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A Personal Story... Of My Grit

By Andy Kemal | October 31, 2018 | Priorities, Accountability, Vision



It was 2010, I was running a large mobile communication technology organization with over 500+ staff members in multinational offices in the US, Asia, and Europe. I knew I wanted more out of my corporate job than it could truly offer. The 2008 economic collapse turned the technology sector of corporate America upside down. Budget and staff cuts were ways of survival while increasingly more demand for better features and more products. It felt like at the executive level your primary role was to be a disciplinarian, hired to “crack the whip” in a never ending cycle to satisfy the insatiable desire for double-digit earnings and growth by the major stock holders. So at that time, I decided that I was going to get out out of the corporate world for good, someway, somehow.

I put my passion, desire, and perseverance around making companies “better” to work. My target market was to be small companies. I told myself, “If I can run large organizations and build businesses for “big” companies, then I can definitely help small businesses be better.” So I started studying business and the latest concepts for growth and development. When I had time during the evenings and weekends I set about helping others fix their small businesses. This went on for 5 years until I saw my opportunity to make it official in 2015. In all that time I kept my eye on the goal, I never waived, I just kept working on my goal with laser focus.  

Andy Vacation
Around the same time in 2010, I started doing P90X (a popular but intense daily workout routine, 7 days a week). I did this routine consistently every night for 12 months. The only time I had to do this was at 11pm at night. But I did it! During the first 90 days I dropped 30lbs and dropped my extremely high cholesterol by 100 points (it was almost at a life threatening 300 total!), a miracle even to my doctor! I changed my eating habits, gave up bread, and even quit drinking beer and alcohol. I became physically and mentally stronger! I persevered through those nights to prove I could do it and fix my body. And I did!

So what’s my point? My point is that we all need vision, strategy and goals to achieve success. The vision was to get out of the “corporate rat race” and prove to myself I could build a better company. I then built a strategy that gave me two major goals: goal #1, learning a new skill set and practicing it over and over, and goal #2, getting fit and staying alive so I could achieve it. Those two goals came from the vision, because without a vision there can be no goals. Everything I did from 2010 on was related to that strategy otherwise I didn’t do it. For Instance, going to work for those 5 years meant building more wealth to support myself later in this endeavor. I worked hard and did the best at my corporate job to ensure I could one day say goodbye with clear conscience and a solid foundation for the future.

So who drives me? I did, but I had lots of mentors and coaches along the way. Even superstars need someone to help them set the right goals. Sometimes we need someone to explain what we need to do, in the specifics, to help figure out what the next steps are, assist in making a plan, and keep us accountable to stay on track.

What vision and strategy are you going to set for you and your business?
Tell us about it in the comment section below!