When people hear about drug addiction they often don’t really understand why one might become addicted to drugs. While some people mistakenly think drug users lack basic moral principles or willpower, it actually takes very little. Sometimes, all it takes is simply thinking you, an average person, can simply stop choosing to use drugs at any point.
Of course, it doesn’t really work that way. This is a complex problem. It’s basically a full-blown disease, and quitting usually takes more than just good intentions and strong will.
I didn’t know how serious this was until it literally happened right in front of my eyes, to my very best friend in the world. But us humans, with the way we think, we get so caught up with the world’s bologna, and it is extremely difficult to be aware of everything that’s going on around us.
I am going to share with you a story I never wanted to share with the world because I was embarrassed. But after years of growing older and wiser, I found the power to share this story with you, to inspire you, and to give you a new perspective on how to operate in your life.
I grew up not having too many friends. I was not popular. I was the kid sitting in the back of the classroom, wanting, secretly, to be a cool kid. But I never had the balls to step up to the plate. I was too afraid to step out of my comfort zone and, even if I did, I was afraid of being judged by people, since some had hurt me. The friends I had were just like me, too. We all sat in the back and watched the show without being part of it.
It was kind of depressing, to be honest. Until, one day, this kid walked up to me. He had his shoulders in the back, showing his confidence, his energy was super elevated and had his hair gelled in the back, looking like a typical tool bag.
This kid asked me if I had any baseball cards? I thought I was going to get bullied and beat up so I just said, “Yes”. I didn’t have the cards, obviously. I lied. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I told him I had the cards at home.
He said we’d play rock-paper-scissors and that the winner would get the card. I said sure. We played and I won, over and over until I took his entire stack of cards. At that moment, he shook my hand and said “Respect”. I gave him all his cards back and we became friends. His name was Lincoln.
I got to know him more and more. He was a hustler and he grinded everyday. This dude was selling lemonade out in the street, would wash rich people’s cars and deliver newspapers to local neighborhoods. He was some character out of a movie. He was super energetic, knew what he wanted, and how he would get it. Exactly how he would get it. He was a leader and I followed him every step of the way from childhood to adulthood to building three very successful restaurants in my county.
I did really good in school, so I was able to get into a good college. My friend, Lincoln, was in the same college with me. While we were there, this guy started to put together a group of computer major students to build projects for him. Apps and websites.
And, while the rest of those kids got the glory of putting their names on actualized ideas, Lincoln got the real deal. The money. He would sell these apps and sites for huge amounts of money and keep the profits for himself. He ran these kids like an organized company. He had them holding library meetings. Made them skip classes to hold meetings in regards to his projects. He even got the professors to work for him for free. Speaking of CEO characteristics, this dude came in with the full package.
By the time we got out of college, everyone was carrying huge amounts of debt with them. Lincoln, on the other hand, came out debt free net and worth around almost a million bucks. He ended up paying for all of my debts, as well, since I couldn’t afford it at the time.
I got my masters in business and I learned more from my friend Lincoln than I did learning from the college professors. This is where I realized that anyone who wants to be in the field of business, college are not really for entrepreneurs but for those who want to be high-paid employees.
Failure Is More Important Than Success
Once Linc and I were out of college, I started to work for him, since I didn’t have any starting capital. I worked with him for about a year and had saved up enough money to build my own restaurant.
I was super excited. My adrenaline was through the roof. I got everything started up, the legal work, getting the lease signed, getting the website and social media channels built, and hiring the employees.
I ran the business for 9 months until I shut the doors down. We’d gone totally under. I remember Linc taught me a strategy: I needed to learn lessons from my failures and apply them to my next restaurant venture. I was able to analyze everything, the things that went right, and wrong, and the lessons and how to apply them.
I applied the lessons learned to my next restaurant venture, but I failed there, once again. But, this time, I learned more lessons than I’ve ever learned. It was my third attempt to give it another shot before quitting that really took off. In the space of a year, my restaurant was literally taking out local competition. All thanks to Linc’s motivation to keep going and the strategy of operating intelligently.
The Downhill of Success
Sometime after college, Lincoln got married to a girl he loved from high school. She was his best friend. She was his love. His wife witnessed the successes of this man, and she’d seen him broken. She’d seen him rich, and she’d seen things nobody else had seen.
Lincoln made more money from his businesses than he knew what to do with it. And, when you make that level of money, it’s easy for things to get into your head. Your ego starts speaking more than you are. You think you are a hot shot. You’re the man. You are always right and you know everything.
He wanted a jet? He had it. He wanted a yacht? Boom – he had it. You name it, he had absolutely everything that money could possibly buy.
He started to party. He would go out with his friends, fly them out in a helicopter to private islands, and party with famous models. He eventually ended up cheating on his wife. He was drinking and doing so many drugs that it became his everyday life. His wife once caught him cheating with one of his models and immediately broke up with him.
They divorced and, soon after, he married a model who was clearly gold digging him. But he was so messed up from drugs and alcohol he really thought she loved him. Linc would wake up in the morning to go to the sauna and to sweat out the alcohol and drugs from the night before. He would then take his pain medication to get the day started and, by the time he arrived at his office, he had snorted some columbian marching powder and god knows what else he did after.
He eventually wasn’t running the company the way he did when he was sober, so he started to slack. When that happened, there were his competitors, waiting for the opportunity to eat into his market share and completely obliterate him. He started to have multiple relationships with his employees, and the competition used this against him to slowly take his company down.
His gold digger wife found out about his other female adventures and divorced him, taking 50% of everything he had built and leaving him financially weakened. It wasn’t long until he ended up selling his company, because he couldn’t live the luxury lifestyle he was living anymore. Good friend that I am, I was able to point him in the right direction, a drug and alcohol rehab center to help him get his life back together. It took him more than a year to recover from his terrible addictions, but he was able to get help from those who knew better.
He was a new man, a few years later. He declared the drugs and alcohol his enemies and looked at them as the cause of his overall fall. He went on a journey to start another new company and began doing motivational speaking gigs to help others with similar problems.
Lincoln once said: “Making money is one thing, but learning to control your money is another.” He approached things with a poor man’s mentality, but learned after his downfall that self control is the key to success in every aspect of your life.
Drugs and alcohol are not the answers or solutions to your problems. It is important to be aware of everything going on around you as well as your own actions, habits and behaviors.
Do not be like Lincoln and make the same mistakes he made. He built a life many dream of but never get for whatever reasons, but he also destroyed his life’s work for his passion for alcohol, drugs and women.
If you have a drug problem, you shouldn’t be afraid to admit it and to talk to your friends, family or loved ones about it. It is imperative to get help, get well, and back on tack so you can operate at your fullest potential, and help inspire others.