Category Archives: Reflection

Reflections of Someone Who Triumphed Through Difficult Times

It’s times like this, usually at night before I go to bed, that I have some time to reflect and really think about things.

This past year was the exact opposite of the year before. I hit rock bottom last year. I lost a job, my parents fired me, I broke up with my girlfriend, moved out of our apartment, lost most of my furniture, and lost my mind. Last October to December was rough.

I was fortunate enough to get a last-minute plane ticket to Germany and spend a month with friends and family that I hadn’t seen for 5 years. That was such a great time in my life. I met new people and did new things. I came back refreshed and with a new outlook.

The spring was full of bullshit encounters with my ex trying to get my furniture back. I’m happy to say that those scars have finally healed.

The bubble burst on our business and sales ran dry basically overnight. I had to find a job…any job. In the slowest recovering region in regards to the recession, that wasn’t easy.

Also, because of that, I had no money to go to school in Chicago where I was going to fulfill a life-long dream of playing college soccer. I spent the previous 2 years training and trying out for professional teams but that didn’t quite work out and this was going to be the next best thing.

Instead of being in Chicago meeting my teammates, I was a newspaper delivery dude for 2 months. I worked 2:30-4:30 am, 7 days a week making about $150 a week. Deduct gas and wear and tear on my car, and it was more like $110. Ugh.

I was fortunate to get a job at a Mexican restaurant as a “cook.” I spent most of my time washing dishes. The restaurant was in turmoil and we got a lot of new cooks and a new back-of-house manager. I never got more than 20 hours a week. At $8/hr, it just wasn’t cutting it.

Through my mom I was really fortunate to land an interview with a big bank. A month later, after my background check and all that was completed, I was hired.

Wearing a tie to work and being clean-shaven was something that was totally new to me.

About 2 months into the gig as a 20-hour part-timer, the girl who was hired along with myself decided to quit without notice. I stepped up and took over her hours. My hours went to 25, then 32, and now 36 hours a week. We had a meeting the other morning and someone asked about the position and my managers said that they didn’t put out a request for someone new because they gave those hours to me. I guess they’re happy with my performance.

My mom talked to her branch manager and he said that my managers can do what they want with the hours so if they have someone who seems capable and they want to keep them in their branch, they’ll do whatever they can to keep them.

I guess this is my “trial period.” As long as I keep on doing what I’m doing, I’m pretty confident that I’ll be going full-time soon. It’s almost unheard of for someone to go full-time after being with the company for such a short time but I think I’m really in the right place at the right time. I’m extremely fortunate but I believe that all the bullshit that I’ve been through has brought me to this place and that good things come to those who keep on fighting through hell. Along with the hours, there’s a good possibility that I’ll get a raise.

I don’t mean to brag or boast; I hope this inspires people who are going through hell to keep on going because it paid off for me. Crazier things have happened. Don’t give up; that’s usually when things start turning themselves around. Just when you’re about to give up, something crazy like this can happen.


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The Hardest Part of Starting Any Business is Actually Starting

Seriously, it is. I’ve had this idea for about a year. I’ve enjoyed helping others with their businesses but always had some kind of excuse that I didn’t have any “time” to get this started. Some common excuses were that I had school, I had to work on the other business, I had to work out, I needed some time to be lazy, and the most detrimental one; everything had to be PERFECT.

As you probably know, there is no such thing as perfection; no matter how hard we try. A good friend of mine once told me, “it’s not about what you don’t have, its getting started with what you do have.” It took a while for that to sink in, but thankfully it finally has.

At the end of the day, I’ll include a list of what I did that day so you can see how much you can actually get accomplished in 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. This will also serve as a way for me to be accountable and so that I can go back and reflect on what worked and what didn’t so that we can all get more efficient in growing our location-independent micro businesses.

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