One of the people who inspired me this past year was the guy with the biggest heart I know, Matt Coulter co-founder of the Young & the Brave.
“The Young and Brave Foundation began from LOVE. In 2010, founders Nathaniel Curran and Matt Coulter were hit with a devastating blow, when a loved one was diagnosed with the unthinkable: cancer. It was a complete shock to all, and no one knew quite where to turn. Not ones to sit on the sidelines, Nathaniel and Matt jumped into action; helping raise money to cover medical expenses, creating community awareness and offering support to their friend in need. It was the fight for life that occurred after the diagnosis that truly opened their eyes to the harsh realities of cancer. From this experience, Nathaniel and Matt’s passion for helping others was born.”
Their mission statement is authentic, simple and resonates with everything they do, “We believe in you, we believe in LOVE and we believe in your right to fight like hell!”
There are very few people that I have met who fight as tirelessly as Matt does for this cause. Real talk – it took us almost 3 months to set up this shoot because he spends every waking moment that he has, making sure, that the kids they work with know that they are loved, honored and most of all that they have a team of people fighting for them. He doesn’t just do the fundraising and networking, most of his time is spent on the road doing home visits and creating more opportunities to raise awareness. This dude breathes fighting the crap out of cancer.
They are currently featured on Sevenly and have the coolest bracelet collection with Bead Relief, designed by the lovely Renee Bargh. Each purchase supports these children and their families financially to make each day easier.
Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Matt Coulter, Dreamer
That’s a pretty full question. I dream of a lot of things. Mostly I dream of the idea of being able to carve out a space in this world that will allow me to move freely, from opportunity to opportunity. These opportunities are moments that will allow me to give to others without wanting, expecting or needing anything in return. Spending my life creating moments like that is worth pursuing.
Two things. LOVE and failure. It’s cheesy but the moment you learn to love yourself everything changes. I don’t mean in a narcissistic way but being confidant, comfortable in exactly who you are and knowing what you want. Once I figured that out I learned that this life isn’t about what I can do for myself but what I can do for others. Failure is viewed as this bad thing, a terrible outcome, when actually it’s one of the most powerful tools. Learning that it is ok to fail and actually important was a huge changing point. Nothing worth having is going to be easy and certainly not going to happen without obstacles. Failure isn’t failure if you learn from your mistakes and become better. My greatest successes came from lessons learned while failing.
For me it happened at 24. I had all the successes, toys and material things that deemed me successful. Sitting in my spa, in my backyard of my dream house I had everything I could of wanted. In that moment I realized I was chasing something that wasn’t real. I was doing what I was told. Working hard to buy stuff that should make me happy. Difficult lesson to learn at that age. The idea of everything you were pursuing was pointless and figuring out that I was along way from anything that truly mattered. I didn’t conceptualize this all in one moment but this was starting point. Always darkest before the dawn.
My family gives me hope. It took them a while but they see my dreams. They believe in my dreams. Having people believe in you is incredibly powerful. The hope they give me drives me every single moment. Their hope let’s me know I really can accomplish anything I can dream.
The idea of legacy to me is leaving something better than you found it, is critical. It’s about creating something that gets better with time.
Message to the world in 30 Seconds
The second you realize this life isn’t about you, everything changes. When your focus and honest intention is to give, you will never want for anything. Loving one another with blind faith is the only way through this life, lead by example.
The idea that LOVE is the only thing worth chasing. With love you don’t chase things but rather moments. Moments are the only things you take with you, and the only things worth leaving behind.
What advice would you give to yourself at 7 years old, 17 years old, 27 years old?
7 year old Matt
I would say don’t stop playing tennis, you could be really good and your never going to the NBA. Hahahhaha.
17 year old Matt
I would say don’t worry about other people think of you, they’re only worried about themselves.
27 year old Matt
I would say don’t worry, you will end up happier than you ever thought possible.
My Dad and my two grandfathers. Looking back the thing that has made all three of these men held in such high regard by so many is that they put others before themselves. Selflessness. The greatest teachers lead by example, I’ve been blessed with three.
Favorite non physical attribute about yourself
The fact that I laugh at my own jokes. If you can’t believe in yourself why should anyone else?