There is no decision that I ever make without sleeping on it. In the past two months I’ve slept a lot more than normal which has allowed me to do a lot more thinking than normal. I wake up more refreshed, crazier ideas (I like crazy), and a renewed effort to be myself. I have gone from four-hour nights to six-hour nights. That increase has made some interesting changes in our company, telling the overall story for our clients, and who I am as a person. Having been in big business with companies that have 3,000 or more employees for so many years I went into what I am calling culture shock. You had to play a role, you had to fit a specific mold, and if you tried to step out of that mold you were squashed like a bug. Your individuality, creativity, and personal growth were limited to the projects you were working on. You were no longer allowed to grow. This is the nature of big business and what made me realize my love, passion, and desire for small businesses.
When you are making more money than you can count it is easy to accept being in a role that doesn’t make you happy. You convince yourself that the money makes you happy. You become content and obedient to “the system”. You lose what makes you – you. It is only when you are willing (and able) to change yourself that you can become yourself. Being different though is what makes me – me. Being yourself doesn’t make you a bad person. The person that I have always been is minimalist and wants to help others. I let myself go and become what society wanted me to be. They defined me by my skills and where they felt I fit. This is where my story went from the desire of money to the desire to make a difference in the world. Money is still important but is no longer in my top items of happiness.
The first step to becoming myself was my wife, Holly. I needed that cheerleader that would help me figure out who I was. She saw something in me that I no longer was able to see in myself. It took her letting me see for myself how unhappy I truly was and that it was actually killing me (literally). She made me extremely happy but yet I was having heart problems (two heart attacks) and she helped me realize that I was not living my dream – I was living someone else’s dream. When I talked about small business, helping them grow, and helping them achieve their dream did I realize that what I truly wanted to do was to help other businesses. We are all on this planet for a very short period of time. What defines us is what we do with that time.
I have chosen that work doesn’t necessarily have to be work for me and that money, although important to survive, shouldn’t be my driving factor. I could still have money by helping a lot, not a few, businesses achieve their dream. It is this love and passion that would help me achieve my happiness in life. My love is for my wife and our family together has made all of this possible. My passion is to help our clients achieve their goal. Rather than being “fake” and not myself I found out by being authenticate, honest, and a little bit crazy that I can achieve this dream. To achieve this, I cut all my expenses to such an extent that we are 100% debt free, live beneath our means, invested every spare penny we could without cutting everything out of our lives. I looked at what I needed for the family, what I needed to provide an awesome life for our team, and then what we needed to do to help achieve the dreams of our clients. We added 5% to that and that became our pricing that has defined us from the beginning.
I climbed the preverbal diving board and jumped in when everyone else said I shouldn’t. We continue to persevere, upset the business eco-system, and grow on a weekly basis. I attest this to being a competitive person that never will quit and doing everything I can to live my dream. I also believe it is due to surrounding myself with the best team possible who really know their stuff (add explicative if you want as it would fit as well!). I also attest it to having a support system that is unbreakable and vested in my dream and vision 100%. You could say my family is what makes me push harder each day as I want to make them proud of what I have done to help others.
We all have dreams and those dreams are what define us. We can continue to be the children we started out with where society didn’t limit us, where we could have fun, and where the only thing that held us back was our imagination. That is what I have chosen. I am a big kid where I live that dream and my health gets better every day because of it, my internal core feels more fulfilled, and I feel as if I am helping make the world a better place.