I can remember like it was yesterday.
I couldn’t afford the internet bill, and even if I could the electricity was off in my house so I couldn’t use my computer anyway. I had to scrape up enough loose change around the house to put gas in the car so that I could make it to Starbucks to use their free WiFi to access the internet with my outdated laptop.
Upon arriving at Starbucks, I would order a $1.50 cup of regular coffee, secretly hoping that my debit card would be declined. After all, I knew that if the transaction went through, that cup of coffee would cost me far more once the bank added their $35 overdraft charge, since the account had insufficient funds.
I was embarrassed. I was hurt. And most of all, I felt as if I had let down all of the people who believed in me. Despite all of my previous successes and life’s accomplishments, here I was penniless and starving – which made me feel worthless.
Starbucks in a sense became my second home, due to the fact that they stayed open until midnight. It also provided me a healthy environment, I was able to surround myself with big dreamers – usually medical and law school students studying for their next exam and free-spirited business owners who often met their clients over coffee.
How could I have let myself go from a 6-figure bank account and rubbing elbows with the elite, to barely being able to come up with enough money to buy a cup of coffee and frequently having to eat free meals with the homeless?
How could I have spent an entire lifetime building an empire only to watch it all come crumbling down?
Despite all the recent obstacles and failures, what kept me motivated to continue pursuing my dreams?
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