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Join us in this inspiring episode of The Youth Mentor Podcast as we sit down with Wil Massara, a visionary social entrepreneur who started his journey at just 11 years old. Wil takes us through his incredible story, from revolutionizing youth leadership with the Youth Leadership Academy Australia to consulting for governments and organizations, bridging the intergenerational gap.

In this conversation, you’ll discover Wil’s personalised approach to working in schools, the invaluable lessons he’s learned along the way, and his top tips for building credibility in the youth space. We delve into strategies for creating engaging conferences that centre around the young people in the room, even with multiple speakers and large audiences. And he shares how he kept going, even when there were only a few people in the room to begin with.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting, Wil’s insights provide a powerful guide for anyone looking to make a lasting impact on youth. Don’t miss this episode packed with wisdom, experience, and a vision for the future.

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Sound bite

[00:00:00] Wil: I think passion alone isn’t enough for you to be able to survive in a space like this.

[00:00:06] You also do need some structure. And that credibility and you get that through practice, you get that through showing up. We could have easily have canceled the, the first tour where we had 12 people in the Gold Coast. If we canceled that one, we wouldn’t have 1500 people in the Brisbane event today…

generic intro

Hello and welcome to the youth mentor podcast. This is your short burst of inspiration tips and research about teens for parents, educators, and mentors. I’m your host, Amanda Rootsey, founder of teen personal development school Shine From Within and coach to incredible youth mentors all over the world. Now I certainly don’t know it all.

So I interview the experts about what’s going on for youth today. From psychological insights to really practical advice, this is your moment of inspiration, motivation, and a few laughs amidst the ever changing world of teens and tweens.

Episode Intro

[00:00:55] Hi, there. Thank you so much for being here today. I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy this episode. We’ve got a truly remarkable guests with us, a young social entrepreneur who embarked on his journey at the age of 11 and has been making waves ever since. Our guest today is Wil Massara. He’s a visionary in the world of youth leadership. At the age of 15, he founded the Youth Leadership Academy Australia. Or (YLAA) which has become the largest youth led provider impacting over 30,000 lives and earning the trust of over 1000 schools. 

[00:01:26] And he’s only 21. Wil’s expertise extends to consulting for governments and organizations, amplifying youth voices globally. I’ve been hearing about Wil for a few years now from teens who have experienced one of his events and youth mentors and speakers who have shared the stage with him, they all say such wonderful things about him. And, um, yeah, today we’re going to dive deep into Wil’s incredible journey. 

[00:01:49] We’ll explore how he got started, how to keep showing up, even if there are only one or two people in the room to start with. His top tips for building credibility in this youth space and the consultation process that he goes through with each school and each program to ensure that it’s personalized to the students in the room. We also discussed his thoughts on how to have an impact on youth, no matter your age and what that looks like, how that can be really successful and the importance of intergenerational communication and holding space for, for all of us and a little about his semi digital nomad life that he’s been exploring and how he’s been, you know, trying to make it work to have the freedom and have sustainability and still have an impact and purpose. 

[00:02:30] And, um, yeah, I loved that part of the conversation as well. I loved it all. Let’s just get into it.

 

Episode Begins

Welcome Wil, I’m so excited to have you here the Youth Mentor 

[00:02:39] Wil: Podcast. I’m so excited to be 

[00:02:42] Amanda: here. Thank you. And you are, um, in Melbourne at the moment. Have you just been in the middle of a bunch of events around the 

[00:02:49] Wil: country? I have been, we have done, we’ve done the last seven days traveling and started the week in Perth, then went to Darwin, went into Arnhem Land and then over to Sydney and into regional week by Friday night.

[00:03:02] Amanda: Amazing. And is this, um, what have you been doing? Has it been kind of the same event everywhere or? 

[00:03:08] Wil: Uh, we’ve been delivering quite a few different programs, but some, some in school programs. I then went and assisted one of my friends in a program in West Arnhem Land for their youth leadership summit, which was super exciting to be able to support them.

[00:03:21] Uh, and then we just delivered a youth council retreat in, uh, Chuka for the Shire of Hay. 

[00:03:29] Amanda: That’s amazing. 

[00:03:31] It just sounds like you have, um, such a diverse kind of set of skills and offerings and, and we’ll just get in and work with young people in any way you can really. 

[00:03:42] Wil: Well, my biggest thing is we never give a program off the shelf because I know that two different schools have two different dynamics just as much as two different communities.

[00:03:50] And it’s naive for us to go in and think that they’re going to have the same problems and same. Yeah. Roadblocks and same obstacles. And I think that it’s both personal factor for whether it’s a client of a school, whether it’s client of a community, they, they know that we really care because we have that extreme consultation period of how do we perfect this program to actually meet your outcomes?

[00:04:12] Amanda: Yeah. And so, um, what does that consultation process look like? 

[00:04:17] Wil: An example would be like how tailored we go is we had a, have a school program happening in Perth next week. Last month we caught up with the, this, this, uh, group’s year sixes, this year’s year sixes to talk about the problems that they felt that they had in not preparing, being prepared for year six.

[00:04:34] So next week when we go and talk to the fires, we can really tailor it towards the problems that were already faced and the things that the year six, current year sixes wish they knew when they were in year six. 

[00:04:44] Amanda: Amazing. So you’re actually consulting with with the 

[00:04:46] Wil: kids. Yeah. As part of that. And then we’d like prior to that, we obviously had teacher conversations to, to meet the values and the alignment with the school as well.

[00:04:55] Amanda: Oh, that’s incredible. Sorry. We’ve just jumped right in there. Would you mind telling us a little bit about how you, how you started, yeah, your youth leadership academy and, um, yeah, all about you. 

[00:05:07] Wil: Yeah, I guess my entrepreneurship and leadership journey begins when I was 11. Um, I started my first business, it was called Planopedia.

[00:05:14] It was a Wikipedia of planes and it came off the back of identifying a problem that my mom was always stressed at airports. It’s pretty common that there’s either airport dad or airport mom and they’re both stressed. Um, and as an 11 year old, I said I was going to solve the problem and open up my computer.

[00:05:31] And typed how to build a website and ever since then I’ve learned the skills of marketing, branding, partnerships because four years later, then went on to work alongside Qantas and Singapore Airlines as a 15 year old just standing on the runway in what I like to call ad dash shorts and a t shirt. And it was that sort of moment that clicked.

[00:05:50] It was like, I always felt a little bit differently and I always thought them differences were holding me back. But there was that, that moment that clicked. It was like, maybe these differences are my superpower. And when I was looking around and there was no other young people there by about four decades, um, I felt Very frustrated and against in another problem.

[00:06:08] Not all young people know, know and are aware of opportunities of leadership and entrepreneurship. And I just wanted to host a one day event in Perth with 65 with a few young people. And we started Youth Leadership Academy Australia in that in that February of 2018 while I was in year 11. And over the course of probably three or four months, I just started picking up a phone call during recess and lunch breaks and cold calling every single school in Perth.

[00:06:34] As a 15 year old with quite a high pitch voice and asking them to come to our event. And in August of 2018, we did host that first event with 65 young people, four schools. Um, and we had epic results and it was just kind of said, okay, this is what we’re doing now. And we went full steam ahead from there.

[00:06:52] Wow. 

[00:06:53] Amanda: And so, um, from all of my stalking of you, did you, I understand you then didn’t bother with year 12 and just went straight into your business? 

[00:07:02] Wil: Um, I finished year 12. I didn’t graduate though. Uh, in the start of year 12, I made some decisions that were completely out of ego. Um, and I have enough self awareness to say that now, I know that now, but it was like, I left ATAR.

[00:07:16] I had conversations with the principal and conversations with the teachers and they’re like, well, you’re never going to go to university. But I was always, I, I was now known as this entrepreneur. I had been in entrepreneurship for nearly four or five years. Um, And I felt like I had to live to this expectation.

[00:07:30] And whilst also doing that in year 12, we did do our first national tour, which absolutely, absolutely failed. Um, I think we had 12 people in the Gold Coast. We had one school in Sydney, but we still showed up. We still showed up for their moments. Post that it took a lot of reflection of what does this actually look like?

[00:07:50] Why did we start in the first place? And that’s what led us to, just before Covid selling out all of our events in 2020, which was super exciting. Um, but as we went into 2020, there was sort of that awareness of, I don’t know anything. I don’t know , I don’t know anything about business. We were growing faster, very, very fast.

[00:08:09] And I was like getting a little bit scared. Um. And I went back to sort of the education pathway and did two really crucial things, and they’re the two things that I put down the survival of YLAA, which is Youth Leadership Academy. Um, and that was one, get a business coach and to start my MBA, which I feel very lucky to be, have been able to start my MBA at 18, my master’s in business, because if I had to do it undergrad, I probably would have thrown it in, but I was super lucky because all of the assignments, all of the components of the degree I was able to do on Youth Leadership Academy, which was super exciting as well.

[00:08:48] Amanda: Amazing. Oh, how cool. Um, what, what an incredible reflection to kind of go, okay, these events failed, but, um, that doesn’t mean it’s all a failure and, and yeah, time to chuck it in. Like, it’s amazing. 

[00:09:05] Wil: The only reason it failed, I believe was that, that ego element. And it was like, uh, I was 17. I was traveling around the country.

[00:09:13] I was I was 16, actually traveling around the country. I was like, this is so cool. But it was like a bit of a snap. Back to reality. And it was sort of that first, I can, the first pit that I had in, in entrepreneurial journey as well. I bet it wasn’t the 

[00:09:29] Amanda: last. 

[00:09:30] Wil: Oh, and then after our sellout, our last event was on the 18th of March in 2020.

[00:09:37] So the next, the next few years did bring us a lot of them, um, humbling, but also. We made a really big commitment during 2020 and it was we would host the events no matter what the cost and this was during like we went from one myself in the team to five in the team in the space of two months. We’re growing so fast.

[00:09:57] And I remember at the end of 2020, I was in WA so I wasn’t really in lockdown at all. I would start the morning watching the New South Wales press conference move to Queensland, move to Victoria, move to South Australia, and I just had a A chart of all the border closures on like red, green or yellow, and you when they’re all going to open and we still successfully hosted all the events in 2021.

[00:10:21] I think we’re the only group of five people that traveled into every single state in Australia in March. It did take a bit of, we did postpone a couple events but we still showed up again in them in their moments because we knew young people needed us more than ever in that peak because we weren’t the only one going through the isolation.

[00:10:40] Yeah, yeah. 

[00:10:42] . And I think like, if you look at the stats, the biggest thing that’s fueling the epidemic of anxiety, depression, sadness is in young people’s lack of community and connection as well. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:10:55] Amanda: So if you were starting leadership academy now, or, um, yeah, if you think about people that just have that little dream at the moment that they want to impact young people, they want to hold space for them, they want to do it their way.

[00:11:10] Or maybe they’re even a teacher that wants to kind of get out of the system and really develop, um. Resources are going to help with life skills. Sorry. 

[00:11:19] Wil: It’s funny you said it. The amount of teachers that ask us for jobs is like so much. I’m like, I’m sorry, I’m not pitching. Wow. That’s interesting. Yeah.

[00:11:29] It’s really exciting. Um, I think like the biggest. I’d say the biggest thing that I’ll put to our success would be, in the most humble way possible, is the personal brand that I built over many years. And I started building my LinkedIn profile because my mum said I couldn’t have Facebook, so I downloaded LinkedIn instead, um, and had, had it from a very, very young age.

[00:11:51] But From that, I started building an asset and that was the network that I had built, um, and the credibility I’d started building within the space, as well as that I had volunteered for so many years in so many different organizations and so many events. So people already knew who I was and was ready to also have my back as well.

[00:12:10] Um, I’m a big believer in what goes around comes around and I believe that in the youth space as well. I also think for young people and all kinds of people who would want to enter the youth space with, with, and they have the passion. I think passion alone isn’t enough for you to be able to survive in a space like this.

[00:12:30] You also do need some structure. And that credibility and you get that through practice, you get that through showing up. We could have easily have canceled the, the first tour where we had 12 people in the Gold Coast. If we canceled that one, we wouldn’t have 1500 people in the Brisbane event today, um, the, the second year we had 24 people in Brisbane.

[00:12:52] Did we cancel? No. We kept showing up. We, we, that, that was the first event where we lost 70 overnight due to Covid, but. We still showed up. And I think that’s the most important part in building trust with any organization or with a school or with students is that consistency, um, that consistency, and also showing up with competence, proving that you’re getting the results, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s going to build up your brown brand, your, both your personal and your organization’s brand.

[00:13:20] Uh, and I think they’re both critically important because when you need to build up a brand, which I think we’re struggling with right now, and some approaches that we’re going through is. When a school calls us or when we call a school, we say, hello, is this like Wil Massara Youth Leadership Academy? And we’re like, well, yes, but that’s something we’re trying to remove from it because the reliance on me is so strong now.

[00:13:42] So being able to build up both of them consistently while also knowing that maybe in 10 years you want to step away from it and for it to continue to thrive, it needs to thrive without you. 

[00:13:53] Amanda: Love that. So many gold nuggets in there. Um, I just thought it’s such a great reminder. I think, um, you know, for people that are watching what you do and look at the work that you’re doing, uh, and look at other youth organizations, they, you know, we only see the, the celebrations and the things going really well, but, um, you don’t see those times that you turned up and only had one person in the room.

[00:14:16] Um, and we don’t realize the power of continually showing up like that. Um, Until, you know, down the track 

[00:14:24] Wil: during COVID. I worked at a call center doing sales. It’s the worst job I’ve ever had in my life. That’s what I had to do to keep, keep things moving forward. And then when we went through our second round of COVID, I started doing door to door sales to simply make payroll that week.

[00:14:40] It was like the moments that shaped the resilience that we needed to, to be able to provide the young people with, because if we give up, why do we expect? How, how should we expect any other young person to keep moving forward if we’re ready to give up? Yeah, yeah. And I feel the responsibility that we have as providers in the youth space, incredibly incredible.

[00:15:03] I feel like the responsibility is very high and very much so. Um, and I encourage and hope that all people working with young people also feel responsible because The, the reality is we, we do have the ability to shape minds and hearts of, of the young people. And I think there’s a missing element of, there’s an assumption that things like empathy, compassion, respect, leadership, how all things are taught around a dinner table, when in reality, if they are, that’s a huge privilege.

[00:15:35] Absolutely. Yeah. 

[00:15:37] Amanda: Yeah. And are they the sorts of things, is it getting back to those, um, those core values and helping young people to develop that for themselves and, and. Build that self awareness, I suppose. Is that kind of the core behind the message that you’re delivering in your programs? 

[00:15:54] Wil: Yeah, we’re getting really clear on that.

[00:15:55] Leadership isn’t just about leading a group of people, but it’s also leading yourself. And what that looks like is self awareness. So what that looks like is self talk. What that looks like is confidence. Um, and that then the elements of integrity and, and building them out within yourself and then values.

[00:16:11] But then being able to use them to not only lead yourself, but your schools and your communities as well. Um, which then looks like the upskilling communication and collaboration. Amazing. Oh, wow. It’s, it’s, it’s like the funnest job in the world as well. Like, you get to hang out with young people. They come up with so many cool ideas.

[00:16:29] And for the first time, when you ask them what their opinions are, and you really do ask them meaningful questions, that’s when you start getting meaningful responses as well.

[00:16:37] And we have been very aware for the past few years that I am growing up. And we.

[00:16:49] Recently, we had a full year of youth advisory body board who really did advise us on the programs and that’s about to get implemented again of young people who are in school facing the problems facing the struggles and facing adversities. So then we know really what’s happening rather than making the assumptions.

[00:17:07] Yeah, 

[00:17:08] Amanda: Yeah, I love that you have that external that advisory board within the organization, but then you also take it that step further with the actual bookings and getting to know the specific clients too.

[00:17:21] Not just necessarily the teachers and what they think that the young people need. 

[00:17:26] Wil: Yeah, that’s the way we Wil, it’s, it’s, it leads to a greater impact program, leads to greater, greater results, which then in turn builds your credibility, but it also creates meaningful long term change rather than just coming in, having a bit of momentum for a week and then nothing actually happening afterwards.

[00:17:42] Amanda: The thing that can come up quite a bit with, um, with our youth mentors is in the beginning, they kind of feel like they need to know everything or they need to develop the perfect program and like say the right things. And it’s always when you just shut up and let them talk and like ask the right questions.

[00:17:58] Like you said, that you actually can, that’s when the magic happens. 

[00:18:02] Wil: Hey, yeah. Every time that we’ve tried to plan the perfect, perfect program, um, that never actually happens. We have a guide. We have a rough guide now of what we wanted to do, what we want to achieve by the end of the day or the end of the weekend, but based on what we hear from the young people on the first day or within the the day, we’ll completely change the program to meet their needs on the day as well.

[00:18:27] That’s important about like working with any people, not just young people, but remaining flexible to their needs on and not making the assumption that you’re going to come in and they’re all going to be ready for to be to learn about self awareness. Maybe they’re not at that stage. Maybe you need to break it down a little bit more.

[00:18:45] Yeah. 

[00:18:47] Amanda: And do you find what’s helped you in feeling confident in showing up and being flexible? 

[00:18:53] Wil: I think doing it time and time again, doing it time and time again, even when there’s, even when it’s hard, even when there’s no one necessarily there, even like Last year we had, we had a nice little Daily Mail article about me, which did cop quite a lot of backlash.

[00:19:13] Oh yeah. It said like, there was the headline was, you know, how Daily Mail likes to do it with. Um, but even then there was so much hate and it was that the momentum and the people that had around me and the constant reminder that young people are our number one priority, that keep us moving forward. And remembering that you’re the one fighting the fight, you’re the one on stage, I know Brene Brown says it quite a lot and there Wil always be critics in the, in the nosebleed section.

[00:19:42] Ready to throw apples at the other ones in the arena. Yeah, well, 

[00:19:46] Amanda: how did you, how did you deal with that? How did you recover from that? 

[00:19:51] Wil: We got some nice press in return. Yay. Um, yeah, it was an incredible learning opportunity. Um, but I think like, and again, being very aware on what my values were, who I was as a person, um, and what we really wanted to achieve and knowing that deep, deep down that that was the truth and not what anyone else wanted to say.

[00:20:19] That’s what like. Keeps him moving forward. Yeah. 

[00:20:23] Amanda: Wow. Do you feel like, um, being open to opportunities like that, like looking for PR and building those relationships that you talked about on LinkedIn? Is it that, is that the kind of stuff that’s, that’s really catapulted the brand and is what kind of gets it visible and gets you the bookings?

[00:20:45] Wil: I don’t think so. I think that builds up my credibility more than the business, um, because I don’t think I, it was very interesting because I hopped on a call with a teacher about a day later. They were like, Oh, I’ve just seen you in the news. And I was like, Oh no. But they were like, yeah, we can, we can read between the lines.

[00:21:00] So that’s very good. Um, but I think like the biggest thing is that LinkedIn part. Or that the social, the LinkedIn and the social proof showing up on LinkedIn, showing up in person, wherever it is, if it’s at events, if it’s at teacher conferences, whatever it is, getting there and getting your name out, um, is, is one of the most important things as well as that.

[00:21:21] And then using the credibility that you build on LinkedIn. To them back up onto it as well, because you can just show up, say, hi, I’m well. And then I often like we get emails. It’s like, I followed you on LinkedIn for years. I’m really glad you reached out. I’m like, I’m glad I reached out to you. But because of the credibility that that has been built there is, and it’s not just, it’s not selling on LinkedIn.

[00:21:46] It’s simply showing social proof of the work that we’re doing from not my perspective, but the perspective of schools, clients and councils, young people, whatever it is.

[00:22:00] Amanda: Yeah, you got more to add 

[00:22:01] Wil: to that? I think so. Okay, cool. 

[00:22:06] Amanda: I feel like I have about a thousand questions that I want to hammer you with, but I’m mindful of, of time and One thing that comes to mind is thinking of like the leadership conferences that you put together, the bigger events where you’re bringing in other people and you’re curating something for different groups of people, how do you, um, how do you do that?

[00:22:28] How do you kind of bring in different elements so that it’s engaging and inspiring and hitting the mark with, um, with like a larger group of people like that larger group of young people. 

[00:22:39] Wil: It has taken many, many years of practice. I remember, for example, a really good example is our first event. No, one of our events, sorry.

[00:22:48] The first speaker got on stage and opened up a book and started reading from the book. Amazing.

[00:22:56] He was, I was very stressed at the back of the room. I was like, this is interesting way to start off an event. Um, and now it’s very much more particular on who we have as speakers, but more than speakers, our number one priority is always facilitators. We don’t bring in emcees, we bring in people who can facilitate conversations and also facilitate the entire event to be able to bring back the points and clean up anything that’s been said, um, between, from questions, from speakers, and a lot of these facilitators.

[00:23:27] Our current one is Amanda Marshall, she’s incredible, um, and helps us design and lead the program. And they like, for example, I’ll answer a question that Wil relate to one person and they’ll bring it back and relate it to everyone. I’m like, thank you. Um, but then in the program design part of it, we had a bunch of educator focus groups that, that post the events this year to really understand what they wanted.

[00:23:51] And we had a youth focus group as well to understand what they wanted. We base it off feedback, like the thorough feedback and the event reports. And then the other part is. Uh, academic research, we do use quite a bit of it and we see ourselves in the space of early intervention. So like leveling up the skills of leadership, self confidence, we all consider that early intervention to be able to build young people up, to be able to lead themselves, their schools, their communities, but how you perfect the perfect event is simply by trial and error.

[00:24:23] And also including the people in your team who are really, really good at it. Um, I know like during the last tour, we had The most incredible team, we sat down with one another, talked about how we like to receive feedback on day one of tour, and then we’d spend the next month together finding the one percenters in each event to be able to deliver.

[00:24:45] We had like 95 plus percent positive feedback from over 600 schools, which was like incredible. And the reason why we go year on year on year is because the The biggest fuel for increasing your schools or the people you work with with his word of mouth, especially. It’s a huge duty of care for a school to trust an organization and that has to be respected as well.

[00:25:14] Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. Wow. I just sounds like you’re. Yeah. Having an incredible impact in the world though. Amazing. 

[00:25:22] Wil: I just feel like we’re doing our part, you know? Yeah. I wish we didn’t exist. That’s the, that, that’s my thing. Amanda, I wish we didn’t have a job to do. I wish every young person was already equipped with the skills, although it was embedded in the education system.

[00:25:38] And I have huge empathy for teachers and edu and schools who have to follow in line with the curriculum that doesn’t necessarily serve, um, our young people for who they are now. They may have 20 or 30 years ago, but not who they are now. And I, that’s how we lead every conversation with schools as well is with that empathy.

[00:26:00] Amanda: Um, yeah, it’s so important. It’s so complex, isn’t it? Um, yeah, it’d be great if we weren’t needed. That’s for sure. 

[00:26:07] Wil: Yeah, exactly.

[00:26:11] Amanda: What would you do if you weren’t doing this 

[00:26:13] Wil: though? My heart is in traveling. You travel full time? Yeah, my heart is voluntarily in traveling. I love exploring and I think I, I traveled full time for two years and then I moved to Sydney and then I started traveling again for three months because I didn’t like winter.

[00:26:30] But I think every time I travel I get a little bit more of that compassion, a little bit more of that empathy, which really, really does help me and to be able to lead our team and to also be able to lead young people with more compassion, with more empathy, with more understanding of the world that we live in.

[00:26:49] And I think that comes from so many different conversations with so many different people from so many different backgrounds, too. 

[00:26:55] Amanda: Yeah, yeah, there’s nothing more, um, there isn’t a bigger teacher than doing that, is there? 

[00:27:02] Wil: Absolutely not. 

[00:27:04] Amanda: Would you take, um, young Aussies over to do like international trips 

[00:27:09] Wil: or anything like that?

[00:27:11] If I had a team to sort out the paperwork, yeah, 

[00:27:16] Amanda: travel insurance, 

[00:27:16] Wil: yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, I

[00:27:23] just, I find it so fun and fascinating every time. And I love new experiences, new experiences.

[00:27:35] Amanda: But for people that do want that. Um, they’re looking to do their own thing because they want that freedom and they want prosperity and sustainability. Like they want their life to feel sustainable too, but they also want the purpose and the impact. Um, could you share any insights on how you’ve made that work, like being able to still have the impact that you have, but also have plenty of time to travel and do the things that you love to do as well.

[00:27:59] And that fills kind of your 

[00:28:00] Wil: cup. I think there’s been definitely compromises to business from traveling as well. And I’m not going to say that I have the perfect routine when I travel because that’s unrealistic. And when I do travel, there is often a, a, not a slump, but there’s less workload being done.

[00:28:17] So there’s less results being, uh, results being left, but. It’s I’m very strategic on when I choose to travel on that being allowed as well. Um, but I think the biggest thing that has made it sustainable is having finding my way to travel that allows me to still work, which has taken a few months and probably a year to actually figure out how it works for me.

[00:28:41] The biggest problem you Wil have if you do want to. To freedom to travel is you find very, you end up with a lot of back pain because you don’t have very good chairs anywhere. Um, but, and then also developing a team around you, you can support, support the organization. For me, I’m very lucky that I don’t have to answer phone calls anymore.

[00:28:59] Um, but if I did, it would be very hard to be in a different country. Definitely. 

[00:29:06] Amanda: And do you tend to like schedule your events in blocks so that you can come back and do like your big tours? 

[00:29:11] Wil: Yeah. And then I. Yeah, I have the intention to stay in the country the full year, next year. Well, besides few weeks here and there, but my intention is to stay in the country for the full year because I’m a little bit exhausted of traveling.

[00:29:25] Um, I think I’m up to flight 70, I dunno, 61 or something of this year. Wow. Which is good year. Yeah. , . I love flying. It’s now not so fun. Um, but I love, uh, 90% of that is for work and there’s just a few. Random trips to India and stuff like that. Um, but yeah, developing the team around you is the number one thing.

[00:29:47] And then also accountability for yourself and what you want to achieve per day. Like do you want your email box to be at zero? Do you, do you, are you still committing to sales goals? You should be. Um. Like what, and what, what does it look like? Because you really still are still setting up the next 12 months.

[00:30:05] And that’s what, what I, it’s like a personal executive retreat. 

[00:30:10] Amanda: I like that. You’ll just have to come up to Noosa a couple of times during the year. It 

[00:30:16] Wil: shouldn’t be. And if you’re looking to do it sustainable, it’s not about not working. If you’re looking to go on a holiday, then it is about not working and relaxing and bringing yourself back.

[00:30:25] For me, traveling has always been about how to make this sustainable for as long as possible. And also, I pay less to travel than I want to pay rent in Sydney, so. 

[00:30:37] Amanda: Yes, I feel you on that.

[00:30:39] Can I ask you one more question? Do you feel like There’s a place for facilitators and mentors, coaches. Whatever they want to call themselves, whatever they’re doing, um, who are, uh, older, like I think of Heather Yellen is a great example. Um, you know, is that still, can they still have an impact and engage?

[00:31:04] Or do you think it needs to be all young, like all quite young people? Like you said, do you feel disconnected at 21? 

[00:31:10] Wil: I think the biggest part element of it is context. If you have context of what young people are facing then and you have young people in your world to be able to have them conversations and be able to ask questions, then regardless of your age, there is no more.

[00:31:23] I think the only way that we do move forward as a general as a society is through intergenerational collaboration. And that means collaborating with both generations above and below to really move forward in a way that we all look forward to. Um, I also think there’s huge amounts of wisdom and. And knowledge to be able to be able to share between generations, both up and down and both ends of the spectrum that we can all learn from.

[00:31:48] Um, and I think that’s the same, not only with age, but any sort of demographic or geographic or, or, um, or background, if you have context and you’re able to have a facilitate conversations in a meaningful way without going in lacking empathy, then you can do it anywhere. That’s my biggest problem is when people go into rooms.

[00:32:12] With conversations about young people with no young people involved in the conversation. Yeah. It’s the same as any sort of community. I can see 

[00:32:23] Amanda: why you’re consulting with local governments and things like that would be so, so powerful to help bridge that gap and facilitate those conversations. 

[00:32:33] Wil: Yeah, I think there’s nothing more powerful and it also empowers young people as well.

[00:32:38] For the first time they’re being seen and heard and understood as a young person. 

[00:32:44] Amanda: Ah, well, it seems so awesome chatting 

[00:32:46] Wil: with you. Thank you. Chat with you too, I feel so lucky and privileged to be able to have this conversation with you. Me too. How 

[00:32:54] Amanda: can people find you? 

[00:32:56] Wil: Uh, you can find me on LinkedIn.

[00:32:59] Sounds like it. Yeah, uh, it’s Wil Massara. I only have one L in my name, full name, W I L Massara. Uh, you can also, if you want some more relaxed content, follow me on Instagram. I talk about GYG quite a lot. What’s GYG? Oh, the Guzman Union is Mexican food.

[00:33:22] Amanda: That was good 

[00:33:23] Wil: to know. Yeah, I’m four times a week. My two passions, Mexican food and young people. I love 

[00:33:30] Amanda: it. Um, I it. Yeah, viewing more Mexican food content. 

[00:33:37] Wil: You Wil. They’re my two, uh, they’re my two constants in life, uh, GYG and the gym, Anytime Fitness. Not sponsored, but they’re in almost every part of the country, so it’s very convenient.

[00:33:48] Anywhere I travel, I’ll find them, and then I feel safe and secure. Oh, 

[00:33:52] Amanda: that’s nice. You’re a little, like, home away from 

[00:33:54] Wil: home. Exactly. Exactly. I should start reviewing the franchises that I go to. Yeah. 

[00:34:02] Amanda: Um, well, I’m excited that you Wil be hopefully speaking with us or joining us in some capacity at the youth mentor conference in February.

[00:34:11] Yeah, it’s gonna be great. Um, yeah, thanks 

[00:34:13] Wil: again. And if there’s any schools around who want to join us at one of our events. Let me know. You can talk. You can talk biz. 

[00:34:21] Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. Yeah. Get in touch with Wil. Well, go to Youth Leadership Academy because it’s not all about Wil. 

[00:34:28] Wil: Australia. Head straight to the website.

[00:34:31] Youth Leadership Academy Australia. We, uh, we should have 12, 000 young people move through the program in March, which is super exciting. It’s mind blowing. 

[00:34:41] Amanda: Amazing. So cool. Ah, thanks Wil. 

Outro

[00:34:44] What did I tell you? Amazing guy. Uh, if you would love to come and ask Wil a whole bunch of questions come and join us at the youth mentor conference from the 19th until the 21st of February, 2024. Uh, he is going to join us live and just, you know, just be there to, to, um, connect with you. We had a big chat about it after this episode. 

[00:35:06] And he’s going to share for about 10 minutes about his story. If anyone that doesn’t know him, and then he’s just going to be there in service of whoever is there answering any questions that you have about working in this space, growing your youth business, um, having an impact on the young people, around you, whatever you want to talk about really. Uh, so come and join us. 

[00:35:24] You can, you can get tickets for their youth-mentor-conference.com. We’ve got some incredible speakers lined up and just by buying a ticket, you get instant access to 12 hours of incredible sessions that we’ve run previously at the conference. Um, yeah. Check it out. youth-mentor-conference.com. 

[00:35:43] I’m so thrilled that Wil was able to join us today for this episode and that we’ll get to play with them a little bit more at the conference. Yay. Thanks for being here. Thanks for listening. And as always, you can reach out to us. Um, I tend to hang out on Instagram, although I’m starting to feel like I’m missing out by not being on LinkedIn. Um, I am on LinkedIn, but not the way that Wil is by the sounds of things. Uh, you can find me just at Amanda rootsy or at shine from within. Ah, shine from within HQ on Instagram. Um, yeah. 

[00:36:15] And you can also leave notes for us and ask questions and all sorts of things on these podcasting platforms now. So reach out anytime and make sure that you subscribe and share it around. If you think someone else would love to hear Wil’s story as well. Thank you and i’ll see you in the next episode 

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