The Path to Little Success
The bit of knowledge I missed learning in high school was what it takes to become truly successful. Some would consider what I have done with my life a success, but it is just in the last few years - I am now a few years past 50 - that I have seen what I missed over the decades where I could have improved my lot in life a lot.
I was the smart guy in a small high school. I was accepted to the U.S. Air Force Academy, majored in mathematics, graduated and went off to fly jets.
Nine years of Air Force service allowed me to fly the hottest fighter in the sky, and become an instructor pilot in two different aircraft. Along the way, the Air Force sent me to accident investigation school where I learned all of the different ways an airplane could crash.
Then came Mistake Number 1. I decided it was time to leave the Air Force and pursue another career: I wanted to be a financial planner.
Little did I know that financial services is primarily sales work. I thought I could build a customer base with my knowledge of investments and other financial products (Mistake Number 2). I worked as a mutual fund salesman and stock broker for most of a decade before I decided if I was going to be in selling, other products would be easier to sell.
So off I went to sell cars and trucks. I enjoyed this type of selling and logged in another decade, spending most of the experience on the commercial side, selling light and heavy trucks to businesses. It was interesting and challenging work, but I managed to repeat Mistake Number 3 several times. I would become dissatisfied with my current employer or location and move on to another job, a couple of times to another state.