I’ve had a crazy career. I imagine we all think that of our paths from time to time. But believe me when I tell you…CRAY-ZEE! I once flew to Colombia from the UK, by myself, on three connections, to get to a customer and close a sale. I was there for less than 24 hours. He wanted to celebrate and offered me crystal meth before we went out. I was so scared I called every friend I had and told them where I was going. It IS Colombia after all..more on this later. I was once humped by an inflatable banana at the hands of my favourite DJ at the time – Hardwell – at a brand event while we were all backstage. It was the best birthday weekend ever. I got to sit beside Dr. Dre – SIT, right beside the legend himself – and pitch. I was so nervous I fell backwards. The list goes on and on. Most of this before I turned 30.
Why am I telling you this. If you had met me in university, you would have NEVER thought this would be my path. I’m an introvert, socially awkward, a solid B student. Not great – but good enough! I graduated with honours, but what most people don’t know is that I almost didn’t make it, because of a Marketing Research course I hated, never attended, and on an 18 page final exam, I managed to answer four. I was, and still am to this day, a pressure seeker. Procrastination city – population one.
When I landed my first job, I was up to my nose in student loans. I took a job that paid $26,000 a year, in a city I had never been to, agreed to start in two weeks, with no place to live and $600. I was broke. Found a basement apartment that cost me $750 a month, which means there was barely any money left to do anything else. I managed to get myself in credit card debt – north of $10,000. There was no end in sight.
And somehow, by my 25th birthday, I was debt free and bought my first property. By 30, I was the youngest VP in my field of work. I had travelled the globe, at least twice over. When I left my job, (and truthfully panicked completely because I didn’t know what I was going to do), I found out I was highly sought after. So much so that I started my own business. Two years later, I was offered a job with a great financial upside on the condition that I would close down my business. Honestly…rollercoaster! So why am I telling you all of this?
I remember distinctly, at every bump on the road, wishing there was a tour guide. “OK brace yourself, you’re going to fall into a massive sink hole. But don’t you worry this lasts only 4-6 months and then you can relax for a bit. Put Your Pants On and let’s do this!” Wouldn’t that be nice?
Although my memory can be terrible at times (did I wash my hair today…?) I do remember a lot of the things that made my career what it has turned out to be. It’s the stuff people don’t generally talk about when they reflect on their success. How many of us have heard “I’m self made” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”…blaaaah.
I am neither of those things! One…if I don’t sleep, I’m not nice. Also, I take issue with “self made”. I certainly did not take a handout from anyone (minus some grocery gift cards – thanks mom!) BUT, the people I managed to surround myself with, the advice they gave me, (all of which I’m sharing with you) are worth more than gold. And I know you’ll find it all useful too.
SO, be prepared to be amazed by my incredible face plants, and the notes that go with it so you can hopefully avoid them. If you’re on your career building journey, I encourage you to reach out. I love nothing more than hearing about these, and coaching people through them! My hope is that we can learn from each other, and dominate what still seems to be a male dominated World.
Welcome to my crazy journey.