Design The Future You Want

As we jump into our careers, we are faced with hundreds of decisions. What type of lifestyle do we want? Where do we want to live? What types of people do we want to spend time with? The list goes on. With the hundreds of decisions we must make throughout college and coming out of school, stress piles up and every decision feels like it is the most important we’ll make.

What if I told you that you can design the future you want? What if you could plan out your targets in a way that helps you to achieve your goals and the lifestyle you would like to live? The answer is finding clarity, and the process is knowing your worth.

As I share some of the things I’ve thought through in my criteria, I’d encourage you to consider the same ideas and questions for yourself, and think through how each decision will make you feel. Will this decision and the choice I make contribute to my fulfillment in life? You may make a choice now that won’t pay off for 10 or 20 years, but you must ask yourself if that end result is worth it, and if that’s what you want, then you can pursue it.

David Goggins says that when he dies, his biggest fear is that God will show him a piece of paper saying “This is the person you could have become.” and that he will be nothing like the person on that piece of paper. How can these choices we make today turn us into the best possible version of ourselves? The small, seemingly insignificant actions compound over time, and we have to decide what type of person we want to become. It comes back to the core idea: know your worth, and don’t settle for anything less.

Image result for can't hurt me david goggins
Book Cover: ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by David Goggins,

When I think of my criteria, I start by thinking about the purpose behind my job. I want to empower young leaders to take action on their goals and connect with each other in a meaningful way. Because I have this core driving why, I’m able to think through what I want to do based on that why. Now it’s about finding a role that will get me excited and get me out of bed every day read to work hard.

I’m looking for a role in a leadership development or self-help type of industry, working with people who are in the “life coach” type of role or something similar. I think companies like Dale Carnegie and Tony Robbins are a great way to have a very tangible impact on people’s lives, and if I can channel that within my passion area of young people, that would make a huge difference to me.

In terms of salary and location, I understand that it may take some time within an entrepreneurship environment to make money, so I want to invest in myself and my future as much as I can, and then the money will come. Even if I have to work a low income job in order to make ends meet while spending time on a business where I’m passionate but don’t make as much money, I would go that route. I would love to be location independent long term so that I can travel and enjoy work wherever I am.

I love working on creative teams that are quick to innovate and pivot based on challenges that arise over the course of the job. I thrive in an environment where people are friendly and open to communication and collaboration, and couldn’t work in a stuff space where people want to sit in their cubicles quietly from 9-5.

I love having a routine with different things thrown in, including meetings, events, and projects. That would play into the management style I would prefer, one where we all work together to accomplish the goals of the team. Anything that I have to do completely alone or long tasks where I spend hours working by myself drains me and would end up leading to me loosing interest in my role quickly.

In the next 5 years, I don’t know where I’ll be. I’ll say that I want to be doing something within the space of developing student leaders that I’m passionate about, but there are so many ways that could look. With my marketing degree, I believe that the right doors will open as a result of consistent time spent investing in networking and connections. It’s worked well for me in the past, and I hope that it will continue to work well in the future.

I don’t mind if the company that I work for is a startup or a well established company, I think it’s all about the right people and the right idea at the right time. If I can find that perfect combination, then I’ll be set. I know it’s hard to think about what that perfect combination could be, but I know where I want to start, with the why behind it. Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” I want to live that.

Image result for start with why by simon sinek
Book Cover: ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek,

Blog 2

Our creative style is the sum of all of the influences in our lives. From birth until the present moment, we’ve been constantly flooded with ideas, perspectives, and stories, and now with social media those ideas are on the extreme ends of the curve, the funniest jokes and the most romantic love stories and the saddest news. Creativity is the output of all of these influences. We take all of the inputs throughout our lives and combine them and put our personal spin on them in order to put out something uniquely creative.

In Steal Like An Artist, Kleon says that we essentially every idea has already been shared in one form or another, and so now new ideas are just other ideas combined and said in different ways by different people. Confidence plays into this because we must realize that in order to make something uniquely our own, we must be willing to express our vulnerabilities and our insecurities in order to create something new or impactful.

I believe the most impactful way to build confidence in something is by doing it consistently. If I’m not confident in my public speaking ability, I can allow that belief to control my actions, or I can take action and practice my public speaking even in front of one or two people consistently. Even in this class, my writing hasn’t always been something I’m proud of, but I want to learn and grow, so I invest time in this class to learn new forms of writing and new ways to communicate effectively.

I love to read. I find that there is so much value in written word, and that we can take an author who may have spent a year, five years, or even ten years thinking about and writing a book, and in a span of six hours we can take all of that knowledge and learn it. I set a goal for myself in 2021 to read one book per week, and so far this year I’ve read eight. Each time I pick up a new book (mainly in the self-improvement space), I realize that I’ve got so much to learn from the author and I look at who recommended it and why this could be impactful for me. Even further, I look at where I can apply the things I’m learning in my life, because one thing I’ve learned is that reading learning without action is meaningless.

When I’m working in sales throughout the week, I bring the knowledge I gain from reading into the calls, and use it as a way to seem more knowledgable around different topics. I try to tie in the reading I’m doing, not only to tie the knowledge into my life, but also to help other’s learn without putting in all the time and effort I did. Making people’s lives more efficient helps me to feel more productive, and so if someone clicks with an idea I share or they bring something they’re struggling with up in our conversation, I’ll always direct them back to the book that I was reading or mentioning, and I hear great followups when people do read the books and connect with their message.

In the book we read, I loved the idea of stealing vs. plagiarizing as an artist. He made a very clear distinction that he isn’t recommending unoriginality or plagiarism, but rather saying that we need to spend the time pulling from tons of different sources and pull what we like, dislike, and is most impactful for others. We share our life experiences, our stories, and make it extremely personal for us, and that brings the creative originality he promotes rather than just taking someone else’s work and putting our name on it.

One thing that I somewhat disagreed with was the idea of involving your body and your hands in your work in a way that wasn’t digital. I’m on the fence about this one, because I do realize that us physically handwriting something is a different feeling than typing something on a computer, but I did want to bring it up because as the world revolves around digital communication, I see this happening less and less. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done as much writing for a longer form book or long articles, but as I sit here writing this blog, I’m glad that I’m not having to handwrite it and then transcribe it onto the computer.

Excited to continue learning from reading inside and outside of this class!


Hi everyone, my name is Parker Mayes and I’m a junior studying marketing. For work, I’m interested in the personal growth and coaching space, and have recently started an internship with Dale Carnegie Training to help pursue my goals in the leadership development area of that field.

I prefer speaking more than writing, but I think that’s because I don’t practice writing as much and so I haven’t used it as much since high school. I hope that this class will help me to get more comfortable writing and communicating effectively. I spend a lot of time writing short form like emails and social media content so I hope this will apply to the things I’ll be doing in that area in addition to long form essays and papers.

I spent 2020 in an internship at LexisNexis, which is a law data analytics company, where I worked on their Global Communications team, connecting executives from 10 locations around the world. This experience helped broaden my perspective of culture around the world, and helped with my comfort of adapting to different time zones. I think this was one of the most helpful experiences during my time at college so far because I was able to work remotely and learn all the video tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams that we use so consistently now.

I believe a lot of my creativity comes from my podcast project, Taking A Breath, where I’m constantly adapting to new concepts and learning from the people I’m interviewing. It’s helped me to speak more effectively and communicate with potential guests, and has been a great application for my personal brand marketing and social media marketing classes.

My MBTI type is ESTJ, which I feel like is accurate, because I definitely am more consistently type A and wanting to get things done. I’ve seen a lot of the positive and negative sides that the personality type talks about, both in terms of being hardworking and reliable but also controlling and demanding, and so it’s something that I’ve consistently worked to improve in my relationships with others. I have to remember that I hold myself to a high standard and that not everyone shares my values and interests, even when I’d like them to.

I think personality tests in general have a lot of personal biases built into them, because I’m going to put what I see in myself instead of how I’m actually perceived, but I think they’re a helpful tool with self awareness. I try to keep myself as unbiased as possible, but I’m sure that even knowing that I could be more honest with myself in some of those situations.

I’m very interested in learning about how to write better communications for teams and I hope that this course, even if not directly, will help make me a better communicator both in writing and in speaking. I also want to improve my writing for the marketing reports I write for my other classes, because sometimes I’m not able to keep it as concise and impactful as I think I could. I’m looking forward to a great semester full of learning and growth, and excited to work with all of you.