Twenty years ago, my hair was blonde.

I had just ended my enlistment in the U.S. Army.

The Army had standards for everything.

Life in the Army can be a little bit of a controlling experience.

I remember during my Army job training, one of the instructors giving us advice on how to succeed in the Army.

“Your job is to show up at the right place in the right uniform.

Your job is to do what you’re told to do.

I’ve had some soldiers complain that they don’t want to be told what to do.

I respectfully thank them for sharing their feelings with me. 

I respond that when you signed on the dotted line to join the Army, you were telling everyone in the Army that you wanted to be told what to do.

Your job is to do what you’re told to do and show up at the right place in the right uniform.

If you remember these words, you will have a good Army career.”

My instructor’s word made sense to me at the time.

A while later, I began to realize how the Army would dictate almost everything in my life.

When I joined the Army, I had good hair.

One of the first things that happens when you join the army is you go to the barbershop.

The barber buzzes off every male’s hair.

As I looked around at my fellow soldiers, our heads all looked like cue balls.

Baldness was the new norm.

After I finished my initial Army training, I was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.

That’s when I started to test my boundaries.

I began to let my hair grow out.

It was a little competition with me to grow my hair out as long as I could and still stay within the Army standards.

There were a few times when I was commanded to get my hair cut. So, I complied with the order.

My last day of enlistment in the Army came, and I wanted to be rebellious.

You’ll laugh when you read how “defiant” I was.

I bleached my hair blond.

That was my big way of telling the Army to go where the sun doesn’t shine.

It wasn’t really an act of defiance because I was no longer in the Army.

There wasn’t anything for me to defy.

The blond hair did have a nice benefit.

It made me attractive enough to catch the eye of a young lady named Angel.

A few weeks later, we started dating, and a few months later, I bought her a diamond ring.

There I was in my blonde glory on top of the world with the woman I loved.

We planned a vacation to Hawaii, and it was such a magical time on the islands.

We had this amazing dinner on Waikiki beach and watched the sunset into the ocean.

One of the things I didn’t know about Hawaii was how much it rains on the islands.

I should have realized it rained a lot because the island is covered with lush vegetation.

Another amazing benefit of the rain is the abundant rainbows that are scattered across the sky following the rainfall.

Rainbows are so ubiquitous in Hawaii that the main license plate has a large rainbow on it.

I’ve always been enamored at the beauty of rainbows.

Rainbows don’t last long, so I try to take the time to admire them when I have the chance.

Dolly Parton has a great saying about rainbows.

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

We get a decent amount of rain in North Carolina, and I dread the rainy days.

I’m much happier when the skies are blue, and the sun is shining.

On those dreary, damp, and dismal days my attitude drops a bit.

It as if someone put a big wet blanket on me.

The rain we get makes North Carolina a beautiful green state.

The rainbow principle that Dolly Parton talks about applies to each area of our lives.

We usually have to put up with something in order to get something we want.

I don’t enjoy waking up in the middle of the night because my two-year Zoe is crying.

However, I do enjoy the hugs and kisses I get from her when I get home from work.

The love expressed by a two-year-old child is one of life’s precious moments.

When I look at my business, there are plenty of things I have to put up with in order to get what I want.

When I first started my business, one of the chores I hated most was invoicing people.

I still don’t understand why I disliked invoicing people for my work.

I enjoyed doing the work.  My clients enjoyed the work I did.

Yet, the last thing I wanted to do was send them an invoice so they could pay me.

My aversion to this task was dreadful.

However, if I wanted the money I had earned, I needed to send the invoice to my clients.

Another aspect of my business that I have had challenges with was getting new clients.

I recognized early on that I needed to focus more on selling myself than on selling the services I provided.

My main goal when prospecting was to spend time creating an authentic connection with people.

I knew that selling services related to money was a daunting endeavor.

Money is a very private manner for most people.

Many people feel completely exposed when they share information about their money with people.

Many people would rather stand completely naked in Times Square than talk about their money.

Being physically naked many times is less revealing than trusting someone with details about one’s money.

Since I knew how private people were with their money, I knew that my first task was to gain their trust.

Without their trust, I was not going to be in business.

In my early years in business I struggled with being shy.

I didn’t want to talk to people because of my inadequacies.

However, I wanted to do work.

That meant I needed to put up with being scared in order to build trust with people.

If I didn’t talk with people, there would be no way for me to gain their trust.

I’ve been able to build a wonderful life for my family and me because I was willing to put up with things to get what I wanted.

Many times that things I had to put up with were miserable.

However, I knew that those miserable things were temporary and just part of the process.

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

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