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Success Workshop for Teens with Maeve Ronan (Massachusetts)

* This blog post was written by Sebastian Colon, a workshop participant and aspiring writer.*

Quotes from participants:

“I learned that the key to success is to ask how successful people did it.” - Dana Warren

“I learned that real estate is really important to invest in.” - Priscilla Cruz

On July 13, 2021, Yankee Home hosted an entrepreneurship program for kids of the employees. It was open to anyone who wanted to gain new skills to apply to their futures. We had kids with visions that ranged from wanting to be the president, painters, all the way to their own boss and racecar drivers!

We started off by being told a great life story from Ger Ronan, the Owner of Yankee Home. He told us how he moved from Ireland with only $80 in his pocket all while bringing attention to one specific point: “Seek to understand before you are understood.”

At first, I was trying to understand what this meant, looking at it through multiple lines of perspective, but I didn’t understand it at first. He continued his story and explained how he had met a man who was very successful and took him on a private jet ride. Ger asked the man “How did you do it?” and the man told him that the secret to success is to ask others who are successful how they did it. One night they went out to a gathering and people were coming up to the man and telling him their own situations, when they should have been asking him what they should do to grow and better themselves no matter their situation.

At the end of the story, Ger ties it all in and explains to the young entrepreneurs that instead of talking about yourselves (being understood), try to better yourself in every scenario (seek to understand). We were emphasized to not be afraid to ask successful people how they became successful themselves, perhaps even make that person a mentor.

Maeve Ronan, the daughter of Ger, who wrote the books It’s the Depression for Me and It’s the Awkwardness for Me led the next topic. She talked about how awkward moments happen to everyone, no matter who you are or how old you are; they can happen to anyone at any given time! We all did a little bit of brainstorming on things we can do about our silly mistakes and how to learn from them. The aspiring entrepreneurs not only learned how to improve and talk to their peers more comfortably and confidently, but also that sometimes it's okay to not talk to everyone you know. Sometimes a little bit of small talk and then a goodbye is just perfect!

After that, we all discussed funny, awkward interactions with peers in the past, Maeve brought up her past and how she got to where she is today. Maeve explained to us how she had “a good life, but a difficult reality” which I have never heard of, but really opened my eyes. Although you may have a “better” life than others, if your reality isn't what you want it to be then you are unfortunately not going to be the happiest you could be. The author of It’s the Awkwardness for Me shared that there is always going to be chaos and setbacks in life, but no matter what, you have to fight back with positive thoughts and never give up. Our message to remember from this was to “make your mess your message.” which is a great way to understand what we were taught!

Ethan Malachuk then walked in and started off his presentation by asking us all what we think of when we see the word money. Various answers were written on the board such as; power, time, status, risk, and income. Ethan proceeded to say that although these are all correct, there are other words that could be better. The room stayed quiet for a minute as none of us could really think what could've been right, but also different than the other answers. So he turns around and begins to write down words such as; family, and friends. He said to get all of this, yes money is a tool, but there are other tools that come with money that can help you achieve all of these!

Ethan connected his computer and a video popped up, talking about compound interest. None of us were familiar with this concept but the video was simplified and also very informational to all of us! A really good piece of information I, and all the other young entrepreneurs took away from his time talking to us was that you're never too young to get started. He explained that even if you're 14 years old you could still find a way to open a stocks portfolio through Yankee Home themselves!

Afterward, Molly Ronan the Production Manager for Yankee Home taught us all about the importance of real estate and how you can technically live for free. Imagine instead of buying a home, you buy a multi-family building with 3 rooms and only live in one of the rooms and rent out the other 2. You could potentially make enough money from renting out the 2 other rooms to pay for your own rent which is honestly a real life hack!

Nearing the end of the workshop we all did visual boards for what we want our futures to look like! Visualization is everything, dreaming about the future is totally okay especially when you follow through with what you want to do. It was a really fun experience when we all presented and saw what other people wanted their lives to be like!

The experience was extraordinary, every moment was a learning experience and we all walked out with new amazing information. Somebody who happened to stop by the same time we were doing the workshop was Jeff Baker, who had a really inspirational story explaining to us all how he was training to be in the Olympics, and in a freak accident broke vertebrae in his neck. He became paralyzed and his life changed without him ever expecting it to. He’s living a very successful and happy life right now which goes to show don’t let anything bring you down, always push through even in the toughest of times.

* This blog post was written by Sebastian Colon, a workshop participant and aspiring writer.*


For more info on how to host a workshop at your organization for your employee's kids, contact Maeve Ronan here.


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