Leaving home when I was only 16 years old was tough, yet I pushed myself through high school. I wanted to ensure that I completed my high school diploma and mainly stay close to my friends. Living on my own was difficult. I had limited money, food and ability for entertainment. Having little self-esteem and a future that seemed bleak, I was left alone with my thoughts way too often. For a growing boy, that is a challenge. I may have projected to my peers a more confident young man than I actually was, but I had to in order to ensure they knew nothing of my true struggles. This experience, hardship and constant fear of failure, built within me a hunger for success and a determination to achieve it. I felt as though I had the world against me, yet I was determined to conquer it.
Here are a couple pictures of me in my personal environment.
Not having much education, I was not able to get the type of employment I wanted. I wanted to get something in the professional industry, yet I could not get the opportunity. No one would hire someone like me with no secondary education and/or experiences in the field. This forced me to focus on self-employment and odd jobs to help pay the bills. By my late teens, I had started and failed in several businesses. I did not give up though. No matter how many times I failed, I would learn and incorporate those lessons into my next business. My plans were getting better, my understanding of what a business needed to grow became clearer and I was succeeding longer than before. While these businesses still failed, I was getting better at it.
By my early 20s I read about something called ‘Project Management’. I had never heard about this industry before, yet I was intrigued that through a better understanding of this discipline, projects had a significantly greater chance for success. The light bulb went on for me! A business is really a series of projects and if I could become good at understanding project management, I could apply this knowledge to my business development needs and hopefully become more successful.
Through the chance meeting of a girl, who later became my wife, I was able to land an interview through her mother within a division of the Canadian government. It was a low paying Customer Service Representative position, but it was in an office environment. Now in my mid-20s, I was entrenched in learning everything about my new employment keeping my ears to the grown on opportunities. Over the course of the next 5 years, I focused on the advancement of my project management skills, taking courses whenever possible, learning project management software on my own time and advancing my career into the senior management department overseas 13 projects.
By my late 20s, I decided to submit to speak at a conference on Project Management and was selected. This was my first time public speaking and it led to me receiving a job offer from a local Project Management firm who was in the audience.
While working for this local project management firm, my experiences in multiple industry grew. I consulted on projects within health care, government, IT, advertisement and management. My personal experiences grew based on my interests in learning more about Project Management. Within only 2 years after joining this firm, I decided to get back into self-employment and started another company.
This time I was prepared with close to 5 years of experience and education in the discipline of Project Management. I applied the skills I learned to the development of my first business and within 4 years I was bringing in revenues into the millions. My second business, I sold for more than seven digits within the first 18 months.
A lot of people tell me that I am a lucky guy, but the reality is that the harder I worked the more I was able to accomplish and the more I drove my own fate….or the luckier I got.