The Journey is the Reward

Scratch Beginnings book coverWe're happy today to talk with Adam Shepard. Upon graduating from college, he conducted an experiment – with the real world as his laboratory – to see if the American Dream was still alive and well. Adam is a speaker and author of Scratch Beginnings, a book that documents his journey.

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Mary-Lynn FosterLet's start with a quick review about your story: You graduated from college and traveled by train to an unfamiliar city with only $25.00 and the clothes on your back. Take it from there.

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Adam ShepardRight, like you said, I started with only $25.00 in a random city to see if in one year I could have $2500, a car, and a furnished apartment. So I spend a year in Charleston, SC, living in a homeless shelter, working for a moving company, really getting to know these people from whom I had been so far removed. It really was an eye opening experience. Then I wrote the book. I self-published initially, then after getting a bunch of media, Harper Collins came in and bought it out. Now I'm moving forward and trying to milk this for as long as I can!

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George KruegerThat's what it's all about – taking what we've already done and finding ways of extending it. You've started speaking now, how did you get started with that?

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Adam ShepardI did a book tour when it was released through Harper Collins, and that was a great experience. I love being in front of people and talking with people. Then a school wanted me to speak to their students, and once they started throwing around figures on what they would pay me, I knew that's exactly what I wanted to start doing, because it was something I was already passionate about AND I could make a living doing it.

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Mary-Lynn FosterPeople can see you in action at ShepardSpeaks.com, and you do a phenomenal job! So, how are you enlightening people when you speak…what's your shtick?

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Adam ShepardFirst of all, my target audience is High School and College students. There's a lot of buying power in the corporate market for meetings or speaking at a company event, but that's just not the right fit for me. It's been very important for me to establish that my message, my story of Scratch Beginnings can really resonate with students. So that's what I do, I tell that story to students, and share with them that it doesn't matter if you have $25.00 or $25,000…you can make moves in your life.

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Mary-Lynn Foster I'm sure people come up to you all the time and say "Adam, what's the secret? How do I make what I want to have happen, happen?

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Adam ShepardWell I think you have to do what you love to do, and if you are doing that, nothing else really matters. I began discovering this when I started out in Charleston with $25, that one day I may be rich, or I may not be rich…that doesn't matter to me because in the process I'm having a great time. Especially today, and I hate to be a cynic, but we live in a very superficial, materialistic society. As a result, we do lose sight of our passion. So if your passion is speaking, if it's moving furniture, if it's starting a business where you make bouquets of flowers…whatever it is then DO IT! That's the biggest revelation I've made over the past five years or so.

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George KruegerYou've really come to understand that it is the journey. That once you've reached your goal and you look back, you realize the journey is the reward.

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Adam ShepardAbsolutely, and I'm glad you touched on that. A lot of people look at the success I've had with Scratch Beginnings and say "Wow, that's really amazing." But even if I had not achieved my goal during that year in Charleston, it still would have been the greatest experience of my life. The end result is nothing compared to the journey. Another great example is my basketball career which was just an utter failure for twelve years. I dragged it along for eleven years too long probably, but I had such a great time playing basketball and that's what I cherish and that's what is important.

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How are you living your passion? What challenges are you facing in your journey? 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00602-063010.mp3

3 replies
  1. Carol Roth
    Carol Roth says:

    Very interesting and compelling. I think the takeaway for me is that Adam had a really specific goal: in one year $2500, a car and a furnished apartment. Having that nailed down makes the action plan so much more concrete and increases your possibilities of success.

    Reply

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