It all started when I was 13. My Mother accomplished one of her life-long dreams and built a custom home for our family on 25 acres in Archer, Florida. This was the result of her fruitful career as a well respected attorney in Florida. There was only one catch – my family’s new home was outside of the Buchholz High School Zoning District, so if I didn’t join one of the two Magnet Programs the school offered, I was socially doomed.
Little did I know this was an opportunity that would shape the future of my existence. What I started learning in The Academy of Entrepreneurship would ignite a passion inside of me for:
– Presenting ideas in new thought provoking ways
– Creating value by building a business
– Fostering a network that can accomplish 100x+ that of an individual
If I wouldn’t have been forced to join such an organization, I’m not sure what would have ignited my passion for these things. My senior year of High School, I was selected as the President and C.E.O of the Academy of Entrepreneurship – a title I still hold close to my heart today, nearly a decade later.
It was then generally presumed by my family that I would get into the University of Florida, the school which my Mother, Father and countless relatives before me had attended. On decision day, I was rejected by the University of Florida and Florida State claimed they never received my transcript. Therefore I went to my 3rd choice, The University of Central Florida. This apparent setback was another major opportunity that in retrospect propelled me forward as a person.
I came into my own at UCF. Unlike being comfortable in my hometown of Gainesville, I moved 150 miles south to Orlando and began developing a remarkable network of intelligent and inspiring people. While attending UCF, I met peers and mentors that challenged me intellectually and encouraged different ways of thinking. This pushed me to:
- Serve on the Executive Board of my Fraternity
- Obtain an internship with a Fortune 100 Company
- Serve on Homecoming Court 2011
- Pitch Business Plan’s at an International Level
- Serve as President of the Student Government Senate
- Graduate Cum Laude in the Top 10% of my classmates
I was able to step up my game academically and outside the classroom. For this I am eternally grateful to UCF and have a vested interest in the future success of the school and fellow graduates.
From that platform I was able to secure an amazing starting position with a Fortune 500 company after graduation. This was the biggest accomplishment in my life to date and I considered my journey complete. After a backpacking trip through Europe and three months of corporate training, I was relocated by my employer to manage a territory based in Phoenix, Arizona. I packed up all of my belongings and moved out West, ready to build a new career with a big fancy company.
That didn’t happen. After two years of invaluable real-world experience with my first employer, I learned that I don’t particularly enjoy working for people. I was an awful employee. Following instructions and fitting into a mold are intolerable for me if I do not see the end goal in sight. Since that experience I have sought ways to employ myself in more unconventional ways including working for like-minded Entrepreneurs and my most recent venture into Real Estate. I have realized that work ethic and self-motivation are paramount no matter what you “do” and that genuine, personal connections are fundamental to success. Nothing worthwhile is given freely. Luck tends to be the result of diligent preparation and the awareness of opportunity.
” We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha
Feel free to join me as I continue my journey.