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Depression and anxiety were my lemons that led to many unfortunate situations. Discovering a way to turn these circumstances into a learning experience and find happiness and confidence were my lemonade.
As a child, may things contributed to my depression. My troublesome father went to prison when I was 9. He had a 10-year prisonsentence. I was able tosee at a young age what crime and greed looked like. My motherwas left on her own to take care of three young boys. We lost our house andwere bouncing around different hotels for several years on-and-off. It wasduring this time where I started to develop sleep anxiety and insomnia.
From ages 10 to 18, I had severe sleep anxiety where I would only get a few hours of sleep per night. I did bad in school and couldn’t properlyfunction as a normal person. I was also eating a lot too because of all thestress with my father’s situation and also the fact that money was alwaysan issue for my family growing up. I had dealt with this depression on myown which I regret. I should have talked with others about my issues. I wasinsecure about my father, my weight gain, and also how poor my family was.
When college came, I had a new beginning. Things got much better. I started to sleepbetter and take care of myself. I met new friends.
It was during this time, I started an online website. It was a dating website for college students. I didn’t have any web programming experience, but I figured if I paid some guy $5,000 to create this site it would be awesome – turns out that wasn’t the case. It was a battle to get my money back for the faulty website the developer created. After two years I still had nothing to show for it.
I took that lemon and turned it around by creating a site on my own (it wasn’t very good, but functioned). The site was picked up by several TV networks and had severalmillion website visitors. Even with all the exposure, I was in too much
debt and burned through all my cash savings to try and keep it going.
This was my second bout with depression I went through, because I lost our house and all my cash savings. 2011-2012 was a very bad year for me. It was the worst time in my life. I felt hopeless and lost. I got a job at afactory for $8 an hour. I was literally at rock-bottom with nothing to show for it, again. To top it off, my friend had passed awaythat year from a sudden car crash.
Yet, there was lemonade to be made, because it was through these dark times that I really found out who I was as aperson. I learned at an early age what adversity really is and how toovercome that.
What I would change, though, is to have talked with morepeople about my problems instead of keeping them to myself. I have learnednot only about business and marketing, but also I learned a lot aboutmyself as a person.
The #1 thing I learned up this point in my life? Bea good person, help others, and strive for happiness first. Happiness iseverything and this is what we should strive for.
Now, I own a social media marketing consulting business. Ilearned from all of my mistakes and learned how to deal and negotiate withpeople over the years. All of these negative experiences were turned intopositive experiences. I learned what to do and what not do. I also learnedabout what is really important.
I love what I do. I love my clients. More importantly for the first time in a long time – I am happy.