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Strange Decisions

Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

“USC?! Why would you leave Southern California to come back to Pittsburgh?!”… “Life insurance? What’s the deal Craven? You hit your head?”… These are some of the joyous proclamations that I have gotten lately in response to the decisions I’ve been making.

Let me first say that I would have been the last person to EVER think I would get homesick if I lived in Los Angeles. That thought, before I lived there for ten months, would have made me laugh. It would have made me laugh because I did not yet have the experience of living there. In fact, I had not yet had the experience of living anywhere outside of Pittsburgh. Some people look at my life the past year and think and say to me, “how can you walk away from that weather, that life, that opportunity?” And if you haven’t lived it, it’s easy to come to such a conclusion.

I would have said the same thing but because I was there and breathed the ocean air, I knew what I was giving up. But also knowing the life I have in Pittsburgh, I knew what I was gaining. I wrote and spoke throughout the last year of the courage that it takes to make a decision like the one I made to leave everything behind and see what would happen if I leapt into the unknown of living in California. A lot of people got behind that idea, probably because they had a vicarious vision of themselves doing something similar.

To cheer on another who would assume all the risk was exciting and easy to get behind. I’m writing today to say that the reverse decision to go back took an equivalent level of courage if not of a greater degree. This time around, there were far fewer cheers of encouragement and they were replaced with an echoing and resounding, “Why?” The greatest backlash was that of the decision to begin working with a company called The Alliance. “Who leaves a full-time position at the University of Souther California to sell life insurance?” …

Let me say that I submitted my resignation before I had ever made a single sale or a single penny with The Alliance. Two major things play into that. The fist was that I was very unfulfilled working at USC. I was and still am thankful for the opportunity that I was given to work there, but I was unable to put my heart into the work. Whether you are cleaning fryers in a pizza shop or working in one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, if your heart is not in it you will not be happy. You will not wake up in the morning with joy to begin the day, with new ideas to employ, or with a vision of a future that you’re excited to share with those you love.

It does not matter what you’re doing, your heart must be in sync with the daily demands of your work. The second reason guiding my decision to commit to The Alliance was the fact that I immediately fell in love with what they were teaching and how they put into practice that teaching. I went to my first event with The Alliance in Rancho Cucamonga at Jason and Tawny Carey’s office. Two people that accepted me immediately as family. The same day that I attended this event, I was offered the full-time position with USC. During months of searching for work in the Los Angeles area, obviously I was overjoyed to receive this offer and took it with open and grateful arms.

Walking into the event at Rancho, I was not quite sure what to expect. After a few people spoke about how it worked and the money that was being made, I was still unsure. I was not unsure because the speakers did a poor job in conveying the opportunity, I was unsure because we are all born into a negative mindset. It takes work to think and expect the best from life. My natural mind strayed from the opportunity to make money in such a way that I would achieve financial freedom. My natural straying mind was brought back rather quickly when I began listening to another man speak. He did not speak on selling life insurance or even making money.

He spoke on leadership. From the moment Tim Goad began his message and until it’s conclusion I was entranced. Here was a man speaking and teaching on all of the things that I had been studying and speaking on myself. His message echoed the sentiment of some of my heroes like Les Brown and Tony Robbins. I then learned that Tim had done work with the legendary Zig Ziglar. At this, I knew I was in the presence of the real deal. I did not travel two-thousand plus miles in my Kia across the country to sit at a desk in a university. I began this great leap in order to pursue a dream of speaking and teaching. Speaking and teaching on EXACTLY what Tim Goad was speaking and teaching on.

This was the culture of the company I had found. This culture of dreaming, pursuing dreams, leading, teaching, coaching and loving people. When I made my first sale and realized that I had made twelve-hundred dollars in less than one hour, I knew the money part was also real. But what was behind that sale and what that sale represents is what holds the most weight. Not the twelve-hundred dollar commission but the fact that when the husband or when the wife transitions from this life to the next, they will leave their family a legacy, they will leave their family a touch of peace of mind amidst the hardest day of their lives, and they will show their families now the magnitude and level of love that is held for them by committing to protect them even in their passing.

I have discovered that we sell a promise that there will be a degree of relief for you or for your family when you face the toughest day you’ll ever know… Now that I have been around this amazing community of people for several months I am realizing even more the invaluable experiences I have been having by being acquainted with these folks.

I have experience in helping people achieve their dreams by my work as a tutor, college math instructor and a life coach. I know the value of associating with people that are on a level of success that you wish to see yourself. The time I have spent with some of the company’s leaders so far is easily in the range of several thousands of dollars. And to be honest, what I have gained by this association cannot be understood by any dollar amount…

I will always live my life in a way that is concurrent with the desires and passions that flow within my heart. And it’s actually kind of fun to watch other people sweat when I make these decisions.


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