I consider myself a very successful person, both in business and in life. I have what I consider a strong faith, a great family and no financial worries. That's not to say that there aren't areas that I'd really like to improve in. In my opinion, anyone who thinks their life is perfect either has very low standards or is delusional.
But things weren't always as good as they are now, and they didn't become the way they are without help from other people. No man is an island, and I'm no exception.
So I thought I'd briefly share some of my personal history that brought me to where I am today. I'll stick to the things that affected my business, since that's what most of my blog readers are interested in. I think there are some good lessons to learn from what's happened to me along the way. I hope you'll agree.
The first thing that affected my success as a software developer and Internet Marketer was my father. It started when I was eight years old. I was over at a friend's house whose neighbor was having a garage sale. We were bored so we went to go see what they had.
One of the things for sale was a TRS-80 computer without a disk drive. I immediately walked home and asked my dad for the money. We were broke, and he didn't really have the money, but he gave it to me anyway because he could see how excited I was about it. That's typical of my father, and would not be the only time he spent money he didn't have on my interest in computers and programming. He sacrificed a lot to invest in my future, a fact for which I am forever grateful.
After bringing the TRS-80 home I went to the library and checked out a book on the programming language that came with the computer -- BASIC. I was hooked, and knew from that day on that I wanted to create software when I grew up. I honestly have never wanted to do anything else.
I probably would have done it anyway, but thanks to my father's self-sacrificing efforts I was creating commercial software by the time I was fourteen years old. That would not have happened without him.
There's two important lessons in this:
First, always remember that you didn't do it on your own. If you think hard about it, whatever level of success you're having now, there were people who helped you out along the way. Return the favor to others and you'll be far more successful than if you try and keep it all to yourself. If you're not yet where you need to be, you'll get there. And when you do, always remember who helped make that possible.
Second, find your passion and pursue it. Success will inevitably follow.
One more quick story that taught me a lesson. Would you be surprised to learn that I never went to college? I didn't. I'm self taught. The local public library was where I got my education. I checked out books on the computer-related topics I was interested in, and I pursued my interests with people who shared them. That's all it took.
I've read a lot of statistics about how people with degrees get better jobs than people without them, but I think those numbers are misleading. It's not the degree that brings you success. It's the education coupled with your desire to succeed.
So the lesson I learned is this: education is vital to success, but you don't have to get that education from a University. Don't think you're not smart enough to succeed -- you are. You may not yet be educated enough, but you can fix that. Here's a good place to start.
And if you did go to a great school, your education shouldn't stop there. If you want to succeed, and remain successful, you should never stop learning.
There are many other lessons I've learned over the years. I might blog more about them in the future. In the mean time, I'd love to hear your thoughts about these lessons, and some of the lessons you've learned yourself. Please write them in a comment below this post.
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