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Hey there...


things have been a

little crazy lately.

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Hey there...


things have been a

little crazy lately.

 
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here's why...

You see, those who know me well also know that it had always been my dream to live in New York City, regardless of what it was that I would eventually do there.

In May, I graduated from the University of Missouri — a place where I studied strategic communications, wrote a couple books, ran for student body vice-president, and on occasion, had a few too many beers.

Three days after earning my Bachelors Degree in Journalism, I found myself on a one-way flight to New York, where I would continue building a tech startup that I had poured myself into during the latter half of my college career at Mizzou. It wasn't long before stepping off the plane that I realized just how long I had ignored the voice in my head that was screaming, "This is not what you're supposed to be doing!" 

Here's how I got to this point...

 

i was like the least athletic, non-gamer of a young boy.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but sports and video games... they just didn't seem to set my soul on fire. What did set my soul on fire was organizing people, selling things, writing, reading, and learning about life outside the walls of my bedroom or my classroom.

 Not pictured: The time I dressed up as Santa Claus for my presentation on the history of the Christmas holiday.

Not pictured: The time I dressed up as Santa Claus for my presentation on the history of the Christmas holiday.

Instead of going to soccer practice like most boys my age, I went door-to-door selling wrapping paper (and whatever else I could find lying around our house). Instead of playing on my Nintendo, I prepared non-required presentations on the the solar system and delivered it to my family when we went on vacation (okay... that was only once, but I made them buy tickets to it...).

Growing up in Springfield, Missouri, I spent my time collecting books for our local library, and donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; I started a Snack Shack at our neighborhood pool, and at one point I'm pretty sure I ran the highest grossing lemonade stand in the state of Missouri (okay, maybe not... but it paid better than my current gig).

 

in high school, i was the kid you wanted to punch in the mouth,

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because I was involved in just about every club, activity, and organization that somebody my age could possibly commit to. By the time I graduated in 2014, I had started two non-profit organizations that collectively raised over $100,000 for domestic and international causes that I was passionate about. I journaled a lot about these experiences, because I had always been a reader and a writer — never a math and science kind of guy.

So, at 17 years old, just before heading up to Mizzou, I self-published my first book, Life’s not always written in Times New Roman, which is now available in 5 different countries. As time went on, I began to travel and speak at various universities about the things that I had done and the principles that I believed in while also writing my second book, Driven: A Millennial Manifesto.

All of these things gradually opened up a window to my soul that enabled me to meet so many people whom I've been grateful to know and work with in my life. They've made the difference... and it's my connection with those people that brought me back to Kansas City, Missouri about a month ago to be closer to just a few of them; Driven by a curiosity to discover my truest purpose in life. 

 
 My girlfriend Shannon and I in New York City on her birthday this past summer.

My girlfriend Shannon and I in New York City on her birthday this past summer.

And as for my NYC dream?

Well, I've got some other dreams in mind these days... New dreams. I guess it's funny how life changes...

 

Striving to be outstanding is different from being outstanding. Anyone can be outstanding, but it is the few and the famous that have to overcome their personal hardship, break down barriers, and continue striving in order to make their voices 
heard or make their visions a reality.
— Life's not always written in Times New Roman: The untold stories of people like you

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Books


Books


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Media


Media



Success is not necessarily early retirement, having the biggest stack of gold bricks, or being seen in the right places. It’s more about creating a lifestyle that conforms to our needs and the needs of those around us while solving problems that we don’t yet know we have.
— Driven: A Millennial Manifesto

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Contact


  

Contact


  

Interviews and Speaking Inquiries:
riley@rileydeleon.com

Bulk Order Requests:
To order my books, visit Amazon.com or your local bookseller. For orders of 500 copies or more, email me at riley@rileydeleon.com. Bulk discounts on orders less than 500 copies are not available.

 

 

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