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The Next Internet Phenomenon: YSN.com

By: Brian Kim - April 12, 2007

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I got a chance to speak recently with Jennifer Kushell, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Secrets of the Young and Successful, thanks to an introduction by one of my readers (thank you Monique!), who just so happens to work with Jennifer.

Monique was kind enough to send me a copy of the book so I had a chance to read it and I’ve got to say it’s a great book.

It’s easy to read, flows really well, and it’s packed with a ton of information (over 300 pages). It’s the kind of book you have to go back and read again so you can take notes as you go along the way in order to fully extract all the valuable information from it.

There are a ton of good stories in there that show the whole picture, something that most books don’t do, some great advice you should follow (I learned some new tricks myself), and some great exercises you should do as well. It’s the kind of book you wish you had read back in school, because it fills in some of the real world education you normally don’t get in university.

Don’t let the title fool you though– the book is not just for the young. It’s pretty much for anybody wanting to set a foundation to sculpt their idea life, but if you read it at a young age, you obviously have a big advantage there.

When talking with Jennifer, you can’t help but get caught up in her enthusiasm because it’s very obvious from talking with her that she’s passionate about helping people live the lives they want by encouraging them to take ownership and control of their own lives and also providing the means to do so and that’s where YSN.com comes into play.

What is YSN.com?

YSN stands for Your Success Network.

I asked Jennifer to define in one sentence what YSN.com is for those who haven’t heard of it and here’s what she had to say:

“An online universe dedicated to arming young people from around the globe with the tools and resources needed to find their own success in the real world.”

At first glance, YSN appears to be a social networking site, but it’s something much more richer and valuable, something that serves a greater purpose with the potential to change the lives of millions of people around the globe. There’s never really been a central place like this where people can come and tap into the many resources YSN has to offer in order to figure out the life they want and how to live it.

The first thing that popped out about YSN.com was the YSN Self Assessment Test. It’s a very comprehensive test that was the result of countless hours spent with many professionals, including top behavioral scientists and career experts from Harvard University.

This is not your ordinary career/personality type test that you take. It’s the result of consolidating research from multiple perspectives to bring you a unified test. Because of the intensive scientific background, Jennifer spent a lot of the time translating the scientific jargon into easy to understand language so the results wouldn't leave people scratching their heads.

They tested it with among student groups, young professional groups, and scientists in dozens of countries. The results are phenomenal and you can really tell a lot of work went into it. Not only do you get comprehensive feedback about yourself, you also get an action plan as well so you’re not left hanging. Plus, it’s not your typical boring test. YSN made it fun and easy to take as well.

You also have unprecedented access to mentors in specific industries. You can ask them questions, get guidance, offer them help, etc. This is probably something that’s never been available before to the general public. Before, you were at your own mercy and contacts for access, but now you have free reign. And as more and more people learn about YSN, you’ll probably be competing with a lot of other people for time with mentors so either a) get in early right now or b) figure out how to differentiate yourself from the others.

If you’re somebody who doesn’t need mentorship, then you have the opportunity to mentor as well. Not only will you be giving back, but who knows, maybe your students can help you in return. Help others first and help will always be given to you. It may not come from the person you helped, but it will come. It always does.

There’s also a section where you can ask specific industry related questions so if you were ever curious about what engineers do for a living, you can ask questions about it there. If you’ve ever wondered if accountants just crunch numbers all day, you can ask that question there as well. You should also feel free to answer any questions that others leave which you’re familiar, just to contribute, and find people who share similar interests to network with. Who knows, maybe they can help you get your next job or share insights with you to the interview process of a company you’re looking to work for or you may even find your next business partner along the way. There’s a ton of ways you can find people to network with. You can search via location, industry, university, etc. There are also discussion forums you can post in and groups you can start as well.

There have been success stories that have been trickling in as well. Jennifer told me about one person’s dream, which was to become a basketball commentator so through the help of YSN.com, he was able to go work at the X games and snag an internship at ESPN.com. Not too shabby if you ask me.

I really think this can be the next Internet phenomenon that can land on the cover of Time or Newsweek so head over there now to register and take a look around. Tell your friends and family about it. Get in on it early and start networking and finding mentors. Spread the word. The more people that interact at YSN.com, the more diverse the pool of resources and ideas will be and the more help that can be distributed, and the more lives can change.

When I asked Jennifer what her answer would be to a person who asked why they should join YSN in one sentence (I’m a one point, one sentence kind of guy :)) , you know what she said?

“No one else online is more vested in your success than we are.”

She means it too. YSN.com is the culmination of over 14 years of hard work coming from herself and her team. It’s been the the project they’ve been steadily working toward and I’m glad they got it out there now because I think it’s something that’s been sorely needed for quite some time, but never really put together until now and I think it will only get better as word spreads.

When I asked her what she thought would be needed to get YSN.com to that all important tipping point, in other words, when all hell breaks loose and this thing becomes the next Internet phenomenon like Youtube and Myspace, this is what she said.

“When this generation of movers and shakers start to recognize and take ownership of YSN as theirs.”

There’s never been a platform like this before with so many potential opportunities abounding inside.

So take it.

Own it.


YSN.com – Your Success Network.

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2 Responses to “The Next Internet Phenomenon: YSN.com”

  1. » The Next Internet Phenomenon: YSN.com - myspacerip.com Says:

    […] Original post by Self Improvement Blog - BrianKim.net and software by Elliott Back […]

  2. jonathan beaton Says:

    Yo dude,
    I usually appreciate your insight and sense of perspective. I believe that YSN is a great site and love what it stands for. However, I believed the assessment test you are referring to is all but a joke. I am sure if or when you took it, about three questions into it; it was pretty obvious to tell which direction it was going. Most people are far too complex to be pigeon holed into a specific personality type but some internet survey.

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