Hope to see you/hear you tomorrow night! (please SHARE because this one is FREE!)
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I’m headed back to South Florida after spending the weekend in Tallahassee at the FSU graduation where Dan’s daughter graduated with a double major. I endured a very looooong 7-hour drive each way to support him in his very proud and special Dad moment.
It was NOT what I expected though…
I thought “college graduation” would be a big happy festive moment for the graduates, but the overall feeling wasn’t like that at all. Very few of them had those 4.0 GPA’s that seemed so abundant in high school and the look on the graduates faces was very odd to me.
It wasn’t HAPPINESS…
The look on their faces looked more like overwhelm that had come finally come to an end, with a little relief and fear thrown into the mix.
College graduation for many is where the rubber hits the road… It’s time to grow up, and somehow you are instantly supposed to know what your passion and purpose are and have your entire life planned out PLUS figure out how to pay the bills.
Truthfully, without getting into an argument about “education”, the only DIFFERENCE I see between a smart person who set out to go to college and did NOT graduate versus someone who DID graduate (smart is irrelevant in this case) is someone who was able to stay FOCUSED on the “end-game”, be somewhat consistent and have the guts to STICK TO IT and see it through no matter how hard it got.
I don’t believe you need a college degree to be successful, but I do believe it takes A LOT of FOCUS, consistency and stick-to-it-ness to get a degree.
More importantly, the ability to overcome all the challenges life decided to throw at you and keep going is what will make you successful, NOT how”smart” you are. (which explains why having a degree is weighed so heavily)
Then I remembered when I graduated from college. I received a BBA in Business Management and Finance and had already earned a degree in Marketing.
The thing is that… I was 27, had undiagnosed ADHD and even though I was allegedly very smart, I struggled through everything I did. I never “finished” anything until then, and my own parents didn’t believe I would ever graduate either.
My son was already born; he was an 18-month old baby, and I was working full-time during the day and taking classes at night (15 hours like a crazy person).
I made very little money as an Apartment Manager, had a ton of debt and was so broke I could barely pay attention. I clearly remember having to choose between paying rent or buying groceries. I took my son to daycare during the day and then he went to a baby sitter at night. I felt guilty about this every single day.
I remember just 2 weeks before graduation, it got to a point where I felt I couldn’t take it anymore, and I desperately wanted to QUIT! I was exhausted.
This shit was HARD! Why was I sacrificing my time with my family? What was I thinking?
I’ll tell you exactly what I was thinking…
- I was FOCUSED on the END GAME and the life I wanted to have when it was all over.
- I was FOCUSED on being an “example” to my son and others and the impact I wanted to have on his life when he decided to flail around in his life. I didn’t want him ever to think college was an “option”.
- I was FOCUSED on the difference I was going to be able to make in my career with the education I was getting.
- I was FOCUSED on finally having that FREEDOM one day and ensuring that my son didn’t ever have to STRUGGLE the way I did my whole life.
NO ONE supported me through school. I was on my own. I joined the Army to earn money for school. (which explains my late graduation date).
I had to work my way through school, I had to take out a lot of LOANS and I had to take care of a precious baby who didn’t start sleeping through the night until he was a teenager. I did have a MENTOR at school, thank goodness! Dr. Chigbo Ofong guided me through all of my crap I went through while I was trying to get through school and kept me focused when I couldn’t do it on my own.
If I let all of the hard MOMENTS (which occurred almost daily) take over, I would have QUIT a hundred times over.
Of course, my graduation day was “happy” but most of all, it was a day of “Omg, I can’t believe I made it” and “I’m still alive and I’m so glad that’s over.”
That day came primarily with a sign of RELIEF and for the first time in my life, I finally saw something through to the end.
To my surprise, when my name was called at graduation, I found out I was graduating Cum Laude (with honors), and I had the highest GPA in my major for that graduating class!!!
WHAT?! How in the world did I do that? I thought I was barely getting by.
Imagine that! I literally wanted to QUIT just 2 weeks prior to that moment.
But I didn’t.
But I really really wanted to…
But I didn’t.
The fact that I didn’t QUIT was the ONLY thing that thing that made me different than all of the other smart people who never finished college.
And that’s what made all of these FSU graduates different that I was honored to see walk across the stage this weekend. So CONGRATS to all of the college and high school graduates who have “seen it through”. I take my hat off to you, and you should be very proud of yourselves!
As a Business and Entrepreneurial Coach, nationally-recognized Speaker and ADHD Coach, I get to meet a lot of brilliant people along my journey.
And I see this “quitting” thing happen ALL THE TIME with business owners.
Having your own business is TOUGH!
If having your own business was easy, everyone would do it. However, we over-complicate it, and we make it way harder than it has to be. It really is simple, and when you are FOCUSED on the END-GAME, you can and will SUCCEED! I promise!
The problem that I see with so many business owners and entrepreneurs is that they just QUIT!
They QUIT in the middle of the hard moments. They change direction, or they allow another “bright idea” to take over and distract them from what they originally set out to accomplish.
They don’t focus on the right things (because they don’t know how or know what to focus on), they spend all of their money on “magic pills” or things they think will fix their business and sometimes…
they even DISGUISE the “quitting” part with “a better business opportunity” or blaming someone else, the “economy” or outside sources for why it’s not working in their business and why they aren’t making enough money.
Most people started their business for one or more of the following reasons such as…
- a necessity (from job loss, life transition or need more money)
- a whim (a bright idea that sounded really good or a “great business opportunity”)
- a gift or passion that burns inside of them and knowing they have a PURPOSE to fulfill and want to share their message with the world.
So they set out to do just that!
And uh oh, THAT idea didn’t work out so well. So they either QUIT or when many business owners come to me for help, they are just about to QUIT and don’t know what else to do.
I’m here to tell you… If you do not know what your END GAME is, you WILL FAIL! That is guaranteed.
The END-GAME I am referring to is a FORMULA.
Your VISION/Mission +
Your “WHY” +
a PLAN (a solid game plan to get there)
= END-GAME Strategy
If you are missing any of these components, you are setting yourself up to fail and then to beat yourself up for failing as if it was your fault and you are the failure.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way, over and over again. I have had a lot of hard lessons to learn, but I’m relieved to say that we made it to a place I never thought possible. (more about that later)
but, this entire story leads me to a story about a very special women in my life named “Melissa”.
When I met Melissa, she was at that place I will call “2 weeks before graduation”…
Stay tuned for my blog next week to read THE REST OF THIS STORY…
but until then, you can get some of the JUICY good details and some of the ugly not-so-good details by joining me Monday night as I interview Melissa Binkley, and we share some AMAZING f.r.e.e. TRAINING with you.
Discover what is REALLY Crippling Your Business…
& your Bank Account?
The 5 Parts to creating and sustaining
a 6 Figure Business & beyond!
with Shelley Mitchell & Melissa Binkley