By Sara Tompkins
“When you find something you love more than anything else, do it.” Arel Moodie '05 says that is valuable advice he received as a college student. Before the age of 25, his book, Your Starting Point for Student Success hit No. 2 on the Amazon.com best-seller list. The entrepreneur turned motivational speaker has not only created his personal success, but helped other students reach the same goals.
However, Moodie’s success did not come without obstacles. Growing up in a tough section of Brooklyn, he saw the murders of two people by the time he reached high school. “I was looking for a way out,” Moodie says. “I was hoping that getting an education could be my outlet.”
When he started at Binghamton University, Moodie was intent on becoming a lawyer. However soon after he arrived on campus, he was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship by Prof. Angelo Mastrangelo. Moodie read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad and was instantly intrigued. Then, after having trouble finding off-campus housing, Moodie and Bertrand Gervais '07, created Placefinder.com, a site at which college students, roommates and landlords can connect. Moodie’s interest in entrepreneurship helped him solve his own problems, along with those of other college students. However, his curiosity for the subject did not stop there.
After entering a male pageant, Moodie realized that he did not have a specific talent for that portion of the show. Instead of doing a run-of-the-mill singing or dancing routine, Moodie decided to do a motivational speech. The reward he received was a feeling he would never forget.
By the end of his college career, Moodie knew that he loved two things: entrepreneurship and motivational speaking. He began speaking at small events and gatherings, then attended seminars and read books on self-development and success. However, he soon noticed a trend among those who attended the seminars.
“[They] had already been successful for a while,” Moodie said. “There was nothing for the people that were just starting out.”
That inspired Moodie to write Your Starting Point for Student Success. While his own story of success has yet to be finished, he has inspired students to reach their dreams and do what they love. “I always felt like I never fit into a box,” Moodie explains. “So I decided to create my own.”