My name is JP. I own my own business and consult on SAP software implementation. I come to a company, design the system, train the employees. Trust me; it is a very rewarding and challenging career.
Before I became JP, a little boy named Jean Didier Pierre Noel was born in Haiti. My brother and I were raised by a single mother who worked extremely hard to raise us and provide us with good opportunities. Education was one of priorities and I was fortunate to get a college degree in the U.S.
I want to tell you how a little boy from Haiti became a successful SAP freelancer. It didn’t happen overnight and I had a lot of lessons to learn, but the main things I learned is to work hard, stay humble and give back.
First, WORK HARD
One month after I arrived to the U.S., I got a job at McDonald’s. Since my English wasn’t good, I was put on overnight shift. I had to walk about 2 miles to get to my job. Over time my English improved, I was transferred to a day shift. I kept working hard and eventually was promoted to a manager.
I would tell you that no matter how “small” your job is, don’t take it for granted. Always work hard. I worked as hard for $7 in McDonald’s as I work hard today when the pay has increased.
After I graduated college with an accounting degree, I wanted to find a better job. I thought as soon as I graduate I will find a 60K job and everything will be perfect. Guess what, I never got offered 60K and I never found an accounting job. I took an inventory clerk position still making minimum wage. I thought I am on the right path. However, after 1.5 years I got fired (they called it restructuring, but I was FIRED). I was devastated, I did everything by the book: graduated college, found a job, got married. I kept wondering “What did I do wrong???
After some soul searching I realized I was not humble! That brings me to the next point STAY HUMBLE!
Before I lost my first job after college, I thought I was entitled. I was entitled just because I got a degree. I was entitled just because everybody told me so. BUT I realized degree does not entitle me, my skin color does not entitle me, my origin does not entitle me. I realize college was not the end of learning but the beginning instead
- I changed my mind set. I decided to get better. I decided to stay humble every day, never think I made it, but become better. Learn, improve, work harder EVERY SINGLE DAY! Even today, I think every day what can I do to become better.
I was humble to understand that I needed people to guide me and teach me. I needed people that knew better than me. I made new friends, I reached out to people, I found mentors. Those people shared their life experience with me, gave me advise, invested time. I listened and improved, as a consultant I still have to perform every day and I do.
Lastly, I realized I have to GIVE BACK! After all those people invested in me, I knew I have to give back. “Success is leased and the rent due every day”. That is why I am here today. I want to share my life story and tell you that you can be successful if you choose to do so.
I want you to focus on yourself, your brand. Don’t focus on your job or the company you work for. Focus on building your brand, building relationships. You are representing yourself, your brain, your work ethics, and your abilities. The money will follow. People often say “dress for the job you want”. I would say “Do not work for the money you are paid, but for the money you want to be paid”.
Do not stop. A lot of people have a number in their head. They think they “made it” when they make $100,000. What happens when you get there? How would you feel? Are you satisfied? What’s next?
Remove the number and focus on getting better. At the end of the day, the better you become, the less number would matter. There is a problem when a person thinks “I made it”. People stop learning, stop improving. Don’t ever feel you made it. Stay humble!
Just get better and work hard. Try to improve and make a difference every day.
Do what you do and you do it right.