The 35U began with a vision to inspire the leaders of tomorrow by telling them about the leaders of today. With millions of people involved in government, education, business and community service across the country, it sometimes may be hard for the 35U to connect to leaders individually simply due to an age barrier. The 35U to us is any young adult from the ages of 18-35 in this country. These individuals have a voice – they can vote, serve, and most importantly, they can make a difference for future generations.

Today’s Q&A feature is Abbey Hilton, Owner of Focus Functional Fitness Center in Boca Raton, Florida. Focus Functional Fitness Center offers personal training and group classes with state-of-the art equipment in 8,000 square feet of indoor space.

Abbey is an inspiration to the youth that want to get involved in entrepreneurship. We caught up with Abbey to find out what leadership means to her and what advice she would give to the next generation of leaders.

Why did you choose this career path?

I chose this career path because I was involved in athletics for most of my life. As a gymnast for 10 years, and a competitive high school athlete, this was an easy transition.

Who inspired you to get involved?

I have had many people and experiences that have inspired me along this journey. I have had wonderful mentors and friendly gym owners that have encouraged me to take the next step, even when I felt inadequate. I have been blessed with a clientele that helped me to see what I didn’t always see as well.

How do you define a leader?

I define a leader by someone that has heart. Someone who is effortlessly passionate and that wants to see others succeed just as much as they want success for themselves. A leader is confident, yet willing to learn. A leader accepts and welcomes constructive critiquing, and uses it to better themselves and their craft.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?

My advice to future leaders is to live your truth. The hardest thing for me was to not conform to what I thought was “desirable” or “normal”. I was never truly happy when I wasn’t living my truth. And that was reflected in what I did. It didn’t seem authentic. Live honestly, help others quietly. It’s not always about the applause.