The Watch Your Step Blog https://blog.kylegrappone.com Kyle Grappone, Public Speaker and Book Author Wed, 12 Jun 2019 13:04:22 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cropped-DSF0348-32x32.jpg The Watch Your Step Blog https://blog.kylegrappone.com 32 32 What Type Of Person Interview Series Interview with Greg Lorenzo https://blog.kylegrappone.com/being-an-adult/what-type-of-person-interview-series-interview-with-greg-lorenzo/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/being-an-adult/what-type-of-person-interview-series-interview-with-greg-lorenzo/#respond Wed, 12 Jun 2019 13:04:17 +0000 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=132 Welcome back to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person. This week we are interviewing Greg Lorenzo. I am really excited to share

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Welcome back to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person.

This week we are interviewing Greg Lorenzo. I am really excited to share Greg’s story for two reasons. First, he has a deep passion for what he does. You can tell he truly pours everything into every piece of content he produces. Second, he has what I would consider an “outside the box” career and is living proof that you can leave you day job to follow your passion.

Please enjoy my interview with Grego Lorenzo!

What is your current occupation?

I am Videographer and small business owner.

In your own words, what would you say is your “passion” as it relates to your career?

I love creating all forms of video content. I love having an idea and making it into a visual experience that others enjoy. Currently we own a Video Production company and film weddings as well as promotional videos for small business.

What inspired you to pursue this passion and your current line of work?

Youtube! I started following a lot of very talented people within my niche and became obsessed with learning how to replicate what they were doing. Over time and thousands of videos later, I was able to learn the skillset and add in my own creativity.

When did you discover this passion?

I started my business 5 years ago but I’ve always had an interest in filmmaking since I was in high school.

Have you held previous jobs that did not align with this passion?

Yes, tons. Every job that I ever had was not relevant to my career. I received a degree in communications and was not able to land a job in my field. I actually found it easier to start my own business and control my own destiny.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to pursue this line of work?

Create the content that you believe in and keep learning how to make it look better than everybody else’s. Be Consistent and never give up. Work harder than everybody else. Sacrifice leisure and WORK!!! Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you want a normal life get a normal job. If you want an extraordinary life and live it on your own terms… You need to WORK!

Is there anything else about your passion or career you would like to share with the reader?

I think that passions change and evolve over time. Keep chasing your current interests to live the most fulfilled life.

Conclusion

I always challenge students to choose the type of person they want to become. Greg got in touch with the fact that he wanted to become to the type of person who creates and entertains. He turned that passion into a very successful video business.

If you would like to learn more about Greg and the amazing work he does filming weddings, please visit his website: https://www.lorenzomediaproductions.com/

An important takeaway from this interview is that Greg is aware of the sacrifices he needs to make to live this passion. He knows his life might be more relaxed at another job, but it will not be nearly as fulfilling or enjoyable. Do not be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is a Youth Motivational Speaker, Author of To The Next Step (Atmosphere Press), Student Success Coach, and Online Educational Teacher.

His goal is to inspire high school and college students to think differently about their education and be prepared for the real world that awaits them. He does this by challenging students to ask themselves, “What type of person do you want to become?”.

If you are interested in any of Kyle’s services, please e-mail him at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com.  

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“Type of Person” Interview Series with Brittany Maschal https://blog.kylegrappone.com/uncategorized/type-of-person-interview-series-with-brittany-maschal/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/uncategorized/type-of-person-interview-series-with-brittany-maschal/#respond Sun, 12 May 2019 18:34:12 +0000 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=128 Welcome back to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person. This week we are interviewing Brittany Maschal. Brittany has a great story that

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Welcome back to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person.

This week we are interviewing Brittany Maschal. Brittany has a great story that is right in line with a lot of what I speak about. She works every day to help students and making a positive impact on so many lives.

Please enjoy my interview with Brittany Maschal.

What is your current occupation?

College, Graduate School & Early Career Counselor at Brittany Maschal Consulting; Founder/Blogger/Editor of Strategy Girl

In your own words, what would you say is your “passion” as it relates to your career?

I am most passionate about helping people realize their goals, specifically as they relate to education (college or grad school) or career (internships or jobs).

What inspired you to pursue this passion and your current line of work?

In high school, my guidance counselor did not have much faith in me because I had a few disciplinary issues early in my HS career. He thought I should not look at colleges outside of NJ, and that, if anything, my state school would be the best and most appropriate path for me. Once I got to college, out of state, I excelled. I soon realized that had I listened to him I might not have ever found my “groove” academically and gained the confidence I needed to blaze my own path forward. I always had an interest in education, and in college, I was given the opportunity to take graduate level courses, and a professor helped me see that there were ways to be an educator other than being a classroom teacher, which appealed to me. I found myself an internship and applied to a masters program in education, but it was not until I was actually there and got a random work-study job in admissions and alongside fo that, a job as a volunteer college counselor, that my experience in high school came “full circle” and I discovered I felt a deep connection to helping others realize their educational goals. At that point, I made very strategic decisions about where I worked so I could gain a well-rounded experience in college and graduate school admissions. Eventually, this allowed me to start my own business, which is where I found my other passion: entrepreneurship!

When did you discover this passion?

In my first role as a volunteer college counselor (noted above) in University City. Today, my passion for helping others has carried over into my work with Strategy Girl, which is specifically focused on helping young women get strategic about (properly plan and network for) meeting their education, career, and wellness goals.

Have you held previous jobs that did not align with this passion?

No, not really, but I have worked for others whose missions, values, and ethics were not aligned with my own. However, all of the roles I have held—from part-time and volunteer roles to waiting tables and bartending—helped me get to where I am today, in some way. They have helped financing my dream of having my own company(‘s) early on or provided the foundational experiences needed to make it a reality. If there was anything I did right, it was be strategic about my experience even if just by way of how I frame them; everything counts.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to pursue this line of work?

Gain relevant experience and do not branch out on your own too soon. Work for and alongside reputable people in the field whose mission, values, and ethics align with your own. Get a mentor, or five, and pay it forward later by being a mentor to someone else. Network like your life depends on it but do it meaningfully; get to know people on a deeper level, don’t just collect contacts as that will not get you anywhere. And say thank you along the way to everyone who gives you their time, even if just five minutes. It goes a long way.

Is there anything else about your passion or career you would like to share with the reader?

I love connecting with people who have an interest in education, career planning, youth development, women’s empowerment/advocacy, and wellness. You can link with me via LinkedIn here https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittanymaschal/ or  Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/strategygirl.nyc/ or here https://www.instagram.com/brittany.consulting/

Conclusion

I always challenge students to choose the type of person they want to become. Brittany has become the type of person who not only helps people but helps students and graduates create meaningful careers and impactful lives.

An important takeaway from this interview is that Brittany had a choice to make very early on in her life. Brittany could have believed what her guidance counselor was saying about her and gave up on her passions and goals. Instead, she got in touch with who she was and what she wanted to accomplish in life. She turned that negative experience into a tremendously positive one and now spends her time making sure students and graduates feel supported and empowered.

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is a Youth Motivational Speaker, Author of To The Next Step (Atmosphere Press), Student Success Coach, and Online Educational Teacher.

His goal is to inspire high school and college students to think differently about their education and be prepared for the real world that awaits them. He does this by challenging students to ask themselves, “What type of person do you want to become?”.
If you are interested in any of Kyle’s services, please e-mail him at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com.


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“What Type Of Person” Interview Series with Diana Tarello https://blog.kylegrappone.com/being-an-adult/what-type-of-person-series-diana-tarello/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/being-an-adult/what-type-of-person-series-diana-tarello/#respond Tue, 30 Apr 2019 19:25:50 +0000 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=124 Welcome back to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person. This week we are interviewing Diana Tarello. Diana is one of the most

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Welcome back to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person.

This week we are interviewing Diana Tarello. Diana is one of the most passionate people I know when it comes to working and your career. She is also the only person I have ever heard say “I love working!”. I also wanted to interview her for this series because she is a nurse and that is a very challenging and rewarding career.

Please enjoy my interview with Diana Tarello

What is your current occupation?

I am a Registered Nurse.

In your own words, what would you say is your “passion” as it relates to your career?

My passion has always been to work hard to accomplish my goals. I also noticed along the way that I enjoyed helping other people.

What inspired you to pursue this passion and your current line of work?

When I was 16 my goal in life was to become a NYC Rockette. My father though told me I should go towards something that I would truthfully be successful in.  At the time my grandfather was in the hospital and I spent a decent amount of time around the nurses. It caught my attention and I thought I could see myself being a nurse. It seemed like a good career choice.

When did you discover this passion?

It was not until I was in nursing school and doing my bedside clinicals that I really realized that

I was meant to be a nurse.  More specifically I realized that my passion was in the labor and delivery unit. It just clicked that this is what I was meant to do.

Have you held previous jobs that did not align with this passion?

I was a camp counselor during the summer in between college semesters.  It was a fun job but I knew I never wanted to be a teacher from that experience.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to pursue this line of work?

Every single job is going to have it’s good days and it’s bad days. I think it’s important to find something you are passionate about because it really makes you feel rewarded after a days work. Even if I have a tough day at work I feel accomplished that I was able to do something productive. Nursing is a career for someone who is hard working, kind but still has thick skin. It’s also a great career for someone who wants to have a career but also be a mother.

Is there anything else about your passion or career you would like to share with the reader?

Becoming a nurse was the best decision I ever made in my life. It opened up so many doors for me and really has made me a happy person.

Conclusion

I always challenge students to choose the type of person they want to become. Diana has become the type of person who not only helps people but has found a career which rewards her for her hard work and determination.

An important takeaway from this interview is that at first, all Diana knew was that she wanted to become the type of person who works hard towards their goals. Later on, is when she discovered that she also wanted to become the type of person who helps people who are sick and in need of care. She is proof that if you follow your passions, you never know where it might lead you.

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is a Youth Motivational Speaker, Author of To The Next Step (Atmosphere Press), Student Success Coach, and Online Educational Teacher.

His goal is to inspire high school and college students to think differently about their education and be prepared for the real world that awaits them. He does this by challenging students to ask themselves, “What type of person do you want to become?”.
If you are interested in any of Kyle’s services, please e-mail him at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com.  

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“Type of Person” Interview Series with Amy West https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/amywest/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/amywest/#respond Sat, 20 Apr 2019 19:38:41 +0000 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=119 Welcome to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person. This week we are interviewing Amy West. Full disclosure, Amy was the inspiration for

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Welcome to the ‘What Type Of Person’ interview series where we speak with someone who discovered early on what type of person they wanted to become and then pursued a career that aligned with that person.

This week we are interviewing Amy West. Full disclosure, Amy was the inspiration for starting a series like this. We met on a networking app, and she was so passionate about her line of work. As anyone who follows my work knows, the foundation of my message is to inspire students to figure out “What type of person do you want to become?”.

Please enjoy my interview with Amy West!

What is your current occupation?

College student pursuing an Associates in Human Development and Family Studies and a Bachelors in Psychology (the Children or Families end of both degrees)

In your own words, what would you say is your “passion” as it relates to your career?

My passion is to give back to the community. I plan to do this by showing children who are going through foster care or similar situations that it does get better. I want to be able to use my own experience to prove that I understand what the individual(s) are going through.

What inspired you to pursue this passion and your current line of work?

What inspired me was my placement in the foster care system for thirteen years. I had workers who said that they understood how I felt about my situation, but without them going through the same thing I was, they could not fully understand how I was feeling.

When did you discover this passion?

I did not realize I had this passion until my senior year of high school (2015-2016 school year).

Have you held previous jobs that did not align with this passion?

Yes, I had previous jobs that did not align with my passion. Being a full-time student without a degree, it can be hard to find a flexible job to fulfill my passion. In the meantime, I have settled for fast food jobs and retail jobs. I also took up some babysitting and watching my niece at times.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to pursue this line of work?

My advice would be to be confident in your choice to pursue this line of work. From the classes I have taken so far and having witnessed social workers in the field, I know it is not an easy job. Sometimes you will have to go outside of your comfort zone to do the correct thing and you need to be prepared for that.

Is there anything else about your passion or career you would like to share with the reader?

I would like the reader to be sure this is the field they wish to pursue before getting too far because it will not be an easy career and it will push them to limits they may never have had to deal with before.

Conclusion

I always challenge students to choose the type of person they want to become. In this case, Amy knew she wanted to be the type of person who not only helped people but a specific group of people, foster children. She knew she wanted a career centered around a cause that was important to her.

An important takeaway from this interview is that Amy was not always working a job that aligned with her passion. As she told you, she worked several jobs until she arrived at where she is today. It is important to remember to never give up on your passion because you will eventually find it.

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is a Youth Motivational Speaker, Author of To The Next Step (Atmosphere Press), Student Success Coach, and Online Educational Teacher.

His goal is to inspire high school and college students to think differently about their education and be prepared for the real world that awaits them. He does this by challenging students to ask themselves, “What type of person do you want to become?”.
If you are interested in any of Kyle’s services, please e-mail him at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com.  

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Why Does Everyone Hate Their Job? https://blog.kylegrappone.com/uncategorized/why-does-everyone-hate-their-job/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/uncategorized/why-does-everyone-hate-their-job/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 17:58:37 +0000 https://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=110 In the years after college, I worked for a few different companies of varying sizes and industries. My co-workers were from all type of backgrounds and of various ages. Yet, no matter the company or person, the same issue kept popping up. It appeared, on the surface, that the majority

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In the years after college, I worked for a few different companies of varying sizes and industries. My co-workers were from all type of backgrounds and of various ages. Yet, no matter the company or person, the same issue kept popping up. It appeared, on the surface, that the majority of the people I worked with disliked their jobs. Dig a little deeper, and you will find that they were dissatisfied with the type of life they were living.

The majority of the people I worked with had the same routine. Every Monday they would complain that it was in fact Monday. Then, they would spend the next five days wishing it was Friday. They were literally asking me, “Is it Friday yet?”, Even though they clearly knew it wasn’t even close. These people wished the majority of these days away so they could escape into the weekend. This type of behavior was irrational to me but accepted as commonplace in today’s society.

We have become a world that tells you that you are not supposed to like your job. We rationalize that you are not supposed to enjoy anything about your day job and therefore it is okay to be in a constant state of dissatisfaction. Not only that, but there are several million dollar companies who profit based on this state of mind. Examine the advertising for alcohol, food, and travel based companies. You will find that they prey on your need to escape your day to day life. Personally, I reached my breaking point.

I had to figure out what was going on. I had to discover how so many people were so unhappy, for so much of the week. Is it possible that EVERYONE does HATE their jobs? I began to look into this by surveying my co-workers, contacts, and college graduates. What I discovered, was much more complicated than a pure disdain for working.

The Surveys

In my surveys, I asked questions about the person’s past. Specifically, how they spent their time in high school and college. What did they regret and wish they could do differently? I probed into how hard they worked, what they learned, and how ready they were for the real world. What I learned, as many people had no idea what the real world was going to be like. They were completely unprepared for life after college. They had gone through high school and college with an “I’ll figure it out later” type of attitude. Then, when later came, they were thrown into a world they knew nothing about, forced to take a job they did not understand and ended up living a life they never intended on living.

It is not that EVERYONE has a deep HATRED for working. It’s that a lot of people did not understand what working full time entailed. They didn’t know the time, energy, and resources that go into being an adult and having a career. If they had, they would have paid more attention in school. They would have taken choosing a college and major more seriously. They would have worked towards a career that was going to bring them satisfaction and pride. Instead, they did not do these things. This is how we ended up where we are today.

The Fix

How do we fix this problem? We fix it by inspiring younger generations to learn from our mistakes. We need today’s high school and college students to understand what the real world is like. To understand the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities that education can give you. We need to educate today’s students on the importance of researching the right education and career paths for them.

The first way to do this is to throw out an age-old question. Almost every student I have ever spoken too has been asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. To me, this is a fundamentally flawed question. It is flawed because we are asking students at a very young age to decide what they want to with the rest of their lives when they are unsure what the options actually are? They do not know what each careers entails. This includes the day to day tasks, type of education needed, salary range, and work schedule. This is like asking someone to order dinner without telling them what restaurant they are going too or letting them look at the menu.

So, the student takes a guess. They choose something they think will make them a lot of money or whatever their parents believe they should do. Then, they choose a college and major based on this guest. Finally, they enter the workforce and take a job they do not know much about. This is where they realize that it is not what they thought it would be, and they become like the co-workers that surround them. Dissatisfied and disappointed.

The Question

We need a new question. We need to begin asking students, “What Type of Person Do You Want To Become?”. When we ask this question, students are no longer beholden to one job or one career. Instead, they are opened up to a field of opportunities of the type of person they want to be and the impact they want to have on the world around them.

I walk each student through this entire process in my book, To The Next Step,  as well in my coaching and teaching strategies. Once a student completes this process, we begin to list out all the possible jobs that are connected with the type of person they want to become. Then, we go to work networking and researching. It is imperative that if a student feels it may have found the career path for them, that they connect with those who are already doing that job.

By connecting with these working professionals, you can ask them questions about their work. What do they like? What do they not like? What is there day to day like? What did they study in school? What advice would they give someone pursuing the same career? The answers to these questions will provide you with the information you need to make the best possible choices about your future.

This type of research and networking will also prepare you for the real world and workforce you will soon enter. You will now know what will be expected of you. What your day to day life will be like and if it is something you are going to find fulfillment and satisfaction in. You will be able to use your remaining educational years to build the habits and gain the knowledge necessary to succeed. Most importantly, your job will align with the type of person you want to become.

You will go to work each day with a specific goal, person, and life in mind. No job is perfect. You will have bad days. However, if you are working towards something you believe in, you can come home most days with the satisfaction of knowing you spent your time well and made the impact you wanted to make. This is how you build a life you will be happy to live.

The Challenge

My challenge to you, if you are a student, is to begin to think about the type of person you want to become. What in your life makes you feel satisfied and fulfilled? Begin to answer that question and start your journey. Take control of your education and your future. Understand the importance of being prepared for the next steps in your life.

If you are a parent or educator, I challenge you to begin to inspire the students in your life. Motivate them to see the big picture. Work with them to understand the importance of being prepared for the real world. By changing their mindset, we can get them to take their education seriously. This will allow them to make the right choices when it comes to their future so they may end up living a fulfilling, purposeful career and life.

About Kyle

Kyle Grappone is a Youth Motivational Speaker, Author of To The Next Step (Atmosphere Press), Student Success Coach, and Online Educational Teacher.

His goal is to inspire high school and college students to think differently about their education and be prepared for the real world that awaits them. He does this by challenging students to ask themselves, “What type of person do you want to become?”.

If you are interested in any of Kyle’s services, please e-mail him at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com.  

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What Does ‘Finding Yourself’ Actually Mean Anyway? https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/what-does-finding-yourself-actually-mean-anyway/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/what-does-finding-yourself-actually-mean-anyway/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 20:22:14 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=79 You go to college to find yourself. I have heard that statement spoken several times in the past and I still don’t fully understand what it means. Did you get lost in high school? What are you trying to find now that you are in college? Of course, this idea

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You go to college to find yourself. I have heard that statement spoken several times in the past and I still don’t fully understand what it means. Did you get lost in high school? What are you trying to find now that you are in college? Of course, this idea of finding oneself is not limited to teens and young adults. We often hear of people taking vacations or breaks from relationships to “find themselves.”

Again, what the heck does that mean and how does one begin such a bizarre task? Nevertheless, if you feel as if you are going to use your college years to find yourself, you are better off figuring out what you are looking for and why it’s relevant that you find it.

Be More Specific

     If you feel the urge to find yourself, start figuring out what you are looking for. The chances are high that you are looking for your purpose in life. The reason you are here and what you should be doing with your time. If you are looking for your purpose, then yes, college is a great place to begin exploring that. Specifically, begin to list out what you are looking to gain from your college experience. Independence, discovering a new passion, and learning new skills are all items that can help you find out your purpose. Also, start to think about the type of person you want to become. What in life do you enjoy doing? What events from your past made you feel good and gave you a sense of purpose and satisfaction? Once you start answering those questions, you can begin to build the type of person you want to become. Now, instead of finding yourself, you are creating yourself and your future life.

Are you really lost?

     The idea of becoming someone new or beginning a new journey may sound exciting, but is it really necessary? Are you lost and in need of finding, or are you just going with the crowd and looking for improvements in areas that don’t need them. If you have known what you wanted to do with your career since you were younger, there is no need to pretend to have an epiphany now. If you have discovered your purpose and have a pretty solid idea of what you want your future to look like, then you are way ahead of the game. Focus on making decisions that will help you get there. If you are still in high school, begin to research majors and schools that align with this vision. Talk to those who are currently living a similar life and figure out what they did to get there.

Check Out My New Book: To The Next Step

Should you go to college at all?

   When it comes to younger generations, this notion of self-discovery is tied to college. The idea that you have to take out loans and go away to college to figure out what type of person you are going to be for the rest of your life. There are so many things wrong with this notion. First of all, discovering your identity has little to do with college. It has everything to do with your desire to take control of your future and figure out the type of person that will bring you a life of joy and satisfaction. Therefore, it is essential, before starting the college selection process, to decide if college is even right for you in the first place. If you enjoy working with your hands, building things and working on your feet, a college classroom might be the last place for you. You can learn more about trade schools in this blog I wrote earlier this year.

What to do next

   So, after it’s all said and done, you have “found yourself.” You figured out the type of person you want to become, and you have created a plan to get there. Now what? Now, you go from finding yourself to bettering yourself. Defining your purpose and passion are only half the battle. The next step is continuing that desire to control your future. To keep driving towards learning new skills and facts, growing as a person, and experiencing new and different things.

Conclusion

The term finding yourself is too broad and random to yield any tangible results. If you think you need to embark on the road to self-discovery, then figure out what exactly you want to find for yourself at the end of it. Understand that this is 100% about you and what you want for your future. Do not make choices based on cultural norms or well-intentioned advice from family and friends. Figure out your path forward and clearly define the short and long-term steps it will take to get there.

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Do You Know What A Trade School Is? https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/do-you-know-what-a-trade-school-is/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/do-you-know-what-a-trade-school-is/#respond Mon, 08 Oct 2018 19:33:40 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=76 From the moment we are born, the game plan for our education is the same. Attend school, obtain good grades, get into college, graduate, and find a job to support yourself. While attending school and financial independence are the correct beginning and end points, it’s the steps in the middle

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From the moment we are born, the game plan for our education is the same. Attend school, obtain good grades, get into college, graduate, and find a job to support yourself. While attending school and financial independence are the correct beginning and end points, it’s the steps in the middle that society has gotten stubborn about.

Somewhere along the way, we decided that a college degree was a must for all high school graduates. After 12 years of encouraging students to be unique and creative, we turned around, put them all in the same bucket and convinced them that college is the only logical next step in their lives.

The issue here is, that we are encouraging students to fall in line. I speak often about deciding what type of person you want to become and becoming the first version of yourself. For some, a businessman or educator is exactly who they want to become. However, for others, a college classroom is the last place they should be spending their time and money. If you truly think about what type of person you want to be, and you come to the conclusion that you like to build things, work with your hands, and constantly move around than you owe it yourself to explore alternate options to further your education.

The dictionary refers to a trade school as a vocational school designed to give students the technical skills to prepare them for a specific occupation. In simple terms, a trade school will educate on real-life skills such as plumbing, construction, carpentry and much more. This type of institution will pay you to learn these valuable life skills that will translate into a job you enjoy doing and a life you are happy and proud to live. Furthermore, due to the cultural bias against trade schools, these skills will soon be in high demand.

In a 2016 Presidential debate, Senator Marco Rubio questioned why we as a society have stigmatized trade schools, adding “The world needs more welders and less philosophers.” While the second line got a good laugh, the question itself should be examined. Why is it that an educational path that offers paid apprenticeships, defined outcomes, and mentorship is not given equal weight and consideration to a standard college education? The notion that trade school graduates make less money is simply not true.

A recent study shows that graduates from both types of schooling can make roughly same after graduation. However, the average bachelor’s degree graduate leaves college with up to $30,000 in student loan debt. That’s a lot of money and debt to earn a job in something you don’t even enjoy doing.

Trade schools are not for everyone, and neither is college. However, when we encourage younger generations to think about their futures, we have to present all the options. Just because it worked for you does not mean it is meant for them. Furthermore, we need to remember it is their future’s, not ours, that they are planning for. As for students, they are the ones that must take time every day to think about what type of person they want to become. If you decide that the person you want to become has nothing to do with working in an office, then a trade school might be exactly what you are looking for.

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Becoming The First You https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/becoming-the-first-you/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/becoming-the-first-you/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:42:46 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=69 About 15 years ago, there was a highly anticipated professional wrestling match between two of the best wrestlers in history, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. The storyline of this match was that growing up, Jericho idolized Michaels, but now wanted to surpass him and become the better performer. It was

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About 15 years ago, there was a highly anticipated professional wrestling match between two of the best wrestlers in history, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. The storyline of this match was that growing up, Jericho idolized Michaels, but now wanted to surpass him and become the better performer. It was here, during one of Chris Jericho’s promos that he said something that has always stuck with me: “I grew out of wanting to be the next Shawn Michaels, and I concentrated on becoming the first Chris Jericho.” Putting personal feelings about professional wrestling aside, that comment is quite profound. Here is a man, who was trying to be someone else only to realize that his best course of action was to become the best, and first, version of himself.

We often find ourselves wanting to be other people. Whether it be good looks, fame, money, or luck, there are always people who appear to have what we want. It is easy to attempt to emulate these people’s traits and characteristics. It is easy to want to become the next Beyonce, Brad Pitt, or Mark Zuckerberg. They are rich, famous and successful. Why not try to be just like them? It relieves us of the burden of trying to carve our own path and make our own decisions. We can just do what they do. However, they didn’t become that person by trying to be like someone else. They reached that status because they focused on becoming the first version of themselves.

Becoming the first version of yourself is incredibly difficult. There is no roadmap to becoming yourself because no one has ever done it before. No one has ever become you, and no one ever will again. To become the first version of yourself, you need to determine what type of person you want to become, what you will stand for, and what you desire to accomplish while alive on this earth. It also means, doing what makes you happy, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. It means going against the crowd, going left when everyone you know is going right. It means doing something because it is what you want to do, not because it is what society is telling you to do.

I myself have often struggled with this problem. I have always strived to be me, do what makes me happy and what I believe is right. I listen to music I enjoy, not what is popular. I eat foods I like, not what everyone else likes. I could care less what anyone else thinks about any of the choices that I make. I have never tried to be the next Ryan Gosling, Kevin James, or Mark Cuban. I have always focused on becoming the first Kyle Grappone.

So, I ask you this question. Who are you trying to be like? Do you behave the way you do because it’s what the cool kids are doing? Do you make sure your interests are in line with what social media and the masses tell you it should be? Do you find yourself trying to copy the behaviors and actions of celebrities or acquaintances whose life you wish you had? If you do, you will only end up becoming a dollar store version of them, and no one is going to buy that version.

Be yourself. Find what makes you happy, and do it. It doesn’t matter if it makes anyone else happy. Determine what you are passionate about, seek it out, hunt it down, and capture it. Figure out what kind of impact you want to make on your family, friends, community and the world, and then spend every day trying to make that impact. Become the first version of yourself, and let others try to become a dollar store version of you.

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A Letter To My Younger Self https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/a-letter-to-my-younger-self/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/self-discovery/a-letter-to-my-younger-self/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:41:37 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=66 Dear Kyle, At this point, you are about halfway through High School. You have friends, your grades are okay and what is most important to you right now, people like you. They find you funny. You don’t annoy or disappoint anyone. I know you may think that this is enough

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Dear Kyle,

At this point, you are about halfway through High School. You have friends, your grades are okay and what is most important to you right now, people like you. They find you funny. You don’t annoy or disappoint anyone. I know you may think that this is enough and that being the class clown and doing the bare minimum to get by is fine. I am writing this letter to tell you, with all due respect, that you are wrong. I wanted to tell you that even though you may be having what you perceive as fun right now, you are actually wasting precious time and your actions will bring consequences 10–15 years down the road. You can be better.

You have a something special inside you. You may not be the smartest kid in class but you are of above average intelligence. You are creative and charismatic. You can think fast and write well. You can be something better than what you are on the path to becoming. The path you are on right now is going to bring you to a place that you do not want to be. However, for me to convince you that you can be something better, I have to explain what you are currently on the path to becoming.

You’re passing your classes and that’s fine. Your grades will get you into a college, which is also okay. The issue is, you could be doing so much more. You could be putting more effort into your journalism class. You could be focusing on becoming a great writer. That focus and passion could get you into a better school with a major you truly care about. I know you aren’t focused on your post-college graduation life, but you should be. You should be because if you start to care now, you can ensure that you are much happier later.

If you do average work, you will go to an average school and eventually get an average job. An average job where you sit in an office, every day, from 9–5 and work at a computer. You don’t get to go outside. You don’t get to enjoy a beautiful morning because you are required to be at work at a certain time. Furthermore, if you continue to do just enough to get by, the number of jobs that will be open to you will be limited. The fun, exciting jobs at growing, interesting companies will be accepting candidates with better grades and internships. Those candidates knew what they wanted out of their post-college lives and where they wanted to go. They are going to be living the type of life they envisioned for themselves. You will be living a life that has been lived out by millions of average men that have come before you. A life of routine, boredom, and lack of fulfillment and consistent joy. Do I have your attention now?

Start caring now. Start asking questions, taking chances, and most importantly do the best work you can. Use the rest of your college days seeking out things that excite you, things that bring your passion. Start looking into what colleges have what majors, what the courses look like, and what types of careers you can have afterward. Focus on all your classes to get better grades. A better GPA will get you into a better school. A better GPA will also get you more scholarship money, which means fewer loans to pay off when you are older.

I know you may think college is two years away, but trust me, it will be here before you know it. When you arrive, have a plan. You don’t have to plan out the next four years but you should write down 5 things you want to get out of college. Those things can change and you can add to the list but it gives you somewhere to begin. For example, “What type of person do I want to become?”, “What am I interested in?”, “What questions do I have about the real world?”. Like High School, it will be very tempting and easy to do the bare minimum. That type of thinking and lack of action will result in an unsatisfying career when you are older. Choose the path that allows you to take advantage of all the opportunities that will be presented to you. Pick the brains of your professors. Ask questions of visiting alumni. Go see guest speakers when they come to your campus. Visit the career center to secure meaningful internships every year, not just your last year when it’s required. Above all else, give proper time and respect to your classes. Don’t count showing up to class as a victory. Show up with the goal of gaining knowledge. This is the time to discover what interests you because it can help determine what you should be doing once you graduate.

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What I am trying to say, is care about what is coming next. It’s thing huge thing that you don’t know is coming and you don’t yet understand how your actions these next 6 years will affect it. You have so much more talent than you are aware of. You can be so much more than you are currently on the path to becoming. If you keep behaving this way, you will end up with an average, boring job that you will leave you feeling unfulfilled. I promise you what’s coming next for you is not fun. You are putting yourself in a hole that will take years to dig out of. If you start caring right now, start working harder and smarter right now, you will change your path. You will discover your passion at 16, not 30. You will open doors for yourself you never even knew existed. All you have to do is think differently about how you approach the future. I hope you start today, because tomorrow will be here before you know it, and currently, you won’t like what it’s bringing.

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5 Tips For Surviving Your First Month Away At College https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/5-tips-for-surviving-your-first-month-away-at-college/ https://blog.kylegrappone.com/college/5-tips-for-surviving-your-first-month-away-at-college/#respond Sat, 06 Oct 2018 18:39:44 +0000 http://blog.kylegrappone.com/?p=63 This blog talks a lot about making the most of college. However, you can’t take advantage of the next the four years if you don’t make it out of the first month. Going away to college presents new and difficult challenges. Challenges that high school never spent any time preparing

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This blog talks a lot about making the most of college. However, you can’t take advantage of the next the four years if you don’t make it out of the first month. Going away to college presents new and difficult challenges. Challenges that high school never spent any time preparing you for. Therefore, may I present 5 tips for surviving the first month of college.

1. Be careful who you trust.

It’s easy to find someone you get along with and want to become good friends with them immediately. You are missing your close friends at home and become desperate to replicate that with someone at school. However, all these new friends are just that, they are new. You don’t know them yet. Some may become your best friends, but for now, be careful who you trust and who you tell what to.

2. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

Your sense of humor may have worked back home with your group of pals who knew all about you. However, you are with new people who are still forming their own opinions of you. Your friends back home may know when your kidding, but your new friends don’t. Furthermore, you don’t know the political or religious views of the new people you meet. What might be funny to you could be very serious to them. It’s better to be on the quiet side first and begin to open up as time goes.

3. Study in the library.

Living in a dorm means living with 20 or 30 people on your floor. There is always going to be someone or a group of people who are playing video games, watching a movie, or doing something more entertaining than the studying and homework you have to do. Do your work in the library from the start. It will ensure you start college with good grades and puts you into a routine that will be easy to follow as your classes get harder.

4. Set two alarms.

Chances are you just spent the last 12 years being woken up by a parent or sibling for school. Being away from school means being away from the people who bugged you to get up. Furthermore, your teacher is not going to call home if you miss class. Instead, they simply deduct points from your grade and move on. Set two alarms. One on your phone and one on an actual clock across the room. This ensures you can only snooze on one of them. You may think this is trivial. It is not.

5. Watch what you eat.

Similar to my previous tip, most college freshmen had parents choosing what they ate and what they didn’t. Most kids eat what’s in the house and what is cooked and put on the table. They never really had to think about a diet, portion control or eating healthy. That choice was done for them. In college, you are responsible for what you eat, every day. No one will stop you from eating a cheeseburger and ice cream two times a day. Just like no one will force you to eat fruit and vegetables. Be self-aware of what you are eating each day and what you ate for the entire week.

Conclusion

The first month of college is one of the toughest adjustments you will have to had made in your life so far. These tips, and advice from college graduates can go along way in ensuring you start off on the right path.

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