Thank you for providing this platform to inspire and encourage people.
My never quit story is about having it all and losing it all. Fortunately also climbing back up with a new perspective. I was fortunate to have early success in life. I went to a small exclusive private university and graduated easily. My career took off and by the time I was 35 I was running a $250 million dollar business for a fortune 100 company. I had a wine and 3 children, all in private school, two houses and a great life. What hid beneath it all was that I never left the fraternity life of that University. My drinking eventually led to divorce, two DUI’s and a stint in rehab. I lost everything in my life. While you were thinking what to include in your estate plan, I was figuring out how to live. My family was gone as was my money and my career. I literally had nothing. I do not blame my ex-wife and own my part in the divorce and my downward spiral.
With no drivers license and with the loss of my income I had to get very real with myself. I spent two years figuring out how to move forward. I took long walks to think and pass the time. I eventually had to hire someone to drive me and help me with my kids. I realized that I sent years digging myself in a hole and I could only get out of it one shovel full at a time. I turned to books to educate myself as much as possible on myself, my issues and my path forward.
After two years I took a job out of town and drove 9 hours roundtrip on the weekends just to see my children. I started building myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I decided to do it the hard way and build myself to be in a position to ultimately succeed again. I monitored what I took in both into my mind and body. I studied successful people and what habits and paths made them successful. I started back down the ladder quite a bit and still have to explain my criminal record to people at times. I haven’t had a drink in 16 years now and can entertain clients or attend charity events with no hesitation.
One area that has made me realize my past is that many of the traits to previously aided my career were actually detrimental to me as a person. I played corporate games, practiced marginal ethics and sought advancement at all costs. Now I focus on doing what is my truth at all costs and being the person my kids can admire whatever the cost. I do not compromise and my word is my bond. This is such a better life and I never have to remember anything but the truth and not try to live a lie. I have had plenty of ups and downs but service to others has kept me more humble than the prior me. I know that I was watched over and by all means should have died many years ago. Blackout drunks usually don’t live long. It is purely by grace that I am alive today. Now I sit on 3 charity boards and donate a lot of my time and energy to causes that I care about. I have built my career back up to be the CEO of a successful company. My drive is to ensure a good life for my employees and family.
Last year I lost my father and learned the importance of family and loved ones. I have a great relationship with two of my 3 kids and work daily to try and repair that last one. I do the next right thing every day. If i do the right things today, then tomorrow will take care of itself. I am always trying to do something hard every day, stay humble, serve others and be a good father. I love the fact that despite my past, I am the rock of my family and the go-to person for my mother and siblings. It was by hitting bottom and seeing that I created my own losses that I got to rebuild and become a better man and part of society. I sacrificed everything to put three kids through college and two now in graduate school and could not be more proud of them.