On Sept 2, 2020 the U.S. Marshal and Secret Service came to my office to arrest me. They called several times verifying i was there with an edible arrangement for my birthday. Yes, another failure in my life and more than likely not the last. Please understand I am not a teacher or a preacher, I just want to share my expereicnes and failures as a fellow student much like everyone else. Most of us think of failures and do EVERYTHING we can to avoid them. Society says failure is a negative, when in truth it can lead to success. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny” – Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I was often asked “How” when it came to different acheivments with the company. The problem for most people was not intelligence but rather they were scared to make the leaps and fail. They would rather conform and not make any waves. Unfortunately its a natural defense mechanicism driven by fear of opinion. Anyone who does poorly runs the risk of being fired, embarrassed, made fun of or even prosecuted. The immediate response from social media platforms makes it that much worse. As i sit here today writing this I think I may be part of the problem as it pertains to my family. I want so much for my family and often times think im protecting them. By not allowing them to fail or make their own decisions Im not doing whats best for them. When I get out I will make a concious effort to allow them to grow the same ways I did. Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times making the light bulb. Failure is a stigma in our society today. We should encourage learning through failure, which is why I like the phrase ” School of Hard Knocks “. Unfortunately todays schools dont teach you that its ok to fail. Heck, I couldnt get into any state colleges because my high school GPA was only a 2.6. I Failed. That failure turned into a desire. By the second year of my business we had done 11 million in revenue, in year 4 we did over 30 million in revenue that year. By year 5 we had completed over 100 million dollars since the inception of the business. Along the way we failed thousands of times and some of them were pretty bad failures. I remeber the first year i had sold jobs with out a roofing license because I thought I would have mine by then, One time I sold a large shopping center but forgot to estimate for the insulation, that year we made no profit because of that one job. It took several bad accidents like a good friend losing his foot until we implement a full time safety team. I could go on forever about failures. We use to joke about how every written process we have correlates to some horror story of a failure. I was putting my desire and the education from the school of hard knocks to work. I learned to place no value on the judgements of others. How could I at the rate I was failing? However I did learn from them all.
The “American Dream” is not an easy one. Between ALL the LAWs and SOCIAL RULES it can be a scary path to navigate. As scary as it can be, even sitting here in prison I think it was all worth it. I think there needs to be more people who are not scared to fail and live that “American Dream”. Do not ever let someone or something take that desire from you and trust me they will try. New business formation is at an all time low; raise your hand and be ready for failure, its what our society and our country needs to see more of.Think back at the most important lessons you have learned. Were they from school, a friend? Or were they from doing and failing? Living in some type of comfort zone where I would have no chance of failure would truely be prison for me!
Im often bothered when people feel sorry for me in regards to being in prison or any life struggles. My parents divorved at an early age, my mother struggled with substance abuse and had multiple stints in jail, My sister was expelled from school for similiar issues, often times my family ran out of money so we stayed with a family member, I was fired from the family business and the last time I worked for the family I had to leave because of family feuding. Without such gifts of adversity I would not have been able to acheive what I have. Those challenges were a blessing. I now feel prepared for any challenge that comes my way. You cant buy this education anywehre. You are not a real deal maker until you fail , you are not a real busines leader until some big idea goes down in fire.
“Pain is a traveling professor and it goes and knocks on everyones door. The smartest people I know are the people who say “Come in, and dont leave until you have taught me something” – Glennon Doyle
I am not living in shame or disappointment. I am proud of who I am and who I will become. My failures have created my character. What was your greatest failure? And please go fail some more!