Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to accomplish your goals

I was home schooled my entire life.  We were "that weird home school family", you know, the one that pulls up in an old 15 passenger van, then piles out dressed like a bunch of Mennonites, but who aren't actually Mennonites.

Every Wednesday we would go to McDonalds for 99 cent Happy Meal night, we would order 12.  When I was 14 I picked up a crappy looking local newspaper that had even worse looking comic strips inside it.  I read the comics and said to myself: "These are terrible, I can do better."

I didn't know how to use the Internet, so I asked my younger brother Cody to email the editor, and see if I could drop off some of my comics by her office.  For the next 3 years I wrote comics every 2 weeks for 3 local newspapers.  I even started writing a fishing advice column.  I thought I had found my purpose, I thought I could be a full blown comic artist like Charles Schulz.

I read Charles Schulz's autobiography, I read every article I could find about how to become a comic strip artist.  I won the local Library Art Contest, and had to give a speech - I choked.

Everyone believed in me, everyone said I would be great.  At 17 I went to Staples and bought 8 manila envelopes.  I drew 2 months worth of comic strips and submitted them to all of the comic syndication companies, and anxiously waited.

I handled every form rejection letter fine as they rolled in, until one editor took the time to write: "What the hell?!!" next to my name.

I gave up, I went from being called "exceptional", to an editor telling me I sucked!  It took me a while to get over that rejection, I had made it "my everything".  I mowed lawns all Summer long, and stopped drawing comics.

I apprenticed with a 62 year old racist Blacksmith named Eddie, when I was first learning how to shoe horses.  He would yell and cuss at me, flip off any black person he saw when he drove down the road, and say: "I hate those N*^&%$!".  I was 20 and felt sooo much guilt ever second I was working for Eddie.

I prayed and prayed that I would have enough courage to leave him.  3 months later I finally did.  The amount of relief and joy that swept over me is hard to even describe.  I'm glad I quit Eddie, but I didn't give up on my dream to become a Blacksmith/Farrier.

After I got kicked in the face by a horse and then started learning how to code.  I finally landed a coding phone interview and the interviewer basically laughed at me and said: "Is there something I don't understand about your resume?  You are applying for a developer position???"

He then followed that up with asking me to design a relational database over the phone.  The entire rest of the interview revolved around databases, not a single question that did not involve databases or database design.  I didn't get the job, but I didn't give up.

I refused to give up even after failing interview after interview.  My 8th final interview I was told: "I had exceptional enthusiasm, passion, and would be a GREAT addition to the team!"  My dream became true, because I didn't give up.

I have a million more stories like this, all of them for me have been the same:  "Don't give up no matter what on something that you want, don't take it personal when people say you suck or laugh in your face, don't do things that you don't really want to do."

If you know how to code, you can get a job anywhere, I can help you make that happen.  You can do it on your own without my help as well if you want it bad enough.  Only do it if you really want to.  Don't believe the hype, there are no unicorns.  If you want to learn how to code and land your first job, it really feels great when you finally land your first job!

Keep coding peeps, you can do this!