Rem was just 3 years old.
This was the first time I saw him in 3.5 months.
When I was running across America, it was very hard to be away from them for so long, but I also know without a doubt that by following my dreams I am a better example for them. Here is what I mean.
I became a carpenter when I was a teen, just like my dad and my brothers. Most of the time, I worked 14-16 hour days, 7 days a week. I would go for six or seven months until my body got so fatigued that I would sleep for 3 days straight just to catch up. It would literally just shut down.
I liked being a carpenter and I was very successful at it. But it wasn’t my calling. Eventually I started to dread to go to work. Then I started to hate my job.
One day I decided, “This is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.” I needed to find something that I was passionate about.
I needed to find my purpose.
I worked carpentry by day and I went to school at night. I took odd side jobs just to see if I like something. I started dozens businesses to beta test ideas. While most failed, a few could have made me a living, but they were not my purpose.
One day I got an advertisement in the mail for a “Wealth Expo” in Boston. It would be my first conference ever. I jumped in my car at 5am and drove 3.5 hours to get there.
It was a multi-speaker event. They sold real estate training programs and many other types of home based businesses.
But one guy was selling something very different.
He was selling a PHILOSOPHY.
He was saying things like, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” That was Tony Robbins. He also quoted Jim Rohn, “Work more on yourself more than you work on your job.”
And I was mesmerized.
90 minutes later I said to myself, “THAT! That is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to be a speaker. I want to inspire people and motivate them.”
But I had some huge obstacles.
I barely graduated high school.
“What do I know that will inspire people?”
And I had never spoke in front of an audience.
And the thought of it terrified me.
I signed up for the weekend event Tony was selling. I also switched my major in my night classes at college for Humanistic Communications.
I went from a C/D student in my finance classes to the top of the Dean’s list in my communications courses. I graduated with high honors. I was the first one in my family to get a college degree.
I proved my high school assistant principle wrong who said, “You will never amount to anything” when he was trying to permanently expel me from school.
I used to dread my finance studies,
Now I couldn’t get enough of my studies in communication.
I joined 5 Toastmaster groups to learn and practice the art and science of speaking. It took years just to get my first professional but UNPAID speaking gig. It actually cost me money to be there. But it was amazing because it was a start.
It would be a few years more before I started getting paid gigs. They started small. And then one day I get a call for a gig and they offered to pay $2,500 for a 60 minute presentation. I almost peed my pants. LOL. That was 10x what I had been paid up until that point. But of course I acted all cool like, “Well, it’s not as much as I prefer to get paid, but okay.” 😂
That was a turning point for me. It gave me the courage to start charging for events instead of doing them for peanuts. Every time I got another call, I would take a deep breath and I would raise my rates. I stopped being afraid to ask for the value I give to my clients.
For me, this photo represents a small part of the journey.
A snapshot of a moment in time when I was doing whatever it takes to get from an unknown carpenter to professional speaker and author.
Here is something that most people gloss over.
The primary purpose of my run across America was to illustrate that anything is possible if you are willing to take a chance and put in the work.
Do you want to recreate your life?
One step at a time.
Do you want to loose weight?
One pound at a time.
Do you want to double your income?
One dollar at a time.
There are no unrealistic goals and dreams. But there are unrealistic time frames and expectations.
I am asked if I ever wanted to quit my run across America. Absolutely, most every day. It was so painful, always exhausting and often boring.
But each day, you get up.
Focus on your goal.
Follow the plan.
Do the work.
It is often not glamorous.
To be worthy of accolades in public,
you must put in the work in private.
Then one day, you will step out on the “stage”
and you will shine knowing, “I did this.”
Cheers, to your snapshots in time on your journey to success.
Several of those speakers I saw on stage that day in Boston that changed my life, they are now my friends. Many I have shared the stage with.
Photo: By Todd Westphal @ ishootAmerica. com
This was at the finish line in NYC after I ran 2,621 across America.
Life Transformation and Peak Performance Expert, author, professional speaker, and global traveler. Croix is the Author of Dream Big Act Big, Dream Big Life Planner, Morning Manifestation, and the host of the Zen Warrior Podcast. He travels full time living the speaker and laptop lifestyle living part time in Costa Rica and wherever he feels like experiencing.