Generations of Leadership

I was never the type of kid who had their life planned out. I never knew what job I wanted, what college I wanted to attend, I didn’t even know what my favorite color was until I got older. I was the kid that, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, always had a different answer. I think the first answer I remember was president. Or veterinarian.

Even as I got near the end of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. At first I thought “business major” so I applied for a 4-year university and got in. I changed my mind a few weeks before I got my housing assignment. I then hesitantly applied for community college. They didn’t really have a business major that I wanted, so I settled on something random hoping I’d change halfway through.

Somewhere in my choir teacher’s laptop is a slideshow that shows my picture and says “Colby Applegate. Community college. Theater tech”. It didn’t make any sense because I had no interest in that, but I still had no idea what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until after I got out of high school that I realized I wanted to go to beauty school. I know a guy that owns a salon. He kind of explained it to me and how he got his own business. Entrepreneurship intrigued me as did hair.

The reason this is my topic this week is because I’ve realized how much I still want to do in my life. I want to own a business and help people and create things that nobody’s ever seen or heard of before. I want to change the world for the better even if it’s not in huge, spectacular ways (although that would be nice). While I’m not a podcast person, I’ve been listening to Brene Brown’s new podcast “Dare to Lead” inspired by her book of the same title. She discusses leadership, entrepreneurship, where to put your ideas, and how to get them started. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone interested in owning your own business someday.

We all have ideas. We have ideas and creations that no one has ever seen before. We have potential to change things for the better. No matter what you do from I.T. to the military to blogging to fast food, we all have the potential to shape it into something better. We bring new ideas and problem solving to the table. We all hold a special amount of potential that can only be turned into opportunity when we strive for it. Don’t be afraid of your ideas and never think you’re too unimportant to have them noticed. A little goes a long way. /

My favorite clients are usually teens. High schoolers mostly. They don’t tip great but they do have inspiration. It’s amazing to watch their eyes light up as they talk about what they want to do or how they’re going to go to college and change the world. Sometimes those teens don’t know what they want to do with their life which leads me to tell them about my own story and how I didn’t know either. Telling them about how to discover themselves is just a small gesture of passing down knowledge. Of course I don’t want them to struggle with their career choice like I did. So I’ll pass on what I learned to help guide them.

And that’s the kindest thing we can do, helping the next one in line. We teach each other and grow from that. The generation after me will probably know more about barbering than I ever will. And I’m not upset about that. It’s human nature to pass on knowledge from the stone ages to modern day we taught each other. Just imagine the possibilities the next generation holds and what kind of things they will invent or fix.

As the new year is rung in let’s inspire ourselves even more. Let’s pick up those dusty boxes full of lost ideas and create something amazing. We can make this next year a spectacular one when we put in individual effort and reach out a helping hand towards others. Be kind, be thankful, and have a happy New Year.

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