Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Collingwood School

Today I had the pleasure of speaking to about 80 grade 10-12 students at Collingwood School as part of their Career Day.

The kids were really great and I hope the things I said alerted them to some of the possibilities that are a little outside the box.

I saw 4 groups of about 20 each - and delivered essentially the same talk 4 times.  By the end I kept worrying I was repeating myself.

I basically told them about my (sometimes successful and sometimes not) experiences in entrepreneurship, business, sports, non-profit activities etc. 

Since I am no Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey (and I barely have my own career figured out) I decided to concentrate on the things I DO know:

1. Find your passion and don't worry if it isn't law, accounting, business, medicine etc.

2. Get involved within your chosen fields - whether it is sports, law or knitting.  Join a club, start a club, coach a kid, start a blog, write an article, volunteer, start a newsletter, publish a magazine, become a "go to" authority on your passion.  Opportunities will come.

3.  Make connections and cultivate them.

4.  Be patient - over time your list of accomplishments, projects, influence will grow and so will people's respect for you.

5.  Start now.  A 21 year old can have five years of valuable experience if they start pouring effort into a passion at 16.

6.  To "master" something they say you need to put in 10,000 hours (Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell).  That's a lot of time - you better pick something you love!

7.  Courage.  If you choose the unorthodox you better have the courage to follow through because the road will be lined with naysayers.

8.  Take a risk.  The leaps of faith I have taken in the past and continue to take become learning experiences whether I fall flat or succeed.  Never risking anything is a sure way to leave yourself with questions of "what if?" and regret.

These experiences are so priceless because you share the things you've learnt, tell funny stories to illustrate your points, see eyes light up and smiles cross faces.  You leave feeling pretty charged up and ready to GET THINGS DONE!

Thanks Collingwood students!

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Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Awesome! If you can touch even one young person and make a difference in their life, it is a great thing. I salute you!

Missy said...

Thanks for the pep talk, I needed that too! You're so very right.

Linda Pendleton said...

That's great advice, Meyrick, and really good you had the opportunity to share it and inspire those kids. I'm sure it does make you feel very good.

Ryan Denner said...


Nice work.

I especially like 7 & 8. Some time ago, I started looking at things more as a learning experience than anything. It helps when viewing the forest for the trees.

as for #6, I bought the book, I just haven't read it yet! I need to get to that...

nice work today man.

Malcolm said...

i think i have sat on the same table you were sitting on...as a teacher..not a student!

i will be working in wv for a couple of weeks in april. i would love to have a coffee or, preferably a beer with you!


MJ said...

Let's do it Malcolm! Drop me an email closer to the time and we'll tee it up.


beth said...

Sunch an awesome thing to do- you have such and impact on these guys and they can see that their dreams are possible.
awesome. and as the others said, great reminders for us adults too!

runninggunner said...

Great Work. Thanks for the inspiration.