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  • Tyler Jones

Differentiate by Being "Crazy"

Updated: Nov 22

When I was 13 or 14, my younger brother utilized a Christmas as an opportunity to ask for various parts of a computer. Since he was still in grade school, I found this to be incredibly odd and had never heard of a kid doing such a thing. Over the next few months, my brother worked tirelessly to build a supercomputer and I was absolutely blown away. While all the other kids had been playing their new PlayStations and Xboxes, my younger brother had taken a different route that set him apart. Some may consider this “crazy” and I’ve come to believe that’s one of the largest compliments you can give.


When we critically think about the educational system, kids oftentimes think they differentiate themselves by a letter grade or test score. Early on, I sure operated on this assumption. Now, I look for the individuals that are doing something crazy even if it is at the expense of their academic journey. After all, we never hear about the people that do everything by the book.


Throughout college, I’ve attempted to dive into various activities and projects that others view as a bit crazy. I’m not as risky as I’d like to be, but I’ve done the following.


  • Lived & worked in Florida for a summer with my best friend.

  • Invented a durable portable cutting board and raised a little money to start an outdoor equipment company around the idea.

  • Entered an MBA Program right after graduating from undergrad, which allowed me to focus on various entrepreneurial projects.

  • Applied to give a Ted Talk at North Central with little knowledge of what the hell I’d say.

These are a few examples of moves I made that felt “crazy” or “uncomfortable.” My brother has always lived life his way and, although he’s younger, I look up to that. Next time you’re thinking about asking for a PlayStation, think about building your own computer instead.

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