At Under30CEO we are constantly pushing people to do what they are passionate about, to live a life that actually fulfills them and to make sound decisions independent of what society wants us to do. It’s about having that “go-getter” mentality and living a lifestyle that excites you every single day.
We sat down with the Travel Team from The Summit Series an earth shattering weekend long conference where The World’s Young Innovators Unite. The Summit Series team lead by Elliot Bisnow who believes a critical piece of living that lifestyle and living out your dreams is surrounding yourself with like minded people who share your mission. There is no better example of young people who live by the idea that doing good and making money are not mutually exclusive than the curators of the Summit Series.
Mark Korshak, Justin Cohen and Joshua Zabar joined us to talk about joining the team and doing things unconventionally. It’s not often that we cover those who work for others, but when they are on a mission to change the world joining forces seemed just the thing to do.
You guys are truly “living the dream” can you highlight the lifestyle and mission of Summit?
Summit Series unites together young entrepreneurs, innovators and influencers through invitation-only events and conferences with the aim to inspire positive social change. Through unprecedented “summits” the community is provided with the opportunity to develop business, personal, and philanthropic growth through shared experience and dialogue inspired by renowned companies and the most important thinkers of today
JZ: We urge people to grow outwardly instead of inwardly. Collaboration is our modus operandi. Our lifestyle engenders personal growth in ways I’ve never before experienced. That’s what enables us to build such an amazing SS community and will position us to create dramatic change in the future.
JC: Summit Series is also a lifestyle that encompasses adventure, travel, and dreaming big. There’s no office, there’s no business attire, and we can operate our company from any city in the world (as long as there’s WiFi.)
MK: Josh and Justin nailed it!
What were you doing before becoming part of the Summit Series travel team?
JC: I graduated from Indiana University in the Spring of 2009. For the last five years I’ve run my own event business and have produced more than 600 events, ranging from fashion shows with Pharrell and N.E.R.D to private performances by DJ AM and P Diddy.
JZ: After graduating from Yale in 2006 I spent some time working in the financial services industry in New York. After working with a start-up in LA, I was approached by Brett Leve, a hometown friend about changing the world with Summit Series.
MK: I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in spring 2008. More recently I launced a mulit-media and creative development More recently, I launched a mutli-media and creative development company called Attainment Media. I produced a video on Summit Series Miami event and they asked me to come on board full time several months later. I’m helping build Summit Series community, and I’m also overseeing programming for our upcoming summit in Washington, DC.
Was it difficult to put your promising young companies on hold to become an employee?
JC: It was a unique transition. It’s always hard taking a new step, or making a change, but my current role in Summit Series is as familiar as it is different. Before joining SS I was accustomed to running my own events, as the chief architect of the function. Now I’m part of a team. There are several different opinions to consider rather than just my own.
JZ: I’ve always wanted to live this way, I’d just never found anyone else that wanted to do it with me. I’m incredibly impulsive and thought I was pretty progressive until I met the Summit Series team They take going against the grain to a new level. They’re game changers and I wanted to get involved.
MK: There are very few companies I would drop everything and go work for – Summit Series is one of them. Simply put, my job is amazing! I get to meet the most innovative young people in the world on a daily basis and put them in touch with each other. We also get to live and work in some of the coolest cities in the U.S., so it was a no brainer when I got the call.
What was it like to just pack up and leave everything you ever knew to chase opportunity?
JZ: Logistically it was a nightmare. In 5 days I broke the lease on an amazing apartment overlooking the Pacific Ocean, scheduled my car to be shipped back home to my parents who conveniently needed another car, and “sold” all the other stuff I had recently purchased.
JC: The emotions produced by such a monumental transition are emotions I strive to feel, and ones I’ve felt before. Two years ago I wanted to reflect on my life and did something similar. I took my savings and the clothes on my back and went alone to South America. For a portion of 2008 I participated in humanitarian work, traveled through the continent, and lived with strangers whom I could barely communicate with. This experience enabled me to open my mind, and when the Summit Series team presented me with an opportunity to achieve this same feeling, I had to take it.
MK: One word: liberating
What advice do you have for young people trying to surround themselves with a group of people that they can feed off of every single day?
JC:You must locate your niche and surround yourself with people who are positive, cohesive, and respectful. Find a group of people that are like minded in their ambitions, but uniquely skilled in a way that helps the unit operate.
JZ: Be open minded. Remove “can’t” from your vocabulary. Don’t put anything to next week or next year or 5 years from now that you can do today. Don’t just “try.” Set tangible goals and knock them out of the park. Push the envelope. Have the awkward conversation. Avoid people who promote the status quo.
MK: Building the right team is the most important element of a successful company. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses (including you), so surround yourself with people who are good at the things you’re not as skilled at. You need a vision, but the most important thing is having a team that can execute it.
For more information please visit http://DC10.SummitSeries.com. These guys are putting on an amazing event with the world’s most incredible young leaders. DC10 takes place May 13-16 and Under30CEO plans to be on the scene. Follow some past attendees on Twitter.
Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO urging people to drop the 9-5 and get passionate about something. Follow him on Twitter @MattWilsontv as the Gen-Y spokesperson looking to help every young entrepreneur on the planet.
Category: Entrepreneur Interviews