9 Years After my 25th Birthday
Nine years ago when I turned 25 I remember thinking of goals that I had set for myself which today as I turn 34 make very little sense to me. My life would turn around in as little as those next 3 years.
6 years ago I decided to leave the world of being an employee and becoming self employed. Now I realized that at that moment I resigned to many of my goals.
Challenging, Interesting, and Fun
It has been an interesting 6 years. I have launched many projects. Some which have survived others have been abandoned.
As I turn 34 today I realize I have been able to do many things that I don’t think would have been possible if I would have not left being an employee for larger corporations.
From returning the home I bought at 25 to the bank that truly owned it, my luxury convertible which turned out to be a lemon, and a laundry list of material things I did not need in my life such as a Country Club Membership where I played golf every day.
Somewhere easier to let go others like the foreclosure process of what was my house took a huge toll on me like. These experiences have allowed me to focus more in finding what is my purpose in life.
The Return on Letting Go
I earned a lot more by giving up those material things that were tied to my goals at age 25.
Here are a few things that I was able to do:
- I landed my first client for my IT security practice with an organization that is the backbone to the U.S. Economy during the Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns debacle (a sign that things would change at a very fast pace).
- My first clients where outside of the Island given the relationships I had nurtured from the clients I had taken care of while I was at KPMG.
- I worked for a few major banks (including Banco Santander) as an IT Security Consultant where some of the processes and tools they are using to date I created.
- We launched a Puerto Rico Job board which in a matter of months had around 45k+ unique visitors a month but we could not figure how to find a revenue model for it.
- I met Ramon Morales one of the most selfless human beings who has been a mentor to me and Lucy during these years of running our projects and business.
- I was able to attend the first and only Twitter Developer Conference (Chirp) where I met Ramon in person and he hosted me in his Silicon Valley home and also had the opportunity to be in the same space with AJ Leon.
- My friend Ramon Morales introduced me via a book he gave me to a guy called Chris Brogan.
- I attended the Conversational Marketing Summit as a Guest of John Battelle and Federated Media where I got to meet and had access to some very influential individuals.
- I took a complete month flying all over the U.S. visiting friends and family members when JetBlue launched its second and last All You Can Jet.
- I got to meet Chris Brogan in person and from that moment I consider him not only a mentor but a close friend.
- I have helped multiple small businesses use online platforms to improve sales, increase visits to their websites and physical locations, and increase reach.
- I became a dad to a beautiful little girl.
- I launched a parenting site with my friend and business associate Rick Lipsett.
- I also launched a Vegan/Vegetarian blog inspired by the idea that an online friend Sandra Ordonez saw the need to connect other hispanics and latino who were vegetarian/vegan.
- I went to SXSW for the first time and met some very amazing individuals who have become friends. After 4 trips to SXSW I have to say that each one has connected me with a few individuals who are part of my day to day.
- I met Mark Horvath in person and got to understand even more his work and how he helps the homeless and many others with their struggles. Very happy to call Mark a close friend.
- I volunteered (the most work I have done for any for profit organization without getting paid) and bought a ticket to speak at the second hispanicize conference where I was part of 4 sessions.
- I got to visit Disneyland for the second time with two awesome friends Yvonne Pere Borroto and Javier Plaza. I can’t wait to take Daniela.
- We landed our first international client in Mexico for CIMA IT Solutions.
- I landed the opportunity to work with Chris Brogan and worked with him on an International Consulting client out of the United Kingdom.
- Mark Hayward invited me to work on hosting Jeff Pulver in San Juan for a 140 Conference Meetup. Not only did I get a chance to meet Jeff and call him a friend I also had the opportunity to meet Alan Weinkrantz who brought my love of photography back and has also been a mentor.
- I was invited by AJ Leon and Melissa Leon to attend their first Misfit Conference. Which was a life changing experience. Counting the days to the second one.
- Bianca Estrada and I signed up to be part of the Good Misfit project where we helped raise money to build a Windmill in Africa.
- Inspired by a documentary I saw at Misfit Conference I decided to build Limonade where I bring creatives, geeks, and business advisors to get rid of the “limones”.
- I got the opportunity to work with my friend Nicko and redesign the Uncle Gussy’s Food Truck website.
- I got the opportunity to work with Junior Padilla from Impression Associates where in the first meetings he shared some business tips that have served me well very thankful for his support in many ways.
- Thanks to the help of Chris Brogan we landed our first client in Canadá and our helping Donna and her team reach kids with learning disabilities like dyslexia.
- I started writing for Owner Magazine in spanish and have met some pretty awesome folks by just sharing content.
- I found out that I am mentioned on a future bestseller written by my friend and author Chris Brogan. Buy the book here → The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators
Memories and Opportunities to Grow
I have been able over the last 6 years to do a list of things that have been fun others very challenging and not fun at all. Most of these experiences good or not have created memories and opportunities to learn and improve myself.
In summary I feel better mentally, physically, and with more control of my life.
I am grateful for those that have been with me throughout my life but most importantly in the past 6 years.
One Big Favor
As I celebrate my 34th birthday today I can only ask you for one thing.
Understand that we are here on earth with a mission. To define that mission might take a lifetime. But take a moment now to realize and think of what you have accomplished and put one thing you want to do in the next week or so on a piece of paper.
Just one goal which you want to accomplish it can be simple it can be complex just make sure you will go after it.
Another and more important Favor
One more thing I love the work Mark Horvath does if you can take a moment make a donation to Mark’s organization, share Mark’s work with a friend, or help someone in need out today it would mean the world to me.
Happy Birthday, dear Friend. You are wise beyond your years! Loving family man and amazingly faithful friend and I wish you only the best today and everyday. My love, Lois
@loisardito:disqus thank you for being a mentor and a friend. I love ya!
What an awesome treat for all of us on your birthday. This was humbling, inspiring, and very thought provoking. My goal for next week:send out my resume to 3 places of interest! Wishing you another successful year!
Kaila that is awesome if I can help in any way let me know. Do you have your resume ready?
Thank you so much, Raul. Your achievements are a compelling testament of your integrity and resliency.
@guarionex88:disqus with teachers like you that are there to support and help how could I not follow the path of integrity and resiliency.
What a great opportunity to be able to look back to great decisions that frame what’s coming. Hope you had a happy birthday, and continue your growth.
@NandoJourneyman:disqus it if was not for you brother and a few others my growth would take even longer. Thank you for your support and give Rocio a big hug on my behalf!
I’m glad I somehow helped you navigate this path. I think it’s time now for me to be the grashopper. We’ll see you in a few days…
At the end we are all grasshoppers (even if you eat meat. LOL).
Can’t wait to see you and Rocio!
You’re a true role model. I’m thrilled that you’ve been able to grow and gotten so far. You and your family are a great source of inspiration to me. We love you and can’t wait to see what’s next in store for you! Keep the joy alive.