Tomorrow, on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, the hardcover of Brownstone, the 1st book in the bestselling Jack Elliot Series, will be available for purchase. Just three days after that would have been my mother’s 90th birthday.
I was raised with love, care and kindness in appreciation of all things in this world. I was an only child between my parents, but my mother had had two other children much earlier in life. She always wanted a boy and at the age of 42 her dreams had come true. In yesterday’s world, it would have been utterly ironic that the boy she finally birthed, turned out to be gay. Today’s world? Not so much. In either case, it wouldn’t have mattered much to my parents.
I am truly blessed to have been raised by parents that knew what was most important in life. As spoiled as I was, I was raised to appreciate morals, values and the kinds of things all mothers and fathers would be proud to have instilled upon their children. Materialistic things were only that: things.
I was never pushed or pressured into anything, which is a point on which I have strong feelings. Because of this, I was a late bloomer. I was taught to work hard & to always give 110% whether I was a Jamesway photo counter clerk or a highly skilled physician. The job didn’t matter as much as the integrity I was taught to put into it.
And I did…
Every job, and I do mean EVERY JOB I had, I treated as if it was the most important work of my life.
I cared…It’s as simple as that!
And no matter how unappreciated or abused or overworked or underpaid the job was or did to me…I gave it my 110%, I finished it & I asked for more work. I dare you. Ask anyone that knows me or has worked with me. Ask them about my devotion. My parents taught me well.
Let me tell you something…There are some terrible employers out there. They took took took and then took some more from me. So much so, that it started changing the person my parents taught me to be. Oh, no…not my work ethic. Unfortunately (which is wrong to say) that didn’t change. I kept on giving those Ebenezers all they asked for and then some!
Being taken advantage of and all the abuse I took, started changing me inside. I became very bitter. Enraged even. I was no longer the fun, happy, loving person I was taught to be. I became this vicious obstacle that was unapproachable. You see…my wonderful work ethic, coupled with my good nature, left me wide open. Not only did the employers take advantage of me, so did my coworkers.
I got scammed into taking on more work (not my own) and helping people with things that weren’t even about accounting. It was awful, not to mention unfair and yes…yes, yes, yes! I allowed it to happen.
I allowed myself to be taken advantage of by everyone and as a result, instead of just simply saying no, I became a different person. I was afraid of disappointing anyone. I was a people pleaser. Read more on that HERE. But for the most part, it really advanced my career in accounting: Believe it or not!
I turned into an ogre! Everyone was afraid of me. If you even approached my desk, if the look I gave you didn’t change your path, the words that came out of my mouth would surely have you soiling your pants. (And no curse words, either!)
Honestly…believe it or not: I was that mean.
I had erected a shell around myself. A shell that kept me safe from all those that wanted to take advantage of me. It was sad, but effective.
The people that worked for me got things done! And always at 100% accuracy and efficiency. Heaven help them if they’d turned in anything less. I’m serious…people would stutter talking to me!
I’d become something I loathed and I didn’t know how to break the shell. Until one day, when I realized that even though my career had paid me well, and, I was successful in it, it was the wrong career.
My parents never taught me that money was the most important thing in life, so why had it become so important? I realized that without happiness (and health, obvi) life isn’t worth a damn!
Then I woke up. I shred my fears of the unknown and went in balls deep as they say. (Sorry for the porn sex reference, I was going to take it out but eh, this is my blog, right?) I realized something so basic that I could just throw up! I’d realized that a person should be happy in a career. Happy doing what they’re doing for a living. This is what they should emphasize in school. It is the true key to success in riches and in life.
So, 4 years later, here I am! I used those 4 years and applied the things my parents taught me. It was really that simple. (Hint, Hint! Hard work!) 4 years later, I am proud to announce that my book has reached #1 bestselling status! My mom would have been so proud. Knowing that I was a sweet, innocent kid, she’d always worried about me taking care of myself. I was the last kid she had and the boy she’d always wanted.
It took some time, but all the sweetness has returned. Oh, don’t worry. The beast is still inside when I need him, which isn’t that often these days because now, I can truly say, “I’m happy at what I do.”
So, I urge everyone…no matter how old or young you are: Don’t Dream It! Be It! Dreams are real, people. Hard work & effort will get you there. A little tip: It doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be willing to be patient and you have to work. No one will hand it to you and if they do, take it quickly and don’t forget to say thank you.
Make the choice. Be happy. I know I am.