Today I’m talking with Sean Singleton, a good friend of mine for over 15 years. He is an entrepreneur and automotive shop owner from Starboys Auto, who is here to share more of his story in his first ever podcast experience. Today, he’ll be speaking loud about overcoming your situation, no matter what it is, and creating your own life regardless of the hand you were dealt.
Life Without Stability
When Sean was eight, his parents went through a divorce, which was when he learned that his father was not actually his father, but his stepdad. The trauma of that realization and the splitting up of his family pushed Sean into a rebellious era, where his built-up anger and resentment lacked guidance and support. With free reign and no discipline, he was often causing trouble, such as vandalism, theft, breaking into cars, and later drugs.
The bad choices continued to escalate from junior high and into high school. Sean continued breaking into cars and abusing harder drugs, such as meth, and was on what he called a ‘path to destruction.’ He sold LSD and acid in 10th grade and was at the time one of the biggest dealers in the state. Many of the people he surrounded himself with were older, negative influences who contributed to the bad environment he found himself in. What Sean says hurts the most is the impact he had on others. He was always a leader figure among peers and would often suck other people into the same circles that he was in.
Receiving a Wakeup Call
Sean had a few positive experiences through Job Corps while in high school, but by the time he graduated he still hadn’t fully separated himself from the bad influences in his life. At 19 and 18, he and his girlfriend were expecting their first child, but Sean wasn’t done getting in trouble. He was working as a handyman and doing road repair on the side, and after biting off more than he could chew, he was charged with 7 felonies that included burglary and identity theft.
Sean was ultimately charged with 2 of the 7 original felonies, and spent 45 days in jail. Right before going to jail, his baby was born. He recounts the turning point in his life being when his girlfriend would bring his child to visit him while in jail. He knew how difficult it had been for him to grow up without a dad, and he didn’t want that for his own child. The experience changed him and he still counts his blessings everyday as an adult, knowing that he could have been far less lucky and ended up on a much different path in life.
Changing Your Environment
Sean believes that we are all a product of our environment. As a kid, he had no one to point him in the right direction, but having his own kid made him step up and change that. He says that having his daughter saved his life, as he would have continued on the same reckless path he was on before. He is grateful for his past as it has allowed him to become the person he is today, which includes being a great dad.
Some people don’t have the same wakeup call that Sean did, or don’t answer it. But anyone, at any point, can decide that they want to be different. “If you don’t like your environment, change it.” He believes that your mess is your message. People don’t always like to talk about their trauma or mistakes, but you never know how sharing your story might positively affect someone else. He hopes that listeners know that whatever their environment is, it doesn’t have to be their story. You can rewrite your story at any day if you take the action to.
Listen in to learn more about Sean’s experiences in the Job Corps, leadership and entrepreneurship, and his advice for parents tuning in.