After writing a book titled Get Back Up: From the Streets to Microsoft Suites, I was given the opportunity to pen several byline articles and blogs. There’s a common thread in everything I write, and it is that you are in charge of your own destiny. That is, in spite of what you’re being told by politicians on both sides of the aisle lately, you are not a victim, and while it certainly can be difficult, you can still achieve the American dream.

Surprisingly, I’ve gotten a lot of pushback on that statement. A number of people have said that the deck is stacked against them and that the system is rigged. Some of them believe that wealth will continue to go to the top 1% and that the rest of us are screwed. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe this for a second. In fact, when people ask me what I do now that I’ve retired from Microsoft, I tell them I help people recognize and break down the self-imposed barriers to their success.

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