Don't Let Them Hold You Back

You know what I just finished doing? Washing my car… It’s a Friday, it’s 1pm, and I am feeling free. Today I realized life doesn’t have to suck! Let me explain, because I realize that many of you are just getting to know me.
Two years ago I was an analyst for a major healthcare company, I spent my days in an office, playing political games, and sucking the oxygen out of the room with my hunger for power. It wasn’t the ideal job, it was stressful, fast paced, and I was surrounded by incompetence. Even so, I took pleasure in using the little power I had to spread the misery around a bit. Suddenly, it all went down the drain, I was arrested for a crime I didn’t actually commit, nor intend on committing... My small world fell on me like a bag of bricks. I lost my career, my apartment, and my freedom because I was placed on house arrest.
I found myself in square one, working for a small print shop owned by my father. Initially, I thought that the working environment would improve, but I quickly grew disillusioned, then apathetic. I began to loose myself, lose sight of my goals, days blurred into months and two years later I found myself still there.       
I don’t know how I let myself fall so hard, I think in part it was due to the lack of support from those surrounding me. The job wasn’t easy either, in fact I found myself doing more work than anyone else there, and it wasn’t because I wanted to. I was breaking, and didn’t know where to go. My father kept telling me that I was a felon now, who was going to hire someone with a felony, and on house arrest? I admit, I was weak, I was scared, and I settled.
Every now, and then I would have sparks of my old self appear, I would try to change something, try to bring innovation to the work place, these efforts were almost always ridiculed. Even with all of that I was too weak to snap out of it. I created a account, but didn’t even bother updating my resume with my latest job experience, new phone number, or address. I was becoming just another worker bee.
Luckily for me just like in Wallstreet markets a reset was heading my way, life seems to do this every so often, I call these hard resets. I was at work when my father’s business partner sent me a text message with badly written instruction. I followed what was written, but upon arrival he expressed his disagreement with my interpretation of his text message. A heated argument ensued, one in which he told me to leave and not come back, and you know what I did exactly that! Turned out to be the best decision I have ever made! 
That happened a Thursday, and that Friday I woke up at 6:00am and began re-writing my resume. I added my latest job experience, and all of the new skills I had acquired, and then I set out to actively obtain a job. By Noon I had filled out more than 200 resumes. I wasn’t casually looking for a job I was stalking my prey! I was googling fax numbers, tracing IPs, doing everything I could to obtain information about the companies I was applying for. As you might know most companies now a days don’t put their names on job opening ads, so if you want to get to the HR person hiring you need to get your hands dirty.
Eventually, I stumbled upon an opening that really caught my attention. The job opening read “Chief Operations Officer Needed For Growing Business” I read the ad several times, looking for clues and then I saw the fax number hidden in at the bottom of the page. I googled the fax number and a website came up, I headed over to the contact page and called the number. Someone answered and I asked if the owner or head of HR was available; they transferred me.
I got the owner, she was shocked, she said that the ad had just been put up on and she had not placed the phone number or name of the company in the ad. Additionally, she had forgotten that the fax number was available but either way I had been the only person to actually make the phone call.    
We spoke for about an hour, I told her about my experience, and emailed her my resume while she was on the phone, the next day I met with her and HR. The job was mine!  Great, I had a new job, where I was basically my own boss, where I would be able to set the agenda for others to follow, and where I could work from home 50% of the time.
The first week went by, and to be honest I felt a bit off. I had never had a job where I wasn’t working like a slave. Even though I was salary I kept track of my hours… interesting 9 hours for the week. I went into the office on Tuesday and picked up my check… interesting lets just say it was a check significantly higher than what I had been getting with my dad working 30 – 32 hours a week.
Today is the end of week two, and I get paid on Monday. I don’t feel stressed, I don’t feel as power-hungry as I once did, even though to be honest here I only have 13 people to lord over, where as during my time as an analyst I had a few hundred people to shove around at will. I can relax, I can watch a movie, I can read, or add more to my book. For once in my life I feel like I am in full control of my career destiny.
So what is the moral of the story? Do not let anyone, or any situation hinder you in reaching your objectives. For two years of my life I had vampires surrounding me, telling me I could never get a job because of my criminal past. I had curled up and surrendered to my tribulations. I was beginning to develop tunnel vision. How long did it take me to get a job, one day! If I could do it, with a criminal record, what is stopping you? Nothing, absolutely nothing is stopping you, all you need is a bit of confidence, honesty, and motivation.
Confidence, I mean as I always say “I rather be full of myself than full of shit!” I called the business, I was confident that I was the man for the job, that I could double, triple, quadruple profit margins. Confidence draws people in; most people are weak and are quick to bow before anyone who seems to have even a slight inkling of confidence.
Honesty, one of the first things I told the owner of the company after speaking with her, and after hooking her with my past experience was that I was a felon. I explained the entire case to her with detail. Once again this goes back to my first point, when you have confidence people tend to only see confidence, they are willing to compromise, if they think you are worthy of their time they will surrender it to you.
Last motivation, if you don’t have motivation then you wont succeed, or at least not for long. I mean think about it, I am sure there are hundreds of people who can do everything I do much better than me, but do they have the motivation to do so? Do they have enough motivation to steal my aspirations from me? The answer is most likely no!

Go out and conquer, don’t let anyone hold you back, be willing to actually make an effort, don’t be afraid to fail, and think outside the box. If you have a similar experience, advice, or you simply want to tell me how wrong I am please feel free to do so in the comments! I look forward to good reads. Oh, and I almost forgot if this post inspired you or you think it can be of inspiration to others please share.


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