Step 3: Put in the work
Don’t be afraid to work hard or reinvent yourself along the way. Keep tweaking until you find the thing that will allow you to achieve your potential.
Also, where you go to school—if you want to pursue education beyond high school—is less important than what you ultimately do with what you learn. Your success depends on the skills you gain, how you use them, and their value in the job market.
I was eager to move things along and build financial security for myself. This led me to the private sector. At CKE restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, I worked as the VP of government affairs for nearly six years. There, I used my public sector experience to make it easier for my employer and franchisees (small businesses) to deal with government at all levels. I enjoyed bringing value to our customers and helping them grow.
Step 4: Choose your friends wisely
Pick people that will challenge you and who will bring out the best in you. If you’re not being challenged to grow, then you’re not fulfilling your potential. When I was younger, I dreaded writing essays and papers. I saw it as work, not a way to tell a story and move people to action. Thankfully, I worked for a former trial attorney who is a great writer. His style, which breaks down complex ideas and is easy to read, forced me to improve my writing. Without his help I wouldn’t have learned to love writing.
Step 5: Never Compromise
No matter what you do for a living, never compromise yourself, your integrity or your values. Be honest, loyal and hard-working. This will help you achieve your true potential on your own terms. Seeing how companies were missing a huge opportunity to reach Latino consumers, I decided to work independently to assist companies in connecting with the growing Latino population.
I would say this is where my true passion lies. It is where I feel I can make the biggest difference. Working on your own gives you the freedom and the ability to work on the things that matter the most to you. It lets your talent and passion be your road map to take you as far as you’re willing to go.