I am a motivational speaker who frequently keynotes at leadership events for students and educators. (As a side note, I am doing more presentations in the corporate and direct sales market as well, but more on that later…) I thought it might be interesting to share my extended bio for youth and education conferences since it’s something meeting planners often request.
Why share it with you?
It should give you a glimpse as to why I’m so passionate about helping others experience genuine success in their lives and work. But more importantly, my hope is it will challenge you to live it forward into your bigger story!
Kent Julian’s Bio
I’m often asked: “Why are you so energized about serving teenagers, educators, and advisors through your programs?” The reason is two-fold:
- I am passionate about investing in the next generation because the younger a person is, the more amplified his or her choices are. I’m all about helping others succeed in life and work, and the compound effect of positive choices made early in one’s life practically guarantees success for that individual.
- Additionally, one of the reasons I relate so well with students is because I can actually reach back and feel the pain from the struggles I faced as a teenager. Better yet, thanks to several teachers and advisors who invested in my life, I can also reach back and feel the thrill of overcoming those challenges and living into my bigger story. The fact that a bigger story was possible for someone like me is what feeds my overwhelming conviction that ALL people, no matter what they have faced, can live success stories!
What’s Your Problem?
Growing up, the word “confident” was not in my vocabulary. It wasn’t even in the ballpark. For one, I had a significant speech impediment and could not pronounce the sounds associated with the letters “f, g, j, k, l, r, s, v, z, ch, sh, th, and related consonant blends.” Additionally, by the time I reached third grade, my teacher set up a private conference with my parents to ask how I passed the previous grades without being able to read. I never grew out of these learning challenges either. When I graduated high school, my SAT scores were so low I had to take Developmental Studies before being accepted into college—on probation.
These struggles were just the tip of the iceberg. During my preteen and early teen years, I was an “at-risk” student not only because of my grades, but because I hung out with a pretty rough crowd and was making poor life choices. One bad decision led to another, which led to another, which led to another. Until…
I Dare You to Live into Your Bigger Story!
This is where my story takes a different route from many motivational speakers. Even though I had anything but a head start in life, I didn’t stay on a path of self-destruction. I didn’t hit rock bottom. I didn’t develop a cynical attitude. And I didn’t graduate 450 out of a class of 455. Due to the amazing influence of a handful of teachers and advisors, my life turned out much differently than it began. Even more, all these positive changes started happening while I was still in high school!
A single event changed the course of my life. It wasn’t a successful event; it was a colossal mistake. Details aren’t necessary; just know it was major. Yet because a few educators took this opportunity to dare me to live into my bigger story, this one event didn’t ruin me, it positively changed me from the inside out. Change didn’t occur overnight, but as I took more ownership of my life, I started to experience my own success story.
Fast-forward a few years. Even though none of my circumstances got smaller, I got BIGGER! While still in high school, I started overcoming my learning challenges while also becoming a positive leader in my school and community. And again, all this happened because of a few teachers and advisors dared me to live a bigger story. I simply responded to their challenge and started to live it forward into a better version of me.
Looking back, I’m amazed at how far I progressed in high school, then in college, and now as a professional. For instance:
- In spite of low SAT scores and constant learning difficulties, with a ton of hard work I earned a spot in the National Honor Society in high school.
- I was senior class president.
- I graduated college with cum laude honors and finished my Master’s Degree with summa cum laude honors.
- In my first career, I quickly progressed to become the Executive Director of a national youth organization that works with approximately 2,000 youth groups nationwide.
- More recently, I transitioned into a successful entrepreneurial career that includes two businesses.
It’s easy to see why my passion for investing in students is so intense. It comes from my powerful conviction that ALL young people, no matter what they face, are success stories waiting to be written!
Here’s an added bonus for you! This short video shares an inspiring success story of someone I know very well.