On March 2, I celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by reading to my kindergarten students at William Scott Elementary School in Atlanta. It was so fun! One of the books I read was “Oh, the Places You Will Go”. When was the last time you read that book? It really is prescient about life and how things will go—as long as we persevere.
The book tells us how everything is going to go our way. How awesome we will become. And we are going to accomplish great things and go far…
“Except when you don’t, because sometimes you won’t.”
Um, I’m sorry, good doctor. What do you mean sometimes I WON’T. Isn’t this book about me accomplishing good things?
“Yes. And sometimes you will be in a ‘slump’”.
OK, stop that, Dr. Seuss! I only want to hear about how wonderful I am going to be.
The reality is that you will accomplish great things, if you persevere and do not give up. Some things will come to you easily. I became a superstar in the mortgage business two years out of college. I was managing over 30 employees in two offices before I was 27 and had the #1 operation in the company. I made more money in one year than most members of my family hoped to make over five years. It was so easy!
Then I went out on my own and almost lost everything. My house. My bank account. My investments. My credit was shot. But, I did not give up. I kept working and persevered. It took about five years but then I built my own company up to five offices in four states and over $1 million in revenue. I was riding high.
And then I found out that my business partner was working behind my back and had started his own company, siphoning off loans that should have been run through our organization. So, we split and I went to work for someone else. I built up my closings, over 100 per year, and was the top loan officer in the company. Until…
…Until I realized I was in the wrong line of work.
All of my talent and abilities, my calling, was directed towards being a professional speaker. And my passion was and is working with students, primarily of college and university age. So, I left the business that I had worked in since I graduated from college and began promoting myself as a leadership speaker and trainer.
I have found something that is fun, inspirational, and the most rewarding career I could ever imagine. It’s not quite as financially rewarding as the mortgage business, but way less stressful and so much more enjoyable. I was made for this. I endure the ups and downs of being a performing artist, but with a wife and daughters who love and support me, it is all worth it. Sure, I sometimes wonder if I am going to make it. But that is what makes the journey fun.
What about you? Are you an overnight success or has it taken a few years? Have you hung in there for five or more years? Will you stick with it even if you never achieve everyone else’s definition of greatness?
Go for it! Because the places you go will be so amazing and the things you will do may just astound you!!
Dave Kelly is the leading authority on Student Leadership and Community Service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from Student Government Associations, Campus Activities Boards and campus clubs of every kind on Campus Organization Leadership and Community Service Projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 140 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.