People have always asked me, “How did I do it?” They want to know how I succeeded growing up in a neighborhood where no one was supposed to succeed. Well, I did not get off with the
greatest start – I grew up with alcoholic parents, I failed the fourth grade, and I fathered a child in the eighth grade.
Look for the Silver Lining
What made the difference for me was the things I thought were the worst things in my life, but turned out to be the best things. An example is my beautiful daughter. At the time, I thought the world had ended. Can you imagine being 14 and having a child? Well, that gift is what led me to look for the silver lining in all my supposed “failures.” Perhaps they will turn out to be the best things, as well, and they have for the most part! We learn so much more from the things we do not get in life than from the things we do get. Take failure or rejection and learn to look for the opportunity.
Never Give Up
Another great reason for my success has been that I never gave up. I have been so low, so ready to give up, so many times. Just when I was about to give up, something always happened to keep me in the fight. It might have been as simple as others failing and giving up. Knowing that we all have to go through pain in order to succeed motivates me. If everyone is going through pain, I know that I can stand more pain. It is just that simple – or at least I tell myself that until I succeed!
Hire People Smarter than Yourself
Every one of us has faults. We cannot be the best at everything. We need to surround ourselves with people that lift us up. As they say, there are basement people and balcony people. Find the people that lift you up. I have learned that I need to hire people much smarter than myself. You will never succeed if you are the only smart guy in the company. You need as many people as you can get to help fill in the weak spots. In my case, I feel most are smarter than myself. I am very proud that I have been able to attract so many wonderful people to believe in my dream.
Learn from others mistakes. Find people you admire and learn from them. These mentors can help teach you so much without having to learn it the hard way. I have never been afraid to show my hand and ask questions. People love to help when they have the knowledge. We pay these wise people a compliment when we want to know how they did it. Always ask!
Live your life with integrity. There is always a faster, cheaper way to get to the top. Trust me, you can call it karma, bad luck, or whatever label you want to put on it, but if you cheat, it will come back to haunt you. You are the only one in life that you cannot fool. Live your life well. Treat people fairly, believe in your gut instinct, and you will succeed.
Best of luck to you!