I never thought I would become a writer. I didn’t like my English classes in school. I didn’t love writing papers. And I didn’t major in journalism when I went to college.
What I wanted to be growing up was a disc jockey on the radio. It was my dream. And I wanted to be a DJ on my local rock station here in Orlando, Florida.
I had this dream for years. I remember listening to the radio the first day the station went on the air. I was a freshman in high school and I wanted to work there so badly. But they told me that if I wanted a chance, I’d have to get experience first. After years of working on the air in cities all across Florida, I finally got my dream job as a DJ on my hometown rock station.
Some of those years working at the radio station were spent doing overnight shifts. A typical shift was midnight to 6:00 AM. I was already a night owl before, but staying up all night working for so many years made matters worse.
I worked on the air for ten years before being let go. Being on the radio was something I wanted to do since I was eight years old. It’s a hard pill to swallow when your dream job is taken away from you but it gives you the chance to reinvent yourself and try things you’ve never done before.
After radio, I started my own business. I got into coffee after visiting a friend who taught me how to roast my own coffee beans. I read everything I could about how to make better coffee. I started roasting coffee for friends and family at first, then I roasted for coffee shops and people all across America who bought my coffee online. I ended up running that coffee roasting company for three years while writing a popular coffee blog to help people make better coffee at home. I had a blast. But when coffee prices skyrocketed and the economy tanked, I was forced to close the business.
I wasn’t sure what was next for me, so I decided to start reading more to try to find my calling. That’s when I started reading books on the habits of successful people and one of the things I found was that many of the most successful people in history would wake up at 5:00 AM. I didn’t think that would ever be possible, especially for a night owl like me, but I started to believe that if I could wake up earlier, I just might find the next thing that I was meant to do.
I challenged myself to wake up at 5:00 AM every day for a month, two hours before my wife and boys would wake up, just to see what happened. I used the first hour to invest in myself – to exercise, to pray, to do a devotional, and to read books that would stretch me as a person.
I used the second hour to create. I didn’t know what to create at first, but I decided to turn all of those coffee blog posts that I had written into a book. I thought it would take years to finish that book, but I completed it during those first 30 days when I was waking up earlier.
What I found was that I really loved writing. Then, within minutes of publishing that first book, someone bought it. I was hooked. I went on to write more books about very specific topics and how to incorporate specific habits to master those subjects. I also started writing a weekly blog post here, based on the things that happen to me in my life over the past seven days.
Its been a year now and I haven’t stopped waking up at 5:00 AM every day.
And I haven’t stopped writing, either. What I’ve realized is that radio wasn’t my passion… broadcasting was. Communicating ideas that make people think. And sometimes laugh.
Maybe that’s why I write.
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