Ballin’ at a Young Age
Justin Lafazan: author, entrepreneur, community builder.Justin is also the co-Founder of Next Gen a global community, and summit for young entrepreneurs.
A sophomore at Wharton, and co-Founder of Next Gen where their goals are to 1. Identify the most successful young people to bring them together, and 2. Provide resources to allow them to grow.
He’s the author of What Wakes You Up, the byproduct a of a personal research project inspired by Scott Dinsmore during his TedTalk. Dinsmore mentioned that 80% of people hate their job, and Justin set out to explore what does excite people. So he asked some friends that had written books before, and reverse engineered the process. He learned this process of reverse engineering through his mentor Greg Reid (founder of Secret KnockSecret Knock, what justin calls “Next Gen for grown ups”).
Justin’s concept of “The Average Perfect Day” is highlighted in the book. It seeks to solve the question of “what does your ideal day look like, on an average day, on a Tuesday” claims Justin.
Surrounded by successful people as a kid, Justin was inspired to do more. His older brother Josh, is the youngest elected official in New York. Although he never enjoyed class, Justin was always driven to succeed and his parents supported his decision to take a gap year despite admittance to his dream school at Wharton.
His advice for a gap year “make a plan, even if you don’t follow the plan, make one.” The plan becomes the fire to get you started
A Place for Young Entrepreneurs to Belong
NextGen came from a pain point Justin and his partner Dylan saw working in their Ed Tech company. The problem: young entrepreneurs wanted a platform to network through, a way to meet, grow, and learn from each other.
The online community is curated through a private Facebook group. The conference “Summit Series” is their premier conference, and next up they are launching a venture fund for their community which will be called Next Gen Ventures.
Quote: “Balance is not the goal of life. Identify work that is worth living an unbalanced life for”
Recent accomplishment- setting up regional meetups across the country for the Next Gen community.
An activity Justin has learned a lot from- Reflection. He reflects on his day everyday by writing down the 2 best things that happen each day. It allows him to reflect on what he loves, when he can’t think of 2 things to write down then he knows the next day he needs to focus on something he loves.
Tools and Resources
Bananatag– email productivity tool
Rapportive– a tool for connecting with people on LinkedIn directly through Gmail.
The One Thing by Gary Keller to make actionable goals.
The Need to Read by the WSJ
Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande- Keep your goals organized and focused
The four-hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
“You need to start, you need to do something” the MVP doesn’t matter, just start by doing. You just have to get going. Next Gen Summit started with Justin and Dylan picking a date for the first conference, and running with it.
“Anytime I want to do anything, I reverse engineer it” talking about how when he sets out to learn or accomplish something new, he asks other that have been there before and hacks it to fit his goal.
“Ask for what you want” Instead of using fancy marketing, just ask. It’s a powerful concept
“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses” If you’re young don’t pretend that you have 20 years’ experience, focus on youth as a strength.
“Find what makes you happy, in the little things” What time do you want to wake up, who do you want to spend time with?
“Make a plan, even if you don’t follow the plan, make one”
Feature story on USA Today
Justin’s full bio
Shoutout to SoHHL and Ryan “Cole” Ross for the beats, featuring the intro song “Takeover”.