As long as I can remember, I was always trying to think up ways to earn money. My family wasn't poor by any means; I never missed a meal, I always had clothes on my back, and I had a warm bed. But we were more like the Have-Nots than like the Haves. I started earning my own money at age 12. In eighth grade, the forty cents I was given for lunch was instead invested in candy from the local mini-mart and sold in my first-period shop class. A penny candy was sold for five cents. A five-cent candy went for a quarter. It was my first lesson in supply and demand. From that day on, I always had money in my pocket.
I went into the United States Air Force in 1976 as a refrigeration and air-conditioning technician. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, I was sent to Sheppard Air Force Base, the largest training base in the U.S. After a couple of weeks, I went home for Christmas. Ever frugal and in a well-meaning gesture of parsimony, my father gave me a shaving kit, so I could save money on haircuts. One evening back in Texas, I was trimming my hair when a fellow named Garcia asked me to cut his hair. Word got out and I became the Third-Floor Barber. Before long I was trimming five heads a night for two dollars each. I was a Rebel with a Cause.
A mentor of mine recently passed away. Dan Poynter was a pioneer. He wrote 130 books and hundreds of articles. He was for me a coach, an inspiration, a mentor, and a lighthouse in the fog. In 1969, he began his journey as a self-publishing guru. He spoke around the world 75-100 times a year. He had a missionary zeal for self-publishing. He was truly a Rebel with a Cause.
I've always been inspired by women, and my mission was to inspire women. I always wanted to become a certain kind of woman, and I became that woman through fashion. It was a dialogue. I would see that the wrap dress made those women confident, and made them act with confidence. -Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer
Peak Performers see the ability to manage change a necessity in fulfilling their missions. -Charles Garfield, author
One river, one piece of garbage at a time.
His back yard was literally the mighty Mississippi River growing up in East Moline, Illinois. At the age of 17, he started making calls to government agencies to notify them of the problem, assuming someone would take care of it. Year after year passed and the problem only worsened. In 1997, he decided that he would clean up the river if no one else would. In 1998, at the age of 23, he founded Living Lands & Waters. Today, the organization has grown to include a full staff and fleet of equipment. The crew averages nine states a year along the Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio rivers, as well as many of their tributaries. Since the project's inception, his crew, and over 87,000 volunteers have collected 8.4 million pounds of debris from our nation's greatest rivers. This Rebel with a Cause is Chad Pregracke.
In the service of helping others achieve their goals, I have taught people how to change, grow, improve, get out of their comfort zone, read great books, and keep a journal since I was 15 years old. Why? I believe it's why I am on earth. I was a drunk and now I have been sober for 36 years. I was fat and now I am fit at fifty-eight. I flunked high school English, but now I write a book a year. I had a stutter in second grade, but now I speak around the world 60 to 70 times a year. If I can change, so can you. We simply need to find a cause.
One day in 1988, I watched my ten-year-old nephew play basketball on a recreation league. I turned to my father and said, "This coach of Adrian's is just awful," expecting him to agree with me. My father, who coached for years, smiled and said in almost a whisper, "Perhaps. But she is out there doing it. Instead of complaining, maybe you should consider coaching or be quiet." He went back to watching the game. Ouch. The old man was right! It was a rock in my shoe. I coached 50 games a year for the next 17 years. I put up instead of shutting up. I learned so much about coaching big and little kids because I was on a mission to help others. I read over 50 books on the subject. I attended clinics and workshops faithfully. I interviewed successful coaches, kept a journal, and applied the ideas I gathered. My boys eventually led their high schools to the state tournaments and played in college and overseas professionally. It all started with a casual comment. Without really knowing it, I had become a Rebel with a Cause.
How about you? What are you passionate about? How can you make a difference? I need a haircut. Now where are those clippers? The Third-Floor Barber is IN...