From the moment I discovered I was adopted; my life took several unexpected turns. I had to recognize my unique journey. As a child, this knowledge bred feelings of difference and, admittedly, rebellion. That youthful defiance saw me navigating challenging paths: from sleeping on couches to the unforgiving ground of a shed as a juvenile. The fateful day - when in anger - I broke into what I believed to be my home shifted my trajectory—plunging me deep into the justice system. Navigating these challenges, I soon learned the power of embracing my path, with each twist becoming a lesson.
The Allure of Technology
Before life's turbulence, technology had always been a beacon fostering my curiosity. Memories of diving into games on an Apple IIe and tinkering with QBASIC are etched deep within. The rapid growth of the internet in the '90s captured my curiosity even further. From being a target of early online attacks - because I ran my mouth - to embarking on the journey of programming, technology became more than just a pastime—it was an identity. A serendipitous encounter with a wonderful individual named Cameron (my wife now of 23 years) propelled me further into the tech realm.
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Lessons from Leadership
Every role I've embraced has been a lesson, teaching me more about the intricacies of leadership. From results to collaboration, my ethos evolved. I discovered that a team's affinity, built on open communication and mutual support, was its backbone. When a team stands united in trust and transparency, they are invincible.
The Justice System's Lens
My time in the justice system was a period of deep introspection and reflection. It transformed my perspective: challenges outside paled in comparison to the ones faced behind bars. But it was here that I truly learned to engage. Realizing that only I define myself, I decided to confront life head-on, leveraging my past as my strength rather than a limitation. This engagement with my reality unearthed the potential in those society often disregarded. Their profound wisdom was a testament to the countless hours spent in introspection. This enlightenment led to the inception of ReEntry Capital, aiming to metamorphose justice-impacted individuals into influential leaders and owners.
Why Share Now?
The shadows were comfortable, a place I could hide from the prying eyes of judgment. But the successes I've tasted were born from opportunities presented to me. It's now my turn to extend that ladder. A newsletter felt like the perfect medium: consistent, personal, and timely. Through this, I aim to foster a community where growth, learning, and understanding flourish.
A Turning Point
An early-career-reset blunder (maybe more about that later), sending 3,000+ poorly crafted emails, became a defining moment. A senior colleague's remark, that it was above my pay grade, was a sting but also motivated me. It drove me to ask, "How do I make it my pay grade?" This sentiment encapsulates my essence—a perennial learner and someone who transforms every challenge into an opportunity.
The REFRAME Framework
- Recognize: Understand and accept your unique journey.
- Embrace: Welcome challenges, letting them shape you.
- Foster: Feed and fuel your passions and curiosities.
- Reflect: Introspect and gain wisdom from every experience.
- Affinity: Forge sincere bonds with open and honest communication.
- Motivate: Convert criticisms and setbacks into driving forces.
- Engage: Immerse, confront life, and use your past as a potent strength.
In Future Editions: Tales of tech misadventures, leadership lessons, and the continuous pursuit of growth. How every setback became a setup for a bigger comeback.