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Me (left) and President of PacRim Marketing
(right), Dave Erdman.

Look mom, I’m an old man.
The life of a wannabe 26 year-old CEO

How the hell did I get here? I just turned twenty-six, and I'm confused, dazed…It seems as though it was just a month ago that I was back at HBA (Hawaii Baptist Academy), scrambling down the halls to avoid yet another tardy slip from Ms. King. My sixty year old history teacher that made the civil war into the most boring subject of all time.

Those…those were the good old days. It’s funny as I recall my “yester-years.” I mean, who would have thought that I’d be an entrepreneur? Surely not any of my teachers or classmates.

“Man, I got a sixty-five, that’s a friggen’ D!” a classmate would yell when our teacher passed out our test papers. “Wait, let me see what Steve got. Oh he got a fifty-four. At least I’m not as stupid as him!”

Quite frankly, the kid had a point. Compared to the rest of the class, I was pretty stupid. I went to a private school for the “gifted” kids in Hawaii. Most of the students here were rich and smart. They drove around in brand new cars, managed to do all of their homework, aced all their test, they looked good, and got all the girls.

I was the most un-HBA student on the block…I couldn’t cut the grades, couldn’t afford the clothes, or even lunch sometimes. And when it came time for graduation, when most of our class headed to the big schools for college, I couldn’t get into our local University, opting to land myself in a vocational art college (which I dropped out of after two months). Here’s some amazing stats for you…I had a combined SAT score of 800, cumulative GPA of 2.2, and a class ranking that put me 94 out of 96.

This memory is still very fresh in my mind. And every once in awhile, when I’m conducting one of those cliché “power meetings” I really still ask myself, “How the hell did I get here.” Then I look up and say to Jesus, “I know you had to do a lot with it. Thanks a bunch for turning this idiot into something worthwhile.”

A classmate of mine called me up about a week ago to see how I was doing. She had told me that a bunch of my classmates considered me a liar when they talked to me because they couldn’t see how “Stupid” or “Goofy” could be running a company of this caliber. “How I had created projects that help fuel increases in tourism, or how I was working with “so-and-so” celebrity.”

We’ll, I have one thing to say to my fellow disbelieving classmates:

"Why can't you be happy for me?"

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