It is Not Impossible: The Lessons I Learned about Being an Underdog

underdogA little less than three decades ago, I found myself lost and unable to find my way.  I was always a dreamer and had very little support from the people around me.  Although I had a great family, I had a bad attitude and was too smart for my own good.  I was put into a children’s group home at a young age and learned a lot about absolute despair.

The group home taught me street smarts and resourcefulness. It taught me how to self-sustain and provided a valuable lesson in how not to become a statistic.  I saw friends take their lives, people make life changing mistakes and saw most of them accept life as it was with little hope for the future.

Here are some valuable things I learned from living a life different than almost everyone else:

  1. I was constantly told that I was not going to amount to anything.  Challenge accepted! I learned a long time ago that whatever I do, I am going to be the best at it. I know people can talk for miles about how great they are at something, “I do then show” while others “show and never do.”
  2. Trust and integrity is essential.  I never start off by feeling that someone has good intentions, you can have a relationship with me; however, you will earn my trust.  I have seen good things turn bad fast because people trust first and learn their lesson last.
  3. Be selfish. You and by extension your family, come first.  Never allow another person to limit your ability or take what is yours.  Being charitable is fine, but you should never give or allow someone to take a minute, moment or opportunity from you.
  4. Freedom and time is precious. I will never know what it is like to live a normal childhood, I didn’t experience the same things my friends did.  I wouldn’t trade my experience; however, I would go back and apply all of the things I now know to help save another. Use every minute to evaluate the people around you and ensure they are on your side.
  5. Failure is a mindset. If you allow it to take your focus, drive and determination it will take your life.  If you are in a less desirable situation and you are blaming someone else, you need to take a step back.
  6. Be diabolical. Nobody truly knows what I am capable of; they learn when I need to apply my skillset to solve a problem. Apply critical thinking to everything that you do and master the art of becoming a tactician.  I am intentionally vague and I know when someone believes they are taking advantage of me.
  7. Take healthy risks- I have lived my life three times over.  I have had it all and nothing all at once. You are never down for the count; a chance encounter in the street propelled me into business. Be a selfish opportunist, your gut instinct is usually right.  Follow your heart and you will be amazed at what you will accomplish.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that you can do whatever you put your mind to. It starts right here, right now. It starts with you.