Sunday, April 10, 2011

Don't Give Up

Don’t Give Up

“We can accomplish all our dreams if we have the courage to pursue them.”
– Walt Disney

We all have goals.  We all have dreams.  We all have aspirations.  Yet we all encounter adversity, roadblocks, and setbacks. 

OneMoreStep thought for this week:

As life takes its inevitable twists and turns…when adversity sets in and our goals, dreams, and aspirations seem unreachable…don’t give up.

Didn’t get the job?  Didn’t make the sale?  Didn’t get the promotion?  Didn’t get approved?  Didn’t get recognized for your work?  Didn’t get the girl?  Didn’t get the guy?  Didn’t get noticed?  Didn’t get hired?  Didn’t get in?  Didn’t get exactly what you needed or wanted?

When adversity sets in, we should have faith, create value for others, and trust in our ourselves. 

When the going gets tough, have faith.  Have faith in yourself, and more importantly have faith in a higher power that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. The grass is greener exactly where you are standing.  So start there.  Think about what you can do to create value for others.  Dig in…and go to work.  Focus on “them”.  Make magic where you can, however you can, for as many people as you can.  When you think there’s nowhere else to turn, nothing else you can do, and hope is all but lost…go OneMoreStep:

Push yourself, mentally, to write that extra email…make that extra phone call…develop that relationship…make that connection…attend that church service…work the extra hours…listen that extra five minutes…whatever you do, don’t give up.

 Goals.  Dreams.  Aspirations.  With the right approach, they’re all attainable; no matter what roadblock, setback, or adversity we encoutner…DON’T GIVE UP.

"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher."
-Oprah Winfrey

I love people, in general…however, those that have spent time with or around me know that I love ‘my boys’.  Who knew that a dynamic, diverse group of 18, 19, and 20 year-old college students that met on summer internships at the Walt Disney World Resort would become so close over the years?  We did.

Just like everyone else, our group has certainly battled through adversity in one way or another.  The boys have inspired me over the years…because they refuse to give up on their dreams…

The boys at Anthony's wedding...with Sonny's dad in the mix.  A great night.

Hope these stories inspire you as they’ve inspired me…I’m so proud of these fine young men, and they mean the world to me.  They’re my best friends…You’ll see why I love and admire them…

Steve Barkofski

Upon graduating from the University of South Florida with a 3.9 gpa, Steve found himself unemployed, out of a job.  He refused to let it get him down.  He got a job at Publix Supermarket as a stockperson for several months to pay the bills.  He now is self-employed and runs his own graphic design firm, Barkofski Design, is married to a beautiful bride, and lives the dream in Windermere, FL.  He has to turn away work because so much of his time is spent on design work for his number one client…The Walt Disney Company.  He didn’t give up.

TJ Christensen

A graduate of the University of Delaware, with extensive sales and marketing experience with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Wyndham Worldwide, TJ found himself unemployed.  He is now the Director of Business Development for Accesso, an emerging software company in the theme park industry, married to a beautiful bride, and lives the dream in Windermere, FL.  He didn’t give up.

Brady Sadler

A graduate of Central Connecticut State University, Brady found himself in a job in the middle of New Hampshire following the best year of his life working at Walt Disney World.  Despite doubts around living in New Hampshire, he became the Director of Sales for the Manchester Wolves arena football team at the age of 24.  He now is a partner in two entrepreneurial ventures, dishKarma and 138 Music & Entertainment in his downtime.  In his day job, he serves as VP, Business Development & Marketing for Griffin, York, & Krause an advertising and PR firm in Manchester, NH…and is an absolute ambassador of PMA (positive mental attitude).  He didn’t give up.

Anthony Chiovari

A graduate of Illinois State University, Anthony found himself in a job that kept him away from friends, family, and the love of his life.  He decided to go out on his own, created his own company, and has become a successful entrepreneur.  He owns his own business, and he not only weathered several years of long distance romance with the love of his life, he married her in August of 2009.  They currently live the dream in Scottsdale, AZ.  He didn’t give up.

Rob MacRae

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Rob set his sights on graduate school while working for Walt Disney Imagineering in Orlando, FL.  He spent countless hours studying for tests, completing applications, writing essays, and traveling to admissions interviews.  He ultimately was accepted and completed his MBA at a little institution in Boston, MA…Harvard Business School.  He didn’t give up.  Despite extensive real estate development experience with Intrawest, Walt Disney Company, and Trammel Crow, Rob found himself unemployed, out of work.  He’s now an executive for Radiant Partners, LLC, a commercial real estate company, living in New York City…and is engaged to his beautiful fiancé whom he originally met while at Walt Disney World in 2004. The wedding is later this year at the Walt Disney World Resort.   He didn’t give up.

Chuck Wicks

A fellow Florida Southern College Moccasin, Chuck left his friends and family in Orlando, FL to pursue a country music career.  He found himself in Nashville homesick, lonely, valet parking cars and writing songs to pay the bills for over three years. 

Chuck’s debut single in 2007, “Stealing Cinderella”, was the biggest debut for any new country artist in all of 2007.  His first studio album, Starting Now, peaked at #7 on the charts, and four other songs have been top 40 hits, including “All I Ever Wanted”, “Man of the House”, “Hold That Thought”, and his newest single “Old School”.  He currently resides in Nashville, TN, travels the world playing his music, and is currently working on his sophomore studio album.  ( He didn’t give up.

Matt Olsen

A graduate of Clemson University, with extensive work experience at Walt Disney World as well as in the hospitality and apparel industries, Matt found himself unemployed for over 246 days between 2010 and 2011 (35 and a half weeks…but who was counting).  He is now the Director of Licensing at MJ Soffe, LLC, a privately held apparel and fashion firm.  He manages the licensing and partnerships with two of his favorite brands, The PGA Tour and the Walt Disney Company.  Living the dream.  He didn’t give up.

Sonny Ritacca

A graduate of Aurora University, Sonny endured a tough 2009, as his employer at the time dealt him a challenging set of circumstances.  He pursued an MBA at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business while working full-time, traveling back and forth between South Bend, IN and Chicago, IL.  He is now a Regional Sales Manager for  Avis Budget Group, Inc., leading a sales team across 14 states, and responsible for managing a $70 million book of business.  He didn’t give up.

Thanks to ‘the boys’ for inspiring me to go OneMoreStep over the years.  I’ve been thinking about all of you recently.  In 2010, I found myself unemployed...out of work.  All of you kept my spirits up, and encouraged me not to give up.  I'll never forget that.  I miss you all.  I’m proud of all of your accomplishments, but most of all I'm proud to be your friend.  I look forward to our next rendezvous…

See ya real soon…



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