Have you ever felt the complete panic of being pulled out of your comfort zone?
Darren Jacklin has. Darren is a powerful example of how you can achieve Financial Freedom and build a business you love regardless of how dark things might feel today. From multiple suicide attempts, sleeping in an apple orchard in Saskatchewan and collecting welfare, Darren took control of his life to achieve Financial Freedom in his thirties.
Changing The Stories We Tell Ourselves
As a child, Darren was always told he wouldn’t amount to much. He was placed on the special education track in first grade after being diagnosed with ADHD. Through his early life, this played an immense role in his self-worth.
In his early 20s, Darren hit rock bottom. His car was repossessed, his bank accounts frozen, and he was evicted from his apartment. He had already attempted suicide many times.
One night, instead of attempting to end his life yet again, Darren drove to an outreach center and spoke to a psychologist. This man saw something different in Darren.
Instead of seeing a struggling young man without the skills to succeed, he directed Darren to focus on his natural business sense. The psychologist pointed Darren to the business he started at age 7, Rent a Kid and his other business ventures. Then, he encouraged Darren to take the Dale Carnegie Course.
While Darren needed to hustle and work out a payment plan to join the Dale Carnegie program, this move to invest in himself positioned him for a MindShift.
The Power Of A Mentor
While attending the Dale Carnegie Course, Darren was invited to take part in a Toastmasters International meeting. Toastmasters is an organization that helps develop leaders and effective communicators. A scary place for someone who is terrified of speaking in front of a crowd.
When Darren was first tasked to present a fifteen-minute educational speech at Toastmasters, he panicked. He was so scared of speaking that he instead pulled the fire alarm in the hotel where the meeting was to be held. But when it was only an internal alarm, he forced himself to give the speech through his fear.
At the end of Darren’s speech, an evaluator for the program approached him. She told Darren that she thought his presentation was remarkable and that, with training, he could become a world-class speaker. Her belief in Darren gave him the confidence he needed to pursue speaking full-time.
Defining Your Personal Promises
The support of the community at Toastmasters was the first step to changing Darren’s self-worth. But, he knew he would be fighting against years of depression. That he would have to tackle those voices in his head telling him he couldn’t amount to much.
So, Darren took goal setting to the next level—and he still does. At the beginning of each year, Darren imagines what he wants his life to look like at the end of that year. He even writes a detailed narrative about it. Then he backs out what he needs to achieve to get there.
Those necessary achievements become Darren’s goals for the year, goals he calls his “personal promises.” He prints and laminates copies of these goals and references them often. Reading the goals each morning, out loud, starts his day with focus. Reviewing them at night checks in on his progress.
This radical commitment to goal setting isn’t typical. But it fueled Darren’s ability to level up his personal and professional relationships. These promises pushed him to grow his speaking business and reach his goals.
Achieving Financial Freedom
Today, Darren is a world-class professional speaker and corporate trainer. He started speaking at small venues for free or low-pay, leveling up as he built his portfolio. These days he mentors entrepreneurs and business owners on creating specific and measurable strategies. Darren has personally trained more than 150 of the Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, AT&T, Black & Decker and Barclays Bank. He’s certainly come a long way.
As his business grew, Darren knew he never wanted to go back to his early twenties when he was struggling with Chronic Money Stress. So he sought out successful business owners and investors and emulated their behavior. He quickly discovered that to be successful long-term, you have to Make Your Money Work For You.
Darren focused on investing his wealth, achieving Financial Freedom and creating a lasting legacy. He opened a family office to invest in new and growing business ventures and remains focused on philanthropy. Together with Nyanzi Jude, Darren is working to build a new school building for the Daystar Nursery & Primary school in the slums of Kampala, Uganda.
Never Be Afraid To Do The Work
Darren’s story shows us that through commitment and consistency, anyone can pull themselves out of even the darkest places to achieve a life of Freedom and positive social impact. That the only thing holding you back from a life you love is the excuses that have become a mantra in your head.
Change the story, make dedicated promises to yourself and find true fulfillment. Darren did it, and so can you.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Chelsea Brennan is a former Wall Street financial analyst and investment manager who changed gears in her career to chase her passion of improving financial literacy and independence. She is now a personal finance writer and content marketer. Chelsea shares her obsession with budgeting, investing, and raising financially smart kids at MamaFishSaves.com.