How I Started Response Commodities

I was asked on my Ask.fm account to make a short blog post about how I started Response Commodities so I decided to follow through and make a post about it. Pardon my rambling here, I just whipped this up quick and didn’t go through the editing process much.

Response CommoditiesI’m not going to go into too much detail because a lot of it is trade secret, but I’ll go through the common sense stuff. I was interested in trade for a long time before starting the business and I first began networking with other people in the industry. I did research and first thing I found where niches that had high profit margins and new trendy items. I picked tobacco products, electronics, and clothing – all high profit niches.

The next thing I did was look on Alibaba for people selling products in those niches. I found sellers, contacted every single one, then negotiated test buys. Most people selling things, I’ve found, are scammers. I negotiated smaller buys upfront, purchased from multiple people, got their skype screen names, and waited for the orders to come in. Some purchases came in, some didn’t – I had to cut my losses.

When the small ones came in I tested selling retail to gauge interest. I also looked at the quality of items I was buying to see if it would be suitable to sell without having to deal with complaints. After selling the items retail and building relationships with the merchants that delivered high quality product fast, I slowly increased my order size until I reached a point where I was ordering in bulk.

Obviously, the larger the order the lower the price per unit. To experiment, I opened up an operation that cold called businesses in my related niches to open up a line of communication where I could begin negotiating rates for bulk orders. In many cases, I ended up being able to drastically undercut their prices off the bat. To propel sales, I fronted inventory to retail operations so they could sell and pay once items where sold.
I slowly began getting into bigger ticket items like electronics, which ended up being bigger margins for me. The biggest challenge with the business now is ordering the correct amount of product, keeping up with the latest technology, and maintaining cashflow while I front product to retail outlets.

Now, I’m still at the very early stages of the business and other things have caught my interest more – but the company has potential and is earning money. Obviously I’m not in Wal-Mart or anything like that yet – but if I put my full focus on it I could grow is dramatically. The biggest challenges I’ve faced with the business is the cashflow required to scale it, and the risk I take when I over order product inventory and it doesn’t sell. For example, I didn’t predict trends correctly in my electronics division and over ordered hundreds of a certain product, only to have the next version released. Now, I’m sitting on inventory of a product that it far more difficult to sell because it’s old technology and I’m going to have to take a loss selling it – plus it’s very difficult to find someone to buy it.

Ramblings…. My Digital Journal

 

I’ve decided to use my Ryan Eagle Tumblr and challenge myself to post whatever is on my mind, when it’s on my mind, completely unedited and honest. I’m using it as a platform to gather thoughts to create organized blog posts here. [close summary]

Publicly talking about my struggles, goals and businesses has always been a major personal motivator in keeping me accountable to both myself and the public. Since launching this blog I’ve had so many ideas for topics that I would like to discuss ranging from posts about hobbies, to advice on managing development tasks, to short product reviews, to personal posts about my inner struggles and challenges. Lately, I’ve been dealing with some extremely challenging and important changes in my life that deserve a mention but I can’t get the motivation to start the post. I’m hitting a roadblock every time I want to write…

The Perfectionist inside me…
perfectionsimBecause of my self-moderation, review, obsession with formatting and endless revising it’s nearly impossible to get any ideas out. I overthink every written word that leaves my mouth from my seemingly meaningless Twitter posts to the articles that end up on here. I even created a short posts category and the most simple posts probably end up with 30+ revisions! Besides making things take far longer than they should, the honesty behind the message gets lost through editing alone.

This blog is my personal space, it’s not my business profile or resume. It’s something I want to be able to look back on and reflect. If I’m unable to get my ideas out whatever they may be, it’s limiting my growth as an individual. If I can’t post, I can’t look back to see the mind-state I was in. Looking at my past is one of the most vital tools I use for self-improvement both as a person and as a businessman.

I’ve come up with a solution…
tumblrI’ve decided to use my Ryan Eagle Tumblr and challenge myself to post whatever is on my mind, when it’s on my mind, completely unedited and honest. I want the truth even if makes no sense or is embarrassing – not carefully constructed sentences. I don’t want drafts, edits or revisions. I want to see what really goes on in my head. I started making my first rambling posts a couple days ago.

The goal is to be able to review what I’ve written, edit it, and compose structurally organized blog posts. It’s my goal to review a dozen rambles that I barely understand and try to produce one meaningful post I can publish and reflect on later. The goal is to jot down anything on my mind, get it out, and laugh about how stupid it was or how much I was over-analyzing myself. I understand how a lot of people work but there is one person that baffles me still : myself. I feel sorry for the haters that try to interpret my actions because they’re going to end up more confused than me. (more…)

We Are Keeping It

I woke up and my entire life changed.
Literally days after making a tumblr post about my future I wake up to news that I would have never expected. I’m still in shock it happened in the first place (I’m not that reckless) considering the protective measures we took. I had no clue that sje would ever even consider keeping a baby considering the circumstances, but life takes you directions you had no clue you were going to go. All I knew is that I had to man up and support whatever decision she made.

For me, the decision was pretty clear cut and logical. But for my girlfriend, the decision wasn’t as easy as even she expected. When you’re detached from situations like this it’s very easy to say what you’d do, but when real life hits it was a lot more challenging for her. She didn’t know what to do and I had to support her the best I could, sharing my opinion but not pushing it. The back and forth struggle she went through killed me more than anything, I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I’m just glad we have a final decision. I couldn’t see her like that anymore and I couldn’t survive another week with the pressure. I’m scared to death for a dozen reasons and happy for a dozen more, but I’ll reserve that for a blog post down the line.

How Ask.fm Became Insightful

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summary :

Ask.fm started as a simple hobby but evolved into a self discovery tool – I was asked questions about myself, my history and my actions that I would have never even thought to consider. Plus – it’s fun as hell to reply to hater questions. [close summary]

I’ve cut back using social networks for one major reason – it doesn’t make me money. Back in the day I used to be on every forum, chatroom, group and network – but money was the motivation. I still use Twitter and Instagram because they quickly fill my social fix but I don’t like to get too off focus on them.

I had an extra data entry employee waiting on work a couple weeks back so I had him I register accounts on popular social networks to reserve my name (I’d like to apologize to any other Ryan Eagle’s out there that have to share my infamy). I l wanted them saved for the remote chance I may end up needing it in the future – nothing annoys me more than not having my own name available.

Ryan Eagle Ask.fmThe accounts were then added to my social profiles page and completely forgot about them. One day I got a random email notification from Ask.fm with a question asking advice about business and passed it into the spam folder. During one of my all-nighters I decided to log into my Ryan Eagle Ask.fm Profile and I was impressed with how little I saw. I loved the simplicity of it : an AMA-style platform where I could answer anonymous questions.
The questions came pouring in…
As a social experiment I was interested to see if anyone would bother asking anything in the first place. I posted my Ask.fm Profile on Twitter and to my surprise the questions started pouring in at a pace I couldn’t believe (look at a screenshot below from today alone). I should have known – I may not be the man in front anymore but I’m still the man in front of everyones mind.

I got questions about my personal life, my old companies, current businesses, my past mistakes and embarrassing failures. I got questions from haters, from fans and trolls. The questions were funny, mean, hard to answer and some I wanted to ignore completely. I even had people asking for advice (they’re the worst off because I have no clue what I’m talking about).

I had nothing to to hide. I had nothing to lose..
I figured fuck it – I have nothing to lose and nothing to hide at this point. I’m just going to answer exactly the way I want to and be myself. I wasn’t going to sugarcoat anything, I wasn’t going to hide, and I wasn’t going to put up any front. People had things that needed to be addressed that deserved my response and I had things that I wanted to get off my chest. This was the perfect outlet to handle both.

My Ask.fm profile has become far more than a way for me to fill my social fix – it has turned into valuable self-analysis tool allowing me to answer questions about myself I didn’t even know to ask in the first place. I welcome the hard questions because it allows me to see viewpoints that I’m blinded to. I get asked the hard questions that I would have never thought to ask myself.
(more…)

One Year Ago Today

My most painful and vivid memory…
Kyle Eagle DeadIt was a sunny afternoon and my girlfriend and I were sitting in bed watching some romantic movie. I don’t remember the name of the movie, but I remember the exact scene when the doorbell rang.

I looked though my security camera and my entire family was in front. I assumed it was just by Mom stopping by randomly to say hey (without any forewarning) and was annoyed opening the door. I wish it had just been my mother saying hey, but I opened the door to something that would change my life forever.

The entire family came barreling into the house without saying a word. I could immediately tell that something was abnormal. They stepped up the stairs, got to my bar, and told me what had happened – Kyle Eagle, my brother, had stopped breathing in is sleep and had passed away. They told me that my best friend and brother was gone forever.

Seeing my fathers pain destroyed me…
For the first time in my life my father was crying – he could barely catch his breath. My father is one of the most calm, collected men that I know – even the thought of him crying would have never crossed my mind. To this day I try not to think my fathers reaction because I can completely break down thinking about it.

kyle-eagleIt was my Mom, Dad, Kyle’s Fiancé, my girlfriend and I all together in my family room. By this time my father had regained his composure, but the rest of us were broken, crying, angry, shocked and distraught.

I will never forget that day.

Going Corporate… Again

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summary :

Response Commodities grew to a point of being self-operating, freeing up my time to start new businesses that I’ve been working on behind the scenes for a bit now. It finally became time to ‘go corporate’, so I formed the umbrella corporation xCell Fund & started developing corporate sites. xCell Fund holds six businesses that do affiliate marketing, web development, outsourcing, factoring, cryptocurrency trading, and angel investment. Additionally, I’m starting a nonprofit organization to memorialize my brothers passing. The websites for all of these companies are slated to be released within the next 3-4 weeks. [close summary]

Summary Over the past year or so I’ve stayed pretty low key and have had no necessity to actually build out corporate sites for businesses that I’m operating. Additionally, the entire process was complicated by a series of legal battles[info] – but thankfully, slowly but surely, everything is passing and I’ve emerged from the other side.

Most of you already know, before closing Eagle Web Assets I started Response Commodities[profile], an import / export company and that’s where I spent most my time after the shutdown. The business has grown dramatically and in 2014 we expanded into ecommerice sales, complimenting the already successful wholesale side. Like I do with all my companies, I get them started by myself and then quickly hire employees to manage duties & tasks. Now, most of Response Commodities’s day-to-day operations are handled (ordering, shipping, logistics, etc). The company is essentially running itself now, I primarily manage the float[define] & oversee employees. To say the least, it’s a slow flow and mainly a waiting game at this point in time : buying inventory from overseas, selling inventory domestically and internationally, and waiting for bulk shipments takes time and cashflow to build up. Because the business is low maintenance, I’ve had free time to start additional businesses. Let’s go over what I’ve been doing…

xCell Fund

xCell FundThis business will be acting both as an parent corporation[define] for my entities and an angel investment firm[define] that works with new entrepreneurs. This is basically the centralized parent company on top overseeing all the operations, employee functions, hiring, business updates, and other corporate related tasked. There are currently six of my public businesses and five private investments that it holds. I’ve been investing into others since 2010, but this time around I’m not restricting my investments to internet related companies. I actually plan to advertise this company on various entrepreneur communities, blogs, and websites to get the exposure and find new potential investments. Diversification has always been key in keeping me afloat – if I had stuck with any of the businesses that I was in since starting, I’d be living in my Mom’s basement now. The website began development on April 3rd and should be released within the next couple weeks.

Sidago Integrated Solutions

SidagoSidago is a full service outsourcing consultation business that provides a wide array of consolidated and organized services ranging from small tasks like copywriting to a large-business focus on outsourcing[DEFINE] employees and workflow improvement for businesses. My main goal would be to approach companies and be able to cut their bottom line down drastically by outsourcing divisions of their business affordably. I actually had this business planned this business originally on November 7th, 2012 but after all the craziness I’ve been through I’ve never had a chance to get it off it’s feet. The planning process for this company began on April 14th, 2014 and is slated for released within a month.

ECC Investments

ECC InvestmentsAfter taking an interest in the cryptocurrency[define] game, I decided to get my hands dirty and start investing into alt currencies myself. It’s funny, when I first started trying to buy my first Bitcoin[define] I asked all the people that supposedly invested themselves and nobody could give me a straight answer on how to buy a single damn Bitcoin! I eventually ended up connecting with a long-time friend of mine that actually talked the walk and he patiently explained to me the process. On January 22nd of this year I purchased my first coin, entering me into the league of neck-bearded nerds. This set me off to the races and I began buying and actively trading all different types of currencies, hitting my first huge success with Dogecoin. The trading industry is fast-paced and never sleeping so I can work on trades any time of the day. The planning process for ECC Investments website, began on March 31st and was announced publicly for the first time on April 3rd. The site is expected to be released within the next three weeks.

Xinda Global Financial Services

Xinda GlobalXindaGlobal is a financial company offering factoring services[define] including : media funding, merchant account financing, invoice buying, factoring, rolling credit lines, expansion capital and general financing. I first came up with the idea to turn this into a business all the way back in November, 2012 – but there was too much turmoil going on with my current businesses to get it off the ground. Over the past couple months I’ve been buying receivables and charging a premium for it – so I figured I might as well turn it into a business to offer my services to more people. As much as I hate float, factoring, and extending credit – I always seem to go back right in the mess. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, what can I say? I decided to finally take the jump and make it into a real business on March 6th, the website should be released within the next couple weeks.

ionBuzz Media Group

ionBuzz Media GroupEven though I pledged to stay away from the affiliate game, I just couldn’t resist the urge to get back into it. After being immersed on the network side for so many years I decided to get back to basics with straight-up affiliate marketing. In May of 2013, I restarted my internal media buying operations – focusing niches I’ve had little experience in. I started off with two foreign components – SEM & PayPerCall. To say the least it was a refreshing change to try new things, I love the challenge of not knowing what the hell I’m doing. It’s amazing how logical and predictable Google can be – it’s clear why they are the leaders over other popular traffic sources like Facebook, Exoclick, EngageBDR, ad infinitum. The business grew, I hired media buyers and specialists, and branched into several different traffic sources (including those complained about above). The sites development began on April 9th and should be released within a couple weeks.

99Limes Web Development

99LimesOnce upon a time I started a company called EWA Web Design and absolutely hated the experience. I hated dealing with clients, I hated how many changes people wanted, I hated mockups. So what do I do? I start another company doing the same thing,! I’m not the quickest learner, am I? Since starting that first design company I’ve progressed a lot as a businessman, changing from being a one-man-shop to a boss that employs people to do my dirty work. I’m going to take the lessons learned from the past design company, the project management skills I’ve learned over the past couple years, and finally my ever increasing good looks to take this business to the next level. Additionally, I’m going to focus on the web and software programming tasks rather than design tasks, due to the higher margins. On March 7th I began development of the website and we should be ready to launch by mid-next month.

The Kyle Eagle Foundation

Kyle Eagle FoundationAfter reconnecting with Kyle’s old business partner I was able to retrieve the domain KyleEagle.com. On March 5th, I published a temporary placeholder site memorializing my brother with the eulogy I said during his funeral. After releasing the quickly designed site, I decided we should do something more to keep his memory going and began the process of forming a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. To be totally honest, we’re not entirely sure what we’re going to give towards – we have a choice between either animals, nature, or continuing the old EWA Kids Nonprofit under his name. My family is working together with Jennifer Barker, his ex-fiance, to figure out the right path to take. Since launching the site, I’ve worked with my mother, father, and his ex-fiance to create eulogies along with a biography to permanent his place online. Creating this is website and charity helping me deal with pain and grief.

A Look Back… Developing My Timeline

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summary :

Over the course of the last couple weeks I spent time developing an interactive Personal Timeline that covers personal highlights, business highlights, and goals that I have achieved. For a shortened version, I’ve created a Timeline Overview and also divided sections including a Business Timeline and an Achievements Timeline.
[close summary]

I’d like to preface this post with one point – RyanEagle.com is divided up into two general categories of content : for me and for visitors. Most, if not all, the content on RyanEagle.com is for me and my personal records; especially sections like the historical site archive  and the goals page . The latter half is for people interested in finding information about me (like my companies , contact me , etc).

Personal Timeline

Over the past couple weeks in my spare time setting up a personal timeline – and to say the least actually completing it made me feel great. For the first time in my life I have actual chronological dates of my business experiences, personal experiences, and goals. I’ve always had to guess the dates of my achievements and major life events but now I finally have something to go back to and reference. Pinpointing important dates like my first business idea, my first girlfriend, when I got my dog, and other events has been challenging but fun. I’ve worked with my parents on a lot of the personal events, and utilized tools like Archive.org and Domain Tools to figure out other specific business events. Currently, I’m in the process of working with my parents to compile a year by year archive of personal pictures – something nice to digitize considering nobody looks at old photo albums anymore.

Rather than requiring people to sift through the complete timeline, I’m in the process of creating subpages including : a Timeline Overview, a Business Timeline and a Goal Timeline. I hope to provide more refined or specific information information on these sub-timelines. Additionally, over the next couple months I’m going to be writing expanded detail sections (ie: 2014 Expanded) for date ranges where I go more in-depth to events of that year(s). Quite the undertaking, but it’s going to be nice to complete everything, knowing that going forward I can keep better records.

The Ryan Eagle Blog is Back!

The Ryan Eagle Blog is finally back and getting it online was not the easiest task to say the least! I’ve been procrastinating the last couple months years on maintaining my websites. After my company closed and my brother passed away things got a bit hectic and priorities in my life changed. I had over 20 severs holding domains and I accidentally let the one holding blog.RyanEagle.com expire, losing it’s database completely. Additionally, the software that was running my old blog was created in 2003 or 2004 by my brother and was so outdated it ceased working, further demotivating me to update it. Time passed, my blog got lost, and I moved on.

Classic Ryan Eagle Blog

Anyways, one night deep into the graveyard shift I ended up on Archive.org and realized that all of my blog posts were archived there and safe! I immediately started a project to backup all the posts on my old blogs (blog.ryaneagle.com and tacoX.info). I decided it was time for an upgrade to the 21st century and wanted to give WordPress a shot. After finding a great guy who spent countless hours transferring hundreds of blog posts from two domains into WordPress we have the new and improved blog you’re visiting now. Below are the updates that we’ve made to our site:

 

All Posts Archived & Organized
I organized a full transfer using Archive.org of the old Ryan Eagle Blog and my super-old tacoX.info posts. The posts were all put under the archive category for safe keeping. The old categories that were associated to the posts were transferred to tags and refined to a smaller list.
Archived Posts

 

Old Categories Refined Into Tags
The old category posts have all been combined into the archive category and transferred into a refined list of tags. The new list of archived content tags are: BIGUPBusinessEt Cetera, Forum History, From tacoX.info, Goals, Haters, Life, Pictures, Politics, Site Updates, Sobriety, and Technology. Organizing the posts into the correct tags is still a work in progress.
Refined Tags

 

Mobile Friendly Theme
God, how I love WordPress in comparison to the old blog.ryaneagle.com. I customized the blog to be fully viewable in mobile browsers and developed special mobile-specific pages to make it more friendly on smart phones.
Mobile Friendly Blog

 

Same Design, Refreshed
My designer was complaining that my old sites design was ugly, but what can I say – I love the simplicity of it. I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Either way, I wanted something simple to contrast the flashy RyanEagle.com design. This blog doesn’t need any tricks to get the job done. This is still a work in progress.
New Redesign

 

Footer Share Buttons Added
I customized simple share buttons for posts that I make now because, well, they’re obviously going to get shared so much I might as well make it easy for you guys. Buttons show up in our mobile friendly page as well!
Share Buttons

 

Easter Eggs Hidden
Back when I first started RyanEagle.com, I included hidden Easter Eggs throughout the site for the hell of it. I decided to continue on the tradition I started when I was just a teenager.
Easter Eggs

 

Overall Changes
Complete menu revamping. Cleaned up formatting on many archived posts. Organizing tags. Created new categories for future blog posts. Installed and optimized both security plugins and SEO plugins. Currently in the process of creating meta descriptions for all the archived posts, but I’ll leave that up to someone else.
Overall Changes

 

Forum History Archived & Updated
I transferred and updated content taken from tacoX.info and archived it here. It’s fun to look back and see what I was doing throughout the years. I’m going to make a point of keeping better records ongoing. See my forum history by date: 20002001-20032003-20052005-20062008-20132014.
Forum Archives

RyanEagle.com Homepage Updates

RyanEagle.com

It’s been quite a long time since I actually took some time to update my personal website, as a matter of fact the last time it was updated the homepage said I was 24 years old (I’m 26) . The reason? It doesn’t make me money – so what’s the point; if it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make cents. I finally decided to get off my butt and do some necessary updates that have been long overdue, I decided Is should take pride in my namesake. I ended up partnering up with three different sets of programmers to fix and develop various sections of my website. I’ll go through all the changes below:

 

RyanEagle.com
All of the feeds are now loading (Twitter, Instagram, and my Facebook Page). Updated various content on main page (age, sobriety time, etc). Adjusted all the menu options to fit changes in website. Adjusted mobile compliant version. All social connection profile links are now fixed. Upgraded WordPress to latest version. Added various security and backup measures.
Ryan Eagle Home Page

 

About
Autobiography completely written primarily highlighting on my business career. It was actually good to spend some time and review the progress it took to get where I’m at now. I end up telling the same story over and over to people anyways, might as well put it up publicly.
About Ryan Eagle

 

Companies
Removed expired companies or businesses that I no longer work on, added new businesses I work on.
Companies

 

Bookmarks
Completely revamped and removed old bookmarks. Updated it for the first time since setting up the website. Removed broken links. Added new section for Communities & Forums, and an especially interesting section called Archives at the bottom with links to all my old companies, businesses, and personal sites.
Bookmarks

 

Photos
I added several new section for my Completed Tattoo’s. Updated various sections including Photos of Me. Added an entire new collection of every game from my super-nerdy Video Game CollectionGameboy, Nintendo 3DS, Playstation 3, Sony PSP, Playstation 2, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Sega Saturn, Playstation PSX, Sega Genesis, Nintendo NES, and Atari 2600.
Video Game Collection Album

 

Connect
Social feeds are now working, will display random content based on what social network you click (Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook).
Connect

 

Press
Articles removed and added, general maintenance and cleaning up.
Press

 

Hidden Easter Eggs
Articles removed and added, general maintenance and cleaning up.
Easter Eggs

 

Testimonials
Removed old testimonials that are no longer relevant, added newer ones. Added links to the associated person who left me the testimonial.  Added a total of (10) testimonials instead of 5-6 that were previously displaying.
Testimonials

 

Forum History
Added new section referencing blog posts that explain the history behind how I got started in the Internet industry. Forums and communities are are  very important part of the early days in my business career.
Forum Archive

 

Goals
Goals removed and added, general maintenance and cleaning up. Fixed broken images and formatting errors.
Goals

 

Tidbits
Removed content from the new biography about page and placed it onto here. Updated all content as some of it was over four years outdated. Removed content that is outdated or not relevant anymore.
Tidbits

 

Contact Ryan
Finally decided to add working contact information (although utilizing buffer contact information as I’m a private person). Added a proxy email address that forwards to me, added a proxy phone number that forwards to my cell, and added an updated link to my new company.
Contact Ryan Eagle

Gifts of Sobriety

Someone asked me recently, what does sobriety give me? My answer, everything – and that’s the honest truth. I’m entirely convinced that I would have died if it were not for the gift of sobriety that was given to me.

I will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. No matter how far down the scale I have gone, I will see how our experience can benefit others.
I can’t believe it, four years ago today was the day I decided to quit drinking and drugging. Today is the most important day in my entire year because it reminds me of what it was like before and how far I’ve come. What was I realistically thinking, quitting on July 4th? This used to be THE day for partying! And what the hell, I was only 20 years old – I had never even enjoyed a legal drink yet! It seemed as if the odds were stacked against me, but I guess someone up there had bigger plans for me than me continuing to drive my life down the drain. As I look back over the past several years I can honestly say that there has been quite a bit of growth, some slower and some quicker. I’m the type of guy that likes to make every mistake possible, put myself through enough emotional distress until it physically hurts, and learn the hard way. That’s how I’ve always been, even with getting sober. It took me two years of trying to quit before I quit, and almost another year after quitting before the obsession was relieved from me.

I am going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. I will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Before getting sober I imagined life being mundane and I asked myself, “How could I ever have fun, party, or do anything without drinking?” Clearly at that point I was not ready for sobriety. I needed to get sober, but I didn’t want it, and quickly there afterward my life began to dwindle down. I vividly remember the good times and how it transitioned into becoming worse and worse. My best friend became my enemy and it eventually lead to a place where I was in complete and utter addiction. Every single time I used it was horrible, leading on for days and days before I could get any rest. Literally every time I used, something bad would happen – sometimes worse than others. Near the end I had several cases pending and ended up with one final case that woke me up out of the self-induced fog. I was completely unhappy, I knew a loneliness like no other. I could not survive with a drink, or without a drink; I had no option. At that point, for no motive or reason, I decided to get sober.

Sobriety has gifted me with some of the most amazing things, I remember the first couple months I was literally locked in my house pending court cases. I was completely convinced that I was going to jail, and my life had already been completely controlled by the legal system, but I still continued on my mission for sobriety. I remember the final day in front of the judge where I was released of the bondage of my house arrest. I remember how I used to think it was some sort of curse, but looking back – I’m even grateful for those times, as I wonder if I could have even stayed sober if I could have left my house. Nowadays, I have the freedom to go wherever I want without fear of drink or drug. I’m able to maneuver throughout any environment, and when the thought of a drink or a drug enters my mind I recoil from it like a hot flame. I now know a new happiness, a happiness that I have never felt before. I have true happiness and serenity with my life.

I will comprehend the word serenity and I will know peace. My whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Serenity? Not always. But I can honestly say that I have found a new peace and I have been given tools to help manage stressful situations. People wonder how I’m able to keep coolheaded while managing my companies and it’s very simple; I ask for God’s help several times throughout the day. Even during the most turbulent times in my personal or business life, I am able to find that serenity or peace within my days. I ask God, “Thy will not mine be done” and I find anxieties almost instantly lifted from me. Sometimes, I have to say that same prayer hundreds of times to realize that maybe it is God’s will for me to be going through this anxiety. For me, understanding that it’s ok to feel what I’m feeling and have the peace of mind to know that I do not have to medicate feelings or emotions is amazing. That in itself is progress, progress that I would have never even imagined possible before.

That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. I will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away.
sQU8qI remember the days where I would wake up about noon, fill myself with a concoction of drugs and alcohol, and attempt to work and end up staring blankly at the screen. I couldn’t believe it, I had completely driven my will to work out of me. I was the model businessman, the man that prided himself on working longer and smarter than anyone else. The self-made, self-proclaimed boss of all bosses – and I completely rendered myself useless. I remember the dismay that fell over me as I completely just stopped caring about everything that had meant so much for me. But at that point, I was just too far into the hole – and I cared about nothing other than more, more, more. I remember back to all the times I would get in trouble, have my parents look at me dead in the eyes and say, “I’m disappointed in you.”, the arrests, the thefts, the fights – and I’d wonder, why is this happening to me? Why can’t I be like the other people that party like I do and don’t get in trouble? I honestly believed the delusion that I was drinking and drugging regularly, comparing myself to others around me. I would constantly end up in a bind and wonder why it happened to me. I remember near the end of my using career, when week after week passed and things continued to get worse and worse for me. Crashed cars, arrests, disappointed family, and a final event that rocked my world – I couldn’t feel sorrier for myself. As I was lifted from the drugs, I was given the option of staying sober – an option I never previously had. I was given the option to do right and wrong, a conscious, and I assumed full responsibility for my actions. When things get tough, I don’t feel down for myself as I can rely on a higher power to help me through it.

Now not all my actions are self-seeking, I spend time every single week dedicated to passing the message of sobriety on. I need to give what was so freely given to me and that is the cornerstone of my sobriety. It’s funny even typing this, helping others was the absolute last motivator on my mind. I’ve made progress in this category, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I still find myself, like any human, consumed with the happenings and woes of my daily life. I constantly need to remind myself that I need to help others to get out of the stuff floating around in my head.

I will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
As of lately, to say the least I have been facing problems and situations that would have baffled me. In the last couple months I feel that some of my larger, more glaring character defects have dulled with the emotional pains that I have been through. I’ve been faced with challenges, losing some of my best friends, and more – all through it I was able to maintain my cool and handle situations one by one. I simply asked for help, and help was given to me – I emerged from some of the most stressful situations I’ve encountered with ease. Looking back, I’m absolutely astonished that I made it through some of these challenges, and I know that it’s a gift of sobriety. Now I have those couple moments to pause before reacting, giving me time to make a formulated and informed response without causing more harm. I can only imagine how I would handle these situations during my drinking career, let alone within my first or second year sober. I remember literally anyone that even subtly didn’t like me was instantly attacked. Now, maybe I’ve grown up a little bit, but I don’t have to go to every fight that’s presented. This is my favorite gift of sobriety by far.

I honestly just hit the tip of the iceberg with what sobriety has given me, because as I said above – everything that I have now is as a direct result of it. If you or anyone needs help, being sober can be one of the best things for you – it’s just making it through those tough times in the beginning that determine the difference. For anyone that’s come up from the bottom, they know exactly how hard it can be. Get in contact with someone local to you that’s gotten help and is in recovery, it could be your road to a new life! Gifts of Sobriety