Do you remember your biggest missed opportunity in life? I do and it still hunts me to this day.
The year was 2009 and if you have read any of my previous articles you might have noticed a theme. It was the year where I just started emerging from a near financial ruin. And depending on the day, that year was filled with extreme ups and downs.
My greatest missed opportunity took root in 2009, but it wasn’t fully realized until September 16th, 2010. Oddly enough, I was looking forward to that Thursday night. But as the events of that night unfolded, it became brutally obvious that the opportunity of a lifetime slipped through my fingers.
I can’t say that I was shocked. It wasn’t like it was my first ever missed opportunity. But this one had a lingering reminder. In fact, the file was still saved on my desktop. I opened it and a few sentences in, I had enough. Why didn’t I just tell the truth? That’s what they f’in wanted! I couldn’t believe myself. Actually, I was disgusted with myself.
This is by no means a political post, but there was a time when Donald Trump was a polarizing figure. See, if you owned a business, or really worked in one, you loved watching The Apprentice. I never missed a season. For a period of time, the show appeared to take a celebrity route. After a couple celebrity seasons, I looked up to see if they would ever go back to the regular format.
I guess I was lucky. Shortly after it was launched in 2009, I stumbled upon the casting page for what came to be the last season of the, non-celebrity, Apprentice show. It was a sign and I knew I had what it took. After all, not only did I have one company with tons of potential, I had two companies. But like to everyone else, the 2008 economic crash didn’t spare me. I believed then that had the economy remained steady, I would have most certainty became a millionaire. I twisted the reality and ran with it.
The casting process for The Apprentice was extensive. The application alone was 20 pages of questions about your life and everything to do with your life. It was too much to do in one sitting so I completed a few questions at a time. And each time I got back to the application, I had to reread my previous answers to make sure I was in line with my bullshit. It took a few months, but I finished it.
My application was full of stories of conquest and how I survived the economic downturn by sheer determination. Of course there were bits and pieces of truth, but mostly it was a bunch of bullshit. In all honesty I made a series of colossal mistakes between 2007 and 2009. First, I started a business I had no business starting. I then favored that business over the business I should have favored. I made a hiring mistake after a hiring mistake. The economy didn’t wipe me out, it exposed me.
I finally realized that I was the reason why I nearly lost everything. Sure I learned a lot in the process. But who wanted to watch a guy that learned a lot and only had rubble to show for? It eventually dawned on me that I just couldn’t live the lie I wrote and I never submitted my application.
That Thursday night, on September 16th, I anxiously awaited the premier of The Apprentice. As the characters were introduced one by one, a theme emerged. The cast was made of individuals that either lost it all, or barely managed to survive the economic downturn. That was me. That was my missed opportunity.
I watched that season with a pit in my stomach. With each episode, I was reminded that I missed the biggest opportunity of my life only because I wasn’t true to myself.