAS is contagious and the natural teacher has inspired students of all ages to reconnect with nature.

Map of IDEAS Chapters and Partners.
Map of IDEAS Chapters and Partners

Although Ferrera has many accomplishments of which he could place his walking stick, like being the first American to be named a Darwin Scholar by the Field Studies Council of London, Ferrera is quick to recognize those who have supported him along the way. From his parents to his teachers and peers, Ferrera believes that every person has the capacity to accomplish something incredible, they just need the support to recognize what is within them. “If we are able to do that, we could end poverty, we could improve our environment, and we could live happier lives.”

To capture the whole of Ferrera’s insights couldn’t possibly be contained in this space so if you would like to learn more about IDEAS for Us, like them on Facebook to stay up to date.