Stay the Course

Is life treating you kind of crappy right now? Do you feel that every day is a battle that you just can’t win? Does it feel like there is a worldwide conspiracy against you to make sure you don’t reach your goals?

Well, take heart, we all feel like that from time to time! I have had a long career with many successes (and many failures) but one thing has remained constant at every level of achievement or non-achievement: The moment I resisted quitting, giving up, throwing in the towel, there was a breakthrough. When I was down to my last dollar, my last bit of energy, my last hope, something miraculous happened, and I got back on course. I got that break, that order, that new client, that lost sale, that new opportunity. When my personal life was in shambles and I thought I could never be happy again and recover from the pain and disappointment of divorce, I met the woman of my dreams, we married and have had a fairytale marriage for over 30 years now.

I often have felt like the character Job in the Bible – God just wants to see how much I can take without giving up. Sometimes it just takes a small step in the right direction and things turn completely around.

It was many years ago, I was 19 years old and at my first career in the legal system. I moved from Pennsylvania to Cleveland, Ohio for my first real job. I had no friends, no money, no backing, no connections, no possessions, no car, and no one who really believed in me. I moved into an efficiency apartment that was about as big as the master bathroom in my second home today – the entire apartment! My rent was $65 a month – which coincidentally was my weekly salary as well, 65 bucks… Even in those days, that was a pretty sorry salary, but it was a start, that’s what I told myself. The apartment was right next to the railroad tracks, so I didn’t have to wake myself up each morning at 6:00 a.m. – the train passing by at precisely 6:00 a.m. each day woke me up better than any alarm clock could.

The apartment was sparsely furnished – a table and two chairs that my boss allowed me to “borrow,” an old typing stand/table that I brought from Pennsylvania, and a radio that my parents gave me as a going away present – then, of course, a used fold-out couch/bed that I bought for $200 at a garage sale, and an old set of pots & pans, silverware & a couple dishes that my mom gave me from her stash – she never threw anything away. The “efficiency” had a stove and refrigerator, so I was all set. Along with my toothbrush, 2 suits, 2 sports coats & 2 pairs of pants, 5 ties, 5 white shirts & a black pair of shoes and a brown pair of shoes, that was the sum total of my worldly possessions, excluding socks and underwear.

I actually thought I had it made! The apartment, as small as it was – maybe 200 square feet – was bigger than my room in the home where I grew up in humble circumstances. My new apartment was clean and safe, and Mrs. Muldoon, the apartment manager and caretaker, lived right next door to me and made sure that all of the TV’s were turned down at 11:00 p.m., so it was nice and quiet – apart from the scheduled argument that the young lady upstairs of me would have nearly each weekend with her boyfriend.

Why am I sharing all of this with you in this blog? It’s simple: I came from nothing to have what some would call an empire! Sure, it wasn’t easy, it wasn’t fast, it wasn’t even fun most of the time, I wanted to give up a million times, but I stayed the course, I didn’t give up, I let nothing or no one shatter my dreams, I believed in myself even when no one else would. Today I am the host of a nationally syndicated radio program literally heard across the country and around the world. I have multiple successful businesses. I am paid handsomely for my advice and opinions so that others can achieve their dreams in record time because of what I have learned and love to share. I have multiple homes, automobiles, and investments, a beautiful and wonderful wife (and former beauty queen), a net worth that puts me in the 1% Club, and a dream life in every respect. Today I make more money in a couple of minutes than that first job paid me in a week.

So here’s the takeaway: Even if you feel the deck is stacked against you, that you just don’t have what it takes, that you’re not educated enough, not smart enough, haven’t gotten the right breaks, you feel as though you have been knocked down so many times that you no longer have the will or the stamina to get up one more time – just remember my story…. All I did was refused to quit, refused to stay down, refused to give up! It’s really a simple formula: Just stay stubborn, refuse to quit or be beaten, stay committed to your dreams, and stay the course! Victory is closer than you think. I did it, and so can you!

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Keep fighting the good fight – “GET BACK UP!”