The Choice is Yours

I’m not a writer… or a journalist… or a blogger. I occasionally enjoy a photo shoot with MahipalSoCal, a strong margarita, and a good argument about President Donald Trump.

I grew up in a sleepy town in Pennsylvania, went to a private college and earned my BBA in Marketing, and moved to Boston, MA after graduation. Classic small town escape story for a girl with big dreams.

Here’s my story.

In between being born and today, I spent a lot of time selling Girls Scout cookies, loving God, traveling the country, and working. Lots of working. I worked 50-60 hours a week during college while taking 18-21 credits per semester. I had the bright idea to attend a college where my tuition was only $4,000 cheaper than mt dads annual salary. Mommy and Daddy couldn’t afford my college, let alone any of my expenses after I moved out. I got my first sales job my sophomore year of college when I was 19. I hustled DirecTV in big box retailers down the east coast seven days a week. That money allowed me to buy a BMW for my 20th birthday – and be asked for the next couple years if mommy and daddy paid for it. Why is it their business anyway? I quickly became responsible for managing client campaigns, compliance with clients, supervising teams, training new sales reps, and really stretching and testing my leadership abilities. Soon after, I found myself moving around the country and working and studying in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Before I knew it, I was 18 mimosas deep at my senior farewell brunch and it was time for my college graduation. When I was applying for positions and I knew that biting the bullet working so much in college gave me the exact resume employers wanted from a recent college grad. 22 years old and 5 years experience – something that everyone deems impossible in that first big kid job search. I had that. And I had the interviews and job offers with multiple companies. –Lets keep in mind, the four years I spent in college racked up over $140,000 in student loans. So I wasn’t saying yes to the first job offer. - I looked deeply into my expenses including, rent, car payments and insurance, my $1,500 / month student loan payments, etc. I took a position in Boston with one of the nation’s most recognized window and door companies as a design consultant. In New England, not many homeowners want their windows replaced when its 10 degrees outside, so my work slows down. Unfortunately, bills do not. I knew my mortgage-sized loan payments were around the corner so I took a second job as an assistant manager at a popular accessories store for some extra student loan cash.

But here is the real method to my madness. I didn’t work so much through college because I was bored. I worked so much because I had a “why”. As in why I was doing everything. I was raised by two of the most loving and caring parents in this world. My dad was a Marine, so my brother and I didn’t get away with being little idiots. We were disciplined. We were taught to hunt and shoot guns, and I always had a passion for beating up on the boys. My dad got his second DUI when I was in fifth grade, so he lost his drivers license for two years. Being 13, 14 years old, I thought my life was ending because he couldn’t take me to see my friends. But as I got older, I realized it was a really strange blessing in disguise, because that’s the time my friends started experimenting with cigarettes, weed, etc. While they were getting into trouble and bad habits, I was stuck on the mountain moving cement blocks back and fourth building things with my dad. My mom was always my biggest fan and continues to be to this day. She’s one of the most hard working women I know, and if I could be half the mom she is one day, I’d be happy as a clam. My parents didn’t have a lot of money when my brother and I were growing up, so I could never to dance or gymnastics with my friends because we couldn’t afford it. We didn’t go on fancy family vacations to Disney, we went on vacations to the Jersey shore and that was good enough because we had al we needed, and that was each other. I began to get older and realized what bills were and how draining and stressful they were to my parents. They didn’t deserve that. They deserve their own private island with an unlimited supply of Old Milwaukee beer and James Patterson books. And that’s when I decided whenever I had kids, I would never to tell them they couldn’t do something because I couldn’t afford it. I made a decision years ago that I didn’t want money to be an issue any longer for my family. I eventually learned that my parents didn’t have a retirement fund and were literally going to work themselves to death. Not on my watch. That’s when I started cranking out the countless hours of studying, working, and stress crying – ugly stress crying, too.

Fast forward to November 2017…

I announced my plan for my first million dollar sales year at work and began receiving messages on Facebook like “I hope you know how much of an inspiration you are” or “you’re a prime example of hard work paying off” or “I hope when I graduate I become as successful as you”. The truth is, I didn’t become successful overnight, and I’m not yet close to where I want to be. Everyone has a different definition for what success means to them. Mine is very aggressive because I will be successful when the people around me have what they deserve. Every success story has a root and that is usually a “why” someone decided to do something, whether that is financial stability, sobriety, etc. Mine is to provide for my family so they can actually enjoy life and all it has to offer. I want to pay off my parents mortgage, send them on vacations to see the world, and most importantly, I want to call them just to say they can finally quit!

When I started with my company in Boston, I made a promise to myself when I took such a unique job that I would have $0 in undergrad student loans within 5 years - and have started my MBA with one of the most prestigious universities in the world – Harvard. Including accruing interest, I’ll pay back almost $40,000 per year to make this happen.

In the past month, I bought a new SUV and gave my parents my BMW so they have a reliable AWD vehicle, started a college fund for my nephew and my MBA, and started making the payments on my parents mortgage so they can finally start saving for retirement. I'm 22.

You see, if you want to make your dreams come true, you actually need to get off your ass, pull your head out of fantasyland and make it a REALITY. Tony Gaskins once said “If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs” and man, that hit me deep the first time I read it. If you want financial stability, get a college degree or move out of your hometown where the average income is $40k. I moved to 3 different regions of the country before I was 23 to build my resume so I have a job right out of college that none of my peers would. I kept that little voice in my head where people from high school thought I wouldn’t amount to anything and used it to motivate me to be the most successful in my career at the reunions. If you want to get sober for the third time, or maybe for good this time, drop your dippy friends because *newsflash* they are not your friends. I’m tired of telling people I haven’t seen in years that they’re better than that. RISE ABOVE for a Christ’s sake. You are entitled to nothing in this world. Not happiness, not money, not an education. YOU WANT IT? MAKE IT HAPPEN YOURSELF. Don’t rely on handouts.

Nothing is impossible. I spent my high school years excelling in male dominant activities like trapshooting (competitive shotgun shooting), and I love beating guys at their own game. Now, I’m in a profession and industry that is male dominant and I have every intention on giving them a literal run for their money. I watched an Eric Thomas video in a work meeting, and I realized this world is full of two kinds of people... The ones who win, and the ones that lose.

Winners win and losers lose.

The choice is yours.

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