commencement 2011

To The Graduating Class of 2016

Senior year was the greatest. High School and College. It didn’t matter what the past was because I always had a new world ahead of me. To this day, I look back and tell myself how surreal it is because we have come so far in 10 years. So sitting in my shoes now, what would I tell the graduating class of 2016?

1. Soak It All In

Sorry guys, I hate to say it but it doesn’t get any easier! Take in all that you can. Enjoy the time with your friends, see the sights & learn a little more. Get the full experience and appreciate all it has to offer. Like I said, graduating was moving on to a new life. You have the opportunity to reinvent yourself, try new things and see life in a new light.

I really never have any regrets. I made life long friends going to college where I did. I found my future wife going about life the way I did. And enjoyed every waking moment of it. The only times I look back on are the good times. Hard work comes with the fun, but if you make it all enjoyable, you’ll have some great memories.

2. Try All the Flavors

It’s a great time to try new things, take a new perspective on life and make changes. Fail to the greatest extent, because you still have time to get back on your feet. Take a leap of faith on something you believe in.

I tried the 9-5, I tried being locked up in a cubicle all day, so I can truly say it wasn’t for me. I worked the corporate life, it just wasn’t my passion. Without actually going for it, you can’t claim something isn’t what it is. You can’t ever say you won’t make it doing this, doing that.

I will never forget having a conversation back in college saying, “ I will never go into sales.” Look at where I am now? But this was before truly experiencing all that this life has to give. And when the opportunity arose, I dove right in. While it’s not the easiest job, I have the most fun doing what I love.

I think I’m ok at it too…

3. Give in To the Yes

Say Yes. Say Yes. Say Yes.

This is the time, take chances and take that leap of faith. Go to the social scene, get out and network. This is the ultimate key to your success. I didn’t get where I am with my tail between my legs. Sometimes your perseverance will lead to opportunities where you have to just say “Yes.” I have seen so many lost moments where people didn’t say yes. And it’s tough; I get it. There are so many different opportunities to act upon, but remember, it’s ok to give in and try something different. Go ahead and say “Yes.” I love this quote from Richard Branson:

 “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

Don’t EVER be in that position where you ask yourself, “Why Didn’t I Say Yes?”

 4. Make Sure You Work Hard

This is basic, sure, but I hear this all the time:

“Your generation is all about, give me. Not let me work for it.”

Well, I couldn’t agree more. I won’t hide from it. I didn’t come up from the slums. My parents weren’t below the poverty line and I definitely didn’t’ live in a rough neighborhood. But my greatest character trait, and anyone can tell you this, is I work hard. I put in the extra effort and I absolutely, 110% hate to fail. I don’t care if it’s in the gym, out on the rink, making sales calls, baking a cake; I hate to fail. I will do everything to get ahead of the game, but even when I do fail, it won’t be from a lack of trying.

Put in some long hours; you’re young. Take an extra passion class; it’ll make you feel better about everything else. Squeeze in some extra work! I know, my last post was about taking time off, but don’t confuse long hours with hard work. Soak it all in around you when you have the opportunity. I travel long hours and spend a lot of time away from home, but when I am home, I spend all the time I can with family and friends. But when it’s time to work, it’s all or nothing.

Your education never ends. No one ever stops learning and if you think you know it all, then you have failed yourself. Soak it all in, try everything you can, say yes and make sure you work hard.

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