My Story – “Nothing Can Take the Place of Persistence.” — Calvin Coolidge
Marketing and entrepreneurialism have been passions of mine since I was a teenager. When I was eighteen, I started my first business. You see, I love golf. Itâs one of my passions in life.
After speaking with the manager at my local golf courseâs clubhouse, an idea came to meâŚwhy not list golf equipment on eBay on his behalf and take advantage of eBayâs up-and-coming, money-making platform?
So thatâs what we did.
At the time, it was a strange idea to sell goods online, but we started trying. It didnât take long for me to realize that things would never be the same again.
One of the golf club members heard what I was doing on eBay. Well after his wife sadly passed away, he cleaned the house out and came across some golf equipment. He asked if I would help him sell it. I envisioned only a couple extra bags of golf clubs as I drove to his house. But to my surprise, I left his home with three truckloads of golf equipment!
Thankfully we agreed to split the sales revenue.
As you can imagine, I was shocked, especially since I was a young teenage college student. This was an incredible act of generosity and one I have never forgotten (I ended up making $60,000 from the golf equipmentâŚnot too shabby for a part-time gig).
Fast forward to today – mentoring young entrepreneurs is one of my core values. People took chances and invested in me at a young age, so I want to do the same for others.
Ups and Downs
It was a surreal experience to find so much success as a freshman in college. But the success didnât last.
My next venture after selling golf clubs was to invest in the stock market. I invested $15,000 and watched it skyrocket to over $100,000. I was on top of the world and couldnât be touched!
Can you guess what happened next?
I made some really bad investing decisions and things quickly went south. I received a phone call from my investment broker. He said, âYour account balance is down to $0.83. Would you like me to mail you a check?â
I was devastated to say the least. But I learned that the true key to success is not being lucky, but rather being persistent. I wasnât about to give up on being an entrepreneur.
Calvin Coolidge said it this way,
âNothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, âPress On!â has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.â
Persistence is also what got me through school. My grades were never great. Teachers would tell me, âYouâll never amount to anything.â But I pressed on and graduated from Kingâs College in Wilkes Barre, PA with a marketing degree. I looked forward to doing something big.
The Secret Service
My first job after college was to sell media for a local radio station. I didnât love the job, but it gave me time and space to think, âWhat’s big? What do I want?â
When the Secret Service motorcade drove through town one day, I knew I found my âsomething big.â So I decided to apply, but sincerely doubted getting accepted once I learned about the highly competitive hiring process.
Joining the Secret Service was a true challenge and another test of persistence. The interview process took two full years and 13 steps. Eight thousand people applied with me, but only 24 people were selected.
I was one of them.
The Secret Service provided incredible opportunities. I traveled the world and performed work that truly mattered. I spent time in Mongolia, India, 44 states in America and developed many lifelong friendships. Now I have tons of intriguing stories to last a lifetime!
Despite this, I couldnât shake my entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to start another business! But this time the stakes were much higher. I held a dream job, traveled the world, and got paid nicely. (If you have entrepreneurialism in your DNA and cannot park or silence the little voice, please know it’s 100% normal and you aren’t alone. It’s time to act on it. My hope is that my story inspires and motivates you enough to take action today.).
I was reading Success Principles by Jack Canfield when I came across the following statement, “If you don’t do it now, you never will.” “I will do it after my kids get to college.â Then it becomes, “I will do it after my kids graduate” and the list of excuses continues on. That scared me! It scared me enough to set down the book and commit to taking action.
It was like a bolt of lightning. If I didnât start a business now, I would keep making excuses for the rest of my life. I submitted my notice with the Secret Service and moved to AtlantaâŚready to start.