About Kingston’s Short Stories: In this series, I’ll be sharing one story from every year of my life. The stories may at times seem mundane, but its these day to day occurrences that define us. A lesson is then pulled from each story.
A Life No Longer Believed In
When I was 22, I had followed all the rules more or less that were laid out by the educational system. I had finished school and was now working in an entry level position in my chosen career field (accounting). I had followed personal finance blogs closely up until this point and was intent on working corporate positions through my 20’s so that afterwards I wouldn’t have to work and could travel the world at my leisure (Financial Independence Retire Early). I had it all mapped out.
But when I actually got to being behind a desk, I found the entire experience very empty. I’ve talked about this already so I won’t get too deep into it. What I will say is that by the end of the year when I was about to turn 23, I had the opportunity to attend a corporate event (Quickbooks Connect 2018) that would take me from Reno, NV to San Jose, CA. It seemed to be the only chance I would have to fly that year so I jumped on it.
The corporate event had an array of business related workshops for participants to choose from. Most were accounting related but marketing workshops had a fair amount of representation as well.
While my colleagues all signed up for the accounting workshops (we were accountants afterall), I went ahead and signed up for all marketing workshops. When asked why I didn’t want to attend the accounting ones like everyone else, I bobbed and weaved out of giving a direct answer.
My colleagues were none the wiser that I was within striking distance of publishing a book and I wanted more information on how to make it financially successful.
I remember one workshop in particular, hosted by a fellow called Ramon Ray His segment had to do with building a personal brand. It included live demonstrations and on the spot improvisation with audience feedback on how attendees can take steps now to make things happen. He made up website domain names, did a live demonstration of creating content by documenting what you are doing with your smartphone camera, encouraged us to write a book and so on and so forth.
I was impressed by how he was able to energize the crowd and it inspired me to do what he recommended. At this point in time I was a boring accountant that didn’t have anything going, so I could afford to put in the time and effort into making it happen.
How to Influence People
After the event on the flight back to Reno, I was contemplating how this was my only flight in the entirety of 2018 and how empty it made me feel for realizing it. This only solidified my resolve for breaking out of Corporate America.
And within a year of attending this event, I had all three of Ramon’s recommendations up and running:
- Published a book
- Building an ever better personal website
- Started a YouTube channel
I barely knew the guy, I was a mere audience member yet he had such a large influence on me. The reason why is because he lived his truth, he did what he preached. And not only that, I could see the passion in his eyes, he believed in what he did.
This is important because, we all want to influence those around us. From commanding a higher salary to getting what we want for dinner. Its more then just a matter of asking or telling people what to do, its a matter of demonstrating why they should do it by taking the first steps first.
Whether it be leading by example, or showing a clear reward as a result of said action. I was a half hearted accountant because I didn’t believe in what I did. So in order to go all in, you need to believe in what you do, like Ramon, and that’s done by taking action (living) in a way that you agree with (your truth).