Corporate America is just like the streets. There are gangs (cliques), alliances, back-room deals, bullies, and worst of all, snitches. When I got that lesson, I had peace of mind; enough peace to make tough decisions and leave places that didn’t serve my agenda. That’s just what I did when I designed my future when I was in high school.
My first high school was like the movie, “Lean on Me” with Morgan Freeman.
- Fights every day.
- Teachers aides who were a bit too friendly with students.
- Every guy I knew carried a gun to school.
- Both my best friends got pregnant freshman year.
I knew I just had to get up out of there. I got transferred to a nerdy school and endured the jokes from the neighborhood girls as I want to school and came home from school each and every day.
But I had a dream. I worked towards it. I would hang out with kids like me. And I got out. I finally got out.
One lesson I learned from the streets was you have to think four to five steps ahead to stay alive.
It sounds overly dramatic but in my neighborhood, if you went down the wrong corner, you could be caught in the cross fire of some beef between rival dealers.
It’s the same thing with the corporate workplace AND with entrepreneurship.
BTW – Two more things I learned:
Never, ever, under any circumstances, ever back down.
Sometimes you just have to fight your way out of a problem. I’m not saying it’s fun. But sometimes that’s the only way to get out.
Show Up on Time Every Time.
You can’t represent yourself as one thing and then turn around and be something the next. In my neighborhood we called that “acting new.” Big mistake. Huge! (As Julia Roberts would say.) I leveraged that in my seminars, and in my emails to my list of 40,000 small business owners in South Florida. Be consistent. Publish on time, every time – no matter what.