Some of you know that the decision to go full time into UYD Media was at a low point in my life. I was getting my MBA, managing after school activities and managing a podcast. On top of that I had just been let go from the company I was working at which meant less money in the pocket. Mind you I live in NYC. So like all reasonable people I did the normal thing. I decided to launch a company with NO money.

But why did I do that?

Wasn’t I going to be further in debt?

My answer? Why not?

I had already failed according to conventional wisdom. What more did I have to lose?

In essence, I had woken up and the only forward I thought was up

According to fellow millennial entrepreneur Justin Lafazan, the youth in the today’s digital world are faced with even more responsibility to find what inspires them.

In his new book, What Wakes You Up: Designing Kick-Ass Lives Through Entrepreneurship, Lafazan presents society’s path for young people, proves it false, and presents instead an argument (and guide) for life design through entrepreneurship. [At 19, Lafazan has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, and more for his work on the Next Gen Summit, an Entrepreneur Magazine ranked conference).

He believes that millennials should go through the Design by Triangles exercise which involves asking three questions:

Passion: what do you enjoy doing?

Skillset: what are you good at doing?

Value set: why do you do what you do?

In his book, Lafazan uses several examples to illustrate this model  like that of 17 year old Nikhil Goyal

At 17, Nikhil Goyal hated school.  Once morning, he arrived 20 minutes early just to stand near the front door and witness the tired faces of his peers walk by.  He knew something wasn’t right; students weren’t happy and engaged – they were tired, and being stifled. He hated the status quo, and decide to do something about it.  Nikhil chose to graduate school early, and do research on educational practices in alternative schools.  He turned his findings into two books, dozens of keynote speeches, and a life as a passionate activist for education reform.

Another example is a sophomore at the University of South Carolina named Tyler Wagner. Wagner was growing fascinated with the concept of networking.  Even though his first company was a painting business, Wagner was much more concerned with mentorship, and interaction with fellow young entrepreneurs.    Taking a leap of faith grounded in this principle that success leaves clues, Wagner left school and moved to Canada to intern under Jason Gaignard, the Founder of MastermindTalks.  Wagner had a goal: learn how Gaignard was able to build a powerful brand within the entrepreneurial world, and duplicate his success.    Wagner helped Gaignard put on multiple conferences, events and retreats.  It was during this time and exposure that Wagner learned what made an exceptional conference that delivered the most value to all of its attendees.  Wagner leveraged the expertise, and wrote Conference Crushing: The 17 Undeniable Rules On How To Network, Build Relationships, And Crush It At Networking Events Even If You Don’t Know Anyone.  The book was a bestseller, and thousands have credited Wagner’s insights with helping them maximize conference ROI.

(Takeaway: he wasn’t good at the path, found his difference – networking – and maximized it)

In conclusion, young people need to find their difference and use it and not run away from it. The ‘path’ as it is today is broken as it generates many unhappy workers with a slew of societal problems. To find their talent, they should consider using  the Design by Triangles framework. These are just some of the takeaways I got from his book. What Wakes You Up? releases December 18th, and has received advanced praise from thought-leaders, including the Founder of UGG and the Founder of Make-A-Wish Foundation.  To learn more, visit