Reflections on the Last Decade

At the start of this decade, I was in Pensacola, Florida.

Well, that’s where I spent most of my time…

Though on New Year’s Eve I was in Park City, Utah, at a party with my parents and their friends…

Telling everyone that I was going to law school after I graduated from college.

That was the plan…

I’d taken the LSAT, applied to several law schools, and been accepted at the University of Miami.

It seemed like a perfect fit because I loved the tropical climate of South Florida…

And being a lawyer – that was prestigious.

Lawyers made lots of money…

So despite having been a bit “lost” for stretches of my life since turning 18…

(attended CU Boulder for a semester then dropped out, worked a stretch of minimum wage jobs, struggled with both a weed and cocaine addiction, started a music company with raised capital and failed, decided I missed learning and enrolled in Junior College, transferred to UWF, reconnected with nature, discovered philosophy, finally found my place)…

It looked like I’d end up being a respectable member of society after all.

Internally though, I was having my doubts.

I graduated from college in May, of 2010.

And by June…

I’d written the University of Miami to tell them I wasn’t going to be attending.  

Why?

I knew in my heart that I’d be going to law school for all the wrong reasons.

I’d be doing it because being a lawyer “sounded” impressive…

And because they made lots of money…

But I’d probably be miserable…

Especially with the insanely long hours…

And the fact that I just wasn’t all that interested in law.

I also knew there was a good chance I’d drop out of law school before finishing…

And the idea of taking on another $150,000 in debt…

For something, I wasn’t that passionate about…

It wasn’t a risk I wanted to take.  

So I didn’t go…

And for a time, it seemed like a questionable decision.

I couldn’t find any jobs in Pensacola…

So I ended up working on a failed congressional campaign in Houma, Louisiana…

But left before Election Day…

When the leadership decided we needed to spend less time out in the community…

And more time cold-calling Cajuns to see who they were voting for…

Which meant using an autodialer to make 200-300 phone calls a day from a stuffy room with little AC or natural light.

When I quit, I was told by the campaign director that I would never work in politics again…

But I didn’t care…

And I drove from Houma directly back to San Diego…

Where I moved in with mom and dad…

And started looking for work.

After that happened…

There was a stretch of time where I worked as a promotional model/brand ambassador…

Which I actually did really enjoy…

Except it wasn’t permanent…

You’d get good pay for a few days, but then the event was over…

And you were back to scrambling for your next gig.

This was followed by my time working at a for-profit, online college…

Where I’d cold call people and try to get them to take on massive amounts of debt to pursue a worthless degree…

Which didn’t feel very good…

Because I knew that statistically…

Over 80% of the people who I convinced to enroll in the college…

Wouldn’t end up completing their degree program and would just be saddled in debt.

There were stretches of depression…

Then one of the happiest times of my life…

The four months I spent living in a double-wide trailer in Marble Falls, Texas…

Teaching kids about nature at a place called The Outdoor School.

That was followed by my dad’s cancer diagnosis, death, and more depression…

And then a fateful trip to Las Vegas after my dad died…

Where I sat down to a poker table…

Met Laura Catella

And found out what copywriting was for the first time.  

Many of you have heard the story by now.

Someone asked her what she did for a living…

She said: “I’m a writer”…

I asked: “what kind of writer”…

She said: “I’m a copywriter”…

And I said: “that’s awesome,” then pulled out my phone and Googled “what’s a copywriter” because I had no idea.

That was the beginning of a major turning point in my life…

But it didn’t happen overnight.

First there was one last corporate job, this one back in South Florida…

Me working on several business ideas that didn’t take off…

And then me finally trying out “this copywriting thing” for myself…

And realizing people would actually pay me to write for them.

That was the “A-HA!” moment…

And I quit my corporate job less than 30 days after that.

But it still wasn’t all roses from there…

There were times where I’d have to pawn musical instruments or my Xbox to pay the rent…

Tons of mistakes I made (starting an agency then becoming trapped in it)…

Laura and I both doing shady shit behind each other’s backs…

And just more growing up that needed to happen.  

Finally, things started to click in 2014 when I began writing for the guys at Lion’s Publishing full time…

Because it was only then that I knew I’d developed competency and skillset that would ensure I’d never be broke again…

And after that, there was a health supplement company that went from $0 to $23MM in two years…

Several other successful brands I partnered in…

Then more recently Copy Accelerator with Justin Goff…

Creating this email list…

Starting to teach more…

Marrying Laura…

And the birth of our beautiful daughter Eden Rose.

Plus more mistakes too…

Don’t think the mistakes stopped after 2014 LOL…

I’ve continued to make plenty…

Including the affiliate network, I created in 2017, thinking I was a genius…

And that’s cost me at least $1.5 MM in the past two years.

I’ll give you a whole email about that damned affiliate network at some point…

But the point is…

It’s been quite the decade…

And I guess I’m just feeling sentimental and wanted to write about it.

I also want to make the point that nothing is permanent…

And while it can feel like things aren’t moving in the right direction…or like you’re stuck…

The truth is that change is the only constant.  

A single year can be impactful…

But a decade?

You’re virtually guaranteed not to be the same person at the end of a decade as you were at the start…

And for me personally…

I’m so thankful for the last decade…

Even with all of the ups and downs…

Because this was the decade where I finally became a fully realized human being…

Where I went from an unguided missile…

To a mission-driven man.

Of course, I’ll still continue to evolve…

I have no doubt that there will be numerous lessons I’ll need to learn in the coming decade as well – some easy but some hard and painful…

And I can tell you that there are still plenty of areas in my life where I want to improve too.

But I’m entering this next decade with a profound sense of confidence…

Along with an unbridled optimism…

And for that, I’m incredibly grateful.

– SPG

P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link

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