My name’s Edmond.
I’m just a regular guy, fascinated with this process we call life.
I’d like to tell you a little about myself in such a way that you’ll gain something of value.
Within my story are simple yet life-changing lessons that I’ve learned. I’ve made effort to make them stand out to you with bold, italicized, and underlined text.
This story reveals the basics of how I got to where I am now. It’s the short summarized version, but it’ll provide an understanding of my mindset and perspectives. I promise to keep it as short as possible, while still giving you some practical ideas that you can benefit from.
I’m guessing that you and I are a lot alike. So, you’ll probably like what I have to say.
The “official business-story“ starts when I was 21, but really, it started long before that.
Ever since my youth, I’d always been fascinated with the idea of self-sufficiency. I had no clear concept of what it was, but I knew it had something to do with being able to take care of yourself, completely.
As I grew older, this idea began to shape and shift. The culture I belonged to took its toll on me. Soon, I was conditioned to believe that self-sufficiency was only about having money and power – so much so, that no one could tell me how to live my life.
Having had my common sense shaped by the widespread myths of our culture, I began to think wrongly of the path to freedom.
See, as I child, I felt free and saw limitless opportunities. I sold toys, school supplies, drawings, printed graphics, flowers, candy, and I even convinced my neighbors to help me start a car wash in front of our apartment. At a very young age, I was determined.
Then, something happened. I entered my teenage years, and things changed. I was introduced to one of the myths I’m going to talk about – one that crippled me for a long time, but left me an incredibly valuable lesson.
This myth was that in order to make good money, I needed to get a good job; and that the way to get a good job, was to get a good degree.
So, that’s what I set out to do. I got many jobs. First, in administration. Then, various sales and customer service positions. I excelled, and outgrew all of them. I was young, and people were excited to teach me. You can say I got lucky. Or, you can say I had a goal in mind, and was willing to learn.
After all, that’s what luck is, right? Preparation meeting opportunity.
Be at the right place, at the right time, with the right people, and with the right information, and magic happens.
Moving on – there came a time where I had graduated from High School, was in the middle of my college years, and had just moved out to live on my own.
See, my idea was to graduate with a degree in something that seemed interesting to me – Information Technology – and to get a nice job at a nice software development company. Well, with the rise of the internet and digital media, the company I was working for (CD & DVD duplication), took a big hit. I was soon laid off. This shook my reality.
From my view at the time, this came from no where. I felt helpless because now, in addition to dealing with a myriad of personal issues, I had to deal with the fact that I lost my only source of income. I learned quickly, never rely on one source of income.
Living alone, and still – for the most part – confused about life, I pushed on. I pushed on, then something amazing happened.
At the time, I had no idea of its impact on my life, but looking back, it was a major turning point.
You gotta understand, I was in a tough period. It was hard to see any light. My mind was consumed with my own problems, and I was suffering. I thought there was no way out.
Which leads into the First Big Lesson: Life is malleable. Everything can change. Any individual. Any circumstance. Nothing is set in stone.
See, being in a position of helplessness, I thought the future to be dark and unreliable. But really, my thoughts were just clouded with negativity – negativity I allowed to be programmed into me.
Now, back to that amazing thing.
The major turning point…
I came across what’s called The Laws of Success, from the teachings of Napoleon Hill.
I learned through the many writings and lectures that “every adversity carries with it the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.”
I also learned, that in my pursuit of self-sufficiency, I must seek wisdom over riches.
These teachings went against everything I thought I knew, everything I had been told. But for some reason, I trusted them and carried on to apply the lessons as best as I could.
So, with just $160 and the information I was exposed to, I set a goal to start a business.
It was in February of 2012, I beat my excuses to the punch. Before I could convince myself of a reason not to, I drove down to the Van Nuys city office, and took the first steps to registering a business.
In retrospect, I had no idea what I was signing up for. At the time, I was just focused on climbing out one step at a time. When things seem complicated, stop, and make them as simple as possible.
Buying some things – then selling them. Simple enough.
Well, it only took me a few years to realize the Laws of Success working in my favor. With less than $200, and zero business connections, knowledge, or experience, I managed to build a successful company in wholesale and eCommerce. You don’t need to know everything to start.
I have to stress this part now; I didn’t become rich by any significant means.
What I did do though, is achieve a part of my goal. I was now making enough money to leave the dead-end, life-leaching job I had. In addition, I made terms with the fact that the regular institutions in place weren’t exactly catering to my needs – I dropped out of college.
I became accountable for every aspect of my life. With incredible gratitude, I was able to pay all my own bills, and still help my family. I was waking up and sleeping in whenever I wanted. I was going to nice restaurants, buying many toys, traveling all over, and even taking extended vacations in foreign countries.
On paper, it all looked great. But if someone were to probe my mind, all they would come across at that time was uncertainty.
I mean, what I had essentially done was taken complete responsibility over my own education and financial security. (Later, I realized that we’re always the only ones responsible for that).
“All knowledge ultimately means Self-knowledge.” – Bruce Lee
With no stable real-life mentor or support system in place, this was a big load to carry.
Soon, I started feeling alone.
And that’s when the little voice in my head grew to take control. I stopped studying; information became intellectual entertainment. I began to think I realized a Self-Sufficient life.
And emotionally, that’s when it all came crashing down.
I let the taste of success get to me. My views had changed, and I had more money, but something still felt missing. There was still a void I was trying to fill; and I was slowly realizing that more money wasn’t going to do it. I began sinking deeper into depression; my health, finances, and relationships began to reflect it.
I felt that I wasn’t able to express myself clearly anymore. Soon after, I found myself back in the deep, dark, and obscure pits of negativity.
The knowledge I had wasn’t working. I began to lose customers, got in arguments with loved ones, and felt more lonely than ever before. In my mind, I had created my own personal hell.
“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” – Jim Carrey
Looking back from where I am now though, everything is in place to set us up for what’s coming. What was happening was that things were lining up to show themselves as they really were. The lessons were coming fast and hard.
This business I had created was a dojo where my skills and abilities were put to a real-life test. For me, the road to entrepreneurship was a direct path towards uncovering Truth – and yes, the truth does piss you off before it sets you free.
This Leads into Big Lesson #2: Our perspective governs every aspect of our lives. Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.
While working my way through what’s called the dark night of the soul, I realized that with the intellectual mind, we only allow ourselves fragments of the truth. Like this, we live a partial life.
The self-actualization an individual experiences during the lonely dance of entrepreneurship is truly remarkable.
See, our thoughts become our beliefs, and our beliefs govern our behavior. The problem is, a lot of the time the thoughts we think are ours are really the thinking of others. It’s very rare we’re coming up with our own conclusions – even if we like to think we are.
Living strictly in the mind, we allow those with the most influence over our thoughts to influence our reality. Then, this thing called the ego takes us for a ride. We start to think we know things, forgetting there’s depths way beyond our understanding.
“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammad Ali
Thinking back, I don’t think I would have ever taken any steps forward if I continued thinking in the same ways I used to. In fact, it’s crystal clear to me now, all the major shifts in life are accompanied by major shifts in the thoughts we think.
For example, it wasn’t until I realized we have the power to learn anything that I started my first business. If it hadn’t been for this major shift, I would have never opened myself up to the many clues that would later guide me.
Fast forward to today, I understand that success and happiness are very different from each other. Now, I have a much better idea of what self-sufficiency means.
Really, it’s clear to me that no amount of money, achievement, or popularity will bring one fulfillment in life.
There’s only one way to fill that void.
And, that’s what brings us to Big Lesson #3: The only good life is a life dedicated to the service of others.
Self-sufficiency is about becoming your own person. It’s about becoming free. It’s about creating a life where you can live on your terms, unapologetically.
To give it all away.
See, I learned the hard way. To really fill that void, we must be striving towards our potential as a human being.
We must maintain a sense of balance with our health, finances, and relationships, only so that we can go on and give more of ourselves.
In other words, we build ourselves up, become strong, happy, and healthy, so that we can build others up, and help make them strong, happy, and healthy.
This is the path I’ve chosen for myself, and it’s a path I’m choosing to share with others through my labor. This path is, of course, a work in progress. A daily discipline. Ideas and philosophies will change; and I’m open to that. However, this is what they are now; and so, this is what I’m recording and sharing now.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs
My aim isn’t to change the world here; but really, to just provide an outlet for the creative forces within to express themselves.
I have this idea that all throughout life, we’re mostly looking at the same things. I’ve noticed that through the perspective of others, we get to see these same things a little differently. And so, my plans are to create an environment to see the same things in different ways.
With everything I do with Curious Fortune, I really want to make a positive difference in how you see the world.