Have you ever wondered what life is like after Praxis participants graduate? You’re in luck! Justin King, a Praxis grad, shared his entire Praxis story with us:
Hey there! My name’s Justin, and I’m a Praxis alumnus.
I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life, a lot of them being mildly beneficial to loosely inconsequential. Praxis was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In November of 2017, my sister told me about Praxis because she had heard recommendations from a few people in her homeschooling resource group on Facebook. I had been looking for something like Praxis since I began high school. Imagine how elated I was when I realized this career accelerator would actually get me a job in a field I want to work in! I wouldn’t just be taught how to do what I wanted amongst like-minded individuals, but I would get to DO it.
To give more context: before I even heard about Praxis, I would go to my public high school and talk with everyone about how there are different ways to accomplish their dreams rather than throwing in with money-hungry institutions. No, I don’t hate college. If my doctors didn’t have degrees on their walls I probably wouldn’t talk with them for very long. I just hate when someone thinks that they need to attend business school to start a business (or work for one), and I hate when people feel like they have no other option than to continue in old ways when careers are constantly changing. Back then, I knew education was changing but I couldn’t quite get a leg up in that changing time until I found Praxis.
I was ecstatic when I was accepted to Praxis and began my training.
Though I only spent four months in the online boot camp portion, my favorite part was the community. I finally found a place where I could grow with other people that were focused on the same things as me. Building out my personal brand was a really new and exciting experience too, in one month I went from knowing nothing about website creation to a fully functional website that I populated with all different facets of personal branding that I built with my own 10-digits.
But why did I only participate in the bootcamp for 4 months? Well, startups needed more help and they were looking for lots of Praxians (an affectionate term that Praxis participants use to describe themselves). Making the decision to jump into the startup life, sales, and life on my own was not an easy one. Yet, it proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve made towards personal growth for 3 reasons:
Sure, I’ve made my fair share of Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace listings but this was totally different. I got to build my skills as a salesman under amazing coaching in a great environment. By the end of the fifth month of my apprenticeship, I was managing a small team of sales reps.
A lot of people claim to be self-starters and it’s an amazing trait to have, but can be painful to learn when you come from a traditional background as I did. Learning to take initiative and innovate on my own was extremely valuable. Maintaining motivation and keeping integrity to constantly excel can be difficult, especially on those hard days where nothing seems to work and all you hear is ‘No’.
Absorbing all of the common and best practices from leaders in the industry, my manager, and the everyday tools used to navigate all instances inside sales was eye-opening. Salesforce, Hubspot, ClosedWon, Outreach, ZoomInfo, and LinkedIn were all things that I used on a daily basis. Before my apprenticeship, I didn’t even know what any of that software was, let alone how to use it.
I learned more than what’s mentioned above during my time at Yoshi (my business partner). But I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sustain living so far from my family for much longer than six months. So, once my apprenticeship ended, I went back home to spend the holidays with my family and recalibrate. Come the new year, I wanted to put my new skills to the test, so I started looking for sales positions in my area.
But it seemed like every offer had some sort of big catch to it. However, after about 3 weeks of looking, I got a message from Zen Lenon on LinkedIn; she offered me a position as the client success manager at ClosedWon. After going over some details and shadowing a client call, I accepted her offer. Being that Yoshi used ClosedWon for a few months during my apprenticeship, I got to use the product from the client side which gave me insight into the client success role. (It’s funny: within my first week at Yoshi we had a call with Zen and she tried to recruit me over a zoom conference, and now here I am working for her.)
I can accurately say that enrolling in Praxis changed my life for the better.
In the midst of all the changes I made, the personal development stands out the most. It was the feeling of being motivated but having no clue where to start investing that motivation that propelled me through the program. I grew quickly from learning inside the community to building my skills and branding, to moving to one of the biggest tech cities in the nation. My biggest life-changing experience was working and living on my own. I didn’t have a huge push to leave home, so moving propelled me into a new mindset. This mindset taught me how to be more confident, capable, and reliable in my everyday life.
What do I have to say now as a Praxis alumnus? If I had to give one piece of advice to those in Praxis or looking to do Praxis, I’d actually give two pieces of advice.
It’s not a scam in any way.
If you put in the effort, things will work out.
Constantly press into your work, seek out new opportunities, and don’t be afraid of change. Oh, make some quality friends and build a strong tribe (read The Last Safe Investment for the tribe reference) along the way too.
Hey there, I’m Justin. I do my best to make valuable connections between consumers and businesses in order to improve peoples lives. I believe that finding someone/helping someone to create a necessary tool or service is one of the most rewarding connections I can make. Turning dreams, ideas, and passions into tangible things are my goals when interacting with others. My ideal job is a position where working doesn’t resemble the painful process most people imagine. We spend so much time at our jobs and life is too short to hate a single moment.