Raised by a single mother, life started with little more than the necessities. A roof and food was what we had to be thankful for. A proud mother who instilled the value of leadership from an early age by constantly saying "You are a leader, not a follower." It never meant much to me as a child, but it resonates with me into adulthood.
I'm technically categorized as a millennial. Born in 1987, and although I hold some of the traits, most I cannot relate to. I learned hard work from an early age. My grandfather was the male role model in my life. He would wake up every day at 4:15 am. I recall the aroma of fresh brewed coffee filling the house. The tin coffee container inside of the black plastic folding lunch box would be filled every morning. He was a hard working man until the day he passed. I always wanted to buy his home and surprise him with relief. A dream never realized.
I have worked job after job. I'd last 6 months, then get bored. I'd go some place for 4 to 5 months, and repeat. Until one day I picked up a book called "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. It gave me a sense of direction. I knew what I wanted, but I wasn't backing that with action. I was always a dreamer. Then I realized dreams mean nothing. They're just as they sound. They are figments of the mind. It's goals, backed by action, that leads to true change. I then found a job where I wanted to learn the actual business. I set a goal; to own an apartment community. Although not yet realized, I still have that goal. I then wanted to start a business, something to get my feet wet in the business world. I faced rejections from family members for capital, I was turned down for loans, and rejected by a couple of people looking for investment opportunities. I couldn't take no for an answer. All "NO" meant to me, was "Next Opportunity," until the day I was able to start my company. The first year was brutal. Struggling to stay afloat. Working 7 days a week with nights, weekends, and basically all free time sacrificed. Here is where I stand, on my own 2 feet. Almost 3 years in business, growth happening year over yea, new opportunities constantly rising, and a Rolodex of contacts I would have otherwise never known. This is not the end, but the beginning. The same humble beginning to put food on the table and keep a roof over my head.