It all started with a 1.9 high school GPA. I went through many years of my adolescent and early adult life with a poor attitude. I clearly remember sitting at my high school awards breakfast and graduation ceremony right where I was, in my chair, as most of the others got up to receive their scholarships and awards. For the first time in my life, I held myself accountable and thought, “You’re smart and talented. Why did you throw that all out in high school”?
Well, it wasn’t something I could change overnight, but after a couple years, I started doing what I should have done all along. I went from barely graduating high school to playing catch up in college, to doing very well and eventually graduating from a very good school with a business degree. I went from doing poorly in high school to doing well in college once I changed my attitude. In high school I didn’t connect school with my future. I don’t think I connected anything with my future. I’m not sure how I could call myself sane looking back. How did I expect to make it? I have no idea.
In College, I Had to Become an Adult Without my Dad
When I started college, the first thing that came to mind to study was business. I chose business because my dad was a business man. He had recently passed away when I started college so I was in “becoming an adult without my dad here/reflecting on it all” mode. It was an emotional thing I guess, but once I started taking business classes, I became inspired. The neat thing about my inspiration was that I wasn’t thinking, “how can I get good grades and get a good job”. Instead, I started thinking, “how can I learn all of this so I can start my own business?” The attitude of how can I learn this so I can execute on it, changed the game. From that point on, I went to college to learn and not to “get a degree or a job”. That difference helped me learn, learn, learn while I was in college. By my junior and senior year, I was neck and neck with my classmates at a top ranked undergraduate business school, which was odd since I was likely 2 points behind them in high school GPA. I had somehow made up for lost time. It felt great.
Now, I Love Business and All of Its Opportunity
I now have almost 5 years of small business experience under my belt. I helped grow the company I started at 5 years ago, with then 4 employees, to now, 37. We’re on track to break 40 by this summer. I owe my success these past 5 years to my attitude. I can’t say that I’m always happy. In fact, if you ask my co-workers, you may hear that I’m always crabby. I can say with honesty though, that I have had an attitude all along of, “I want to help this company succeed and I want to develop myself for my future while doing it.” The connection between what I do for this company now and how it will effect my future, is very clear to me. I make it a point to keep it that way, too.
Accomplishment From a Good Attitude Leads to More Success
I’ve learned this past year, that even when you think you’re attitude is good, you can always improve it. I think it’s best for me to try to keep my attitude on a constant uphill climb. In the past couple of years I have done some great things both personally and professionally, which have helped me keep my attitude going up. I’ve:
- Gotten out of debt
- Increased my income
- Lowered my living expenses
- Saved half of my income
- Become more active
- Started cooking more
- Been eating out less and eating healthier
- Cut back on carbonated beverages and replaced them with tea
- Quit smoking
- Started this blog
I can’t make a list anywhere near that for the two years before it, although I was starting to get some traction. I’m not sure if I could list even one or two things of comparable impact during my high school years. See, once it starts, it keeps building, exponentially, just like my blog’s traffic is right now. Making positive changes in your life feeds your hunger for more and more positive change. The question is, where will I be in 3, 5, 10 or 15 years? It’s pretty darn exciting.
I Want to Hear From You: Attitude. Do you think it makes a difference? Tell me about it from your life experiences.