After dropping out of high school at the end of year 10, I began working in a restaurant called “John Smiths” Now don’t be fooled by the name, this was a well-regarded restaurant in the Melbourne food scene in the early to late 1980s.
I had actually been accepted as an apprentice chef (their first apprentice in fact) and I was very excited about my new job and the new chapter in my life that was about to unfold. At 16 this seemed like a great opportunity, and in fact, it was.
Having started so young meant that I was a qualified chef by the age of 20. Not bad for a high school dropout. I stayed with my first employer for 5 years (they treated me well) and only left (with lots of coaxing) to take up a position in one of Australia’s best restaurants at the time “Stephanie’s”
On reflection, those early years were some of the best years of my life, we were all so passionate and dedicated to the job. We lived and breathed food back then, and to be honest, I absolutely loved it.
But there were sacrifices. Working late nights and weekend’s when everyone else was out enjoying themselves, and holiday times were the worst.
The pressures of the job!
We also worked long hours and split shifts and in summer we would literally roast in the kitchen without air-conditioning. On top of that was the daily stress and boiling-point environment we endured every day. Most chefs are pretty short-tempered (including myself) so pot throwing, temper tantrums, and the occasional fight were not uncommon.
It’s no wonder most chefs became alcoholics, although these days it’s more of a drug problem. But unfortunately, that’s the only way many chefs cope with their workload and environment. I was fortunate enough not to be one of those. I didn’t mind a recreational drink or two but I couldn’t work very well after consuming alcohol and luckily drugs were never my thing either.
In my 20’s and early 30’s, I took all this in my stride and just accepted it as part of the deal. But after while you start to question the lifestyle and the effect it’s having on your life, both physically and mentally.
Don’t get me completely wrong here, there were many good times and career highlights amongst all that, including a 5-year head chef’s role in Hong Kong. But overall, it’s a tough job to try and sustain over a lifetime, and most of us don’t make it.
By my mid 30’s I’d had enough. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired (especially tired) and I can’t tell you the number of times I had micro naps while driving home from work, it’s lucky I’m still alive.
Something has to change!
I knew then that something had to change, but I didn’t know what and I didn’t know how I was going to break free from the only life I knew at the time. I felt trapped and began to really hate my work and the fact that I was a chef. I started to resent everything and everyone around me and was feeling very unfulfilled in life.
Unfortunately, we have it drilled into us from a very early age that this way of life is normal, I mean what other choice do you have when you don’t come from a wealthy background? “Suck it up” and “get on with it” is what we’re often told right? Which is what I did for a number of years longer.
We’re also told from the moment we start school to study hard, get good grades, find a good job and work hard so you can retire at 67 and enjoy life for about 10 to 15 more years if you’re lucky.
Wow, really? …is that it? Is that all life has to offer?
Well …no, not entirely. Luckily we have all the experiences of life that get squeezed in between all of that too. But it’s a fact, that over 80% of people who are working, are unhappy with their jobs and/or their bosses and don’t know what to do about it.
For one reason or another, usually through fear or disbelief in ourselves, most people just continue to do what they’ve always done, suffering in silence, not realizing that there are alternatives out there that can really help you live a more fulfilled life.
My biggest fear was of failure, and not being able to provide for my family. But I also knew that my retirement fund wasn’t going to be enough to retire on either (I’m 55 now). So I knew I had to do something completely different before anything was going to change in my life. As they say, “if you keep on doing the same old thing, you’ll continue to get the same old results”
For me, everything changed when I discovered (only a few years ago now) that there were ways of making money online that even a complete novice (and technophobe) like myself could make it happen.
I only wish I had discovered this much sooner!
I knew from reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, over 20 whole years earlier, that the only way of achieving real financial freedom, was to have a business that gave you a passive income.
The only problem I had with that (as I wasn’t a talented musician or writer) was that such businesses usually required a lot of start-up capital and/or a lot of business knowledge and experience to make them work. I had neither, but I tried, with a restaurant business, only to end up bankrupt a few years later.
Then …along came the internet. Now it’s possible for just about anyone to make money online with a little knowhow. Not only are there numerous (and relatively cheap) ways of doing so, but the tools and technology that are available today, to assist us in our online endeavors, are quite phenomenal.
Whilst looking online for a business model that I could use myself, I came across a company, a group of people really, that changed my life. I immediately saw the value they had to offer and knew instinctively that I wanted to be involved with them and what they were doing.
I also knew that without the right tools and training, online success was going to be very hit and miss. You see, anyone can build a website and start an online business, but without the right marketing knowledge and a true understanding of how the system works, failure online is more likely than success.
So I joined their program a couple of weeks later (I had to make sure they were legit first!) and now run two online businesses of my own. One is in affiliate marketing and the other is in e-commerce. Neither have anything to do with food or cooking either (I might explore that avenue next)
The beauty for me with starting an online business this way, apart from the guidance and support you get, was that I could continue to work while I built up my online business. Nor did I have to spend years and a ton of money educating myself into a new career.
Freedom at last!
I now have the freedom to choose how I want to live my life and not be told every day what I have to do by someone else (except for the other half of course) When you can stop trading your time for a paycheck, a whole new world of opportunity opens up for you.
So if like me, you feel trapped by your circumstances, unfulfilled and generally unhappy with your life and your job right now, then it might be time to do something about it before it’s too late.
If anything I’ve said resonates with you then why not take a look at what you can do right now, to change your circumstances. I’d love to help you get from where you are now to wherever you want to be in the future.
In fact, my fulfillment now comes from knowing I get to help people, just like you, change their lives for the better every day …what a blessing.
You deserve happiness in your life too, and I’m sure your family would love to have you around a bit more as well. Imagine never having to stress about work again and having more time to do the things you love.
If you’d like to explore this idea some more and see for yourself what a digital business (and life) is all about, then I recommend you start (exactly where I did) with the free video series workshops first. They’ll give you a great starting point to work from and show you exactly what’s possible with the right digital know-how and guidance.
Click on the image below and get ready for the journey of a lifetime.
I look forward to meeting you on the inside and welcoming you to this special community soon.
With dedication and love | Dominic Stefanatos
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