Recently, I stumbled upon a letter that I wrote ten years ago, which I sent to my family and friends. The letter covered the previous five years when I was in financial difficulty and friends lent me money that I hadn’t yet paid back. I intended to apologize, ask them for forgiveness and tell them that I would change. Reading this letter again was devastating and depressing. I had to acknowledge that I messed up. Fifteen years later, I was back to square one; still broke, heavily in debt and far behind my promises to my wife, daughter, and friends.
Instantly, I thought of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity – repeating the same things over and over yet expecting a different outcome, which is exactly what I had been doing for over a decade. This was the moment of truth. I had to stop doing what I was doing.
I had success in my previous job. I was a high earner climbing the corporate ladder. Life was good. In 2003, I decided to take a sabbatical during which time my daughter was born. I was solicited by friends, who were all business owners, to do business. I decided to give it a try and became self-employed. I tried various areas such as real estate, venture capital, high yield “private placements” and day trading. All opportunities came up by coincidence, and all ended in failure.
The consequence was our financial situation deteriorated quickly. I was broke. Creditors wanted to beat me up, friends who had lent me money turned their backs on me, and others put pressure on my wife. Without the help of my wife and family, I would not have been able to survive. I was struggling from month to month and couldn’t make ends meet.
In combination with my financial situation, I was changing as a person, going from bad to worse. I have not been able to keep my word and commitments to many people including my family. My integrity and reliability fell by the wayside.
Furthermore, my marriage was under more and more pressure. The financial situation overshadowed our daily lives. My wife resented having to be the breadwinner for so many years and even considered leaving me. Eventually, it was I who left after I started having an affair. After a long rollercoaster ride, my wife and I found each other again, but the healing process was not yet complete. Too much had happened.
Finally, I decided to go back to my “roots” – the Internet – and started creating websites and online shops, but I knew that my current business wouldn’t get me off the ground and provide me with the lifestyle I wanted to live. I felt trapped.
I knew there had to be a real business opportunity that could save me. The search began, and I found it in Network Marketing. Like in any business, success didn’t come overnight. You need to develop the skills and take committed actions to succeed. Because of Network Marketing, I got into the area of self-development and began studying topics like motivation, leadership, and entrepreneurship. During that learning process, I had continued setbacks and had to start from scratch many times.
I was getting angry with myself as I didn’t draw the line and stop doing whatever was causing the poor results. I had to face reality and take full responsibility.
So why didn’t I stop immediately after the first failure? Well, I love running, especially marathons, and I am not one to give up after 5 miles. Besides, all business opportunities seemed reliable and legitimate. More importantly, my unshakeable belief that I am safe and that everything will turn out right is because of my faith in God.
I was 55 years old, married, a father to a fifteen-year-old daughter, self-employed, and living in Zurich, Switzerland. I refused to let those fifteen years and the people I offended, determine the rest of mine and my family’s life. I was determined to find the reasons why I had failed and then make the necessary changes to achieve massive success. Giving up was not an option.
Shad Helmstetter and Napoleon Hill helped me to find the reasons that led to my failures. In my understanding and interpretation, what they say is that our thoughts ultimately create our reality.
When I heard and read it, I started to understand and internalize it………