I am all about moving forward in life. I think that each day, you should be preparing yourself for what is ahead. At the age of 17 I started reading books. Some were spiritual and others were motivational and leadership. My parents were always reading and I attributed that to some of their later success. As I began to lead in my family’s business I started reading self help books in leadership. I knew I wanted to lead something. I wanted to have teams and be over large projects. I began to prepare myself and take on whatever my dad would throw at me. I soon began managing departments and staff. I realized very quickly that I needed to understand personalities of others and how to build teams for success.
One piece of advice I would pass on to millennials, especially those that are new to the workforce, to take what is in front of you and do it well. One of my mantra’s is, “Blow it out of the water!” Don’t just do a good job but everything you do should be excellent. If you are in the workforce, make yourself so valuable that they can not do it without you. Having goals and dreams of what you see yourself doing is the way to help plan your future. Knowing that you have to start somewhere also is the key to your success. Waiting to get a better position before you give it your all is definitely going to delay your success.
There is a process always to get to new levels of success in every area of your life. I hear people mention that they are trying to find their purpose. I say to them, “Look right in front of you.” Usually where you find yourself at this point in your life is something you need to go through to get to where you want to be in the future. Doing those odd jobs big or small will steer your life to your passions and purposes. Don’t discount the small in your life because the small things will get you to the big things. Start now doing what is in front of you.
I started out cleaning offices after work to try to get ahead. I can remember how I dreaded it at times and wished that I did not have to do it. I pressed on and eventually made enough money at my other job to drop it. Later on in life as I moved up in our company I became a director. I had to pay the price at that position before I could move on to vice president. My brother told me I needed to get to know all the leaders in the company and make sure I knew about how their department functioned. At first I thought, “You have got to be kidding me!” I then of course did exactly what I needed to do. I paid the price to move forward. Looking back at those times I learned so much and those valuable experiences helped me move forward later another level. I now am Senior Vice President of Columbia Southern University and CEO of Waldorf University. I never thought I would find myself in the positions I have today. Just going through the processes of life and taking on jobs that were not my favorite and learning everything I could helped me for my future.
Remember to excel today--don't wait three years down the road. Read books on leadership so that when you are promoted you are ready to handle what lies ahead. I always try to stay at least 10-15 years ahead of my age gaining new knowledge that will set me up for success
There is no end to what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it and pay the price to get there.