Another Janitor Becomes A HUGE Success! He dropped out of college in 1979 to help his mother raise his four siblings. The amazing story of how he went from janitor… to teacher… to principal!

21 May

Not too long ago we told you about how Richard Montanez went from mopping the floors to calling the shots as the Executive Vice President of PepsiCo of North America. Now, here’s is another incredible success story involving a janitor.
His name is Joseph “Gabe” Sonnier and his story starts with very humble beginnings. Sonnier was attending Southern University but decided to drop out and get a job as a janitor to help his mother, a housekeeper, financially support his four siblings.
As you know, time flies. Before he knew it, he was 39 and still a janitor at Port Barre Elementary School. That’s when the school’s Principal pulled Sonnier aside and told him he should be grading papers instead of picking them up off the ground.
That’s when Sonnier decided to finish his education. “I would come to work at like five in the morning and leave at seven, go to school all day, and then come back and finish up my eight hours of work here, and then go home and do homework,” said Sonnier.
He earned his Bachelor’s Degree, and in 2008, he went from janitor to teacher at Port Barre Elementary. He later earned a Master’s Degree in Education through Arkansas State University. Last November, he was promoted to Principal of Port Barre Elementary.
His incredible journey has several very important life lessons for anyone and everyone, especially if you are unhappy and your life is not where you would like it to be right now.
Sonnier is known for saying, “Don’t let your situation that you’re in now define what you’re going to become later. I always tell them it’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.”
After reading this, one thing is abundantly clear: It has nothing to do with being a janitor and everything to do with what these two janitors, Mr. Sonnier and Mr. Montanez, thought.
Neither one of these guys has any “special inborn skill.” They are not dramatically smarter, or better looking, or luckier than anyone else. What they ARE is super ACCURATE THINKERS.
They both fully understand that hard work beats talent when talent does not work. Sure, some people are born gifted and if they work hard, then they will probably come out ahead of those who are not as naturally capable. But we do not live in a vacuum, and many gifted people simply do not work hard. That makes it easy for hard-workers to blow right by them.
Accurate thinkers understand that there is plenty of opportunity out there. They do not falsely believe that they are condemned to a life of struggling and lack of success simply because there is no other way. They know there is another way simply because so many other people… just like them… have done it already, and are doing it every day.
They clearly understand that it takes HARD WORK to succeed. Nothing worth anything comes easy. Most people simply do not want to put in effort. Sonnier was up a 5 a.m. every day and worked until late at night. He did this for years and years to reach his goal. How many others are willing to make this kind of sacrifice? Are you? Only you know the answer to that question.

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One Response to “Another Janitor Becomes A HUGE Success! He dropped out of college in 1979 to help his mother raise his four siblings. The amazing story of how he went from janitor… to teacher… to principal!”

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