The Front Row
Thursday evening, I had the opportunity to go to an incredible leadership seminar at the New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, New York. The seminar was a joint venture hosted by both the college and the Finger Lakes Young Professionals group and the guest speaker was Jon Vroman, Director and Co-Founder of Front Row Foundation.
I have to say, Jon is the most engaging speaker I have ever had the privilege to watch. Throughout his whole speech you could see that the audience was completely engaged; you could literally feel the energy in the room. He talked about the 5 C’s to living life in the front row:
When you think about the word connect, think about treating everyone like a rockstar. Jon pointed out that you never know who you are going to come across in life and judging someone by their appearance is not the type of person that will get you ahead in life. Why chance meeting a person who could fund your business startup or offer you your dream job, just because you misjudged them? If you live life treating everyone like a rockstar, then there is no chance of missed opportunities.
What are your top five personal and professional relationships? What single and simple action could you put into play today that would improve those relationships?
This is a question that Jon asked us during his speech. While I have many personal and professional relationships, I honestly do not know which my top five are and until I was asked this question, I never realized its importance. I want to be able to give back and help the people who motivate and encourage me to pursue my dreams. Again, I have never actually thought about how I would go about doing this. Most of my personal and professional relationships are with individuals who are older than me so I really listen and trust their wisdom, knowledge and experience.
“Motion Creates Emotion.” – Tony Robbins
Creating new opportunities only takes one step. It is easy to talk about having dreams and goals, but to actually accomplish them and create something meaningful takes commitment, dedication and action; emotion will follow.
What is the greatest challenge you currently face? What are the opportunities within that challenge?
Currently I face two different challenges. 1) Finding a job as a recent graduate within my field of study. While I have been very fortunate to have a great job for the past two and a half years in the legal field, it has not been in my area of study. I am finding that employers are not interested in my work experience because it is not relevant to my degree. While I need additional experience to obtain a job, I cannot gain that experience if an employer is not willing to take a chance and let me prove that I am extremely hard working, motivated, versatile and capable of doing the job at hand. 2) Growing my nonprofit. I incorporated The Tiny Professional, Inc. in January of 2014. That was the easy part. Starting a nonprofit and growing it is extremely challenging. I still need to wait for an amendment approval before I can apply for 501(c)(3) status and then I will be able to apply for grant funding and donations. The opportunities I will face if I am able to overcome these challenges are limitless.
What’s Good For Us Isn’t Always Easy to Swallow
Jon made many great points throughout his speech about change. Personally I feel that be able to adapt to differently environments, having the ability to think on your toes and being able to react in a positive manner to unforeseen obstacles make you a stronger leader. I encourage others to try and step outside their comfort zone. Jon had us give one another giant hugs and introduce ourselves to people who we did not know. For some individuals this was probably very scary, and made them feel uneasy, but it pushed them to step outside the box and change the way they normally act.
So, for the next 30 days instead of thinking of the things that are not working out in my life, I am going to think in a more positive manner and look at everything that I already have in my life and how I can make it even better.
“Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Jon had everyone list 5 dreams that they wanted to achieve in the next 12 months. Here was my list:
- Start and run my own company
- Win a national pageant title
- Travel to at least five different countries
- Obtain my Doctor of Education with a concentration in global training and development (or leadership and management) – I realize this will take at least 3 years
- Gain a steady 20,000 views per day on my blog, The Tiny Professional
He then went on to ask us all if he bet us $1,000,000 to complete our top goal within 12 months would we be more motivated to accomplish it? Of course I was thinking, yes!! But as he went on, he made some excellent points. Why should $1,000,000 be the motivation for me to want to accomplish my dreams? I should be doing everything I can possibly do to start my own company anyways! Who knows, maybe I will make the $1,000,000 myself.
Finally, Jon talked about the fifth “C” which was contribute. I honestly can say that I do feel that I contribute and give back to my community in many ways. I serve on multiple boards within Cayuga, Cortland and Onondaga Counties. I have donated over 20 units of blood to the American Red Cross since the age of 17 years old (I am only 22 now). I have done leadership retreats, been involved with my parish’s youth group, am an IGNITE steering committee member, volunteer and raise money for United Way of Cayuga County and am currently collecting Flip Flops for an organization called Flops for Flips. Their goal is to provide a pair of flip flops to children whose feet are bare. In the Philippines, there is an overly abundant amount of Filipino children who actually believe it is a luxury to own sandals or shoes.
What did I take away from this seminar?
I have a refreshing new look at leadership and what it means to be a leader. I also highly recommend Jon Vroman to be a guest speaker for any event you or your organization may be having. He was highly energetic, animated and impactful. I am so glad I registered to attend this event.
Sooner than later,
The Tiny Professional