I didn’t go to college so I can’t be successful, right? WRONG!!!! Bill Gates founder of Microsoft, Larry Elison cofounder of Oracle, Mary Kay Ash founder of Mary Kay, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak cofounders of Apple, Walt Disney founder of Walt Disney Corporation, and Vidal Sassoon founder of Vidal Sassoon, all have something in common….they either dropped out or didn’t go to college. I don’t have to tell you how successful these people are because these names are etched in history. What make them different is that they followed their dreams and worked hard to get where they are now. My point is that you don’t need to go to college or finish college to pursue your dreams. Sometimes you just need to hear the right thing at the right time to make all the difference in the world. Take this for example, have you ever heard a song or movie or even read a book a second time or multiple times later and pick up on something you never heard and it changes how you see that song, movie, or book? It blows your mind! I listen to Les Brown a lot and one of his speeches that I listened to so many times did that to me and even now when I need motivation and listen to his speeches, something new comes to light and changes my view or gives me the fuel I need. You don’t need to go to college to land a great job or have a life changing career, being through college and an MBA program, I can tell you that it only helps guide you and give you the tools to put it into action. You still need to apply what you learn and by no means does it mean you will automatically land your dream job because just as you want that position, hundreds of others want the same position. Always prepare for the opportunity you want and practice your talent everyday so that when the time comes, you are better prepared than the competition. It’s better to prepare for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. You have to set yourself apart from others and know that you can achieve the same if not better success without a college degree. Now I am all for higher education and recommend it to everyone because of experiences you gain from professors and other classmates, plus the knowledge you gain from classes. I know many smart people that didn’t go to college that learned from reading and experiences on specific things they are passionate about, but feel insecure about their knowledge when they speak in front of college educated people. Achieving success is not determined by what school you went to, or if you went to college, or what your grades were, but what you define success to be and how bad you are willing to work at making your dream happen. Don’t let not going to college hold you back because even those who get degrees are no different than you. Smart Decisions. Smart Results.
Tomorrow is MONDAY….ugh!!! I used to think this way all the time and would hate knowing that I’d have to go to work. Work should be something you love to do, something that you would do even if you didn’t get paid for it. You stress out about work, bills, life, and things going on at the time, but stress will be there no matter where you are in life. Life will happen no matter what and problems will come whether you’re ready or not. Have you ever been stressed out about something and it seems that when you’re stressed out, more problems come piling in. It’s like life knows you are down right now so why not add some more problems to your plate. Nothing you do goes well and it seems like anything you try to do to fix it, it goes wrong and another problem comes from it. I’ve learned that the more you let things stress you out, the more things will seem to get worse. What happens is when stress comes, it’s best friend negativity comes along too. All the negative thoughts come in to stress you out more and make you think that you will never solve or get through the problem. Your mind is a very powerful tool that can either HELP you or HURT you and it all depends on HOW you use it. Once you start picking yourself up when problems come and start thinking about the fact that problems will pass, you rarely stress about anything. You have to put positive thoughts in your mind so that it becomes part of your subconscious. What happens then is that when problems come along, negativity doesn’t come with it because you trained your mind to think of the positives and how to solve it without stressing out. Motivate yourself each morning by listening to a positive message or reading positive quotes which will decide what type of mood you will be in for that day. When you are motivated and think positively, opportunities that are always there will become more visible. There are always opportunities around you, but what makes them apparent is determined by what mindset you are currently in. When you are negative or unmotivated, you will talk yourself out of that opportunity or just miss it because you don’t see it. What opportunities are passing you by because of your thinking?
I’ll follow my dream when my ducks are in a row…. I’ve heard that before and have actually thought that way myself. The thing is that you will never have all your ducks in a row to start going after your dream. You just have to decide to go after it no matter what and not be concerned with what’s missing. When I had the vision of opening my own firm, I would tell myself ” OK first finish school” so I did then “OK learn the industry and get licensed” did that and then…what I realized is that you can always find something to do or reasons to postpone before you pursue your dream. Whether it be opening a business, landing a dream job, finishing something that means a lot to you, or just about anything that has significant meaning to you, reasons will find their way into keeping you from going after it. I finally said ” Quit finding reasons to not start the firm” and I just said enough is enough and I went after it. Of course people said it was impossible and that it would require thousands of dollars and that it was the hardest thing to do. I didn’t care and I like writing those things said by others so that I can use it as motivation. Now I started the firm and I’ll admit that it is hard like people said it was, but I love it and don’t see it as something that keeps me up at night nor keeps me from doing it each day. They say it takes about 4-5 years of countless hours, hard work, and determination to reach your dream so know that it will take time and that you may not have all the answers to your questions or questions others may ask you. It’s ok to not know, what matters is that you want to learn it and can reach out to find the answers. My journey will be a long one, but one that will pay off in the end and allow me to reach my second dream of helping those in need and speaking with at risk youths about being motivated to be the best version of themselves. Don’t let yourself get in the way of yourself! If you have a dream that doesn’t seem like it can be done, know that everyone that started to pursue their dream and made it, had those same thoughts as you. You just have to believe that you can do it and don’t stop until you make it. There will be many many setbacks on your path, but don’t get discouraged by it. Ask successful people who reached their dream how easy it was and you will almost always get the same answer….it was hard. You have to be in an uncomfortable mindset because that’s when you grow as an individual and as Thomas Jefferson said “If you want something you never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done”. One more thing to remember is that during your path, reach out to others for help and always be willing to help those starting out because you were in the same spot and can lend a helping hand. Nobody can stop you and nobody can tell you what you can and can’t do so make it happen and go after it.
So you finish high school…all those years of school leading up to being free from homework and going to class. What do you do after that? Well when I finished high school and actually graduated with the help of Mr. Reed even though I had missed so many days of school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was into muscle cars so I naturally wanted to work on them and I had some mustangs that I would dream of building into show winners so I decided to enroll into UTI which is a technical school that taught automotive mechanics. I wanted to go and work for Ford and be a part of their Special Vehicle Team and work on the Mustang Cobra, Ford Lightning, and other concepts. I was ready to go after it even though I had some doubts about it and something inside telling me that I wanted to do something else in life. Then one day as I was on my way out of the house, my dad asked me what I was going to do since I had graduated so I told him my plan on going to UTI. He asked me if that was what I really wanted to do and that if I had thought about going to college. He then told me that if he had the money to send me to college that he would do it, but he couldn’t afford to send me and that he wanted me to work inside and not have to do manuel labor and back breaking work like he did and has done for over 30 years. The conversation we had changed my opinion on going to UTI and I told myself that I was going to go to college no matter what. I remember going up to the college admissions and asking what I needed to do to enroll since I had never taken the ACT or SAT or any test that could be used to determine my acceptance into any college or university. So I took a college entrance test and enrolled into school then came the part I was dreading, how to pay for it. My family didn’t have the money to pay for it and neither did I so I was told about the installment plan and the first amount that needed to be paid upfront was exactly what I had in my account. I took that as a sign from above that I was suppose to go to college. About that time is when I stopped listening to the voices inside my head that would remind me that I was not good enough and that I would probably fail school and prove my critics right. I would tell myself “how can they tell me what I am capable of doing if they aren’t me?”, that is when this need for success came out and from that moment I told myself that I would never let anyone tell me what I am capable of doing and that if there was a challenge that I would take it on no matter what. I separated myself from everyone so that I did not have distractions and would remind myself each morning of who I was going to become and that the only person in the way was myself so if I stay out of my way, I will achieve my dreams. I told myself that I would be a millionaire by the age of 30 and set goals, as a matter of fact, I would and still do create goals for everything I do. I lived by my personal motto of “failure is my biggest success” because I understood that what makes successful people is how they take failures and the ability to not give up when you meet failure. I always have a plan and learned through the years that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. To this day, I stay focused on my dreams of helping others in any way I can especially trying to help people realize that no matter what you have been through in the past or what you are facing now, that it doesn’t matter, what matters is what you do from this point on. Negativity will always be there and hold you down, you will hear it from others and you will hear it from yourself which is the voice that can make the difference between failing and succeeding. The one thing I can share that I learned from all the adversity and negativity that I came across from my childhood, is that you must believe in yourself and understand that if you can believe in your dream then you can achieve it. Remember that it will not be easy to get there and anything worth having is worth working hard for. Change your mindset today!
When you’re young you think you’re invincible and that you can make decisions on your own without thinking about the consequences. Growing up, when I was in high school, I was acting out towards everyone and I looked to get in trouble in school. It started in middle school where I just liked the attention I received when I got in trouble. There was so much going on in my life at the time and the way to forget about that was to get in trouble. From all the bad decisions I made came the consequences, adults and teachers telling me that I wouldn’t amount to anything in life and that I would either be selling drugs, in jail, or dead. Those words changed my life before I even realized they did. I kept acting up through my sophomore year and that’s when I decided to try and make the change, but when I tried to, that’s when those words adults and teacher said to me came back. They took over my mind and caused me to have low self esteem, they beat me down to the ground and I was trapped by my own thinking. My mind would take over and tell me that I was not worth it and why even try if you aren’t suppose to do that or you will never be as good as someone who did good in school. For the remainder of high school, I would barely get by and not care about school or even care about showing up. I would skip class and since I was driving since I was 15, I would just walk off campus to my truck and leave for the day and just drive around until it was time for school to let out and I would go back to school to just drive around and pick up friends. I missed so much school that they assigned someone to check on me and make sure I knew what would happen if I kept missing school. This person is who I consider the reason I graduated high school, his name was Mr. Reed from the SNAP program at school. The program was just introduced and was targeting at risk students and I remember sitting in class when they called for me to go to this room. In the room was Mr. Reed and another female counselor, I sat down with my normal “I don’t care what you have to say to me” attitude. He opened a file with my attendance and school record since elementary and looked at me and asked “do you know how many days you’ve missed this school year” to which I responded “I don’t know”. He said that I had missed so many days that it would be impossible for me to graduate anymore and that at that rate I would have to go before a judge to decide if I would be allowed to go back the next year or be considered a lost cause and kicked out of school. I guess from the change in facial expression on my face, he knew he hit a spot with me. He then explained how important school was and shared some stories about how not graduating affected other students. While telling me these stories I noticed that he began to cry. I saw the passion in his eyes and the conviction in his voice so I decided to take him serious and that he was there to help me and not talk down on me like every other adult that gave me a lecture. He told me that he could convince some people to allow me to graduate if I could come to school all day for 25 days straight and to make sure that I came, that he would call to wake me up each morning and give me a ride if I needed it. Sitting there and listening to the stories and how he wanted me to graduate made me decide that I would take him up on this chance to graduate. Mr. Reed changed my life and who knows how many others they helped and never received anything other than the happiness of helping kids in need or in trouble. This man will always be someone I am thankful for and will remember. Thanks for reading and next time I will talk about what happened after graduating.