15

Never, Never, Never Give Up – On Your Dream!






I want to ask you a question.

Have you ever had a dream to start your own business?

True entrepreneurship comes with a price, and yes, sacrifices have to be made to bring your "dream" into reality. Are you willing to face the demoralizing of your friends, family, spouse and children so you can step out and grab a hold of the horns of your dream and either start or grow your business?

Let me tell you a little story about my path to starting my own business…

When I was a young boy, oh, probably around 11 or 12 years old – when I would visit my dad on visitation weekends at the apartments where he lived, I would go down by the lake and start collecting all the returnable cans and bottles (in Michigan they are ten cents). I would place them in paper bags and then bring them back to my dad's place so he could take me to the corner store to return them for cash!

My biggest take was $50. If you're not aware, that is a lot of cans and bottles! :-)

Those times were exciting! Ever since that time I have always wanted to own my own business – I just didn't know exactly what kind of business I wanted to start.

The Beginnings Of A Bright Future

It's 1986 – the year I graduated high school. Now, I wasn't the brightest bulb in the box but as many of us are taught I decided to go out and find a good job and then retire in 30 years. So, I joined the U.S. Navy (without a career path) due to some good persuasion from my neighbor who also served in the Navy.

What was I thinking, right? Well, once I graduated boot camp and finished my basic training, I was sent off to my first tour of duty. The name of the ship was the U.S.S. Saipan LHA-2. It's what you call an amphibious assault ship. No need to go into all the details about ship life here, but six months into my tour, I decided to go into…computers.

If I think back, this was around the time just before personal computers took off. I thought to myself (well, actually I believe God directed my path) that computers were going to be the wave of the future – and boy was that an understatement! Look at our world today and how computers have transformed it.

Anyway, I did everything I could to learn as much as I could about computers and anything involved with them. In those almost seven years in the Navy, I learned how to repair, manage and program computers, build networks & help desks and train others on how to do the same.

In 1994 I was honorably discharged from the Navy and I immediately started contracting through technical staffing companies and did this for the next few years.

Sparks Of Entrepreneurship Are Heating Up

In the late 90's myself and a couple of co-workers of mine started a technology staffing company. This was my very first venture at starting my own business. My two friends were of indian descent and could not "legally" be on the papers until they had their green cards – so I became the face of the company.

Once we had all the paperwork in place and some form of marketing materials – we started contacting those we knew in the technical field who were looking to move into a position they preferred over where they were at, or where they could earn a little bit more money.

Within a few months, we had eleven contractors working at client sites such as Ford, Oracle, Detroit Edison and a couple of smaller companies. Our gross billings were in the five figures per month – and the dream I always had was coming to fruition, until…

One of our bigger clients was audited by the INS (Immigration Naturalization Service) and they closed the door to any sub-contracting companies (we were one of them) and stopped paying us for our contractors billable hours. Because this client of ours would not pay us, we had to dip into our Line of Credit to pay our contractors, bills and other expenses just to keep afloat – not at all what I expected.

Without going into deep detail, we attempted a merge with a mid-sized engineering company who had contacts within the big three automakers. We would come on and handle their technical side. Ended up the owner was a drunk, one of our partners left for a dollar more per hour (because we asked him to reduce his rate to help out the company during the merge as our billable hours were down since the audit) and things were sliding down hill – fast.

Ultimately, the company we started out with high hopes (my dream), crashed and burned. I ended up going to work for J. Walter Thompson as a database administrator and web designer (it was a great place to work) and later dissolved the company.

A Dream Turned To Ashes

Now, I'm working at JWT and things are going better now since the business failed. Making near $100,000 a year, I was able to pay down a lot of debt, pay off one of our cars and put some money away in savings. At this time, we lived in a mobile home park and we wanted out!

We couldn't afford any houses in the area as they were too expensive – the land too. My wife and I talked about it and we decided to find some land in the country so we could move our double-wide onto it and make that our home. We did exactly that. We got our construction loan and began the process of moving onto ten acres of land in the country.

There was a lot of work to be done, so I figured I would be the general contractor and coordinate everything to be sure it went the way we wanted it to go.

At this point, my good friend of mine that I worked with at JWT and I were hearing rumors of our department being eliminated. We were one of the larger departments that was mainly contractors (hourly workers). A few short months later, I was let go. It wouldn't of been so bad if it wasn't for that construction loan and ten acres I just bought, plus beings it was shortly after 9/11.

Another blow to the jaw and my dream!

Well, I decided that we should go ahead moving the house onto the ten acres we purchased. I would look for work, or go independent while we were having the construction done. Other than a few short-term contracts, I didn't have a whole lot of work for almost 2.5 years!

We eventually moved into the house a year later (2003). During those years I did what I could to pay the bills, but it just wasn't enough. Bill collectors were calling in droves and ultimately we had to go bankrupt.

I know, this isn't your typical golden pot at the end of the rainbow story. One thing though – I never gave up on my dream of owning my own business!

So don't give up on yours. Never, never, never give up!

In the next article, I will continue… see you there.



About

I am a small business owner and entrepreneur myself and understand the time constraints that owners have to try and figure out this "internet marketing" thing. That's where we come in.



Our goal is to help you dominate local search for your business so you get found by your target market, which will help you make more money and give you more free time.

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Give Us Your Feedback

Claudia Looi says:

Thanks for Sharing Patrick. One of my mentor said, you will not avoid failures or adversities if you want to succeed in life. Never give up is appropriately titled for it encourages reader like me. Have have gone through similar paths and this article speaks to me.

Thank you all for your comments, support and encouragement. I will NOT give up on my dream to help others achieve their goals for their businesses nor to better my family. All of you have and are playing a part in me seeing that come to fruition. May God bless you and your families.

Anonymous says:

Patrick, there was a time when I was angry about all the things that had happened in my life, starting from a very young age. Not too long ago I realized that, had it not been for those challenges, I would not have the strength and wisdom I have today. (I wouldn’t trade those lessons for the world.) That’s a huge shift to have happen in your mind, loaded with a bunch of forgiveness! I think you know what I mean.

Anonymous says:

Thanks for sharing your story and for not giving up on your dream. You would have robbed the world of all that God has blessed you with. Your story is an inspiration to us all.

Anonymous says:

Thanks for sharing your story and for not giving up on your dream. You would have robbed the world of all that God has blessed you with. Your story is an inspiration to us all.

Anonymous says:

Hang in there Patrick! Keep that positive mindset. I look forward to your next installment-

Lily

Carol Giambri says:

Loved your story and can sense the truth to it. You are moving higher and creating your own destiny making your dreams come true. You have many raving fans who willingly wrote testimonies about your work and business you are building now. I’m one of those raving ones.

Rachelle says:

I’m so glad you haven’t given up on your dream, Patrick! You are a real inspiration!

Anonymous says:

Your sense of determination is evident throughout your story and I found that to be so inspiring! Thank you for sharing…I can’t wait for the next part!

Thea says:

Wow! Thanks for sharing this personal story Patrick! I’m on pins and needles waiting for Part 2 :-)

Patrick says:

Vivian,

Thank you for your encouraging comments. The next one is coming shortly.

Patrick

Vivian M. Salas says:

Patrick, thank you for sharing this story…I can’t wait to read more! You are an awesome teacher and I’m so BLESSED to know you and honored to work with you! Thank you, my friend!

Patty_whitson says:

Oh this story does take me back I was right there with you. I will continue to be right there with you, you are making our dreams happen & I love you very much :)

Patrick says:

Scott,

Thank you for reading it and commenting. I figured it was about time others hear more about how I landed where I am today and where I’m going. Not to put focus on me, but so they realize that no matter what happens to keep reaching for that dream and have hope.

drscott says:

Thank you Patrick for sharing your story. I believe our most humbling and difficult experiences are the biggest lessons in our hearts if we are truly AWARE and AWAKE. There are many stories like this in the entrepreneurial world we live in; your message is well taken and your encouragement is what we all need to hear.