Please Stay Brilliant!
Updated: Jan 19, 2018
Whether it is old fashioned teachers, unsupportive family or a traditional community, please don't give up, you are not alone.
As a young entrepreneur myself I have the absolute pleasure of meeting and working with a range of aspiring and achieving young people across the country. One thing that I do unfortunately see all too often is ambitious young people surrounded by dream crushers. Be it in a small town, with old fashioned teachers or with an unsupportive family, these young people are living across the country and are all experiencing very similar journeys. This article is for them.
“Be it in a small town, with old fashioned teachers or with an unsupportive family, these young people are living across the country and are all experiencing very similar journeys.”
I have been fortunate enough to have had a phenomenal team of mentors and an incredibly supportive family to support me along my journey, but it's still been an uphill climb. I have spent too many nights doubting myself and wondering if I am doing the right thing, and I wanted to write this article to tell all the young people out there wondering the same thing that yes, you are doing amazing work, and not to give up.
The last two years of high school for me were a real struggle. Trying to balance school and work was slightly chaotic and was not helped by senior staff at school pressuring me to be in class from 8 until 4, five days a week. (In saying that though, it can be done! I did it and so have many others. Hang in there!) I heard stories from other young entrepreneurs in Brisbane getting a range of support from their schools, from classrooms as offices to even just being able to work during class time, it sounded like a dream to me! My school, unfortunately, were not that supportive. They liked to think they were, and don’t get me wrong, they had some phenomenal teachers, but unfortunately the experience was severely dampened by some senior ‘traditional thinkers’ towards the top.
"Senior staff at school were pressuring me to be in class from 8 until 4, five days a week."
I remember in mid year 12 I was hired by a company in Sydney to fly down and display our hologram technology at their conference. I was on cloud-nine to say the least, it was our first big conference in a different city, it meant I got to display my tech and network with some seriously influential people! I was stoked! It did however it did mean missing two days of school. I made sure to email the school with a few weeks notice requesting the time off and explained the work I would be doing and ensuring I would co-ordinate with all my teachers to catch up on missed work. I remember the next morning arriving to school to be told that, "we do not work for you, we work for your parents. If you want time off you will have to get them to arrange it." I remember feeling totally destroyed after hearing that. I, of course, had discussed it with my parents prior and had their support. I just thought it was just the mature thing to do to arrange the trip myself instead of enlisting ‘mummy and daddy’. It was proof of my responsibility, and just the done thing in the business world. To be talked down to by the school like I was, was totally crushing. That night I remember getting home and seriously questioning whether or not to continue with the business. It seemed like I wasn't being taken seriously and I felt like I was just an insignificant kid.
"We do not work for you, we work for your parents"
What picked me up was the support and encouragement from my family and mentors to keep going. I was told to, instead of getting angry, to get smart.
So that’s what I did.
I made sure for the rest of the year that dad would manage communication with the school.
It was just very unfortunate that he was quite busy so couldn’t email in until the last minute….
I had a ball missing weeks of school at a time to travel the country running workshops and events and often at a days notice to the school… if dad had time to email of course. The best part was that when I did make an appearance back at school, there was nothing they could say or do as technically, I did follow their rules. It was just a shame they worked for my parents and not me.
To all those aspiring young people out there; let this be a lesson. Play by their rules, but just find the loop holes. I can guarantee that if they are old fashioned enough to have rules that aren’t keeping up with us then there is surely a way to outsmart them.
This is not the first clash I’ve had with ‘traditional thinkers’ and I look forward to sharing more, I just thought this could be a nice one to start with.
Please remember to persevere and to not give up based on a few traditional thinkers. You can still be wildly successful without getting top grades, getting a degree or pleasing everyone.
Stay awesome peeps and talk soon.
P.S. If any of you ever need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to shoot through a message in the contact form. I’m always down for a good chat!