“It was April 2014...I was leaving home at 6.30am and returning home at 7pm, five days a week, for work. I literally started my day waking up to an annoying abrupt alarm."
"I would drag myself out of bed trying not to wake up my partner, shower and get dressed into work clothes that I didn’t like wearing. I got my coffee on the run and would race to the train station, sometimes having to sit on the floor of an overcrowded train and spend the next 90 minutes on a grotty train next to uninspiring, sad looking people, all to arrive at a job that didn’t excite or challenge me to be creative. Not to mention I was waking up with chronic headaches, had poor eating habits, no desire or time to exercise and would come home exhausted and be in bed by 8pm. I kept thinking, ‘what the hell?!”
This was Kaylene Langford’s “What the hell am I doing?” moment.
Drawing on her own experience of leaving the safety of a full time job working for Queensland Council of Social Services, Kaylene decided to shake things up and focus on doing something she was passionate about - educating young people to follow their dreams.
“My career has generally taken a path of helping people get a hand up in life. A couple of years ago I started a youth mentoring program for at risk young people that is still running today.
So, she started her own business: StartUp Creative, a business incubator, development and mentoring program for young people.
"When I dreamt up the idea for StartUp Creative I combined two things I’ve always enjoyed doing, working with inspiring young people and helping people to get ahead in life,” Kaylene explains.
One of the workshops she offers through StartUp Creative is her What The Hell Am I Doing? Workshop, which helps foster the spirit of entrepreneurialism and is an opportunity for young people aged between 18 and 35 to gain an insight into starting and running a business in our tech-savvy age.
She strongly believes that if you’re not engaged online in some capacity with your business, then you are missing out on a huge advantage. She also believes that the current mentality surrounding business is outdated.
“Let’s challenge the 9 to 5 notion and full-time employment traditions. I think there is a lot to be said about wasting time filling our days with pointless tasks and meetings just to fill in the hours so you can go home with a paycheck. I would like to see young people starting and running innovative businesses that utilise the brilliance of technology, explore alternative working environments and create space for colleagues to have healthy and happy work/life balances.
“You can walk into this workshop with absolutely NO idea or any prior knowledge of anything to do with business and I guarantee you will walk away with a clear direction of how to turn your passion into your business,” she says.
Her top advice for people considering starting their own business? Start with a to-do list. Make sure it is something you love. Be prepared to hustle and not give up. Keep focused and take everyday as it comes.
“By 2020 I want to see our city innovate and grow successful businesses, entrepreneurial businesses. I want to create an empowering culture among the young people in Australia, I think the fearlessness, impassioned nature of young people should be embraced - give them the tools to be empowered. Entrepreneurialism is not something that is taught at schools, we should be teaching kids the skills they will need in the real world.”
To end our little chat, I asked Kaylene to reveal three of her favourite home-grown brands and these were her responses:
1. I can’t live without Aesop Skin Care products that was founded out of Melbourne.
2. I love what Bailey Nelson are doing around the globe, originally out of Sydney.
3. Moana Bikini are killing it and they are run from a warehouse down the road from me in Burleigh.
Find out more about StartUp Creative’s What The Hell Am I Doing? Workshop on Saturday, March 7, 2015 here.