Welcome, Warrior! My name is Rob Ferreira, a proud Veteran of The United States Army. My journey as an entrepreneur began when I was 17 years old, when I found that I excelled in Electronics Technology. My, then instructor, introduced me to photography and during down time would teach me about the old school cameras of the 1970’s, the kind you had to set manually!
At that point in my life, I was exploring everything I possibly could.
I found a passion for astronomy around that same time frame, read a few books on the topic, asked my instructor questions, and realized I could attach my old school cameras to a telescope!
I was completely blown away by this! Why were high schools not teaching this stuff?
Again, during my exploration at that time, I found another passion in physics… I know, crazy right?
At the ripe old age of 17 I sat down at my computer desk, working with Windows 95 and the then current version of Word docs, and tried to put this all together somehow. I outlined everything I had a passion in, and how I could possibly profit from any of it as a career choice.
I started with a TV/VCR repair studio in my basement and had some pretty decent success with that for about a year. I bought business cards from Walmart, designed and printed my business cards on my computer and handed them out to everyone I knew. I put ads in the local papers and pasted flyers up in every store that had bulletin boards near their entrances! I received calls all the time at my mother’s house, so I had to figure out how to receive calls without pissing off Mom! A good problem to have, in retrospect anyway!!! hahaha
I purchased my first cell phone in 1997 so the calls to the house would stop, and had to redo and replace every business card, ad and placard I had already made!
Lesson learned! After a while, though, I realized that electronics was more of a hobby, not really my passion. I really loved ripping things apart and making something new, but not as a job, not as a career. That was just too mundane for me. I needed more of a challenge, so I started a photography business!
I started my photography business in astro-photography! An amazing micro-niche that when you view the final work, the astonishment of an image, the look in people’s eyes… THAT was what I loved! I created some amazing photos during those times and had a great time, but again, as a career or a job, I just could not see it as my passion.
The same goes for physics. The first physics equation I was introduced to and solved on my own, just blew me away. I immediately saw the possibilities and what the human race could accomplish! I quickly realized, however, that I wasn’t the first person to solve such equations and I certainly wasn’t the smartest person in the class.
I still love each of those things, but they were never a passion for me. They were never something I could hold on to, and say YES… this I will do and craft a career out of this!
Over the last 20+ years, I continued to struggle to create a start-up business that I felt a true passion for, something I could leave a legacy for my children. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly found my passion and what I wanted in a business.
I signed my contract with The U.S. Army 5 Sept 2001, I was already 22 years old, working on a divorce and had 2 children and felt like my life was at a stand still, like I was going nowhere real quick, fast and in a hurry. Even with the Army in my back pocket and on the horizon, I felt there was a deep dark hole that would never be filled.
I failed. I failed as a husband, as a father, as a budding business owner in multiple ventures… However, that burning feeling deep in my gut would not go away. It’s always been there. It was a reminder, everyday… “you are better than this” “you CAN do this” “you were built for business”… yet I still struggled to make anything stick.
Then the unthinkable happened. My mindset completely shifted into training mode, learned as much as I could in as short a time period as possible; deployment number one. I was in Logistics and Transportation and my particular job was on inbound/outbound cargo ships. Within just a couple of weeks of being ‘in-country’, I was put in a leadership role, I was the Hatch Foreman on the weather-deck of all ships at port that were our responsibility. Being responsible for multi-million dollar pieces of equipment was stressful enough, but for the lives of those I was charged with safeguarding, as well.
I cannot begin to describe the lessons learned during my first deployment, but it was my second deployment that really opened my eyes to the world around me and ultimately why I chose the industry I’m in today.
As most Veterans know, first and foremost, being in any country designated a combat zone just plain sucks-ass, to say the least! I will tell you this, though; it was the best-suck-ass year of my life.
Warrior, my message to you is this, if you have a passion, follow it. See where it leads you, if you find that it’s not truly a passion, there’s no need to do an about-face, simply adjust fire and queue up a different passion. Find another target.
We all have many passions in life, many of them can be very profitable, while others are simply hobbies. There is nothing wrong with that, but find your true passion, grab it and run with it.
My true passion is training others and my passion topic to train, is survival, preparedness and personal risk mitigation. I’ll be incorporating a “Warrior Mindset” training within my own courses so that others will have that perspective, at least on the surface.
I encourage you to find your passion in life now, and build your empire around that. I’m just getting started on my journey in this new venture, but I finally found my true passion in life, and it only took going to war to find it…