12 Steps to Freedom:
A Career Planning and Self Help Manual
for Prospering in Today's Job Market
for Prospering in Today's Job Market
by Paul Rega
Paul Rega's new career book, 12 Steps to Freedom, is a #1 bestseller in several categories and has 9 five-star reviews.
Nationally recognized executive recruiter, Paul Rega, bestselling author of How To Find A Job: When There Are No Jobs, introduces a revolutionary new concept in career management and personal development. This is an outstanding inspirational guide on how to never give up on your dreams and pursue your chosen career path. Paul introduces his unique career-planning program called, Intuitive Personal Assessment (IPA).
Utilizing his business experience as a executive recruiter since 1984, Paul has developed a unique twelve-step career self-assessment and goal setting process. The twelve-step program will guide you through the discovery and implementation of your desired career path. The IPA program utilizes your intuition and incorporates your ideas, skills, interests, values, and life experiences to determine your career path.
The goal-setting segment of IPA focuses on the principle of establishing and maintaining balance in all of life's seven components, including: Health, Family, Knowledge, Relationships, Spiritual, Financial, and Career. Balance is the key to life's longevity. By achieving balance in your life, your career will prosper. Setting goals and taking action to achieve them as they relate to the components of the IPA process will enable you to visualize and accomplish your career objectives.
If you want to change careers or are simply looking for a new job, this informative manual takes you through a methodical, step-by-step process to help you determine your true career path. Take action today and download this book. It will alter your approach to career planning and possibly change your life.
My father introduced me to the idea of freedom in 1971 as a young boy. I had just turned fourteen and my family was playing a heated game of Monopoly while on vacation. The game for us took on aspects of real life events. My father was a business owner that had risen from poverty to a moderate level of wealth through hard work and determination. He felt strongly about his freedom as a worker and citizen of the United States. As a young boy having been born in 1936, he had lived through World War II, the Korean War and now the Vietnam War, which was raging with no end in sight.
Somehow, the subject of freedom came up as part of the game we were playing. My father started talking about how the United States was prepared to preserve our freedom no matter what the cost. He spoke of the large number of nuclear warheads our country had amassed versus the Russians. He said we had enough nuclear bombs to blow up the entire world a few times over and described how the US had built a nuclear bunker into the side of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado as a defense against long-range Soviet bombers. Although he had never fought in a war, he said that he would die to preserve our freedom. I believed him. My father never lost a game of Monopoly or any other board game we would play over the many years. He was competitive but also a teacher and, by not allowing us to win, he had taught us a valuable lesson about life.
As I would soon find out, life would be a challenge and not easy. In 1972, my Boy Scout troop took a trip that would have a lasting impact on the rest of my life. On July 22, we shoved off from Wood Dale, Illinois and rode our Sears Free Sprit 10-speed bicycles to Jacksonville Florida. The trip took us just under a month to complete with a great deal of hardship along the way. Nearly half of the 32 Scouts and leaders were food poisoned by tainted hamburger meat at one point during the trip. Several were rushed to the hospital. Fortunately, no one died. We continued on despite our setback. The trip was yet another lesson in life about perseverance and how to never give up. We were successful in our quest to make it to Florida having pedaled 1,253 miles through eight states.
Many years before our Florida trip, a group of mountain climbers were preparing to climb Mount Everest for the first time. A reporter covering the climber’s story interviewed the group just before they began heading up the mountain. “Are you going to make it?” the reporter asked each member of the climbing team. Every climber except one said, “Yes, I think so.” That one climber said, “Yes, I'm going to make it!” Guess what—he was the only one that did! If you are to succeed in anything you have to take on that attitude. There can be no question in your mind as to whether you will make it or not.
A number of boys on our bike hike to Florida went through some level of difficulty but, through our Scout leader’s guidance, they were all able to make it. Some were as young as 11 years old. I personally never felt that way and was one of the older boys and junior leaders on the trip. Some of my assigned duties included serving as the troop’s personnel officer to provide discipline and morale to all 32 Scouts and leaders. I took my job seriously and helped to motivate many of the Scouts during our month long journey. There were a number of incidents usually with the younger boys saying that it was too hard and that they didn’t feel they could make it. We had trained for two and a half months for the trip. There was no doubt that they could physically make it. The problem was one of attitude where they were telling themselves that they couldn’t pedal any further. The attitude spread to other Scouts, some who were older. Our Scoutmaster was eventually able to quell the situation before it became a real problem, and we were able to get everyone back on board with a positive attitude.
Having grown up in an entrepreneurial environment, I was used to the attitude of never giving up—no matter what. My father had grown up in a family that struggled financially. His father had died at the early age of 47. For this reason, my father had to leave college and secure a full time job to help his mother and siblings survive. After working a number of jobs, he took a chance and started his own pizzeria on the South Side of Chicago. A few years later, his business went bankrupt and he was once again forced to find a job. He soon started working for a corrugated box company as a shop mechanic. His boss recognized that he had a talent for business management and sales and encouraged him to take some college courses at Northwestern University in Chicago. It would be there that he would meet a gentleman by the name of Maynard Garfield who owned a sales training company. Mr. Garfield asked my father to join him as a salesman for his company. He would eventually become a partner in the business, and later buy the company.
My father’s rise to success was not an accident. It was purposeful and deliberate. His attitude of never giving up and always striving to do his best were principles he had learned as a young boy in the Boy Scouts. He would later pass those values on to me as a boy. Throughout his business career he had developed a unique goal setting plan that he and his partner would work on every Thanksgiving. It was an elaborate system that they had devised in order to succeed in business. The two men had perfected their system that was akin to a map, and it worked. The business according to the plan and the goals they had set grew over the years and both became very wealthy individuals.
In June 1997, my father passed away at the early age of 60. He had been in poor health for a long time, having survived a kidney transplant a few years before his death. The constant stress of his business had taken a toll on his body and mind. He was not one to work out to keep his body in good physical condition and ate poorly most of the time. At 6’2’’ and 300 lbs., he had been obese most of his life and always struggled to lose weight. It was difficult for me to watch his health decline over a period of several years. His mantra was, “The guy with the biggest pile of money in the end wins.” With his incredible work ethic, he was able to achieve his goal. But at what cost? I questioned myself soon after his death.
At the time my father had passed away, I was already well into my business career having graduated from college in 1981. After a short stint of working for two different companies and a layoff, I started my own executive search firm in 1984. I had started a successful karate school in college in response to a number of assaults on students on campus. With very little money, my partner and I started the business and it quickly grew to over 150 students. Over the next few years, it helped to pay our way through college.
My recruiting business grew to where I had hired three recruiters and an administrative assistant. At the age of thirty, I was personally making over $100,000 a year. I was making more money than any of my friends at that point. I suppose back then that’s what I based my success on. At around the seven year mark in business, I was burnt out and wanted to sell the company. Despite having found a buyer for my business, my father encouraged me to keep it, saying that once I sold it—it was gone. His advice proved to be wise, and after some time away from the business, I jumped back in and expanded it, making even more money than I had before.
The business continued to grow but my feelings towards it were not completely positive. Recruiting is a tough business and most people only last a few years at best. Around the time my father passed away, I had been in the business over 12 years and the stress was wearing on me. In 1998, I lost my oldest child in a tragic car accident. My life was unraveling. It had only been a year since my father passed away. It was almost too much for me to handle and major depression, as my therapist called it, set in. My marriage showed signs of cracking.
I turned to something I had done since the time of starting my business. Planning and goal setting had been instilled into me since I was a child. My father had instructed me on the finer points of goal setting. Since the time I owned my search business, I developed elaborate plans and put them into motion year after year. The plans worked and the money was flowing into the business like never before. Another year passed and, for the most part, my plans were working but the life events beyond my control had taken their toll, and a crash was near.
I just stopped working in 1999 and lived off my savings, but it wasn’t enough to completely sustain my family’s lifestyle that had grown to much larger, more lavish proportions. Our life was moving at a fast pace. We had built a new house in 1996, a new baby arrived in July of 1997, followed quickly by the purchase of a new car. All of it would have been fine if I had been okay—I wasn’t. We suffered financially for the next two years with my recruiting business only barely sustaining our lifestyle.
In mid-June of 2000, I was on a trip to Dallas, Texas in an effort to shore up my fledgling search business. I had decided to drive to give myself some time to reflect on the state of my company. As I drove down the highway and got into a more desolate part of Oklahoma, it started to pour. This instantly reminded me of my bicycle trip with the Scouts many years before. We had experienced our share of rain on that trip and were often soaked to the gills. I had always thought it would be a great book, but never had the time to start writing it. I was alone during this trip, which was unusual due to the size of my family. As I drove farther down this lonely stretch of highway, it occurred to me that it would be a perfect opportunity to start writing the book, using a tape recorder I had brought.
There is a saying that goes ..."People don't plan to fail, but they often fail to plan". When it comes to career choice, this may be particularly true. Many of us simply grab the best option we can find to suit our needs at that particular point in time. Our choice is often based upon financial needs and for most people, lacking in any true inspiration. How many of us never truly find our niche when it comes to career choice? I suspect the majority of people I know fall into this category. I believe there is a lack of understanding about how to choose our best path and thus, this book is a great solution for filling that void.
The author of this book offers a simple and concise, twelve-step process which is designed to clearly guide you through the discovery and implementation process for a new career. In some respects, you could say that this is a road map to self discovery. Each step is carefully designed to reveal important aspects of your personality, strengths and weaknesses. In addition, it looks at all of the important aspects of your life in a way that makes it easy to see the direction you should be heading towards. If you are looking for a career change or if you are simply dissatisfied with your current job, I'd highly recommend this book.
About the Author
Paul Rega began his writing career in 1980 while attending Western Illinois University as a staff reporter for the Western Courier. Upon graduating with a degree in biology and journalism, he spent the next thirty years in business having started an executive search firm in 1984.
Paul's passion for writing stayed with him throughout his business life, and he started writing his first book in 1993. He published, How To Find A Job: When There Are No Jobs in December 2011. The book was an instant success, and hit #1 on Amazon's bestseller list for job hunting books in March 2012. He published 12 Steps to Freedom in August 2013 and Trail of 32, a true coming of age story in September 2013.
Paul lives in a small town along the Gulf Coast of Florida, where he is working on his next book.