Growing up and facing adolescent challenges during junior high school was the hardest stage of my life. Kids in school made fun of me, called me names, and didn't want to hang out with me at all. The popular kids never gave me the time of day. I was really depressed, but tried my best to hang in there and be strong. Sometimes it felt as if I was all alone. I started to combat my loneliness by reading about famous, successful businessmen like Donald Trump, Lee Iacocca, and Michael Milken. I was fascinated with their lives and I became obsessed with wanting to find out how these men accomplished so much in life. All of the businessmen who I read about were strong-minded people, who didn't care what others thought about them, because they believed in themselves. I realized self-esteem was critical if I was to succeed in life. They taught me to live my life for myself and not for others.
Once I found my inspiration, there was no turning back. I interned at Bear Stearns (when I was 16) in the investment banking division. I knew that nothing was going to stop me from achieving my dreams and I would ultimately be rewarded with the taste of success. It is clear to me that the biggest steppingstone I had to get past was dealing with my insecurities. After college, I became more successful and made a name for myself. I realized that people who were coming into my life wanted to know the "real" Chad and not a "representative" of Chad. It felt good to know that the more I lived for me, the more people were attracted to my "energy." It didn't bother me if people didn't understand me, because I was happy with myself.
I know I have a certain fashionable look and I agree that not everyone understands it (mainly my hairstyle), but that's okay, because I'm living my life with no regrets. There's no public figure that has gotten as much criticism for their hair as Donald Trump, and look what he has accomplished with his "DO." The amazing thing is that we are all unique!! If we all looked and dressed the same, life would be boring.
My biggest challenge now is trying to help make a difference in people's lives. I want to give back by helping people realize that it's okay to be who they are. I am grateful each day for what life has given me. I have two amazing parents and a brother, clients who believe in me, friends who have been with me through the good times and the bad, and my amazing girlfriend, Victoria, who has truly been "an angel in my life."
I hope that people will accept other people no matter how different they look, because there is something special in everyone, if you can just get past the surface and see what's on the inside!
For more from Chad, visit his website at http://www.chadrogersblog.com!