Taking Action and Failing

So sometimes when you take Action it doesn’t always go as you expect. Stay tuned to find out what happened in this interesting series of events…

Yesterday, I finally decided to Act on an idea that I had for the last three days. I was just sitting in a Cafe getting some work done, when it hit me… It hit me like a “bag of bricks.” I knew I had to do it. I wasn’t nervous to the slightest. I had to make a big move and put myself out there. Who knows what the outcome would be, but my decision was made… I’m going to create a public event, that will allow people to try out my training style.

That’s exactly what I did too. I created the event, online, and I even put a little flair to it to motivate people to come with the right energy. Here’s what I opened my post with…

“Are you trying to start the weekend off right with a Good Ole’ ass kickin! Then join me at this epic event. We will meet on the bleachers at the football stadium.”

Regardless of what you think about it, whether you think it’s good, bad, or just crazy, understand this, I was psyched up and ready to go for this class. So I decided to check the event sharing app when I got back to my place later that night to see my newly created event. Little did I know that I had put the wrong date in… for a month and a half later!

To say the least, I wasn’t very happy, but after seeing that, I did try to fix it but to no avail. After figuring out that I was only giving two days notice to this event, I thought, “Maybe it’s a good idea to schedule for the following weekend.” That might give me more time to generate a larger group to come out and experience my training.

In short, I was on full throttle and then came to a full stop within a day. Through this failure I was reminded of a valuable lesson that, ‘Patience is key.’ That also reminds me of a quote…

“The pyramids weren’t built in a day.” -Anonymous

Witnessing Persistence

So today, I just wanted to post about my neighbor.

My neighbor is one of the most energetic, and happiest guys I’ve ever met. He’s also a die hard Yankee fan which I love.

Recently though he’s had some trouble with some computers. He’s been getting outdated computers and technology for a long time, he’s an older guy too, so the “technology era” came up on him pretty quick. Overall though it was just the time for him to get a new computer and from the graciousness of my roommate and his father he got one, they had an older computer they didn’t use anymore that they donated to him.

So, after seeing him jumping for joy in anticipation of the computer, I quickly saw those emotions be turned to sadness after his Brother and the people in charge of our apartment complex,  said that he couldn’t bring it into the apartment because of “bed bugs.” That wasn’t going to stop my neighbor though.

My neighbor is resilient.

Until just a few days ago, they finally let him have the laptop. Before they let him have it though he actually hooked up an extension board brought out a “make shift” office and posted up outside. He even had the recycling bin outside. He beat the system! One day he was out in the sun for too long and got some serious sunburn. He even posted up, just barely, in the door of his apartment when it was pouring rain out. 

He wanted that laptop so bad that he was going to do whatever it took to get it. After trying again, and again… and yet again. He finally got what he wanted. They finally told him it was fine for him to have the laptop.

He got his laptop which was “bed bug” free and working great.

 

“Think doubt and fail. Think Victory and Succeed” -Anonymous

Taking steps into “The Market”

“One day I’ll do it.”

“When I’m ready.”

“You know, I’ll just wait a few years and then everything will be good to go. How about I put you on the calendar for a couple years from now?”

“I like what you’re saying, and totally want to do it, but you know what, the timing just isn’t right.”

“I’m scared.”

“I have a really busy summer. After that, I’ll give you a call. Cool with you?”

“You know, my wife has been on my “ass” lately and at this point I think that it just wouldn’t be a good idea.”

“Listen, you seem like a good guy, and everything you said is exactly what I need, but before I make decisions, I have a list of 62 people that I have to consult. It starts with my… In 7 months, after I consult each person for 2 hours each, and remember to give them a slice of my famous cherry pie, then, I’ll be ready to make a decision. So, put me down for then. I don’t know what date that is either, but contact me around that time and I will have an answer for you.”

Do any of these sound like you? If so, I encourage you to go back to some opportunities that you said “No” too. Ask yourself, “Why did I say no? Did I tell myself I wasn’t ready? Did I base my decision off of outside forces and not on my own free will?”

After you answer those questions, prepare yourself for the next opportunity. Do that by getting mentally right. Write some goals down and write down some questions you’ll remember to ask when that next opportunity arises.

Don’t let another opportunity slip away.

I received a call from a good friend of mine about 6 months ago. He said, “Hey man, are you interested in coming to this event? It’s on a Friday night and it’ll run pretty late. I think you’ll get a lot out of it. I know it’s late though, on a Friday night and I know you’re probably busy.” I responded, “Are you kidding me? I don’t have any plans! Let’s do it! The event was an investing introduction course and it walked through a few ways to invest.  Side Note: It was free! The only thing I had to do was drive about 30 minutes to the destination.That was when I had a car too. If I had waited until “the next time” I wouldn’t have even been able to go.” This event, was eye opening, and in other areas it confirmed some things I already knew. But after this event, I knew what I had to do. I made a decision with the guy I went with.

“I’m going to learn this and be a successful Investor.”

6 months later, yesterday, I made my first investment. Wow… if you ever want an exhilarating experience put your money into something that you don’t know for certain if it will increase or not. I mean, yeah, you have your 401k, mutual funds, and bonds that usually have fixed percentage rates of how much your investment will increase yearly. You know, for the most part, what will happen.

Well… let me tell you what, stepping out into “The Market” is an experience. There is no way for certain you can predict what will happen to your investment. All you can do is hope your research and preparation pays off. 

Although… I did only place one order for one share on a stock. I had hit my deadline that I set to, start to Live Trade on Monday June 19th.” The very next day, today, I decided to increase that number, and I bought 5 shares of another stock. I’m still holding onto it and hoping that my small investment ends in a profit. Only time will tell.

There’s still a lot more to learn though. I’ll be continuing to educate myself on how to become the best possible investor and trader.

I based my decision off of what I felt was right. After the event I didn’t call anyone, ask for anyones advice, nor did I ask anyone’s permission. The friend who brought me to the event, was pretty similar, and he stepped off the edge too. With his support, we’ve been able to push each other to challenging ourselves and learning “The Market.”

Side note: Meanwhile, in my apartment, there is an “elusive” cat named Leo(my roommates) that is aggressively playing with a toy mouse, and not giving up until he figures out a way too… Goodness, I have no idea what he wants to do with that mouse, but he means ‘business’ for sure. I’ll let him do his thing.

On that note, I’m committed to learning the skills of becoming an intelligent, ethical, passionate, and successful investor. I won’t stop until I’ve mastered this craft. Just like Leo on that toy mouse…

I mean “business.”

 

“You will never know what you are made of until you step out in faith, turn yourself loose, and find out.” -Anonymous

 

Dad

 

Father’s day, a day to remember to thank your dad. Or maybe it’s a day to just give him a big hug and say you love him. Father’s day isn’t the same for everyone though. Especially not for me…

I had just gotten off the phone with an old friend. It was Sunday night and it was late. I got a feeling though and it was time to head out on a ride.

I made some more smoothies, packed up the rest of my gear and I was off on another journey.

I was going around the town and didn’t see anyone. Then I went to the train station. I saw a cop hanging outside of it, like usual, stopped and said hello. I introduced myself and then headed in.

There I found two amazing people. Kate and Tony. Kate and Tony had been together for 2 years and had been through a lot of struggle. Conversation began smoothly, and Tony opened up about losing his business after 30 years in operation. He had a business that he made a lot of money in, but what he told me really got to me. He said, “Never build something that you don’t love.” He went on to say that he was coming into the office and just collecting the money and just hated it. “The money was too good though.” Finally, life decided to make a decision for him. He fell on his head and was in a coma for a very long time. When he woke up he was no longer able to perform his duties and lost his business. “I remember waking up from my coma, actually being in pretty good shape, and remembering  all my passwords.” he told me. A little while later he was in the middle of getting divorced, and that was finalized a year ago. He said, “Divorces not only tear a family apart, but they tear you apart.” He recently got mugged and was beaten “half to death” too.

 

Tony- “What do you do though?”

Me- “Well I recently just started my own company.”

Tony- “Well what kind of company is it and why did you start it?”

Me- “Well I started a training company. Do you mind if I give you a little back story?”

Tony- “Not at all.”

I was hoping I wouldn’t bore them but I proceeded to tell my story to them. I talked about how I came back to Jersey. My time in school. Leaving school. And then the last few months of my life.

I also gave them a little story about my Dad. My Dad… I told them, was a great man. I loved my him very much.

Life was tough on him though. From working in Manhattan not to far from his hometown in Jersey to taking him to the other side of the country. Life, took my Father in all directions. He had lost control. His job had him move a few times. Each time farther away, until finally, he was a couple thousand miles from his home. It’s okay to be away from home, I told them, but when you leave a place you love, due to pressure, fear, and wondering if you’ll still be able to support your family or not if you didn’t go… that’s not okay. My father was overcome by the pressures of the world. Sometime in the early 2000’s my Father lost his job, and was out of work for an extensive period of time. My Mother had to get a job and provide for the family. During this time, now looking back at it, my Father was lost and he didn’t know what to do. I saw him many times with his head in his hands and after seeing me, quickly getting up and acting like everything was okay and then embracing me. I also saw him lose control of his emotions and get very angry. He always apologized though later on. I was too young at the time to understand what he was going through. He ended up, a few years later, getting a job somewhere working the night and coming home early in the morning.

Ultimately, the pressures of the world caught up to my Father. In May 2007 he was killed in a head on collision after falling asleep on the wheel in the early hours of the morning coming home from a night shift.

My Father was 46 years old. He left behind 5 boys. 15, 13, 10, 8, and 6 years old. These boys had to come to the realization that they would never see their father again.

Kate, finally jumped in and opened up. She gave us a story about her father. She said… My father was also an incredible man and I loved him very much. I can remember missing the bus for school one day, and asking if my father could take me. He said, “Fine, but we have to hurry.” After saying this though, she said, he seemed to be really anxious and fearful. At the time she didn’t know, but now she knows that, her father was working a very demanding job. On the drive to the school she said that he was “perspiring” more and more as the drive went on. He was a heavy and overweight guy, she said, but she had never seen her father sweat this much and knew it wasn’t normal. And she didn’t say anything about it because she assumed he was mad at her for asking for the ride. She was dropped off at the school and a few hours later she received a call… Her father passed away in a car accident.

Tony, later on, opened up about his father too. He said he was still alive but is out of touch with him. He told us that he doesn’t hate his father at all. He actually really respects him. He’s a hall of fame boxer and they just never got close to each other.

He told us, “He was doing his own thing and I was doing mine. I had to respect that.” 

Fathers Days came and went through the years and I never really felt anything. Frankly, it was a distant memory that faded from my thoughts. This Father’s day was different though. It was the first time that I felt the love I had for my father since I was 10 and he left. I truly felt something. I loved my father more than anything, and when he left this world, I knew I would never be able to have that “Man to Man” with him.

I think now… I’ve finally had that “Man to Man” with my Father.

I proceeded to tell them that regardless of what we do in our lives, that ultimately, we are defined by the decisions we make. My father made some decisions in his life that were based off of pressure and “fear of the unknown.”  Those decisions took my Father to a situation that he wasn’t happy with, a place where he didn’t want to be, and it took him away from his dreams and goals. My father didn’t know how he was going to get out of it. In May 2007 though, he got out of the situation he was in and left this world.

My father was an extremely holy man though and practiced his faith daily. Something that he passed on to me. That’s why I have faith he went to a better place that day and finally was relieved of all of his burdens in life.

I’m here today talking with you, I told them, because I’ve made a decision in my life…  I’m never going to go somewhere in my life where I don’t want to go. I’m never going to be somewhere where I don’t want to live. I’m never going to be pressured into making a decision. I’m never going to make a decision based off of fear. I will always be doing what I want to do and I will always be where I want to be based off of the decisions I choose to make.

We parted ways shortly thereafter. They gave the smoothies a thumbs up SIDE NOTE: very relieved because I decided to, “spice it up” a little and put green apples in it. Thank goodness! I made sure to give Tony a good shake. And I went over to say goodbye to Kate I gave her a big hug. I embraced her for a little longer though because I just felt really connected with her. Although we were in different parts of our lives, we had such similar stories and I just felt something special with her. We did share one identical thing though and that was…

A deep and everlasting love for our Fathers.

My Father may be gone, and aside from teaching me toughness and resilience when I was a young boy, just recently, he’s taught me so much more.

I love you Dad.

Taking Steps and Getting Rejected

I went out on a mission last night and did something I’ve never done in my life. Join me on my mission and continue reading if you want to find out the incredible climax and ending.

I went out on the ride just concentrated on my mission. I had no doubt in my mind that this is what I had to do. I had been thinking about this for too long and it was finally time to take Action. This was the day and the time was now. I had to act upon this feeling or I would never muster the strength to do this ever again.

Before heading out on my mission, I made sure to do some prep work… I ate a large bowl of Wheaties…… just kidding I didn’t do that. What I did do is think about what I was going to say and do. I didn’t spend too much time on this because I knew what I was going to say for a while but I just never acted upon it. So I did all my prep work and was gone. It was a 40 minute bike ride. I had taken it before, but this time it was different. I had a mission and I was determined to succeed.

As a bike rider, you always have to be prepared for the worst situations…  so before I left I made sure to pack my rain jacket and an extra shirt, shorts, a book, and a notebook.

Side note: If you’re ever stranded somewhere, for example: the bus is running a little late, make sure to pack a book or a notebook or something before you head out, to stay proactive in this unusual situation. Make an inconvenient situation an educational experience.

It had been raining all day, but I assumed the rain was over.

Side note: Never doubt mother nature. Or…. just make sure to check the weather app on your phone before leaving.

So, I was off and confident as can be. Nothing was going to stop me from completing my mission. But you know who decided to “rain in on my parade,” MOTHER NATUR. Like I said never doubt her Power. I’ll tell you what, she was raining pretty hard in the day, but she had one more in her before the night was up.

I was about a quarter of the way until I reached my final destination when… she got angry. It starting raining and it started raining hard. Good thing I had that rain jacket and a hat. I took it as a sign of… if you want something you’re going to have to fight back. I started biking a little faster, and then a little more. I was hitting the hills hard. I was shifting clean. I mean everything was just working. I didn’t even care what Mother Nature was doing, I had completely blocked everything out. I was going to do this. There was no turning back.

I reached my final destination in record timing. Upon reaching my destination, I did one more review of the game plan. After that, I headed in.

I starting getting a little nervous after I saw the target, but at the same time I made sure to keep my composure. I proceeded to engage the target with some subtle conversation. Smiling, laughing, it was all great. “Enough of the games though!” I proceeded with the game plan. Everything was going great. “The plan was working flawless!” I told myself. Halfway through though… I started getting a feeling. I started to become aware of the responses and expressions that my target was “annotating on the pages.” It wasn’t looking good, but I decided to proceed holding onto that “strand of Hope.”

My mission was almost complete… I wasn’t sure, but still confident. All I needed was an answer now. I proceeded to engage the target one last time with a simple question.

The response wasn’t what I was looking for…

 

 


She said, “No.”

 

The following moments were probably more awkward for her than me, but I prepared knowing that this might be the result. We talked for a few minutes afterward. We were both professional about it and left on great terms with each other.

But you know what… I was ready to keep moving forward and not let this hold me back. I got back on my bike, put on a podcast, and hit the road. I was hungry for the next challenge in my life.

The journey continues…

 

“See what can be, not just what is.”

 

 

 

Another Step… More Smoothies

It’s Friday night and… it’s time for a ride. I packed up all my smoothies and headed out.

What an excellent night! I met some amazing people but I’ll just talk about a few in this post. I ventured off on this ride and ended up at a shelter in my town about a mile from where I live. Before even getting to go into the place, I saw someone hanging out on the front porch. I felt I should talk to him. His name was Gerald and he’s originally from Georgia. He was right outside, and the conversation started naturally and instantly after I saw he was wearing a San Francisco Giants baseball cap. I’m a Yankees fan but I admire an organization like the Giants who have amazing leaders all throughout the organization. HINT HINT, I really like baseball. Anyway, we talked a little baseball quickly, but then things got interesting…

Before we got too deep though I made sure to offer him a smoothie which he accepted and gave a thumbs up. Side note: I need some ideas of coming up a name for this smoothie.

Gerald told me almost immediately about his situation and what his mindset has been like dealing with it.  Positive, was the mindset I got from him. I just felt like he had so much he wanted to get off of his chest too. He was telling me about some steps he’s been making to get out of the situation he’s in. I wanted to learn more about him though, so I asked him, “What are you passionate about?” He has a passion for cooking, photography and being a DJ. Also, when he was young Gerald had a dream…  and that dream was to come out to New York. That dream was inspired by his love of watching movies filmed out of New York. He made that dream a reality when he took the first steps by moving from Georgia to New York City.

Life, isn’t always ‘peachey’ though. And New York City… isn’t in the market for harvesting peaches. POINT IS New York isn’t an easy place, it’s a ‘beautifully tough’ place and as long as it took you to get here, it’ll spit you back out right where you came from. Just like anything in life, you have to truly want it and pursue daily for the attainment of what you want. New York is no exception either. ‘Eat… or be Eaten.’

Gerald… HELL YEAH he wanted to make it out here, everyone wants to make it and be successful in their own right. RIGHT? You know what though, sometimes life takes you in different directions. And based on some ‘not so good’ decisions, that we’ve all made before, our plans are sometimes changed, and in some ways, their pretty drastic changes.

Let me ask you though, “What are you going to do about it? Do you need some time off? Maybe a vacation, just to get away from everything? Okay that’s fine. Go and do that. Then right when you come back… all your problems will probably still be there. Nothings changed. What are you going to do about the current situation you’re in? What decisions do you need to make to push you to the other side?

Like many of us, we all make mistakes and Gerald, he made some mistakes too. But the cool part is… Gerald is currently taking some ‘Major Action’ to get himself out of the current situation he’s in.

I talked to Gerald for close to an hour and he inspired me. He shared with me that he was reading a lot of books, working on himself, and working with some workforce programs developing his skillets in many areas. By the end of it he told me, “I’m going to get out of this.” 

I’ll be taking to him more though and stopping by where he’s at. I’m looking forward to our next conversation.

I also ran into a familiar face tonight at the train station … Keith. As you might already know where I last left off, I was talking with him at the bus stop and Keith told me about his job situation, and how he got to where he’s at and also losing his car two years ago.

Goodness gracious it was great to see him though. He just got off the train from work, he looked great and a little more awake this time too. It also was a little earlier in the night, so that might have played a role in it too. I learned something new about him though. Before losing his job Keith was writing a book that he wanted to produce. When he lost his job he lost all of his manuscripts in a storage shed that he couldn’t afford. Talking with him, I learned he still had a desire to write the story, but he said “I think it’s too late and with everything I have going on it would be tough to find any time.” That was tough for me to hear. I told him, “If you want to write this you’re going to write this.” Last time I ran into him he turned away my smoothie, respectfully, but tonight he accepted the smoothie. I gave him another one after he asked for more. Before I left though, I gave him one of my quotes. The quote said this…

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” -Anonymous

Taking The First Steps… By Making Smoothies

Welcome back! I ended my last post with a quote, “A thousand mile journey begins with a single step.”

Back tracking a little bit… on Sunday night, June 11th, I took my first steps. I did that by taking 25$, that I had, to buy smoothie ingredients. Some of these ingredients included bananas, steel cut oats, spinach, strawberries, cranberry juice, and some orange juice. Side note… you now have one of my secret smoothie recipes. Are you still with me? Well, when I got back to my apartment I made some of the best smoothies in town with two of the best blenders in town. From there I packed my smoothies up in my bag, grabbed some plastic cups and straws, put on my bicycling gear, and hit the town.

Well… what was I going to do with these smoothie ingredients though? I set out on a mission to find the homeless people who were living in my city and offer them the ‘meal smoothies’ that I made for them.

Why did I do this? The day is Saturday, June 10th: I spent some time to talk with someone I met at my train station. He was friendly, soft spoken, and a little jumpy. His name is Mario. He’s been homeless since he was 18. Mario started off by asking me for some change so he could go and buy some food. Meanwhile, I was supposed to be taking pictures with a photographer I was working with. This though… was more important. I talked to him for probably 15 minutes.  At the end of the conversation I gave him a quote that I wrote on a notecard that I had in my notebook. *I love quotes and whenever I read something I jot down some quotes that I liked.* After the conversation was over, my photographer and I  gave him some money for some food and we started to leave. Before I left though, I explained what the quote meant and what it has meant to me. When we were almost out of the tunnel, he read the quote aloud and he then turned and gave me a brief smile. Which gave me a sign that maybe he got what it said, but maybe he thought my hand writing was funky looking, or maybe he just had no idea in, “Why the hell this guy just gave me a notecard with some words on it!” That was my token for him though, and I was hoping that those few words would infiltrate him. Knowing that, along with Mario, there were other homeless people in my city, I knew there was a possibility to do something good and give back. This interaction inspired me to take Action in my community.

Back to the ride! So, the night turned out to be a total ‘MISSION FAILURE’ I didn’t find one of the homeless guys I’ve seen around town. I looked everywhere too. I even drove to the other side of town through an old park that’s no longer used, scanned some of the woods around town, and I took the bike trail at the end of town calling out. I also asked some of the locals, “Where do the homeless people hang out at night?” Nothing… they had no idea.

I was hurt, and a little upset. Listen though, I wasn’t going to end the night like this! I held onto some faith that something good could happen out of all this. I set out on a mission to then go and meet some people. I found some people hanging out in all places. Some people were hanging out on the bench’s, the bars, the bus stops, just around town walking and the train station amongst some places.

One of the guys I met was Keith. He was waiting at his stop by himself. It was pretty late by this time, and he looked tired from the long day at work. I did offer him a smoothie but he declined. He told me he had been working with AT&T, traveling the world, for many years. Then the market crashed and he lost his job. He was past forty with no wife and no kids. The year is 2017: It’s been 8 years since “The Panic of 08.” I talked with him for awhile and just by talking to him I knew he still hadn’t recovered from the 08 crash. He was defeated. I prayed with him that night .

One of the other guys I met was Charles. Charles was getting off the train and I caught him on his was to Dunkin. Charles is an aspiring Entrepreneur. He has a dream of starting a business. He told me about his dreams. He was old. *I complimented him on his aggressive looking beard. I can’t grow a beard to save my life so when I see a solid beard, especially when it has the resemblance of an ‘old ancient wizard,’ it always gets me to compliment it.* I didn’t get into to many details with him, but he told me he was working a maintenance job 5 days a week and when he got off the train he usually went right to Dunkin to, in his words, and said with a big grin on his face, “Feed this brain.” I loved when he said that. I asked him why he didn’t start his business yet. He gave me a lot of “Buts” and I responded, “No ‘buts’ what are you going to do about it? Are you going to start this business or not?” Charles looked me in the eye and responded, “I’m going to start this business.” From there we parted ways with a firm handshake and some parting words.

I’m looking forward to seeing these two gentleman and following up with them.

The night wasn’t over though!

You know what… We’ll have to leave that for another post some other time. To be continued…

Oh! Before I go, I forgot to tell you the quote that I gave Mario… the notecard that I gave him said this…

“Faith is the beginning to all riches.”

 

 

 

 

 

(why smoothies? I’ll talk about that in another blog)