Here’s the truth. You’ve got to work hard and hustle to achieve your aspirations.

There’s no way around it. There’s no way over it. There’s no way under it. The only way forward is to go through it.

I was reminded of that on a recent visit to NextDoor to see their CEO and my dear friend, Sarah Friar. We were discussing resiliency and she mentioned that she had never met a more resilient person than the owner of the security company that’s contracted for the building. His name is Daniel Youngblood.

Daniel Youngblood and I

Daniel wakes up around 2 AM every day to get ready for work. Once he leaves home he faces a 2 hour commute. He works his shift, has a 2 hour commute back home, spends time with his family, and is in bed by 7 PM to repeat the cycle another day.

Impressed? Well there’s more.

He’s been doing it for 20 years.

Daniel has made the sacrifices necessary to make the life that he wants to live become a reality. And he’s done it consistently. He didn’t say it was hard and stopped. He didn’t try to get NextDoor to move closer to him. He’s found a way to do what it takes to make it happen. And that’s the same type of hustle and grind we all need to have to make it every day.

Sarah Friar and I at the New York Stock Exchange, with VC Investor Bill Gurley in the background (2021)

It’s that type of grit and tenacity that has propelled me to success as both a nonprofit and private sector leader. I takes “no’s” for vitamins every morning. It helps me continue pushing for a “yes”, even if I have to create it myself.

Friends, you can’t subtract your dreams. You have to sign on the dotted line yourself and put in the work and the effort. That’s just the truth. But you don’t have to do it alone. You can always do it in community with other people to help you, support you, encourage you, and help you find the path that works best for you.

Operation HOPE can be that partner and advocate in your journey towards the best version of you; the most financial empowered version of you, so that you can build and dream without the stresses of making ends meet just to survive.

Check us out at and get connected with a financial wellness coach today. Then click here or below to watch my latest “Straight Talk” where I discuss the nature of resiliency and it’s connection to success.


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