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Let’s be honest. There is no easy road. Life is a road that veers to the left, swerves to the right, presents sudden stops at cliffs or dead ends, and leaves you feeling flat after hitting too many potholes. But, it is all of these often unexpected events that develop and challenge your character, and eventually help you to become stronger along the way.

It is what you do with these experiences that is most important. You may find yourself travelling on an unexpected path but come to realize that you actually enjoy it, and possibly even prefer it, over your original path. And, at times you may be completely lost and confused, and find yourself struggling to get back on course. If, however, you find yourself sitting idle at a dead end or stuck in a pothole, this will be a true test of your strength as you find the momentum to turn yourself around or pull yourself out.

Life is challenging. To be among Generation Z (born 1995–2012) means that there is a stereotype following you before you even set out in the world. While you are recognized for being technologically savvy, socially influenced, and financially extravagant, the more concerning stereotype is that you are lazy, apathetic, and unaware.

You were born to a generation of parents who strove to give their children the world, only to create a generation boasting with a sense of entitlement.

And, you are an interesting generation, to say the least, as we see more and more teens driving luxury cars of a style that your parents couldn’t afford until their forties. Every one of you have a cell phone attached to your limbs, offering you the convenience and ability to contact anyone at any time by phone, text, or some other form of social media.

In fact, social media is so important that at times you have self-diagnosed with FoMo, defined as a Fear of Missing Out, when you have had no interaction on social media for a period of time.

On the career front, you have big dreams and these dreams have a hefty income that accompanies them. But, you’re not a patient generation; you want to achieve this success now. While you will work for minimum wage, you believe that you are worth more, and will jump from job to job to find one that pays better so you can afford the luxuries that you believe you deserve. After all, you are accustomed to all that your parents have given you, and you deserve the same quality of life, or better, when you venture off on your own.

This whole conversation around the career and future of Generation Z (or GenZed, as I like to call you) is of great concern for me, and is the primary reason why I decided to write this book.

We live in a time where the gap between the wealthy and the poor is becoming smaller. And, with this, it is getting more and more difficult for the middle class to get ahead.

Credit card debt is getting higher, salaries are not increasing at the same rate as inflation, and saving for a rainy day isn’t as realistic as your parents made it out to be.

Nobody said that life would be easy. In fact, I often wonder how much further along I would be in life if I had known ten years ago what I know today. But, at the age of forty-three, I feel as though I understand much of what I need to know to reach great success over the course of my next forty years.

What makes me qualified to write this book and give you advice? Simply stated, for over twenty years I have been on the same path that you are about to embark upon, and along the way I have learned many lessons that I am confident will successfully guide you on your journey.

I’ve experienced being let go from a job, worked in positions that felt like dead ends, worked for people whom I deem to be unethical crooks (as has the court of law), been humiliated, belittled, and made many sacrifices along the way.

However, I have also met wonderful people who remain a part of my life today. I have had extraordinary experiences, taken great risks, worked my way up the ladder, been given chances, been rewarded, and have been taught many impactful lessons.

Yes, I’ve read the motivational books and met several of the authors, been mentored and coached, participated in continuing education, networked both online and in social settings, and I continue to do all of these things to this day.

I’m a dreamer, just like you. And, while dreams are the starting point of any journey, it is what you do with those dreams that is the most impactful.

The late great Henry Ford stated, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”i What a perfect quote to start this journey. A dream is merely a dream until you put it into action. You can talk to your peers or your family about what you are going to do with your life, but, until you take that first step, your vision is nothing more than that.

My goal with this book is to provide you with guidance to set you on the course of making your dreams come true. And, to share with you my many life lessons thus far, which hopefully will resonate with you and ultimately shorten your road to success.

So, I ask you right now, are you an “I wish I had” type of person or an “I’m going to have” type of person?

If you’re a wisher, then this book isn’t for you because success takes time, work, and commitment. Success takes planning, determination, and the ability to accept the bruises and dust yourself off when times are tough. It requires that you be consciously aware of the many lessons along the way and welcome them as learning opportunities, to make you stronger and better.

If you’re determined to be successful and to have the things in life that you want, then I look forward to walking this path with you.

You will notice that this book isn’t of great length and I assure you that this was intentional. There are so many books to be read and, with today’s hectic pace, it seems that there isn’t enough time to stop and read at leisure. If you can squeeze a half hour in at the beginning or end of the day, then you’ll be well on your way.

The intention of The Easy Road is to provide teachings that are impactful and straight to the point; to provide insight and wisdom that can deliver guidance whether you’re in high school, university, starting your first job, or well on your way up the ladder.

While we all have our own definition of success, know that success is available to anyone who has the desire to work for it.

For some people, it may appear to come easier than it does for others, but at the end of the day, what is important is the way you feel about yourself when your head touches the pillow each night.

Let’s begin your journey.