I sit in this empty conference room waiting for the final class of my small business boot camp to begin and I come to the full realization the real work of being a business owner hasn't even started yet.
The 17 hour days I've put in for the past 12 weeks didn't really count. That was only conditioning.
The agonizing brainstorming sessions spent trying to create effective yet affordable marketing tactics were just warm up drills before the actual game.
The stressful days spent developing operations and management strategies that maximize output and minimize costs were just a preliminary bouts before the main event: Me, the underdog versus a heavyweight champion called the world.
All the while, the critics, sceptics and even haters watch with exhilaration, feverishly rooting against me, anxiously waiting, hoping and some even praying for me to fail.
"Are you not entertained?!?" I yell to them in my head.
Funding, awards, recognition, prestige that often goes hand in hand with the human services "industry" can be appealing and alluring. Especially when, often times, you go unrecognized and unappreciated by those closest to you.
It's times like this I'm glad I have clearly defined my Y.U.R.
For those unfamiliar with that acronym, that is a mnemonic device meaning "Why You Are..." It is my emotionally compelling reason for doing what I do in order to get what I want, defined. In other words; my motivation.
I've said it before and I'll probably say it another 10,000 times. There was a time when I believed I was destined for failure simply because of my skin color, age and gender. The story that society told me about what was expected out of people who looked me was, we weren't expected to succeed. We weren't expected to even live.
I learned the truth and changed the trajectory of my life. And now I want to teach others that same truth.
I have worked really hard to build a platform where I can inspire people to be, do and have more than what they believe they is possible. Whether that be the gangbanger, the ex-con, the knucklehead kid still in elementary school or the single mother who wants more for herself and her family. They each deserve to know the truth about what they are capable of achieving and having and being.
As I write this on April 4th, the anniversary of Dr King's death I understand he didn't plan to be an activist, celebrity or rich man. He simply had a goal to make a difference. Money, ego and turf weren't the motivating factors for him.
A few months ago I realized that Dr. Martin Luther King didn't plan to be an activist, celebrity or rich man. He simply had a goal to make a difference. Money, ego and turf weren't the motivating factors for him to live the life he is now remembered for. And while I hold no illusions that I'm the next great Dr. Martin Luther King jr, I want to create and leave a legacy as being a beacon of inspiration for what is possible when you choose to live a better than average life. Even if I'm not specifically remembered by name, I would like for my ideas to contribute to the restoration hope to our society for generations and generations to come.
I am a simple man who has lived a complicated life. The lessons I've learned from the experiences I've been through and the challenges I've conquered have helped me develop a philosophy that life is meant to be lived at a level better than average.