Man I remember it like it was yesterday.
My heart was beating so fast that you could hear it knocking on my sternum from a mile away. I knew why I was being called in the Head of The Department. The hallways were quiet. As always the hallways were dead silent. At least I would be able to face this humiliation alone and not have anyone see my defeated self go through the dreaded Walk of Shame.
I was enrolled in the Austin Paramedic Academy.
And even though I had given everything I had and then some to the program, I was still going to wash out.
I put everything on the line. This was supposed to be my career. My life, and my reason for getting out of bed every morning.
Yet here I was. I had given everything I had and it wasn’t enough.
Strike three and I was out. I washed out of the Academy. I had to meet with the head of the program. She was pleasant but I could see this was not her first meeting with washouts.
She was sympathetic BUT she had a job to do. She handed some papers for me to sign. Ah the final in the coffin I thought to myself as I signed away my dismissal documents. “Good luck Demetrio and all the best to you.” she said. I existed her office and started pacing towards the “Walk of Shame.” I’m glad no one was there to see it.
Fast forward a few years. I was searching online to find something that could help me get back on a career path, because my current situation sucked major booty.
I was working 2 jobs at the time. Retail and at a manufacturing plant and like anyone in my position…HATED IT!
I wanted more.
I’m not going to sugar coat anything. I loathed my co-workers and seethed at their blubbering chaotic decisions. I hated office politics and didn’t care to try and play the game, even a little.
I despised my boss and every dumb order she barked. I hated how she was just a pen pusher, an admin. A “leader,” who I had to respect only because of the title. She sucked.
So one Friday night I stayed in to think things over and figure out how I could improve my life.
I jumped on YouTube.
And boom! Thanks to YouTube’s view tracking system I came across and recorded seminar of a raspy old man telling a story about when he was vacationing in Daytona Beach during bike week. At a local drinkery by his hotel. He stopped to have a drink and by chance, met one of the locals. He was having a one heck of a time bantering back and fourth until he made one fatal mistake. Since he wasn’t keen on the local scene and the lingo of the bikers and their culture, he made a comment and insulted the other person.
Now the other person was fired up and was ready to make to scuffle. The old man now afraid, calmed his own nerves and apologized to the other patron and offered to pay for his tab. The patron mulled for a bit, and agreed.
After the old man finished telling his story, he then said, “Every one has the ability to tell a great story. Like a dull knife you just got to keep sharpening it until it becomes a blunt instrument that can pursaude and motivate people to buy from you.”
What he said in that last sentence caused my ears to perk up.
“What the heck does he mean to persuade and buy?”
“What the heck is this seminar even about!”
After some light research….the man giving the seminar was none other than….Uncle…..John Carlton.
I stayed up till sunrise watching his free videos, (at least the ones that were available online) and I was hooked! I had to know what this “copywriting,” business was all about and how I can be successful at it.
John Carlton saved my life!
The more I read about him and his life, the more I became inspired. John was just like me! He jumped from job to job trying to find his own way through life. He even had a stint working on a leaky boat as a fisherman. He finally settled down and got serious with his life and dedicated himself to mastering the craft that is copy.
I was hooked.
I’d be lying if I said the appeal of making thousands if not millions tickled my greed gland. But the idea of living my life on my own terms and having the freedom to do what I want sang to me even more.
I love to write. I love to write stories. And I love to read.
In the words of Uncle John Carlton, “It’s not where you are that matters. It’s were you want to go and how hard you want to work.”
You got this.
Till Then, Stay Hungry.