YOP 125: RAISE My Voice with Carol McKown

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From the outside I seemed to have it all – the handsome and athletic husband, the healthy kids, the career success, the homes, the cars, the travel, and the money. I lived the “All American Dream.”

I was happy and lively, very independent and confident, yet something was missing. Everything seemed to be on the right track, but even with the prosperity and things in life to be passionate about, I was not content. I had an undeniable yearning for more.

In 2004, my home and community in Florida was wiped out by a category five hurricane. It took over a year to rebuild so we could move back in. Six weeks later the eye of a second category five storm ripped through our little town again leaving me, and my family, in shambles. Life was a mess, not to mention the toll it put on me as a mother trying to keep her nest in tact and her family secure. Our family investments soured, my marriage fell apart, and life in the proverbial bubble burst.

Beginning in December of 2010, I experienced some circumstances that can only be described as miracles in my life. I also began having a series of dreams outlining the vision and business plan for RAISE, Responsible Alliance In Social Enterprise. I would literally wake up night after night at 3 and 4 o’clock in the morning with the clearest thoughts of how the business was to be executed. Today, that vision has become a reality in my company RAISE Global Services.

My purpose is to help corporations and business leaders, people with talent, resources, and influence, realize that they can do more good in the world. There is a way to make a difference that adds value to the company, its shareholders, clients, suppliers, and employees. This business model increases health to the company and to the communities in its footprint.

My purpose is to grow a movement whereby everyone of us believes that we can make a difference by using our passion and prosperity for purpose in the way we work, the things we purchase, the lives we lead to help others.

YOP 124: The Naked Roommate with Harlan Cohen

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I’m a New York Times bestselling author of six books, a nationally syndicated advice columnist, and a speaker who has visited over 400 college campuses. I’ve helped millions of people go to college, find love, and follow their passions. I’m an expert on life transitions. I love experiencing the highs, lows, and everything in-between. I’m always working to be my personal best (a never-ending journey).My writing professional career began at the Indiana Daily Student, the college newspaper at Indiana University. I started writing editorials and soon realized my love for writing (and making people laugh). My first editorial was about why deer hunters should shoot deer with contraceptives instead of bullets. The summer before my bonus senior year (I graduated in 4 1/2 years), I interned at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It was during that internship that I met a writer who wrote advice. I liked the idea and went back to IU, where my Help Me, Harlan! advice column was born. At first, I started to write about my own problems (I had many). I started to help myself. Shockingly, real people started to write to me. I reached out to real experts to help me answer questions. After reaching out to so many experts, identifying trends, and finding recurring themes, I’ve become an expert.

After graduating from college, I decided to continue writing my column. I wanted to become a syndicated advice columnist. So, I sent out media kits to 50 newspapers. I sold my advice column to five newspapers (I got paid $5 a week for each newspaper). A year later, The New York Daily News picked up my column. I was 22 years old and reaching millions of readers. Nine years after starting my column, I was picked up by King Features Syndicate. King Features continues to distribute my column in newspapers around the world.

As my column spread across the country (like a bad rash at a nudist camp), my speaking career began to boom. Purdue University (Indiana University’s rival) invited me to be the keynote speaker at Boiler Gold Rush, their big orientation program. The head of orientation called me up and said, “Do you speak?” I said, “Everyday!” After meeting with Marnie and her team, I was hired.
Over 400 college campuses later, my speaking career continues to be one of the most rewarding parts of my career. I LOVE live events. Being on stage is a rush. ANYTHING can happen. I speak to high school students, college students, parents, and adults of all ages. I love helping people get comfortable with the uncomfortable. My shows are energetic, intense, funny, musical (I play the guitar), and unpredictable (I take questions live via text during the show). While speaking and writing over the years, I’ve spotted trends and patterns. That’s why I write books. I don’t enjoy the writing process. I find it hard to concentrate and I get lonely at times, but I love sharing information in the end product. My specialty is nonfiction focusing on transitions, risk-taking, rejection, success, love, happiness, and passion.

My first book wasCampus Life Exposed; Advice From The Inside (Petersons). Five years later, The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues was released by Sourcebooks. This one has become a New York Times bestseller and is used as a textbook in over 100 college classrooms. The book has struck a nerve because it gives students permission to be imperfect — and that makes everyone perfect. I’m also author of the books, The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only, The Naked Roommate’s First Year Survival Workbook, Dad’s Expecting Too: An Expectant Parents Guide and my newest book, Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober). I love this book!
Getting Naked helps people find love. I’m good at this, but I haven’t always been. For most of my teen life, I was overweight and not desired. My first girlfriend was Little Debbie, the snack cake (that’s just me hiding the pain). After college, I figured out how to find a date while totally sober. What’s shocking about love is that we don’t learn how to find it or keep it. All we learn is that hooking up is easier than dating. If we’re in a room long enough, we’ll hook up. If we’re in a room with alcohol, it happens faster. That’s it.

My personal love story is filled risk, rejection, and ultimately, happiness. I met my wife at the UPS store while making copies (the entire story is in the book). After our third date, I realized she had actually rejected me on an online dating site (Jdate). We met again by coincidence and fell in love. We’re still married — I love her like crazy — and I like her to pieces. Like is way more important than love. Getting Naked breaks down dating and relationships and offers a new approach to taking risks and finding love.

When I’m not writing, I’m working on creating a new series of online courses (launching soon), answering questions via video, hosting web events, and sharing advice on television and radio. I love spending time with my wife and kids (I have 3 of them–kids, not wives) the most. Family is my #1 priority. I’m based in Chicago, but I hop around the country.
You’ll probably see me in an airport at some point (I’ll be carrying a guitar). If you see me, say hello. I would LOVE to visit with you. Then we’ll go wherever we are supposed to go. You can follow me on Twitter @HarlanCohen and on Facebook www.Facebook.com/HelpMeHarlan, but please don’t follow me around the airport. If you have questions or need advice please write me here.

YOP123: Overcoming Graduation with Brian Drury

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Bio: My name is Brian Drury and I recently turned 25 years old. Like many of you, I was told a story my whole life, a story that went something like this…

“Work hard at school, get good grades, go to a good college, get good grades, and then you’ll graduate and get a good job!”

Now this seemed like it all made sense, this is what everyone does, this is what you are “supposed to do,” right? What I didn’t realize until I graduated was that this story is incomplete. This story implies that if you follow those steps, follow that simple formula, then after you graduate life is just going to work itself out. That happiness, success, peace, wellness, and everything else you could ever want will just come to you without any effort.

As many of you who have graduated already or are about to have realized, this ain’t how it works. When I graduated, I had more questions than answers. I didn’t have a clear sense of who I was, what my next steps would be, or what I really wanted to do with my life.

Then I slowly started finding out about the potential that life holds, reading about people who didn’t follow a normal path and are living extraordinary lives as a result. I wondered how they learned what they needed to so they could live their dream lives. That is where the idea for Overcoming Graduation came along.

I am a young guy, with big dreams like so many of you out there and I want to learn how to do everything I’ve ever dreamt, I want to inspire others to do the same, and I want us to go on an adventure of creating lives that inspire, motivate, and spread joy to all around us.

In this adventure, I will be interviewing incredible people and sharing their stories with you, I will be taking on monthly challenges to try and learn those things that college never taught us, and I will be writing about and sharing information to help you become the person you have always wanted to be, that you know you are meant to be, and that you deserve to be.

Each day, each moment, is a blank canvas and a new opportunity for us to get off the path we don’t want to be on, and completely change course towards the life of our dreams.

I am excited to go on this adventure with all of you and would love to have recommendations for people to interview, sites to feature, resources to review, books to read, videos to watch, you name it!

Please feel free to reach out and contact me at: [email protected]