Nothing good is gained easily. Check that. Nothing great.
Though I might at times wish otherwise, my story begins and ends with perspiration.
As the son of hard-working Haitian immigrants, I’ve seen with my own eyes what determination looks like. Never mind a dictionary, you’ll find the definition for this under-appreciated commodity in ample supply in the eyes of Guerda and Carmelo, otherwise known to me as mom and dad, and to my kids as Mimi and Papi. My parents immigrated to North America in the 70’s. What they lacked in language and job skills they more than made up for with an unflinching determination to create a better life for themselves, and eventually their children.
The memories of my childhood come flooding back. Among them, the numerous summers after school concluded that I and my sister were shipped off to stay with relatives in Montreal, Canada. We saw those trips as grand vacations. My parents viewed them as necessary budgetary alternatives to daycare. I also well remember a season of life during which spaghetti sandwiches were a daily staple. During those lean years, my parents made many sacrifices in order to keep me and my sister in good schools.
Throughout my formative years and my teens, my parents consistently set for us an example of hard work. It came in handy because while some children may seem to sail by, my own scholastic achievement was just as much the result of effort as intelligence. While I was blessed to receive a good education, and even excelled, it was never easy. Rather; it was hard work. It was that way in school and it’s been that way in business. It’s all I’ve ever known.
I launched my first company from my dorm room at SMU in 2004. Since then, some things in the business world have changed. Some things haven’t. If you think the democratization of data is going to pave your path to the corporate top, you might want to wait to book that flight. Contrary to popular spin, more businesses than ever fail. This, despite the greatest proliferation of information in the history of mankind. So, while it’s true that everyone has a shot, only a few will shine.
I opened this message with a word about wishing. Make note; wishing is not the same as working. Wishing never finished a thesis, won a marathon or launched a new franchise. As an entrepreneur and businessman, I’ve had to perspire to acquire every inch of my success. You will too because there are no shortcuts on the road to being superior. You have to show up for your own life.
If I had to sum up my mantra in a single word it would be this: strive. In other words, push, exert, endure. In athletic terms: sit up, shut up, and lace up, because this is going to take effort. Throughout my website, you’ll note images from the world of sports. That’s purposeful. Because that’s one place I consistently see striving manifested in real life.
Since my humble business beginnings at SMU, I’ve always resonated with the little guy…and girl…with those at the margins…and with those who believe that with enough sweat small business can one day become big business.
For those willing to put in the work, I’m eager to walk beside you and invest in you to be your business best.
Let’s make a connection!