This guest post was written by Justin Harmon is an author and former direct sales marketing kingpin whose demise from glory was as quick as his rise to stardom.
I never used to consider myself an entrepreneur. The term was a vague resemblance of an ideology that gave me a spark to create something – to follow my dreams and make a dent in the Universe.
At first, all I really wanted was to do work and make a living on my terms. I wasn’t happy with any of the work I did. I respected it and worked hard in whatever field I was in, but I just wanted to do something more, whatever that meant.
I knew that I wanted to do something that was important and something that I loved. I couldn’t handle the thought of just working a job that didn’t have any meaning for me, but I had no choice; I had to go with what was presented to me.
I was always a head-in-the-clouds dreamer type of guy, and I never really took action on anything. I think a big part of that had to do with growing up in an environment where there weren’t many expectations. You have your blue collar workers, you have your white collar workers, and that’s about it.
Growing up in a lower class blue collar family, the mindset seemed to be “well, this is just the way it is”, which really makes it hard to believe that your life is going to be anything more than what’s readily available.
That mindset is a hard one to change, especially when you feel stuck or you just don’t have the option to choose a different environment.
At least back then I didn’t.
Fifteen years ago I was being prepped to go to college, choose a profession, and work my way up the corporate ladder. Either that, or go to the military, or enter the workforce.
I decided I was going to take some time to “find myself” instead, which meant I was going to party and do drugs, work a couple worthless jobs for spending money, and continue to live at home. I had the time of my life for sure – as far as feeling free goes – but it was really unsustainable.
With reality setting in and the need to get my life together and move out on my own, I had to buckle down and get a full-time job so I could support myself.
I was finally understanding what it meant to be responsible.
I got a job at one of the largest corporations in the world and was committed to making my way up that ladder that I was prepped for years earlier. That’s what I did.
It took me a little over two years to grab a manager position, and I was well on my way.
Escaping the Status Quo
That’s also around the time when my inner misfit would come out and offer me a way out of the status quo to go on an adventure where I had no idea what would happen.
I left my job and took a train ride to Monterey, California where a friend of mine graciously offered me room and board until I could get on my feet.
It was a challenge leaving everything I’d ever known behind to start over somewhere new, but inside I was just happy to escape what could have easily been my life for the next 30 years, where I took no risks and simply maintained the reality set forth by my social class.
When I stepped off of the train I had entered a completely new environment where I knew no one, and I think that helped me to open up and let my true self come out.
I don’t know how else to describe it other than: where I was once a caterpillar, I had become a butterfly. It was a transforming experience – almost surreal at times.
I think it had a lot to do with just being out of my comfort zone and away from the environment I had been in for most of my life. I had always surrounded myself with the same people, places, and things, and looking back, it was definitely hard to grow as a person and find who I really was while in that environment.
In Monterey, I felt like I was in a different world. It was a different kind of atmosphere that gave me really good vibes and the confidence to fully embrace who I was inside. The people were more relaxed, and for the most part, they were more positive about things.
Someone once told me that being near the ocean can increase your mood and positive feelings because of the negative ions generated by the water. I don’t know if that is factual or not, but it makes sense for the overall change I was feeling.
I also did a lot of inner searching and meditating on my life, my future, my past, my relationships, and my beliefs, which added to the growth I was experiencing.
Looking back, I believe those two months were my way of escaping the reality I had once known, and it’s what allowed me to learn how to actively take part in the reality I wanted to create for myself. So in that sense, it certainly felt like a spiritual awakening of sorts that stayed with me when I went back to Wisconsin.
Feeling more awake than I ever had in my entire life I decided then and there to never settle. I made the decision to do whatever it took to live life the way I wanted to – not the way others expected me to.
I had a vision of the world and my place in it. I would do whatever it took to see it through. Not only for the chance to live the life of my own choosing, but to help others do the same.
I wanted so badly to make some kind of difference in the world, even if that meant just giving inspiration to those who felt the same desire to change their own world.
The lightbulb went off, and I knew I had found the key to the path I was looking for.
After a few short months I found an article on ProBlogger that changed my life. The article was about moving to paradise and getting paid to change the world by Jon Morrow.
This post was the final push I needed to really take matters into my own hands and start creating my own path towards the life I was looking for.
I ended up discovering a love for writing and a way to express myself through words in a way I could never do verbally.
Writing led me to starting a couple of blogs, including Unplugged Recreated, which has been a great growth and learning experience and also holds the core messages for my new book, Change your Perception, Change your Life, which I wrote alongside many brilliant co-authors, including Fire Nation’s own John Lee Dumas.
The book was just released, and I’m proud to say that I’m a published author, and even more so, I’m proud to share these messages with people who need to hear them.
It’s been a great journey so far, and I look forward to what’s to come.
If there is one piece of advice I can share here, it’s to always follow your heart, believe in yourself and your dreams, and start taking action towards them today.
The entire journey is an experience you will never regret, no matter how many times you fail, stumble, or get stuck.
The only thing that can hold you back is yourself.
Justin Harmon is an author and former direct sales marketing kingpin whose demise from glory was as quick as his rise to stardom. He uses his experience in the marketing world and his degree in Business as a way to pretend he knows what he’s talking about and convince everyone he’s an entrepreneur.