I grew up in a small suburb of Birmingham, AL where I graduated high school. I was a state championship soccer player my sophomore year in high school and made the equivalent of an “All-State” team. I went to Florida State University for one semester where I majored in English, Physics and partying. I “accelerated my career” in physics by joining the U.S. Navy and served as a nuclear mechanical operator on board USS Shark until October 1989. My first business attempt was as a distributor for a credit card company that went bankrupt three months after I began marketing for them. My first civilian job was as an assistant manager in a now-defunct jewelry store chain. I was always one of the top sales people in the company and got my store in Meridian, MS. I completed the 18 month managerial training course in about 7 months. I then started my second business, quit my job and failed again. After a few more personal and business failures, I blamed it on my hometown and moved to south Florida in March 2002. I quickly realized that it was not Birmingham’s fault. I became a commodities options and futures broker and found myself sleeping on a park picnic table in Coral Springs, FL and waiting tables at Chili’s. It was like the scene from the movie “Falling Down” with Michael Douglas when he realized he was not “economically viable.”
It was June 13, 2003 and I re-began my life with everything I could carry, a pen and notebook. A couple of “old friends” “rescued” me, took me to Palm Beach Gardens and soon I found myself sleeping on picnic tables or anywhere I could…again. I continued to build the same business I crashed in Birmingham and successfully did just that. Then, in November 2006, the bank shut down my business by closing my overdrawn business checking account. In December 2006, I was exposed to my next business and I began again. A dilemna arrived when I had to attend a business conference in Atlanta. I was so broke at the time, that I told my mentor that if I attended the meeting in Atlanta, I would have to move there. His reply was “And?” In January 2007, I moved to Atlanta got a job waiting tables and re-began my new business and consequently, my life. That gets us close enough to where we are now.
Now, the blog posts will stray away from the negative aspects and events of my life and illustrate the lessons I have learned since I moved to Atlanta. This is where I really re-began my career and upon the way started building a series of small personal successes that will inevitably translate into much larger successes.
The point of this post is to introduce myself and point out a few of the struggles and challenges I have overcome. I’m sure that it’s not the end of my challenges, but I will certainly recover much faster with the experience I have behind me.
If this blog shares just a little bit of insight to help someone else avoid a setback or overcome a challenge, then its purpose will have been served.
More to follow…