Success Is A Choice

If I Can Do It, Anyone Can!
By Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed

I'm often asked "Glenn, you're a Motivational Speaker with two college degrees, and a multi-million dollar sales company, but you were once a high school dropout. What made you go back to school and do all you've done?"

Since this is so often asked, I thought I'd put it here for all to read. Please allow me to break it down for you as simply as possible. (An abridged version.)

I was kicked out of HS when I was 16-Y-O. Being ignorant back then, I thought it was cool. It allowed more time for a venture that made me money -- though it wasn't legal.

Someone told me of the GED, which I took -- twice -- in order to pass. Oh well, at least I passed.

When I was 19-Y-O, I was seeing this college chick who said, "If you couldn't even get a high school diploma, then you're stupid!" It bothered me that she said I was stupid.

I said to myself that I'd show her! I went to an adult education school, which was a branch of the Poway Unified School District in California, and told them I wanted to receive my HS diploma.

Based on how well I did on my GED, they said I had enough units to graduate, but in order for them to issue me a diploma, I would have to take one class at their school. I did, and 16-weeks later I had a HS Diploma. Well the girl was long gone, but hey! I now had both a GED and HS Diploma. But in reality, I learned two valuable lessons that has served me well in life.

Lesson 1: If I want something BADLY enough, then I WILL achieve it!

Lesson 2: The girl was gone...I really did it for myself!

For the next several years (until I was nearly 23-Y-O) I continued my life of illegal activity. It was then that a business associate of mine was gunned down to death during a raid at his home, and it was only 15 minutes after I left.

It was then I realized that I had been doing so many wrong things and could've been in prison or dead! Hey, some of you, I could've been your cellmate. LOL.

I sat alone for the next couple of days trying to decide what I should do. All I knew was that I needed a new life. Come Monday morning I flushed all my illegal substances down the toilet, went to see a Navy recruiter, and enlisted for five-years.

Since I had 45 days until I had to report to boot camp, I moved to my father's and worked out daily so I was in shape for the physical activities I would endure.

Long story short...toward the end of my enlistment while working directly for the unit commander, he one day called me into his office and said, "As your commanding officer and direct supervisor, it's my job to encourage you to reenlist for another five-years. However, to do that to you would not be doing you a service. Based on what I know of you over the past two-years, I think you'd be better off getting out, going to college and one day run a corporation."

He saw "something" in me and it was "something" I hadn't seen and what he saw was enormous business potential. So, I left the Navy at the age of 28 and began my first college class.

I was on a mission! I completed a four-year degree in 36 months all while going through a marriage, a divorce, my father's death, and working full time.

I now own a million dollar sales corporation (, have two college degrees (BA Communication & MA Education), am an adjunct instructor at a college teaching Oral Communications/Public Speaking, an advice columnist with The Student Operated Press (, and a Motivational Speaker.

In all honesty, I am no different than anyone else. Just an average person who set his sights on the bigger picture and went after it with all I had! And if I can accomplish what I have...ANYONE CAN! ESPECIALLY YOU!

You just need to do the following:

  1. Prioritize

  2. Manage time effectively

  3. Focus on the task(s) at hand

  4. NEVER forget why you're doing what you're doing

  5. Be willing to forgo some things to accomplish what you truly desire

  6. KNOW that at times it will be hard, and you may lose sight of the goal, but if you stay with it, I promise...IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

  7. Bottom line, it's comes down to CHOICES! The RIGHT CHOICES can take you to the right places, and the wrong ones...well, you know where they lead.

Success isn't always about dollars and cents. It's about what makes you happy! But hey, we do live in a monetary world, make it work for you!

SUCCESS is a CHOICE! (Education * Life * Career)

Copyright 2008 Glenn Brandon Burke