Almost daily I get asked, “Adam, I’m thinking of quitting my day job and following my dreams – where should I start?” And I always respond in saying, “Before we go any further, I have to ask you:are you willing to sleep from your car?” For those that are close to me, they know the significance of my asking this, but for those that don’t, here goes:
When I began my business at the young age of 23 years old, I did so without hesitation and without much thought of what would happen if I couldn’t sustain living as I had with a safe & steady paycheck coming in. Needless to say, after just three months into my business and having only been paid one time to speak, I was deadbroke. The bills kept coming in and piling up, but the money was not.
I moved my belongings from my one bedroom apartment that I could no longer afford and put in a small storage unit. What was left over, I placed in the trunk, back seat, and front seat of my car. Then, the unimaginable happened. I had no money left in my bank account and nowhere to go. Embarrassed, frustrated, ashamed, and fearful, I surely didn’t want to call on my friends/family at this time because most of them had advised me against following my dreams in the first place. So, instead of reaching out to anyone, I slept the next nights from the front seat of my car parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
At the time, it felt like the most humiliating of circumstances and I had felt like more of a failure than I ever had before. I finally swallowed my pride and called upon some friends who were kind enough to take me in over the coming months. I jumped couch to couch and picked up a part time job scrubbing golf clubs at a local country club for $10/hour. I was convinced that I would never speak to an audience again. I was convinced that everyone who told me it couldn’t work, was seemingly right. And I was also convinced that I’d work this dead end job until I could again land a teaching position and get back to living a “safe & comfortable life.”
However, after much reflection, seeking the right mentorship, beginning to ask myself the right questions, and getting back in touch with my WHY, I began to build some traction in my business. Over the past two years, I’ve spoken to over a hundred audiences and a few thousand people have heard my message. I don’t share this for a boost of my ego, nor for your sympathies, but instead, to ask you:
“Areyouwilling to sleep fromyourcar?”
Look, I recognize that everyone who sets out to build a business or pursue a dream is not going to have to endure sleeping in their car. However, the reason I ask this question, is because I want future entrepreneurs to be 100% certain that they’re willing to ‘potentially’ experience similar (if not worse) circumstances. Entrepreneurship is not easy. Following your dream is not easy. It’s hard – REAL HARD. But, if you’re willing to face “hard”, if you’re willing to live in uncomfortable situations/circumstances, if you’re willing to fail time and time again; face rejection, embarrassment, and uncertainty, then it just may in fact be the path for you!
On Monday, I’ll share thefourthings I learned during those most trying times and how they may benefit you amidst your own journey.
Stay encouraged & live inspired,
Adam
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