When the economy took a turn for the worst in 2008, many millennials saw their parents and grandparents laid off by companies they’d been loyal to for years.
Eze Redwood said that although it’s easy to gloss over the impact that traumatic events have on a generation’s psyche, young professionals carry the weight of this experience — which makes it harder to forge their own career path with confidence.
To teach young professionals a positive mindset that will lead to success, Redwood created Rise Fast, an organization that will launch with a summit on Jan. 31, followed by a series of programs.
Redwood said that unlike the plethora of resources for those already in a career — think Tony Robbins and John Maxwell Rise Fast will coach and mentor those just starting out.
“I wanted to create a resource for young professionals in their 20s and 30s to learn how to be amazing,” Redwood said. “If you don’t know how to get to where you want to be, you’re bound to get frustrated that you’re not there yet. We’re looking to create the path and the map that says this is where you want to go and this is how you can get there.”
The best way to know how to get somewhere is to hear it from the people who have done it, Redwood said. Thanks to support from the City of Kansas City, Mo., the Rise Fast summit will feature a variety of speakers, including headliners Phyllis Harris, global SVP and general counsel at Walmart, Lesa Mitchell and managing director at Techstars Kansas City. The lineup consists of representatives from New York, Boston, Washington D.C. as well as Kansas City.
In addition to speakers, the Rise Fast summit will offer opportunities for young professionals to connect with like-minded people through guided exercises and networking breaks.
For Redwood, Rise Fast is about a mindset. As someone who has worked in a variety of different fields, he said a healthy mindset will translate to success no matter what you do.
On his first day working at an investment bank, Redwood said he saw someone get laid off just three days before their pension went into effect.
“That experience taught me early on that I needed to make sure that I looked out for myself a little bit, because it was clear that I couldn’t rely on a company to look out for me,” Redwood said. “The disloyalty and lack of respect corporations have had to people who helped build them has impacted the millennial mindset and has made young professionals more focused on developing personal skills than ever before.”
Redwood said that if young professionals feel that they are putting more effort into a company than they are getting in return, they will quit — either mentally or physically. The summit aims to empower people to communicate their value to their companies and the world, as well as provide tips on how to act on that motivation.
During the conference, Redwood will reveal a platform that attendees can use to keep in touch and receive updates on upcoming events. Although the Rise Fast summit won’t be held more than once a year, Redwood is planning a variety of local events throughout the year that will keep young professionals engaged with one another.
Summit attendees will also have access to free executive coaching calls and webinars, and “Mastermind groups” will meet each month to help provide mentorship and accountability. This is all part of the movement Rise Fast aims to create, Redwood said.
Redwood hopes that the kickoff event will prove his theory and allow it to expand. He wants to challenge the notion that young people are entitled, stressing that millennials just learn differently.
“It’s easy to mistake passion, the need to feel valued and the desire for impact with entitlement,” Redwood said. “What’s mistaken as entitlement is really a loss of opportunity to channel the energy of our generation properly. We (millennials) are confident that we can make an impact as an individual … Companies should learn to take advantage of those that are wanting to go above and beyond and offer guidance. Those who do this will become market leaders.”
To learn more or to register, click here.