“I refuse to be a statistic of a society which has access to all the information we need to build a foundation of prosperity. I refuse to be another “coloured person” in jail with no legacy. I refuse to be branded a criminal with no education, no qualifications with nothing to give to give to the generation after me”.
My name is Channon Smith, I was homeless at the age of seventeen. I refused to be all of the above and made a critical decision towards the direction of where my life was heading, because there was only two paths; dead or in jail. After this sudden enlightenment and motivation, i decided to incorporate my own private limited company at the age of eighteen and obtain a business card from Barclays. I never studied business studies prior to this decision. How I obtained the knowledge to accomplish this? I stole books out my local library because I was too broke to afford any. In my hostel in Essex I learnt how to survive by cooking my own fresh food, with this self-taught experience this helped me to initially obtain my first job in a kitchen working, more than forty hours a week on £6.20. I worked twelve to thirteen hour shifts a day and on my breaks if i was lucky to get one I would read a financial investment book i stole from the library because I wanted to be a stockbroker. Another skill I learned at this time is “You are a product of your enviroment” Baring in mind I was eighteen but i was renting privately from a landlord, I wanted to be where the suits are,this made me move from Essex to Canada Water which is opposite Canary Wharf. In Canary Wharf I continued to work as a chef but it just wasnt for me I needed to work in an office, so after applying for hundreds of office jobs I finally got my shot to be a sales broker in Canary Wharf. What the company was selling to the public was not legitimate and they knew it, however the experience was worth more than the salary they paid you.
“You become an entrepreneur once you utilize all of your experience from life and from work and you transfer those skills into your own foundation”.
I thought I hit it big when I got the job as a stockbroker in London Liverpool Street. There was a test which every applicant had to complete which was subject to the financial markets and securities. I had no qualifications in finance however the employer told me I scored one of the highest on this test without being in university and having been self-taught, reading books whilst not studying, in a university because I believed what many millennials believe, “I don’t want to go university to pay a debt in which I am not guaranteed to get the job”. The contract was to be that I studied my CISI exams in which the company paid from and I got a salary of £20,000 plus commission and bonus at the age of twenty-one. Subsequently the CEO was not willing to pay for my studies and other successful applicants because others before me dropped out from the CISI exams which they paid for. I remember crying in so much pain because it wasnt even my fault for why I didn’t get the job.
Drinking only but my pride; I decided that I would need to put myself into debt in order to obtain an equivalent qualification to the CISI. I grew the balls to go university with the belief i could make something happen from nothing. I failed my first year of university plus I enrolled on the wrong course which was accounting&finance when i should have been studying banking&finance. Drinking even more pride, i began my first year again and studied the correct course and I barely got through to the second year. Second year of university I stopped drinking pride and I dedicated all my time into my studies and outside activities related to my course of study. I began to volunteer at a high school where minority of students were underperforming and lacked confidence and vision into what they wanted to be when they are older. I mentored two male students who had no ambition in their career prospects and didn’t like the teachers. What i learned from the students is that a lot of teachers stop letting children use their imagination. When i Let the children use their imagination to discuss what they really see themselves doing in the future they both knew. As a result, one wanted to be a forensic scientist and the other a basketball player. Taking this volunteering experience onboard I decided to use my imagination more, which then lead me to getting a MSC in Bloomberg Terminal which is a financial data analytical software used worldwide in financial instutions.As a result, of hard work, dedication and imagination I started receiving A’s for the first time ever in my work.
During the summer break I started working as a carer in south London Brixton, caring for the elderly, disabled and patients that suffered from multiple sclerosis. The important lesson I learned from working as a carer, is to appreciate what you have got not what you haven’t got. In addition, live everyday like its your last and don’t let your dreams die. For this reason, I started to attend Bloomberg University during the summer, which allowed me to learn the same curriculum as the interns; as a result I would be attending my university lectures plus Bloomberg conference events and seminars.
However trouble would soon knock on my door again, I became a squatter living in a three bedroom house by myself. Many times I had no electricity or gas so I would need to spend majority of my day at university including on the weekends. In essence I would have to wash in the sinks and ration my food each day. Important to note, I would attend Bloomberg events and this was my only means to receiving a proper meal because the food was free; besides being the poorest person in the building, I was absorbing as much information as possible like an infant or a sponge to be exact and this made me even more advance in my field of study. Conversely I was getting job opportunities worldwide from financial institutions yet not one was enough to get me out of the hell i was going through. The saying goes “If your going through hell keep going”. I continued to go through hell but there was only enough time before I would be homeless again just before Christmas. The day I became homeless again was around the same time I had the excess amount of coursework still to complete. I stayed at a hostel that night and the next night I had no money for the hostel so I spent the night on the streets. Waking up on a park bench I went to my university on a Saturday where i was dedicated to completing my essay. That same essay which I completed whilst being homeless was 5% away from an A.
Still refusing to quit I decided to apply for jobs in the United States. I applied for approximately twenty jobs and I started receiving interviews shortly after for finance roles in New Jersey and more; everything changed one night when I checked my email and I received a job opportunity from a CEO for a financial institution in Wall Street New York. The CEO gave me his direct number and that was the first time I cried in happiness, I rang him every single day including the weekend. He finally picked up and told me he wanted to know who the person was calling him that much, he was impressed because it showed him I was dedicated enough for the job role of being a stockbroker. At this present time, I am in the process of booking my flight to New York to visit the CEO and obtain my green card (VISA) to work in the states.
In conclusion, this blog was written to introduce my book, “The Wolf Of Brixton” Which i hope to complete once I have relocated to the United States. This is a quick summary of the trials and tribulations I had to go through just to get the chance to change my life around and I hope the reader can take into consideration that this blog is not to show off my success but inspire you to chase your own dreams.
Passion Prevails Over Problems
The Wolf Of Brixton