I'm getting vulnerable with all of you because I feel like when I do I help some of you.
I have a secret that I have not shared with many people. Unless you've known me for about 18 years or more you'd never know it. But I almost lost it all. Almost blew it.
At one point I had written myself off. You see I had one of the brightest starts to a life you could ask for. Decent looking kid. Athletic - tough to imagine now, I know! Straight A student. Won every academic and a lot of the athletic awards that were out there.
But I had two problems.
One - I hated the spotlight
Two - I hated school and worse yet reading.
I HATED READING. I hated being forced to read about topics I wasn't interested in and when I was young and in school that was pretty much everything.
Not English. Not science. Not history. But I was gifted with being able to remember, retain, and regurgitate any info that I sat through. Made school very easy. Honor society. Proud parents. Kudos. Awards. Great.
But when I went to college guess what? No one was watching what I did anymore. So I stopped attending classes.
Sure people thought I was in class. But generally speaking I was finding the kids that were in between classes and either just hanging out or smoking weed.
The other kids were doing just fine and no one assumed anything less of me. They assumed if I was around I was in between classes... not playing hookie. But I was.
I wasn't interested in ANYTHING. Chose political science as my major THE DAY we had to declare because it seemed like something I could bullshit my way through. But there was a fatal flaw in my stupid plan. I was someone who got straight A's just from listening to a lesson... And now I wasn't attending class. And I hated reading.
I went from being straight A's from Kindergarten through high school graduation to a dude hanging on for dear life and scheming ways to pull C's out of professors with last minute Hail Mary excuses, extra credit projects, and some of the nuttiest stories I have never shared. I actually had a doctor I met over AOL from Michigan (I'm from NY and never met the guy in real life) that would mail me a letter once a semester for me to give my professors stating I had mono.
I wound up dropping a class or two a semester and failing another and did not graduate nearly on time.
Took a break. Wasn't even sure if I would finish school. And in the Leave it to Beaver McCormick house I grew up in that made me the black sheep.
Reason I share all of this is because I did anything to avoid school and reading because nothing was of interest to me and I was too immature at the time to try and figure shit out. I did not know it at the time but I believe at this stage in life that it's the exact reason I ultimately became an entrepreneur. I hate being told what to do. How to do it. What to like. What's important.
I have always preferred and actually have always needed (even though I denied myself it til I was about 32) the ability to pursue my own interests and serve my own purposes.
You know what happened? I started READING and LEARNING. For me this time! Not for a diploma. Not for a GPA. Not for proud parents.
And guess what?
I have found an absolute love for the two things I hated most despite my natural talents - learning and reading. I read more and take more courses about marketing, advertising, entrepreneurship, and business success in a year then most do in a lifetime.
Constant student. Constant education. Constantly reading. Go figure!
Find your passions. Find your love. Find what drives you.
You will find yourself in relentless pursuit. You will find yourself making better friends. You will find yourself making more money. You will find yourself generally more happy.
Do not settle for a life of mediocrity.
You were not out here to fit in. You were put here to stand out.
Follow your passion and stand out.