Your margin of error is shrinking. Don't F*** This Up

A clear guide with instructions, based on proven principles, for the student and graduate or anyone making a fresh start to effectively understand and deal with the issues that must be considered to make the very best career and life choices.

Don’t F*** This Up!

Whether you are a soon-to-be graduate from high school or college, or a recent graduate seeking to enter the workforce, your world is about to change. You have some important decisions to make. These decisions will chart your course as you set off on your journey of learning and self-discovery. Depending on your decisions and your desires, you are about to transition from either one learning institution to another or from an institution to a company or professional field. Many people struggle when making these transitions, finding themselves ill-prepared, with gaps in the skills and abilities required for success. Moreover, many hold unrealistic expectations, which, combined with unpreparedness, result in a host of problems that severely compromise one’s ability to be successful and fulfilled.

When faced with these issues, you have questions, concerns, even fear about what to do next. You need help, but you are not sure where to go, who to ask, or even what questions to ask. As you struggle to find answers and direction, you make decisions that you believe are in your best interest. But if you aren’t asking the right questions, then you aren’t getting the right answers. This process will not get you to where you need to be.

As you anguish about the uncertainty of your decisions, rest assured, you are by no means alone in this regard. The issues you face are not insurmountable or out of your control. There is a process that will help you through this, and you should take solace in the fact that, by taking the initiative to read this book, you’ve given yourself an invaluable tool that will aid you in finding the right path, making the right decisions, and achieving your desired outcome.

I am fortunate to have been exposed to myriad experiences that have enabled me to learn, grow, and achieve success. My experience covers a fairly broad range, one which I have been told is unique—although it never occurred to me until someone mentioned it. I have a sports background, having competed at the highest levels at an intercollegiate level. I have a military background by virtue of my education and training at the United States Naval Academy and subsequent military service. I have a business background in both the private and public sector, and I started up and sold my own company. Over the course of my career, I’ve learned many lessons and adopted various principles and best practices that served me well. These principles apply to whatever you want to do with your life and career. They are proven; they work, and they get results.

The principles that I will describe are fundamental, essential, and never changing. They are timeless and recession-proof. Whether in ancient Greece, London, Kyoto, Peking, or colonial Boston, these same principles were seen as the basic underpinnings of success. If your fundamentals are sound, you can build on them, and you will more effectively understand and deal with complexities. This foundation will serve as a safeguard when addressing the opportunities, challenges, and adversity you will face over the course of your chosen career.

You will notice throughout this book principles and recommendations related to both your professional and personal life. This is because behavior and success or failure in one area inevitably spills into another, which is why I use the term “balance” several times.

This book is written in such a way that each chapter builds on the previous one in a comprehensive, yet focused, manner. Explanations are given as to why each principle is important, with instructions on how to improve in each area as skills are learned and developed. Adhering to this regimen gives you the opportunity to unlock your potential by changing your mindset, putting you in an action mode that will allow you to attain your goals and achieve success, fulfillment, and happiness.

Throughout this book, the terms “belief” and “mindset” are used frequently. Your achievement in life will be determined largely by your mindset, or the belief and confidence you have in yourself and what you do. You will never reach your true potential without this steadfast belief and confidence. A person who believes in himself or herself cannot be defeated. Their belief makes them strong. They have a warrior-like mindset, they have the will to prevail, and they have trained themselves to be the best.

As you read and contemplate your next steps, remember that life is about decisions. The life you will live is the life you will have created, based on the decisions you make and the habits you form. This book will highlight the issues you will face, the habits that you will form, and the process necessary for you to make the very best decisions for you and your future. I will provide you with the instructions you’ll require, as well as motivation during this process and beyond as you embark on your journey.