As I was growing up, my parents embedded in me that education was important. I assumed that if I did well in school, learned a lot, and expanded my knowledge, regardless of what could happen—lose my job, car, house, spouse, or health, my education would help me get through it. Well, that is not true. I know many intelligent people with credentials who struggled, including me. My goal was to make it to the “C-suite” in the corporate world. I worked hard to earn excellent grades, proceeded to college, and got my bachelor’s degree, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough. Every decade since then, I completed a certification or advanced degree: several insurance industry certifications, two master’s degrees, and—most recently—a PhD. While that may look good on paper, it was not without challenges. My life has included
Depending on others for transportation
Sleeping on my mother’s couch
Moving because I couldn’t afford rent
Living paycheck to paycheck
Moving my aging mother in with me
Being unemployed for 15 months
There were times when I wasn’t sure my situation would improve, a goal required more time and patience than I expected, and I wanted to give up on my dreams. I accumulated a lot of insight from my education, but I feel that what I have achieved came from what I learned in school coupled with trial and error. Sometimes, the knowledge you have is useless or comes too late. Other times, the knowledge you need never comes. Just because you have letters after your name does not mean you know everything, and just because you do not have letters after your name does not mean you know less. It is when we use what we know and find out what we don’t know that knowledge is powerful.
As we maneuver our careers, there is quite a bit of knowledge that is not easily accessible. Some of us are “book-smart” and some of us are “street-smart,” but what we all wish to be is “access-smart.” The word access has two meanings in this book. First is the dictionary meaning: “to gain entry to or obtain.” We need access to the tools and information that will help us get ahead, lead the pack, be on the top of the list, and excel in life.
The second meaning of access is one I created. Those who have heard me deliver a speech or training session know I love acronyms, and I try not to miss opportunities to use them. A.C.C.E.S.S. stands for Activities Critical to Continuous Evolution & Success for Self. I want to add to your current knowledge level. You would think with all the information available on the Internet, we would all be maximizing our lives. Are you struggling to find answers?
The struggle is because not all of us have family members, mentors, coaches, leaders, or friends in our lives to share their stories with us. I have received help from many resources who shared information that became critical to my success. Sometimes, we get information before we need it but we don’t recognize it. When the lightbulb finally goes off, it is usually because we have reached a crisis and are in panic mode. The knowledge was right in front of us had we opened our minds, hearts, ears, eyes, and mouths earlier. I want to share my knowledge with you with the hope that you can use it now to set you up for future success. I offer you access and A.C.C.E.S.S. to provide the missing key to help you get your next job, promotion, or opportunity and reach that lifelong dream or goal.
About me and my motivation for my books