The 20-year-old business owner who said he “quietly quit” high school is now close to raising his first million dollars, despite failing year 12.
Wil Massara was just 15 years old when he founded his company Youth Leadership Academy Australia.
Originally from Western Australia, Mr. Massara has always had an interest in problem solving.
He became frustrated with the educational system and the belief that graduating from high school with good grades was the only path to success.
Even as a child, Massara knew this was not true, having started his first successful business when he was just 11 years old.
He created the Planeapidea website, which he dubbed the “Wikipedia of airplanes,” after watching his mother stress out while touring the airport on a family vacation.
The website became so popular that at the age of 15, he became associated with Qantas and Singapore Airlines.
He was also invited to attend a five-day Magic Moments youth leadership and business summit in Sydney, from which he came up with the idea to start the Australian Youth Leadership Academy.
“I thought, I want to bring that event to Perth in a one day forum and that’s when I started the Youth Leadership Academy in Australia, not with the intention of starting a business but with the intention of having a legal or legal business. foundation to accept money,” the 20-year-old told news.com.au.
“We started selling tickets for a one-day event in Perth in 2018 and we had 65 students and five schools.”
Fast forward four years and Mr. Massara is now a sought after consultant and speaker, serving some 500 schools this year and impacting more than 10,000 students.
By starting his business at such a young age, Mr. Massara was pushed aside from his education to focus on his new business.
“I quietly quit before it was a trend. Because I didn’t drop out of school, I failed school.
“In year 12, I had 51 percent attendance and every time I was in school I was working on my business.”
The trend of “quietly quitting” has gained momentum recently, particularly among young workers.
It is essentially a rejection of the idea that work has to take over your life and that you, as an employee, have to go above and beyond in your role.
Instead, people are now going back to doing only the tasks outlined in their job description and politely refusing to take on any more responsibilities outside of that or to work more hours than necessary.
Despite his frustration with the educational system, Mr. Massara still places a high value on education and is currently completing his Master of Business Administration.
Mr Massara said Australia’s workplace culture has changed dramatically in recent years, with workers now moving away from a ‘busy’ culture towards something much more balanced.
“I think it’s realizing that they no longer need to be exploited for overworking and having the confidence to be able to stand up and say, ‘What are our other options?'” he said.
“Five years ago, people bragged about how little sleep they got and that was a measure of success.
“Now the new vibe is, ‘How healthy are you?’ and ‘How much are you working?’ I think that kind of change is a really healthy thing.”
The business owner said this defies the expectation that “you’re meant to work until you’re dead.”
“I think our generation has a real awareness that life is short and things happen and, especially in the wake of Covid, there’s a real awareness that we don’t let the time we have right now go to waste.”
Mr. Massara also placed importance on collaboration between older and younger generations, to ensure that the conversation about different approaches to work and paths to success is met with empathy and understanding from all.
“That intergenerational collaboration is going to be what allows us all to build a future that we can look forward to and build and strengthen those relationships, instead of trying to tear each other down,” he said.
Company will reach $1 million in revenue
Next year, the Australian Youth Leadership Academy will reach the $1 million revenue mark, a goal Mr. Massara never anticipated he would reach, especially not so quickly.
When he first came up with the idea, it was simply to allow him to organize an event in Perth that would hopefully help and inspire some local students.
“We never thought we would be hosting events in every state and being some of the market leaders in youth leadership development,” he said.
Mr. Massara is so committed to making real change in the lives of young people, that he is working to turn the Australian Youth Leadership Academy into a social enterprise.
This means that 100 percent of the profits will go back to youth suicide prevention programs.
“That decision was made in the wake of a series of events this year. We had such epic results, but we also had heartbreaking results,” she said.
The responses to her events made her realize the positive impact she could have, but also that more could be done.
Mr. Massara then asked the question of how his company can double its impact.
“What it looks like now is that we’re looking at corporate sponsorship, corporate partnerships and moving toward a model that has the dual impact of providing early intervention and then funding prevention,” he said.
Massara said he wouldn’t be where he is without all the support he has received along the way.
He enlisted the help of The Entourage, which is Australia’s leading provider of business training and coaching for six, seven and eight figure business owners.
The 20-year-old said the training provider helped him increase the number of schools he was working with from 50 to 750 in the space of 18 months.
“I think that now more than ever, schools, organizations and communities are realizing the power of young people when we work together and when we collaborate,” he said.
“There is no more important time than now after Covid that young people need to come together and be empowered and inspired to create change within their communities.”