I’m working on a trial project that I’m really excited about. I’m learning how story themes can dramatically impact how we see the world. So I decided to write out my story through the lens of two story themes – Ascension (rags to riches) and Loss & Redemption (having something, losing it, and coming back to regain it or to get even something better). It fits really well.
I met my dad for the first time when I turned 1, and then I didn’t see him again until I was 3 ½ and my mom and I came to America. My dad had fled Communist Romania as a political refugee and worked in Turkey & Greece for years before getting accepted and sponsored to come to the US.
My parents had master’s degrees and solid jobs in Romania. They came here and my dad worked on call 80+ hours/week fixing boilers and my mom made window blinds for minimum wage. We moved 8 times before I started high school, because we were scrambling to survive and get access to better opportunities.
I remember sitting in kindergarten and feeling so embarrassed because I didn’t speak English, I didn’t understand the customs, I didn’t have any friends, and couldn’t understand what the teacher was saying and would always get in trouble for it. I vowed that I would do whatever it took to succeed.
I proceeded to try my hardest to get straight A’s, get into a good college, and volunteered to lead or start any club I could. I did co-ops and internships and started my own entrepreneurial projects. I studied abroad in Barcelona and started my own club promoting business there. I networked my hat off and even transferred schools to be in the center of the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The years of hard work paid off. I graduated college and landed my dream job. I was making way more money than I needed, I had an attractive, caring neuroscientist-to-be girlfriend, we were living in a nice apartment in one of the most popular parts of Boston, and from the outside it looked like I had it all. I had made it. Everything my parents worked so hard for.
It was good, but it wasn’t great. I knew I was settling. This wasn’t my life, this was the life everyone else wanted for me. I wanted more. So I decided to make a change, take a risk, and leave it all behind.
On July 4th, 2013 – I left my corporate job. And I invested thousands in life coaching school.
And my life basically crumbled.
I went from steady income in a prestigious role to making WordPress websites for energy healers and life coaching my friends, which I quickly got disillusioned by.
The quest to discover my path and my people led to stringing together internships, apprenticeships, consulting gigs, and educational opportunities. I had a business & tech background, so I gravitated towards marketing, product/project management, and design. I worked for free all the way up to $100/hr. It was a rocky road though.
I prioritized education, personal growth, and relevant experience over money. I valued my time and turned down opportunities that weren’t a fit. And thank god I had saved up for almost a year before doing it, because I would’ve run out of money long ago otherwise.
I broke up with my wonderful girlfriend of 2 years and moved back in with my parents.
I planned to take a year off of work to devote myself to personal healing full-time, healing childhood trauma and rewiring mental patterns and behaviors that weren’t serving me. Then my mom got cancer, and I helped manage the family real estate business while she went through surgery and chemotherapy.
I made $2,000 in 2015. Pre-tax.
But I invested thousands of dollars in myself. And in hundreds of hours of focused training with experts. It paid off big.
For the first time in my life, I feel unstoppable. I am clear on what I want, I have a realistic appreciation of my skills and blind spots, and I have the support structures in place to enable peak performance.
And now it’s time for my come back. For my Redemption.
I’ve got the opportunity that I’ve been looking for right in front of me. Years of training, waiting, doing real, hard, true work – all leading up to this moment.
An opportunity to leverage my Unique Gifts to help people that I want to be around and that I want to grow to become more like. The opportunity to build the experience and skills that will enable me to create what I desire to create with the rest of my life. Community. Financial Freedom. Impact.
The opportunity to take all my educational experience, my work experience, and my specific process and perspectives to make a huge impact on this project. My contribution will make the difference between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in this launch. And millions in the future.
Let’s fucking rock, baby.