As I approach my first year since “retiring” from my restaurant business, I decided to reflect back and analyze the path I took to reach my current state of affairs. Although I have only a couple of regrets, the ones that I do have are huge. My motivation in writing this article is to illustrate these mistakes with the hope that those embarking on a career or new venture will be able to make a conscious decision for themselves and lead an empowering life.
When I was thirty years old, I was consumed with the restaurant business and devoted my energy towards its success. The business was growing and very profitable, but I was treating it as a high paying job and not a business. I was working in the business and not on the business. This is the largest regret that I have as I look back. I was more interested in a nice paycheck than trying to scale a business and create real wealth.
I should have focused on financial freedom and getting out of the rat race sooner.
Becoming financially free opens your life up to so many opportunities. It has allowed me to concentrate on what I am passionate about, family and real estate. The more passion you exhibit in any endeavor, the better you are at it and the happier you are. Bottom line!
I had it backwards.
My business was dictating my lifestyle instead of my lifestyle dictating my business. I was somewhat content in what I was doing, but there was no thought of creating passive income or multiple streams of revenue. The economy was humming along too well for me to focus on these wealth-building principles. The Great Recession of 2008 woke me up to the fact that I was a slave to my situation and to my paycheck. What was my next step?
I finally took responsibility for my results and dove in head first towards personal development. I realized that I was the one in control of my results, not the economy and certainly not any politician. Once I entered coaching school, I viewed life and achievement from a different perspective and my results exploded. I was able to leave the restaurant four years after I came to the realization,
“Enough was enough”.
This lack of personal development was my second regret in life. My ignorance of goal setting and taking personal responsibility hindered my ability to grow as a person. Once I began to listen to coaches such as Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar, I was exposed to how a successful person acted.
I began to surround myself with smarter and better people, and I immersed myself in all types of education.
I began to ask myself tougher questions, such as “Where am I going to be in five years”, “What is going to make me happy” and “Who am I”? The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of questions you can ask yourself. Up to this point in my life, I wasn’t asking myself any questions.
My growth began when I started to challenge myself.
I have been blessed with six children and an amazing wife, although I allowed external forces and society to dictate how I felt about having a large family. The first comment out of anyone’s mouth when they heard that I had a large family was “Just wait until college and weddings start coming up”. This only added to my stress at work, and I was beginning to regret my decision of having a large family. The turning point for me was when my wife had an ectopic pregnancy, (her tube ruptured). I was crushed that we had lost a baby and that my wife had to endure such pain.
After that moment, any thought of financial responsibility quickly vanished and I haven’t looked back. I just wish I had come to this realization a lot sooner. Funny thing is that I rarely get those questions about paying for college. I think that I have become more relaxed and my focus is on enjoying every day with them.
My goal in writing this article is to allow you to choose your own path and to make empowering decisions about your career and your family. I want you to embrace personal development and set goals for your life. Don’t let your life happen to you; take control of your life. Finally, always focus on big goals that will elicit the passion in your life. Today is the first day starting the rest of your life!