Who would have thought that a kid who spent a good amount of his time in the principal’s office as a middle school student would one day return to that same school and serve as its assistant principal?
I can still remember receiving the phone call informing me that I was being appointed assistant principal at Sam Houston Middle School. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I was going to get the opportunity to serve as an educational leader at the same school I once attended.
I wasn’t the best of students. Neither was I one of the worst. However, if you were to ask any of the teachers during my time there who they believed would one day come back and be a principal there, their response wouldn’t have been me.
Somehow, someway providence brought me home. I experienced a lot during my six years at Sam Houston, both personally and professionally. Yet, for some reason, at the tail end of my time there, I was no longer fulfilled.
My words didn’t express my unhappiness, but my body language did. Sure, there were times when I was excited to go to work. But more often than not, I wasn’t having fun anymore. I knew there was more inside me that was caged up and needed to be set free.
Freedom came on January 31st of this year. Was I excited? Of course. Was I scared? No doubt. However, I made a decision to pursue my dream wholeheartedly. Therefore, sink or swim, I was determined to find out what would become of my dreams and ambitions.
If you have read the first three parts of The Journey of Success, you already know that this journey hasn’t gone quite the way I planned it to go. That is why when I returned back to Sam Houston two weeks ago to speak to the FCA group and AVID students, it was bittersweet for me.
It was sweet because I had the opportunity to impact the lives of middle school students with my message and story. But it was bitter, because things were no longer the same.
The drive to the school was the same, the halls hadn’t changed, and many familiar faces were excited to see me, but it was different. I was home, but it didn’t feel like it.
Going into business for yourself not only takes courage, but it also takes strength. Making the decision to be an entrepreneur and basically hold destiny in your own hands is easy. The determination and dedication to pursue it through all the heartache and struggles is the difficult part.
According to Bloomberg, eight out of ten entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first eighteen months. That is why I know making the decision to go into business is easy. However, are you strong enough to bear the weight of failure, doubt, and loneliness (just a couple of things I have struggled with)?
Other questions you must ask yourself are:
Will you stay determined when nothing seems to be working in your favor?
Will you be dedicated to finding out what is working, what is not, and then make the necessary adjustments?
Being back at Sam Houston made me question my decision to leave to start my own business. There, I had a purpose, a platform where students, teachers and parents needed me. Now, I struggle with the thought, “Am I even wanted?” Because what good is my message if I don’t have the audience to share it with?
Eighty percent of people who start businesses do not make it. That’s not a comforting statistic considering how I have attempted several things in my business that have failed. Yet like a bop bag, I get back up.
I am determined. I am dedicated. I cannot quit. Neither can you. You did the easy part making a decision to achieve a goal. Now, I challenge you to stay dedicated and determined to achieve it. Your goal is worth it.
What do you do to stay determined and dedicated to your goal? Share your comment below.
©2014, A.C. Cristales, Cristales Leadership Group