Justin Aldridge knew the only way to succeed in entrepreneurship would be to burn the boats that got him to that point. The quote “burn your boats”, as simple as it is, was a major key for Justin’s success. The quote is a reference to the parable of a commander who gave the order to his army to burn the boats behind them, as the only way they were getting off the island was by winning a seemingly unwinnable battle.
Justin’s battle was with his past. Growing up exposed to drugs, alcohol, and violence left him mentally impacted, even years after the fact. After experiencing an anxiety attack, he faced months of being lethargic, unable to eat, and unable to think clearly as a result of depression. Clearly, there was no turning back on this problem, as it couldn’t be undone. Instead, Justin began living out the quote and facing his biggest battles head-on.
What came out as a result of winning his battles was a life’s purpose. Justin was introduced to personal growth and the power of transforming his life. He leveraged the skills and knowledge he gained to provide massive value to clients as a personal development coach and was able to cash in on his true passion. His willingness to be extremely open on his struggles with anxiety, fear, and depression is a big key to his success, as his clients can tell how genuine he is and are able to relate to him more on a personal level, as they’re working with someone who felt exactly how they feel. He has nothing to hide, and his clients feel empowered to open up to their deeper thoughts as well. His leap of faith from a traditional teaching and coaching job paid off, as he was able to feel fulfilled in his work. But, becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t come without failures, and Justin is an advocate for using your failures as an opportunity to grow.
A major setback in Justin’s life actually came while he was only a senior in high school. After living in a nice two-story house, Justin’s life was flipped on its head as he was forced to move into a two-bedroom apartment with 11 people and selflessly passed up on scholarship offers to work and help his mother pay the bills. While it would have been easy to adapt a mindset that life happens to you rather than for you and lose sight of his goals, Justin was able to stay focused on his future and attend UT Austin as a first-generation college student. After graduating amongst the top of his class while playing on the football team and getting into teaching for 5 years, Justin finally set his sights on his passion for personal development and making a career out of it.
What sets Justin apart is his ability to view failure in a light that many others aren’t. He states, “The highly successful people got that way in light of their failures, not in spite of them!” A key to finding success is to turn your failures into opportunities to grow rather than making excuses as to why the cards are stacked against you, and this wisdom has helped Justin to find his own success. Clearly, Justin wasn’t born into a situation that put him ahead of the game. He had to dig deep to get an education and make a career for himself, and his grit more than paid off.
Justin is now happily married with 2 loving children and has been fulfilled as a personal development coach for 3 years.
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