Crippled CEO Blog #173:
I am a high school dropout.
I have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair.
My dad was a drug addict.
I’m also the CEO of a global company with 8-figure annual revenues. I have lived an amazing life filled with incredible friends, gorgeous girlfriends, and spectacular experiences.
If you don’t look like the standard picture of success, it’s easy to think that the type of success and happiness you dream of isn’t meant for you. It’s easy to tell yourself that that life is reserved for those other people, who weren’t dealt the hand of problems and disadvantages that you’ve been dealt.
Trust me. I get it. I’m a high school dropout in a wheelchair. That’s an easy thing to do blame the problems in my life on. In fact, it’s so easy, that not only would other people agree with me, they would also help me come to that obvious conclusion. “I mean, of course you’re not going to do that. Not to be rude, but with your situation… that’s not your fault.”
These preconceptions about who we are and who people can be are hardwired. They are difficult to overcome. If I didn’t give you any other context, and I asked you to describe the life and career of a dropout in a wheelchair, would you imagine that life looked like mine? I wouldn’t. And there’s no way to become successful if we can’t first imagine it. There’s no way you’re ever going to be a doctor if you’re convinced you would never make it through med school. You’re never going to marry that girl if you think talking to her ends in disaster.
Severely disabled, uneducated, heroin addict dad, and living a thriving, prosperous life. Are the cards you’ve been dealt that bad? Maybe they are. Maybe they are even worse. But just like I’ve done it, someone out there who is in your situation has done it, as well. And if they can do it, so can you.
The path to success and happiness doesn’t look the same for everybody. In fact, for most, it doesn’t look like what you think at all.
Being a disabled drop out isn’t the identity that I think of when I think of myself. It’s true, so it could be, but it’s not. We are the stories that we tell ourselves and the identities we assign to ourselves.
You can’t stop being a loser and hopeless if you keep thinking you’re a loser and hopeless. The change in your head comes first, not the other way around.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy. But if this cripple can do it, you certainly can, too.
(Do you know who really believed she could do it last night? Your mom. And she was right. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)