In 2012 I wasn’t as driven as I am now. I was the lazytown. I’m the oldest child of three and was supposed to graduate in less than a year. I was 20 years old. But I spent too much procrastinating instead. I bought things that I didn’t need, read things that wasn’t necessarily important to thriving forward in the future.
I read a lot, that’s a fact, but mainly fiction, autobiographies, poetries and old literature. Oh I love those. Pretty sure too, disappointed my parents in that habit. My father went to the point of calling me “the reader of great men’s tales.” I know that was an indirect sarcasm towards me, but boy did I even cared…
Then 2013 started with a bang. My whole world shattered. I was a boy that God demanded a transformation. My family business almost went for a bankruptcy because a trusted former employee ran off with almost too much of the company’s reserve funds. One other lied to one of our clients, leading to our company seized and had a problem with the goverment’s tax and contract termination with several of our clients.
I can almost remember my father said “That money was worthy of 5 Honda CR-Vs.” Breaks my heart every time. I was on the verge of insanity, not transformation.
So then I changed. Obviously I had to. I traveled between both companies’ offices doing meetings, writing proposals, adendums, and preparing materials for clients. All those while writing my college thesis.
At that point there was no way I could have done anything else beside working for the family business, something I haven’t even been dreaming in my life I would be doing. You know what I dreamt about before? I dreamt about writing a novel of some sort. Becoming an author that everyone loves, becoming an author that published…fiction—I don’t know man. I was like a kid back then. I didn’t even think about working for money and as crazy as that sounds that was true and I regretted every single moment I spent just dwelling, not preparing for the future.
Several months in I was terrified. It’s like a horror movie, man. I’ve never learned on becoming a businessman, let alone control 2 different family businesses. I stayed at the office until late at night, sometimes even never coming back home for weeks on end. Every day I was on the lookout “What if someone comes by the office asking for money and I’m all alone out here?” “What if we’ll never get our feet back in the game?” “What if I died? Who’s gonna take care of my family?”. I can’t remember how many nights I spent working in tears. Alone.
As all good fathers are, my father always asked me to come with him whenever he had meetings with our clients or whenever he was trying to do a presentation for a client prospect. But I didn’t really cared to be honest. I just sat there with my mind wandering somewhere else.
The perks of panic and times of turmoil have their own merits in the end. 2 years went by and we’re back in the game. We gained our traction back with several clients on board. It wasn’t easy.
But I trusted less in return. I then became more skeptical than I ever was, and that was a really good thing, for that time being at least.
I became a fiercer accountant than the company’s own accountant. Not one spending detail goes through without me saying “OK.” Tough shit, but it had to be done. All those, at the cost of becoming unwise.
I forced everything. Five employees resigned from the company within two years with one of them caught off guard saying something like “Kid tries too hard to sound like a pro and treating us like ants.” I know, I thought shits like that only happen in the movies.
Chuckle all you want. There’s a deeper meaning to the quote “if you don’t like something, change it to the way you want it to be.” Maybe the inventor of the quote meant to say “force” instead of “change”.
If something doesn’t stick, move.
If someone doesn’t want you, transform, utilize leverage.
If a goal is unsettling for quite some time, set.it.straight.
That year I realized I‘ve almost tasted a broken youth. Not a very sweet dessert to have when you’re older. But giving time its space and a role in life has made me a saner human being. I still suffocate myself working, but I‘ll never ran out of breath. I know my limit. However, the ending of all men’s tales (great and…not so) are always the same, death. Death comes to us all and when it happens we’ll know it.
But man, if one day someone deemed worthy of writing an autobiography about me, I’ll ask them to highlight 2012. The year it all fell apart.