“People like genuine people. People like people who are authentic, people lke people who show up with their true identity. And being Chickasaw is part of who I am.”-Heath Clayton
One of the areas in which I love to dabble is what I call “life system hacking.” The basic idea is finding ways to create a life, circumvent expectations or bypass the norms of which we all are led to believe cannot be bypassed or circumvented. There are a lot of people who write about the subject online, and it can get a bit of a reputation as self-help like content. But I continue to expose myself to it because I think there are gems that can be found, if you know what you are looking for. I was excited to interview someone I think hacked the system quite successfully. That person is Heath Clayton (Chicksaw).
Heath earned a Bachelor’s degree for about $3,000 without stepping foot onto a university campus. After “college” he worked in the White House at age 21. Not after 21 years of working in politics. At 21 years old.
After home school and then earning a bachelor’s degree without going to college, he earned a Master’s from Carnegie Mellon University Heinz School of Public Policy.
Oh, he also achieved a goal of visiting 100 countries by the time he turned 30.
Now he is working to give back to other young Native people with the goal of showing them that much more is possible than they may realize. He’s mentored 40-50 people by his estimate.
It’s a story that you need to hear. It’s a good reminder that there are amazing resources out there to utilize, and there are amazing people that will help you along the way. Have a listen.
When he is not busy working in corporate philanthropy for a consulting firm, Heath Clayton is usually visiting a new country to feed his insatiable curiosity of the world. He spent the last few years working towards a goal of visiting 100 countries before his 30th birthday, a goal he achieved in January 2017. Heath is Chickasaw Indian and attended Carnegie Mellon University for graduate school on a tribal affairs fellowship. Heath previously worked in The White House under the George W. Bush Administration and on Capitol Hill before beginning his consulting career. Mentoring native youth on potential careers in corporate America or public policy excites him, and he is always looking for ways to stay in engaged with his tribe and Indian country.
Some random links mentioned in this episode:
- Code 2040
- Interview with Laura Weidman from Code2040 on Recode/Decode
- Native American Political Leadership Program
- Resources from Carnegie Mellon
- FEMA College Courses