I guess you could say my life story is one of helping people, second chances, redemption, and personal growth. I’d like to think I’ve experienced a lot in my 38 years on earth.
A lot of love and a lot of pain. A lot of fun and a lot of struggle.
A lot of success but, before that, a LOT of failure.
I was blessed to be born at a time when the old-school family values were strong. My parents both came from Sicilian American Heritage and both sets of my Grandparents were born from Sicilian immigrants.
When I was born, my parents were very young, in their early 20’s, as well as very poor. The first few years of my life, our family lived off food stamps. Some of the furniture we had was old wooden shipping crates.
My dad did the best he could but he jumped around from bad job to bad job. We struggled mightily the first 3 years of my life until my dad found a job he loved; he started doing Executive Recruiting. He was good at it, and he was thankful to have a job where he excelled.
Two years later, he started his own business.
I had a wonderful upbringing full of happiness, love, compassion, and a lot of attention. I was a normal kid in the 1980's. I enjoyed riding my bike to the river, catching frogs and snakes, and playing sports outside with my neighborhood friends.
Family was very important to me. They always fully supported me in everything I did, and they helped me every time I asked for it.
My mother, the glue of the family, helped endlessly and selflessly.
Looking back, I see why I’m so much like her.
I was healthy most of my young life but at the age of 12, I started having sharp pains in my stomach.
The pain continued for weeks… and then months. We didn't know why. I must have gone to 5 different doctors and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
After about a year of tests, doctor visits, and pain, they diagnosed me with Crohn’s Disease of the small intestine.
As a teenager and young adult, Crohn's Disease was a difficult thing to live with, and it stopped me from being able to play many sports and live an active life during high school.
Going into college, it didn’t get much better. During and after college parties, evenings, mornings, and sometimes all day… I would be sick and immobile.
My roommates, friends and family were concerned.
The Doctors recommended surgery and I was stubborn and insisted I didn’t need it although I appreciated the help the doctors gave me.
“One day when I heal”, I often thought to myself,
“I’m going to help other people to make a better life for themselves.”
I studied Botany and Plant Biology in College. My goal was to help people with botanical medicines.
I hoped to make an impact in the lives of others by researching medicinal plants, extracting their chemical benefits, and creating the next wonder medicine for people with Crohn’s Disease.
After I graduated in 2001, I attended an internship at the National Center For Medicinal Herbs to learn how to make medicines from plants.
Too bad, I was sick through the whole internship and keeled over in pain for many of the expeditions and activities.
After that internship, I thought I had it all figured out… but then I struggled. I couldn’t find work in my field.
I was broke.
I became homeless for a few months after a bad relationship with an ex-girlfriend, and all my possessions were ruined after a sewage flood.
I had nothing, and I was lonely ta boot.
At the time, I was living in my car.
I was delivering food nightly to college frats and sororities, but it didn’t pay much and the hustle was real. I deserved more, and I knew I had so much more to offer.
Alas, I was homesick.
In December of 2011, I decided it was time to move back to my parent's home. For many months, I couldn’t find a job in my career field.
I worked tirelessly on searching for a job, but after 9/11 it was nearly impossible to find employment. I tried to stay in my field of plants and people, but I wasn't having success.
I then tried many different avenues and market segments. I went through many interviews.
Nothing was working for me.
After five months, I finally landed a job outside my field as an industrial smokestack tester.
It was a brutal job.
I worked on 100-150 foot tall smokestacks at Industrial Chemical, Mining, Metals, Power, and Manufacturing Facilities.
I was breathing in noxious gasses and toxic pollution for 12 hour days in all types of inclement weather: white out snow conditions, torrential rain, heavy winds, you name it.
All the while, I was growing sicker with my disease but I consciously downplayed the signs. I pushed through the pain.
After 10 months of coming home sick, beaten up, dirty, and exhausted, I knew I couldn’t continue that path.
I quit and joined my dad’s company where I started working on the telephone and recruiting employment candidates for companies both large and small.
Although mentally stressful at times, at least my body's health would benefit.
The career path was going well overall.
My colleagues told me that I was good at what I did yet my Crohn’s Disease was still a problem.
In 2004, two years after I started working as an Executive Recruiter, I was losing weight rapidly, down to 130 pounds, skinny, pale, constantly sick, full of stress, and completely withering away.
My body was deteriorating. It was time for a change.
I needed the surgery. I knew it, but I was scared.
I fought it for 12 years but it was finally time for a change or I might not live another few months. I fought through the fear.
On my mom's birthday, May 20th, 2004, I had the surgery to remove the 18-inch scarred and diseased part of my small intestines. It was a five hour surgery.
Afterwards, doctors said my intestines had some of the most diseased scar tissue they’d ever seen. It took me six months to recover….
But recover I did.
I looked and felt better within a few months. I started healing.
I changed my diet and lifestyle.
I was grateful for this second chance at a healthy life.
I never forgot how close I was to dying. I knew if I continued down that path with my disease, I wasn’t going to last long.
Looking back, I was my own worst enemy, and my fear ran my decision-making process.
A little older and wiser, now I see how precious life is, and every single moment and every single breath is a blessing.
I wake up each day, and realize I’m grateful for this opportunity to be alive and make an impact in peoples' lives.
Quickly, my perspective changed. I re-discovered what I am here to do on this earth....
I am here to HELP others.
Thankfully, I have one of the best platforms to helping people and their families; I am an Executive Recruiter.
In my career, I'm able to help thousands of people get their own careers. I'm grateful I can help professionals make more money, and improve their quality of life.
As time goes on, my main focus is to help people in their careers.
The compensation for doing that comes on its own if I keep my intentions clear...
I am on earth to help others have a better career that, in turn, helps them to create a better life for themselves.
Last year was my 15th year as a Recruiter. I shattered 30-year-old sales records at our company....
But for some odd reason, in the fourth quarter of the year, I didn’t feel fulfilled.
I finally figured out what was bothering me and where the trepidation inside of me was coming from.
I realized I wasn’t doing enough to help others.
I wanted to reach more people.
I wanted to help more professionals find their dream career.
I wasn't satisfied with my success.
I decided to expand my horizons and figure out a way to help more people.
Time being the most precious resource we have, I decided to write a book. The book was to focus on the candidate's hiring experience.
This book a culmination of my experiences on how to get your dream job based on thousands of interactions with career professionals. I put together all my 15 years of knowledge and hands on implementation into this book to share with the world.
The book title is, "You Got the Job! Turn Your Career Dreams into Reality."
To this day, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about how grateful and blessed I am to be able to help people in their careers.
The book is my way to reach more people, and it’s my way to leave a legacy behind.
I want the world to know I did my best to give back and to help people.
I wrote it with my heart and soul for all to see.
I believe it's a powerful tool when the ideas are implemented.
Take from it what you may, but I implore you to realize that your life is a blessing and your moment is a gift.
Make the most of it.
All the best to you and yours.