When asked what has made the biggest impact on my life, I almost always respond in saying – Boxing. No, I’m not a tough guy, and no, I don’t claim myself to be a fighter. In fact, I think I’m just the opposite of such. But I feel strongly that the reason I’m not a “tough guy” is due in part to the life lessons I gained through my amateur boxing experiences. Those lessons are as follows:
1)Understanding no one is better than anyone else.Look, I recognize that you might be better than me at understanding finance, but rest assured that I am better than you at something too. Therefore, we are equal. Nowhere has this concept been more prevalent than in the numerous boxing gyms I’ve trained at. Regardless of one’s occupation, how much money they had, or how “great” they thought they were, they weren’t entitled to anything different than the next guy, and they bled just like the rest of people who came in and out of the boxing gym doors. In fact, at the PKKG gym I trained at in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, those who bled during sparring on a particular evening were the ones who had to get on their hands and knees to clean the boxing ring
It was the rule. There was no getting out of it.
In life, we have similar responsibilities/rules. Not one of cleaning a boxing ring necessarily, but responsibility to one another to treat people with respect; to show a sincere care and concern for your neighbor’s. My boxing roots have truly humbled me and always kept me focused on my goals and ambitions instead of trying to judge and compare myself to others.
2)The importance of perseverance.I truly believe one of the many reasons I’ve been able to push through the many adversities and obstacles I’ve had in life is due to my boxing past. Where else in life are you continually hit, knocked down, and pushed back, but expected to bounce back and continue to fight strong? Boxing taught me that despite how many times we might get “hit” in life, it’s always too soon to quit. Adversity in life is inevitable. We’ll all face it and we’ll all be faced with a decision of if we want to keep pushing forward. What I found in boxing is that the only way to find out the outcome of a fight is tokeep fighting.Otherwise, if you stay down, or throw in the towel, the match is over and you’ll never know what the judges may have scored.
The same is true in our lives. If you give up short of accomplishing your dream, you’ll never know what you might have been able to accomplish. I encourage you in moving forward today to keep persevering and keep pushing.
3)Think outside the box.Famous boxer Mike Tyson is quoted as saying, “we all have a plan until we get punched in the mouth.” Although Tyson had often been criticized throughout his career, this is one of the truest statements I ever heard. I walked into every sparring session and amateur fight with a plan. And each time, it was inevitable that within minutes – or even seconds – I had to adjust. I had to “think out of the box” and do whatever was necessary to keep fighting. In life, how many times have you had a plan only to see it fall apart once adversity hits or some other challenge arises? We can plan for our business, plan for our relationships, and plan for every area of our lives, however, we can’t plan for those adversities and challenges that await us. If your business is failing, maybe it’s time you change your approach. Do what your competitors are not and offer a product/service that is simply irresistible. I know it’s often easy to get close minded, and when that first “punch” of life is landed, it’s even easier to want to think your plan was a waste of time, that you’re not smart enough, capable enough, or good enough. The fact of the matter is, however, that you ARE good enough! It’s just time to throw the initial plan out the window and call on everything in you to work tirelessly toward your goal and be willing to think outside the box!

A few years ago I received a text message from a dear friend and mentor of mine which read as follows:
“Adam, always stay hungry, hard, and humble. Just be you.”
Although I don’t know Ted’s initial intent or perceived meaning, that message – those compilation of words – made a profound difference and impact in my life. And I’ve since given my own meaning to each of those words.
1) Hungry. In life, when you’re hungry, you eat. You don’t wait for a few days, or until it’s convenient for you. You eat because your body needs it.
Your dreams need fed, too.
You can’t do things when they’re convenient for you. You can’t do things when they’re easy or when you feel like it. Instead, you must feed your dreams EACH and EVERY DAY.
Dreams are fed through your resilience, through your work ethic, and through your commitment. You see, a lot of people say they have dreams they wish to achieve, but at the first sign of difficulty, they want to give up. Or, at the first sign of success, they ease off.
If you’re TRULY hungry – you NEVER stop. You’re so obsessed about your product, idea, business, or dream, that in fact, you may forget to eat!
2) Hard. I define hard, not as being a “tough” guy or girl, but instead, by being tough when things become challenging. As the old adage goes,
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Can that be said for you? When things become tough in life, do you face it and get going to work, or do you get going by running away from it?
If you want to reach that next promotion, if you want to build your business from the group up, or if you want to accomplish any of your dreams, you have to stay hard! You have to be unbreakable. You must willing to face every roadblock, challenge, and obstacle that may lie in your path. And when adversity hits, you mustn’t be wavered in your pursuit.
People will judge you, laugh at you, and ridicule you. But how you respond to those judgments and adversities will make all the difference.
3) Humble. I’m a big believer that if you have to tell somebody how good you are, you aren’t that good.
Being humble means that you’re self assured. It means that you’re comfortable with who you are and what you’re doing. In my experiences, I’ve come to find that the people who’ve been quick to tell me how “great” they were in a specific area, were not so great after all. People try to shield their insecurities, uncertainties, or lack of knowledge through their arrogance.
Arrogance inherently interrupts your ability to effectively deliver. It disables your authenticity.
People buy authenticity. They buy humility. No matter how “great” you think you are, always stay humble.
Just be you!
In a world where everyone wants you to be what they want you to be, the most courageous thing you can do, is be yourself. Nobody knows you, like you know you. Therefore, it’s imperative you not allow situations or certain experiences to change you. If people don’t believe in your vision, their opinion does not have to be your destiny. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, uplift you, and inspire you. Always stay true to yourself, trust your gut, follow your heart, and know that it’s OK to be YOU!

As promised in my post Thursday, “Are You Willing to Sleep From Your Car?” I’m following up to share with you the four things I learned during some of the most trying times in my life.

1) Failure does not define us. We define it.

Too frequently people will fail at something and then give up. Or even worse, they take ownership over the respective failure(s), and deem themselves unworthy to accomplish anything else they may set out after. Essentially, they stop dreaming and stop living. They become complacent in their lives and settle.

I, too, was guilty of this. I initially allowed my “failure” (as I’d seen it) to DEFINE me. I felt that because I was unable to support myself, that it lessened my value as a human being. When in all actuality, it was the one thing I needed to experience to add value to what I do as a speaker.

No matter what it is you face today, YOU have the capacity and power to choose how it will affect you. Failure is an inevitable part of life. But, it doesn’t have to be your life. You can choose to turn your negative into a positive. You can choose to benefit from failure, learn from failure, and grow from failure. The choice is yours.

2) Relationships Matter.

When I was sleeping in my car, I wanted to hide from the world. I was fearful that if I told anyone about my situation that my friends/family would think less of me. However, what I found is not only did they not think less of me, but they were willing to go above and beyond to help me reach my dreams. Which allowed me to learn a valuable and significant lesson, that: relationships matter.

It’s imperative that we strive to build relationships, not with a hidden agenda, but instead, with a sincere care and desire to be a friend. You never know how you may be able to positively impact somebody’s life, and you certainly never know how somebody may be able to positively impact your life.

3) Things are never as bad as they seem.

A dear friend and mentor of mine once told me, “things are never as bad as they seem, and never as great as they may seem either.”

When I was sleeping in my car it felt like a nightmare that I couldn’t get out of. I felt stuck and frustrated, and took on the belief that things in life would never be the same. However, as I reflect on that experience from over two years ago, I can’t help but think how very true my mentor’s wisdom and words of encouragement were and still are. That in fact, things are never as bad as they seem.

We experience things in life and because it may be uncomfortable and/or different than what we’re used to, we unfairly and inaccurately perceive the things in our mind as much worse. What we must learn to do is be grateful for what it is we have at this particular moment. For instance, although I didn’t have a place to call “home”, what I did have was a car – somewhere I could rest my head that was far more comfortable than the street. I was blessed with a good bill of health, and I had a loving family and a support system of friends. This alone is far more than what many people have throughout our world. Yet, for me, it was different than what I was used to and therefore at the time, the situation felt as though I could never recover.

When you’re facing something that appears to be too challenging for you to handle, I’d encourage you step back and truly assess the situation. Think about some things you’re grateful for, and you just might find, things aren’t as bad as they appear.

4) You can ALWAYS change.

One of the single most important lessons I learned when sleeping in my car is that we’re NEVER stuck. We can ALWAYS change the course of our life.

Will it be easy? NO. But will it be worth it? YES!

Typically, the reason people don’t change is because of fear. They fear not knowing how to take on a new role. They fear embarrassment, rejection, and failure. So, instead of taking a chance on changing, they blame their circumstances, their past, or inabilities and decide that they must settle – forever.

Rest assured, we never have to settle. It’s always within our power to make a decision to change. For me, I had to change my perception of what was going on in my life. I had to change how I looked at failure, I had to change how I approached prospective clients, and I had to change my thinking, my habits, and my routines. In essence, I had to change everything about me, to become what I wanted to become.

What change(s), could you make in your life today to help you get to where you’re trying to get? If you don’t like your job, devise a plan and make a change. If you don’t like where you live, move! If you don’t like the people you’re surrounded by each day, change who it is you associate with. Do what you have to do, but please, never settle and never allow yourself to become stuck in life. This world needs what you have to offer!

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,
Let me break something down for you. There are no magical fixes in life and there certainly are no shortcuts to success. Yet, we live in a world where everyone believes that there is. We are constantly bombarded with information, advertisements, and infomercials through the news, social media, and our peers. It’s almost daily that articles, segments, and webinar’s are released and/or produced to provide you a list of an odd number (like 7) tips to help “you thrive in harsh economic times.” Or, the “10 most powerful marketing tools to use to help boost your business.” Or, “the 5 things you should never do when first meeting a potential client.” You get the picture. Ultimately, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles, ad’s, etc. that are published by “experts” each and everyday, and we are naïve enough to buy into it!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “well, ultimately, you’re creating a blog to provide information and insight to others, too.” And you’re right. But this blog, infomercial, article, essay, or fill in the blank and call it what you’d like, is not a guarantee to success, nor is it a guide to grow your business by 47% over the next 3 months. Instead, what this is, are 5 most valuable things I’ve learned in my life. Doing these will help you, but rest assured there’s much more that you must do in your life, business, relationships, finances, etc. to achieve excellence. Take these 5 “suggestions” as the basic foundation for you in moving nearer your dream.
So, you want the answer? Here it is:
1)Develop a Dream. Before you can do anything else in your life, you must know what in your life you’re trying to achieve. Or in other words, what is your dream? You can take a cop-out and say, “I don’t have a dream”, but let’s face it, we’ve all longed for something more. We’ve all, at point or another, caught ourselves in class, at work, or in life, “day-dreaming” about the thing we “wish” we could accomplish. But many go on and say they don’t have dreams because they don’t want to face the disappointment that lies ahead. Or perhaps they don’t want to put in the hours of work their dream may require.
2)Courage to Chase Your Dream. After you’ve put a finger on what it is you want to do, you must have the courage to chase it. That means you have to take your dream from its “day-dreaming” state to its commitment state. When you become committed, your courage soon begins to become contagious. That means, when you commit, you’re ultimately eliminating excuses and starting on your dream. So, you build momentum. Although you might be failing, you should too be learning and growing. And through that growth, comes some successes. And once you see the first of successes that keeps you wanting to move forward to gain more. You recognize that you were able to build up the will power to begin; now you must be willing to finish!
3)Passion. We’ve all heard it before, “your courage will get you going, but your passion will keep you going.” When you love something so much that you stay up at night thinking about it, you’ll find a way to make it work. Passion for your dream will outweigh the obstacles and failures that will inevitably cross your path.
4)Work Your Butt Off. I’m not talking about telling everyone how hard you’re working. I’m talking about actually working your butt off. Waking up at 4am and working (not facebooking, tweeting, etc.) throughout the entirety of your day. Waking up early alone does not constitute hard work. In fact, maybe you can wake up at 10am and get done what you need to get done. At the end of the day, you must recognize that everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, however. So, if you’re spending only 5 hard at work, when you know you have 15 hours worth of work to do, are you truly working as hard as you can?
5)NEVER GIVE UP!If you give up on your dream, can it become a reality? The answer quite obviously is, NO! If you give up, you’ll never know if what you had initially set out after could become possible. So, more important than the “7 marketing tips to boost your business” or even the other 4 steps I’ve provided you in this blog, the most important and valuable lesson you must carry with you everywhere you go in life, is to NEVER GIVE UP! No matter how difficult your dream may appear, no matter how many obstacles are in your way, and no matter how many times you may have failed, keep learning, keep growing, and FIND A WAY to keep moving forward, but no matter what you do (as the late great Jimmy V said) “DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!!
Look. All human beings have a dream. At one point or another in our lives we all longed to accomplish more, do more, and be more. Yet, often times, somewhere along the way we begin to lose that vision; we lose our hope. We allow our circumstances to pull us back to “reality.” Or even worse, we allow the fear of failure or other opinions about us to hold us back. So rather than continuing forth with that dream we once held so dear to our heart, we give up – or never even begin. And in turn, since we did not have the courage, resiliency, or will power to chase our own dreams we want to tell everyone else why they cant have theirdream.
Don’t become one of these people!!!
Instead, choose today to become a dream chaser. And stop at nothing until you reach your dream(s). Before setting out on your journey, please take note of the following that I’ve learned in route of my own dreams:
1)  Dream YOUR Dream. It’s important you chase what it is you desire. Don’t go after a dream that was once your mom or dad’s dream. Don’t try and please your friends or family with your choice. And don’t choose to chase a dream that you “think” is appealing because you’ve seen what the end result could look like for you. Instead, choose to pursue the very thing that keeps you up every night thinking about it. Choose to pursue the thing that you’d be willing to do for free, or work at for free, because you enjoy it so much. Choose to dream your dream and be willing to chase it relentlessly and fearlessly!
2) Don’t be afraid of failure. Choosing to get started and beginning to chase your dream is often the most challenging part. To trulybegin, however, you must not be afraid to fail. It’s one thing to say you’re “dreaming your dream” but it’s another to say you’re actually putting yourself out there and risking failure and embarrassment while striving for your dream. In order to learn the most and grow the most, you must NOT be afraid of failure. It’s inevitable that you’ll fail. Not just once a day, once a week, or once a month, but more likely multiple times each day. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll not fully put yourself out there to engage in opportunities that could potentially benefit you and your future.
3)Keep on keeping on.  Once you’ve decided to throw yourself entirely into your dream and you begin to endure many failures, it’s important that you “keep on keeping on!” Or in other words, you must be willing to display a tremendous amount of persistence and perseverance. When you’re faced with rejection, how will you respond? When others tell you that you can’t make it work, what will you do to ensure you will make it work? You must stay the course and keep on keeping on your journey toward your dream!
4) Enjoy the journey. We live in a world of which people desire instant gratification and to have things right away. Even at red lights (while driving), people go right to their phone and pick it up to scroll through their Facebook news feed and/or check their email. Constantly having something at our fingertips and having access to things right now has tricked people into thinking that our dreams work the same way. Truth is, an overnight success takes years and years of work before you actually wake up and realize your dream is a success. So during those years of work, it’s important for you to enjoy the journey. When you’re truly enjoying the journey, you’re keeping yourself open to opportunities that might have otherwise passed you by because you weren’t “open” and ready to receive them. In addition, enjoying the journey allows you to recognize your failures as opportunities for growth. It allows you to continue to dream your dream because you realize everything that is happening to you can be chalked up as experiences. And even if negative, the more experiences you have in life, the better off you’ll be in being able to continue dreaming your dream!
Over a year or so ago, I had watched a commencement speech that had been delivered by the late Steve Jobs. In the speech he shared much wisdom with the newly Stanford college graduates. It was a small piece of that wisdom that made an impact on my life. In short, Jobs had told the graduates the “surest way he’s been able to overcome the fear of rejection, embarrassment, or failure, is to think about death, because in the face of death, all external expectations go away.”
In life, it’s easy for us to give up on or never even start our dreams because we’re fearful of how others may judge us, we’re fearful of being told no, or even worse, we’re fearful of failing. At the end of the day though, why are we so fearful? As Jobs noted in his speech, we’re all going to die. One hundred years from now, what people thought about your dreams, or the denials you’d received from others, is no longer going to matter because you and those people who may have rejected you are going to be dead.
So, in the face of death, how might your life change? If you were told you had six months left to live, how would your interactions amongst others change? Would you treat people differently? Would you do the things you love? Would you worry about someone else judging or perhaps laughing at you?
While I know you may not be able to live as though you’ve gotten an exact timeline on life, you can decide to live in not worrying about what others think. You can decide that next time you feel uneasy or uncertain because someone may critically judge you, you can still move forward despite their judging. You can still choose to move forward despite how many times you’ve been letdown in the past. You can still choose to move forward despite all that’s happened to you in life. You can still choose to move forward because the choice has always been and will always be yours.
Next time you’re faced with a tough decision, or next time you find yourself worrying about the expectations others have set for you – STOP. And simply remember that in the face of death that all goes away. You have the potential to live your dreams, now!
About five months ago I received some invaluable advice that is certain to last a lifetime. You see, right about that time I was questioning my ability to succeed in my newfound motivational speaking business. I’d just quit two jobs – one of which I could’ve lived in comfortably for the remainder of my life – to pursue what it was I truly desired. Close friends and even family thought I was “crazy” in trying to begin my business. Everywhere I turned there was seemingly someone there to remind me that becoming a motivational speaker at my age, with my background, simply was not realistic.
For the first few months, “their” thoughts did not hinder me. I worked tirelessly each and every day to try and build my brand, to make connections, and to hone my skills. I was doing everything I could to ensure I would be able to make it work.
However, then came the time that it was not working. I didn’t know where I’d find the funds to pay my bills for the coming months. My business was failing, and they (who told me it couldn’t work) were seemingly right. It was at this point that I picked up the phone in desperate need of some guidance. The man on the other end of the line was a man of integrity; a kind-hearted, genuine, thoughtful, and incredibly selfless man. This man, Mr. Ron Klein, is best known for his invention of the credit card magnetic strip, but has done much more than that. He is considered the “Grandfather of Possibility” because of his unique skills to be able to look at a problem and identify the opportunity within it.
On this day, Ron Klein, provided me with wisdom that helped to change the course of my business and my life. As I was rambling off to him my concern and uncertainty of how I would survive financially in the coming weeks and months, he said, “Adam, sometimes in life you have to service your debt in order to service your passion. What I mean by that is this: what you’re passionate about is wanting to help others change the course of their life and speak in front of audiences. So no matter what, you have to find ways to do that. You must continue to seek out ways to gain speaking opportunities. However, in the meantime you must also service your debt. I don’t care if you have to get one, two, or even three part-time jobs to pay your bills, you’ll do what you need to do so ultimately you’ll be able to do what you love.”
Despite the great counsel I’d just received, it didn’t quite sink in yet, and I replied in saying, “but what if everyone has been right, Ron? What if I was crazy to think at 23 I could be a motivational speaker?”
“Nonsense.” He replied.
“Adam, I was going to tell you that’s your biggest asset. You’re 23!!! Even if you fail miserably at business in the coming year(s), you’ve not truly failed. You don’t have a family to support or much responsibility. This is the best time to experiment and learn from your mistakes.”
As I think back to that conversation, I know I have Ron to thank for continuing with my business to this day. I’d been so close to giving it up and calling quits. But with his most valued wisdom and expertise shared, I was able to continue forward. And that’s why I share this with you today. So you, too, may be encouraged to continue forward.
No matter how far away your dream may appear, no matter how challenging your current circumstances may seem, and no matter how little money you have to continue forward, “do what you need to do, so ultimately you’ll be able to do what you love.”
I believe in YOU!!!!
This time, about four years ago, I was preparing to run my first Miami Half Marathon. While in training, I didn’t have my sights set on any particular (time) goal, all I knew is that I wanted to finish the race, and secondly I didn’t want to walk any part of the race. As race day approached, I was very confident that my training and hard work leading up would help guide me through. When the gun sounded to release the runners I ran out as fast as I could for as long as I could, before I finally hit a wall and felt exhausted. At about the two and a half mark I felt weak. Defeated. I didn’t know how I was going to finish the race. Yet, I kept going. I promised myself I wouldn’t walk and I wasn’t going to give in. So, I decided to pick up a very slow-paced jog. What I found, is that by about mile 4 I’d overcome those feelings of helplessness. That initial “wall” I’d hit, had been knocked down by continuing to put one foot in front of another. Why I share this with you is because much like a marathon, or half marathon, we hit obstacles and roadblocks in life. Even when we train, prepare, and work hard, obstacles are still inevitable. What I’ve found though is that we must stick to the plan and stay mentally tough – continuing to put one foot in front of the other.
You see, it’s easy in life to start a new business, to start a new project, to begin on a new goal and have a lot of enthusiasm, passion, and work invested into it. However, what’s really difficult is being able to FINISH despite the roadblocks and obstacles sure to arise. And that’s what matters most. Had I allowed that one and a half mile stretch where I felt weak and defeated to bring me down, I would have never finished the race. Instead of quitting, however, I decided I’d continue with my plan despite the pain and adversity. It didn’t matter how long it was going to take me to finish, all that mattered was that I would finish.
Too often in our lives, we quit just short of our dreams. We give up on that second mile because it feels too painful to continue. It doesn’t seem as though you’ll ever reach the end. When you’re having such feelings in life, just remember, it’s not about how you start, or even where you start, but more importantly, it matters most in how you’ll finish! And if you choose to finish STRONG, if you choose to put everything you’ve got into what it is you’re trying to accomplish, you can’t be beat. Because even if you are initially, even if you are rejected again and again and again, and nothing seems to be going your way, eventually staying the course, trusting your plan, and putting one foot in front of the other will allow you to have the finish you envision!
**Below, here I am pictured after my first race. I ended up finishing in 1:53:28 – an 8:40min/mile pace – placing me 1,535 out of 11,316 half marathon finishers. Although I hadn’t initially been concerned with my pace, this “sight” now helps to serve as a reminder that when I want to give up in other areas of life, I must just stick to the plan and realize that persistence and perseverance are key to accomplishing any and all dreams.
Just a little over a year ago my brother, Ryan, had decided to begin his own law firm. Upon graduating from law school, he’d begun working at a small firm where he didn’t feel as though his experiences were leading him to become a better lawyer, nor did he feel his work and input were ever truly valued or appreciated. So, he decided he’d had enough. And he asked himself a very powerful and life-changing question.
“Why not me?”
“Why can’t I begin my own law firm? I have the same degree. I, too, have passed the Bar exam. I have everything needed to begin.”
So he did. Just one year removed from law school, he began his own law firm. Despite the many “experienced” lawyers advising otherwise and despite his many friends and even family whom may not have “seen” the potential to make it work, he jumped completely in the deep end and began his business.
The reason I share this is not to pat my brother on the back nor is it my intention to gain free law counsel from him, but instead, it’s to show that when we ask ourselves powerful questions and when we have a vision and a dream in our lives, simply taking action can help make that dream a reality.
In the beginning weeks of his business, his “office” was his apartment space, and his means for income was a job at the Home Depot. Initially, the decision appeared to everyone to be the wrong one. Here’s a guy whom had a steady income and benefits, a law degree, and a Pennsylvania Bar Certification, yet he gave it all up to pursue a dream, which ultimately led him to having to work a 4 A.M. – 10 A.M. shift at a Home Depot and make a measly $10/hour to help make ends meet.
Fortunately, Ryan was soon able to generate enough business to give up his part time job. By the third month he had his own office space and was soon able to hire other employees. Again, this is not to gloat about my brother (in fact he’ll probably be mad I’d written this!), but instead to prove that you and I have the same opportunities to fulfill our dream that he did.
So, moving forward – why not you? You have the skills. You have the talents. Even if you don’t have the resources, start with what you have and where you are. Sure, it’s not going to be easy, and yes, it will require much sacrifice. But much like Ryan, he wasn’t too concerned with “what he didn’t have.” Nor did he listen to the naysayers whom may have ridiculed him for working a minimum wage job with a law degree.
That’s the sacrifice and mind-set needed to help us push onward toward our dreams. Begin today in asking yourself powerful questions, and more importantly give yourself a powerful response that allows you to recognize that the very dream you hold dear to your heart is not impossible nor too challenging for you to attain. In fact, it can be done as long as you’re willing to endure the path, the criticisms, the adversities, and make the sacrifices along the way. You have what it takes! You can do it! Live your dream!