So it’s been a week since I returned from Puerto Rico and it has been nothing short of game changing for me. I’ve been firing on all cylinders since I returned and I have no plans of slowing down.
Life is quite different when you surround yourself with people who love and cherish you. I felt that more than ever while I was at this destination wedding with my good friend Charlie & his beautiful bride, Isa.
This is a piece of my life that has been missing for a while. Even though you see a strong and hardened exterior through social media, I’m quite an emotional guy who feels inadequate almost every day.
There has been huge struggles for me inside over the years… especially when it comes to people.
When I chose my entrepreneur route, I decided to sacrifice quite a bit… not so much knowingly, but that’s what happened. I often talk about the the monetary sacrifices, but many people don’t realize the social sacrifices.
All through my life, especially as a child, I was extremely shy. I always considered myself an introvert. I never liked putting myself out there except when I knew fully that I was going to come out on top.
As many of you know, that’s usually not going to be the case when you put yourself out there.
In my high school years, I was able to expand beyond this for a bit due to sports. I was gifted with an extremely high level of athleticism. This allowed me to be the best on the field, the court, the track, or wherever the battle ground was without much effort beyond the gifts my parents bestowed upon me at birth.
This carried over socially. Not because I did any extra work to make that happen, but because I was on top and people gravitate to those on top.
When college hit, reality once again set in. I wasn’t the king of the castle and I didn’t have the outlet of sports to signify that.
This is really where the lack of confidence and the introvert side of myself started to take over again. I had a great group of friends in college, but our group wasn’t exactly the crew that went out there and did things beyond our circle.
As I hit adulthood, communication and being social was proving to be a struggle. I didn’t take the time in college to learn these skills needed to really be on top of life.
Soon after college, I decided being a entrepreneur was the route I wanted to go. So, I made the decision not to work for anyone else again. This pulled me even further out of the social world considering most young adults make friends through their work place.
I instead worked from home each day with only a roommate around. Luckily for me, these roommates were working men who could at least bring me out to connect with their group.
A few years of struggling as an entrepreneur with no real success forced me to have to move in with my younger sister and brother. Each night, I slept on a tiny couch where my legs hung off the edge and my dog, Simba, slept cradled under my knees.
This was a huge defeat in my subconscious. These were definitely the lowest years of my life and took until recent years to fully overcome.
You might think that once I had to move in with my younger siblings that it was the kick in the ass I needed and I put it into gear right away to make changes happen… but that’s not the case. It was actually around 1.5 years of sulking and feeling sorry for myself until I started to even attempt to pull myself out again.
During this year + period, I disconnected more than ever from society. I literally became a hermit.
I had no money coming in, so going out on the town was out of the question. I ended up having to cancel my cell phone plan as well. Many of the friends I made through college and my young adult life took this personally and considered that I turned my back on them.
The truth more so is that I felt like I had nothing to offer as a friend and was embarrassed of myself. So, even though, I had many past friends that were living just a few miles away, I never reached out to connect.
For a couple year period, I had zero communication with the outside world beyond my immediate family and the exaggerated persona on the internet.
It wasn’t until my best friend through college, Rickey Lear, ended up reaching out to me and saying this is enough and it needs to change. He drove to where I was, picked me up and took me back to Nashville with him.
This was the changing point that I started to get my monetary struggle under control… but it wasn’t until these recent years or even months that I’ve been able to focus on the other aspects of my life.
Today, my life is quite different than the story I shared above. My social life is the best it’s ever been. I’m surrounded by great people and good friends. Meeting strangers is no sweat even though connecting with people still can be a struggle.
I don’t even believe in the words “introvert or extrovert” anymore… I believe you choose how you react to every situation and I plan to react accordingly more so every chance I get.
This recent weekend trip showed me that more than ever. The people I was lucky enough to associate with made me see clearly what life is about and what I want from it.
Isa’s family were some of the nicest folks I’ve ever met… all of them work with children or animals in some capacity. Isa herself is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met who cares way more for those around her than herself.
Charlie’s friends that I got to hang out with were absolutely fantastic. I feel like I made some real life long friends that I’ll be connecting with over and over again in the following years.
I was even lucky enough to connect with a few amazing driven women that I look forward to seeing again.
So, this post got a little long and off topic from what I originally planned, but the point is the hustle is constant and it’s not just about the money. It’s a big necessity for the life I want, but it’s not nearly enough to fulfill you.
So, get out there and grow beyond just your bank account. Make connections and help the world become a better place. Surround yourself with people who are going to push you forward and do that because they love you and not your accomplishments or things you have. It’s way more fun.
If I am able to do half as good as Charlie did, I’ll be a happy man.