When I was 10 years old a family friend gave me a copy of the book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Ever since that day I have been curious about human performance and why some people achieve their big goals while others never seem to gain any traction. I’ve experienced both sides of that coin and have spent years testing methods to determine what works and what doesn’t.
After graduating university in 2001 I moved from Mount Pearl, NL to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life I bummed around in hotels and landscaping jobs until I set my aim on securing a federal government job (aka. job for life). Seemed like a wise choice at the time. My parents were teachers and that was the world I grew up in. Pension, benefits, steady cheque. I worked for three years at the Public Health Agency of Canada and finally secured a permanent position – then realized I wasn’t happy with settling. The punch in/punch out routine wasn’t for me. In that same time frame I was diagnosed with a chronic inflammatory condition that sidetracked my life for a good year and a half (hospitals, sick leave, etc). Staying positive through that period really opened my eyes to how much your mindset plays a role in how you handle the shit life throws at you.
I eventually got better and in 2009 I finally summoned the courage to make the leap from government cubicle to pharmaceutical sales. I was offered a mat leave replacement role, and had seven months to prove myself with no guarantee of a future position. Some family and friends thought I was little crazy, given that a government job was a pretty safe place to be when a recession hits. But that voice inside me kept saying it was the right move. While plagued with self doubt, I still had a strong underlying belief in myself.
That moved paid off and in a few short years I had doubled my income and things were looking up (getting a bonus in a sales job after being a government worker for years was a real eye opener!). I got promoted quickly and things really started to progress – I climbed the ladder, got engaged, and life was good. And then it started to take a left turn.
The promotion I accepted really wasn’t a job I was suited for. I started the job and then realized it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I made mistakes. My manager made mistakes. And within a year a promising career path became a long walk out of head office with a box of my belongings and no idea what to do next. That same month I discovered the woman I was engaged to was not the person I thought she was. She was living another life that did not involve me. Four months before the wedding, we pulled the chute.
Its in these types of moments we find out what we’re really made of. Life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns and quite frankly it shouldn’t be. The tough times are what make you grateful for the beautiful ones. Sitting on my kitchen floor alone, crying, in an empty house was a painful time in my life. Losing a relationship and a job at the same time tends to have that effect. And then you realize you have a choice – push through the fear and anxiety or let it consume you. Thankfully in my early twenties I developed a habit of reading about highly accomplished people and learning what achievers do that the rest of us don’t. Staying in the right mindset and having a positive attitude when the tough breaks did happen made all the difference. I took a few weeks to recalibrate and think about what I wanted from a work perspective. I hustled and eventually landed an interview and ultimately a new job – with more pay and more vacation! I also began investing in real estate and went on to build a valuable portfolio of properties (a dream I always had growing up). I stayed single for a long time and learned about what I really wanted in a life partner.
Today I’m married to an intelligent and beautiful woman, have a new baby boy and two awesome dogs. I spend my days heading up leadership development as Associate Director, Learning & Development at a global pharmaceutical company (note: all opinions expressed here are solely my own).
If you’ve made it this far, check out the “Why” section of this website to see if it’s for you. If you’re someone who believes in the possible and wants more out of life, who wants the straight goods without all the nonsense we sometimes see in the personal development space – then welcome, you’ve come to the right place. Sign up for the weekly newsletter and let’s get started!
To your success,