Last weekend, I graduated with honors, from the University of Phoenix. For the last +2 years, I attended the School of Business at the Southern California campus and earned a BS in Business and Marketing. This was by far the hardest, most grueling task I had ever started. No one forced me back school; I just needed to finish what I had started nearly 10 years earlier.
During the majority of my time participating in adult education, I had was working at a leading edge, consumer electronics company. Travel was mild, goals seemed unattainable and expectations always high. In the ever-so-competitive consumer electronics space, you are “on-call” 24/7 if you are involved with product management and sales, as I was. In my final months at school, I left the CE industry and joined the executive team of a startup fishing products company with exponential upside, managing sales, marketing, PR, operations and product management. How I managed to be diligent with work, homework and my family (kinda) was a miracle.
I say kinda with regards to my family because they didn’t always have me at my best. In the mornings I would be short, grumpy, zombie-like. Most nights, I would fall asleep at my desk, or while studying on the couch. My body would be sore and my eyes would be bloodshot and dry. Nonetheless, my wife and kids accepted me and greeted me with smiles and hugs every day before leaving for work.
My wife was a rock. She supported me during and after the pregnancy of our second daughter, Liv, who is now 14-months. She didn’t even mind me writing a paper while she was in the early stages of labor in her hospital room! When I began school, we had a 9-month old, Grace. I couldn’t have stayed the course without my wife’s encouragement and constant love.
To Gracie and Livy: You can do anything! It is NEVER too late to get an education or to learn new skills. What daddy did was very hard (and expensive). If you do decide to go to college after high school, do it. Don’t wait if you can help it. It is way easier to get an education before you choose a career path and begin a family. However, everyone’s paths are different. You don’t have to follow the “norm”, but you do need to follow your passion and give it 100%, 100% of the time. We love you both no matter where your education takes you. We will support you with guidance, support, and most especially love, always love.