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“You can get through anything”- Wise Words from Francis Wood

What’s your backstory?

California born Washington raised by my single mother who raised both my little brother and I. To say life was hard would be sugarcoating it. We faced a lot of adversity. 

We were dirt poor and forced to live a very different lifestyle from those around us.

Where at times basic comforts and necessities were not available. Food was not always abundant and life was stressful and difficult for us, especially my mother who took her anger out on us.  

She did all that she could for us but life was very difficult and being on her own with no help there was only so much she could do. At times she would be jobless, which led to us being homeless until she could find work. She wasn’t lazy though, worked multiple low paying jobs to support our household which barely left her anytime for herself to sleep and eat. That made it my responsibility to take care of my little brother while she was away. We would stay home alone for very long hours even as young adolescents as my mother could not afford a babysitter, the only supervision we ever had would have been from parents of friends. 

Eventually my brother and I would  be thrown into the foster care system. I was just 11 years old. This affected my life greatly. Being thrown into a system that was supposedly designed to take care of me and set me up for success, in fact did nothing but barely keep me alive and cause me to suffer more. I never knew kids in foster care had it so bad until I myself had to go through the process. This is what shaped my desire to want more, I was forced to live such a hard and miserable life that it made me realize the world was going to give me absolutely NOTHING and that I would have to be the one to help myself. At that moment I made a promise to myself that I would one day be successful and find happiness, I vowed to myself  that nothing would stop me from building the life that I desired. I knew there was a better life out there for me if I was just willing to put the work in.

I wanted out of my old life so bad. I was tired of being stereotyped being tied to labels.Tired of feeling less than due to things that were out of my control, tired of feeling like a loser,I hated being broke ,always in and out of jail for things I did and didn’t do. I was sick and tired of not having the simple things those around me had. I made a choice to work and make something of myself and prove to the world I wasn’t what it labeled me. I too was going to share the happiness that everyone around me and drop the anger I felt. I was determined to let nothing get in my way. I too would have my happy family. 

Which I did eventually find, but not because of the foster care system or my own doing. I was saved by my foster sister. She was my transporter who would take me and my brother from my group home to visits with my mother. Over the course of a couple years a couple times a week me and her would see each other and she would buy us Starbucks (which at the time was a pretty big deal for me because I never had treats) and we would just talk. I did not know this at the time but the state had labeled me as a “high risk” child and this is why I was denied a foster home and my brother was not. I eventually found a friend that had an aunt that was willing to take me in and she honest to god had a bed set up in a garage that was not insulated with a car inside, tools, and everything. Just one futon for me to sleep in. I ran away that same night.

They only cared about the paycheck and never cared about me or how I felt. My sister saw this treatment and knew how it made me feel so one day asked my social worker if I could join her on trip to an amusement park with her and her family. This was a huge conflict of interest but somehow due to who she was and who she knew she was able to pull if off. I did not know what she was actually doing was a compatibility check between me and them, I was having the time of my life and she was worried about saving me. She immediately told my social worker that she wanted to take me in and put in her application, she was denied. All the while this was going on without my knowing. So she continued to fight and told her mother to apply and take me in. She was the owner of the transportation company that my sister worked for and used this leverage with the state to get me accepted into her home although they did not agree.

I’ll always love them for what they did for me. They gave me a chance when nobody else wanted too. With them I was able to live a real life and enjoy my high school Years in the best way possible. I got to experience homecoming with a very good friend, went on vacations, gained more brothers and sisters than I could possibly count and I was even to help out foster children along the way getting heavily involved in my mother's business. I don’t think they’ll ever know exactly how they affected my life and how grateful I am although I tell them every time I see them. 

At 17 I was blessed with my daughter Allyssa Jade. My world changed forever, my life was no longer about me anymore but about something greater. Her. This was the final piece of the puzzle for me. Her birth ignited a passion in me so strong it literally forced me to go out and be the best person I could be day in and day out which led me to the beginning of the path that I am on now. I myself had nothing growing up, and now had brought a child into this world with nothing to offer her myself. I was not about to make the same mistakes my parents did with me. I was now responsible for a human life and determined to give her the life I never had. I wanted to give her the world and I knew that I couldn’t do it in my current situation. I would have to grow and adapt and evolve into someone worthy of being her father, which is what I set out to do

I looked at my life and started to make changes, I worked every hour I possibly could trying to climb the ranks and had enrolled myself in school to pursue a higher education at the same time. I had no choice but to throw my life on the fast track for success and prepare myself as much as possible for anything that might come my way. This course of action paid off because it allowed me to prepare myself for the opportunities that would come my way. 

Recently I have been working with  Influencer Press on our “Manufacturing Influencers” program. We are working with so many amazing clients right now. Helping them get the exposure they deserve,  I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else at the moment. I’m having so much fun building relationships and connecting with clients and being able to talk with them and hear about their journeys. You wouldn’t believe the incredible stories I get to hear, I consider myself very blessed to be able to work with these unbelievable individuals helping them reach their end goal. I really don’t think there is a better feeling in the world then connecting with like minded individuals and working together to achieve an end goal, It is a very rewarding feeling and doing it with someone else makes it all the better. 

I’ve come to fall in love with the process and now look forward to what tomorrow may bring. Everything truly has a way of working out if you are willing to put the work in and I thank God everyday for all the blessings I have in my life. Thank you again God. 

If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?

I would tell someone that working hard would be the number one thing to do. Without work ethic, you won't get very far. You need to really want it and you have to be ready to make sacrifices and be ready to prove to yourself that you want it. 

Hard work, always be the hardest working person in the room and remember no matter what struggles and tribulations you are going through,make sure to always work hard and stay focused on your end goal.

Trust the process and do not give up, even if those around you don’t see your vision because once you start to make it a reality they won’t have any other choice but to see it. 

Self awareness is also another important thing to keep in mind. It’s hard to do, but nobody is perfect and we all have something to gain by being honest with ourselves. By understanding one's strengths and weaknesses you are able to focus your energies on strengthening your weaknesses while utilizing your strengths to your advantage while doing so. It’s very important to continue to build and grow on one’s self. 

What are the most exciting projects you are working on now?

Oh man there’s so many to choose from! Right now the most exciting projects I’m working on would have to be the work that I’m doing with Manufacturing Influencers 

The biggest project I’m currently working on is Myself. I am working on improving myself and adding on to my abilities so that I am as prepared as possible for anything that may come my way. 

We also have a lot going on at Influencer Press that’s really keeping me and the whole team super busy. Very excited about all the plans we have and the improvements we have coming. 

I’m also constantly working and building my own brand which I have a lot of fun doing! I’m still figuring things out and evolving daily, but I’ve fallen in love with the process. I love connecting with people and sharing each other’s experiences and learning from one another. There is an amazing community of people out there in the world to connect with, all you have to do Is embrace them.

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