Student shares tips for success


Kara Willingham

Since his adolescent years Kent Healy, 24, communications has been involved in business and making a name for himself.

“My job is to give people the info and tools they need to create the life they want,” Healy said.

As a motivational speaker, life coach and self-made business man, Healy has had an on-again off-again relationship with Saddleback College. A student for about three years, he has taken time off to focus on his business endeavors and write a book.

Healy’s first business experience began thanks to his love of the beach. The New Zealand native visited Santa Cruz with his brother Kyle Healy, 22, geography at UCLA, in their early teens and they became interested in skim boarding. When they returned to New Zealand, however, they searched for the right boards but could not find any.

“We thought, what is the opportunity here,” Healy said. “Our only option was to make our own [boards], so we made our first generation and told our friends.”

The first version of the Healy skim board was ugly, as Healy describes, and not very functional. Although their friends laughed at the unsuccessful first trial, the brothers went back to the drawing board and started taking orders from their friends and the public for their next model.

“One day a surf shop called and asked us to send some skim boards for them to sell,” he said. “We had a fast growth process but the company ended up being shut down because Kyle and I weren’t running our business effectively.”

The brothers had put all their earnings under their bed in a plastic tupper ware, as any logical 14-year old might. Not knowing how to close a business deal, the boys found their money dwindling.

Finally overcoming their hurdles, the Healys joined forces to collaborate on a book.

“We had a lack of real world skills and that is what started the movement for the book,” Kyle said. “It was an evolution, a process.

Entitled “Cool stuff they should teach in school,” the 303 page book is filled with ways to better oneself using common knowledge and things that get skipped over in traditional classes.

“The point of my first book is balance your education,” Healy said. “You have to learn how to get along with others, manage money and communicate. Life skills are the fundamentals for this game called the game of life.”

Kyle affirms his brother’s business beliefs and is thankful for the opportunities they were given.

“So many people go to business school and struggle because it’s all in theory,” Kyle said. “Getting into business at a young age gave us a taste of what it would be like.”

Healy got some of his inspiration for the book from his own educational experiences.

During his time at Saddleback, Healy has met instructors who have made a profound impact on him.

“Dr. Newell was extremely helpful and supportive,” he said. “Joe Tinervia I met through the business honors program and he edits a lot of my material before I get it published.”

This semester, Healy has developed a friendship with Professor Merrifield, who teaches life lesson himself through his cultural anthropology class.

A relative newcomer to the literary community, Kent Healy has had the opportunity to work with famous authors as well at speak at many business and college functions. He has written artciles for The Orange County Register, OC Metro, and several other community papers throughout Orange County.

As a life coach, Healy offers a unique perspective thanks to his success at a young age.

“I do personal coaching with students to figure out what their purpose and real drive is to become motivated,” Healy said. “A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Let’s learn from others who have been successful.”

Although he has accomplished so much Healy does not consider himself perfect and acknowledges that there is always room for individual growth.

“I look at myself as under constricted committed to learning and improving,” he said. “This whole journey has showed me that we are capable of so much more.”

The advice he gives to students and clients comes for his own experiences. The number one priority that Healy teaches to capitalize on is to find what you are passionate about, what is most important to you as an individual.

“I have people list their priorities as an exercise,” he said. “Things become a lot more clear when you set a specific goal.”

A major reason why people struggle is because of the constant action the world finds itself in.

“We all say we are so busy and the last person we take time to work on is ourselves,” Healy said. “We need to think about how to use our skills and abilities. The opportunities are always available but they are reserved for those who look for them.”