Man on a mission…
Throughout my whole life or ever since I can remember, I’ve always been willing to lend a hand to help someone, anyone. My mom always said “do on to others as you’d have done on to yourself Thomas.” Being of help to someone, made it an easy choice and a gratifying at that. When I look back, I recognize , my mother was the same way. They always say, you don’t fall to far from the tree. My father, on the other hand, left when I was young and was never apart of my life. My mom did the best that she could. Raising 4 kids on her own. She loved me and did everything she could for me, That she knew how.
School was an extremely tough time for me. I failed everything. I learned then, what it meant to being failure. I was called what no one wanted to be called “A fucking idiot”(yes this are the words I heard) the worst words that I can remember. The words that hurt the most. Hearing it so much, it became my reality. I was held back in first grade. Having all of my friends move to the second grade including my best friend. It was so hard on me and the worst first day of school ever. It increased my belief of what people were saying about me. I was put into special education which continued my reality. I remember feeling horrible and alone. The only one I had was my mom. I was in special education from the 1st grade all the way to 10th grade. No one in my life took a second glance to analyze what I was going through. I became the funny kid, just so I could be seen as something other than dumb. I was very insecure and disliked myself. Sometimes thinking it was time to end my life, Knowing it was a possible. Always wishing I could be someone else other then me. But nevertheless, it’s easy to except what everyone around discribes you as. I began to tell people that I was stupid. I ended up dropping out of school because a teacher told me to “stop wasting time, dropout, and get a job at a shoe factory.” There was a shoe factory down the steet from the school. He did this infront of the entire class. This really made me feel dumb and now not wanting to be there anymore. Totally embarrassed because I felt hated and stupid. That was definitely a day that I hated being me. Crying was what sometimes put me to sleep.
It’s been such a long road to get where I am now. This story isnt for anyone to feel bad for me. It wasn’t your fault. This story is just the real deal Tommy fuckin Barnes! Definitely not a fucking idiot. My middle name is Frank BTW. It has been a lot of work and perseverance over society’s rules, judgements and labels to get up. “The only way to feel and understand the pain of a homeless person is to had felt the experience for your self, and I have been homeless.” To find the love for myself and to realize that “someones opinion of me does not have to be my reality.” My girlfriend of 10 whole years helped me so much. She believed in me and gave me opportunity to see my potential. An average IQ is around 85 to 115. I was tested to be 136. 140 being the Mind of a genius. Einstein was known to have an IQ of 160. So I know I’m not dumb and I know I’m not a genius. So my ideas, are very simple.
To believe in yourself when know one else does, is the hardest thing to over come. Its an on going battle as the world around us is always willing to put you down. I don’t wish my past on anyone, but I definitely appreciate all that l’ve been through. The saying “what doesn’t kill ya, makes you stronger” is 100% correct and absolutely true. I know more about how this world works because of it. Coming from where I have has taught me so much appreciation. I wouldn’t be where I am today, or even believe that I could somehow come up with an idea to end the need for clean water, if I had have been down this road. I have no regrets and I appreciate everyone that has been apart of my growth as a person. Even the ones that hurt me.
I’ve been homeless, without a place to go. Sleeping on the hotel room floors for 5 bucks to also starting a company where in the first 8 months I generated over $1.3 million. I was offered 7 pizza franchises to start, and turning it down 9 years ago to get into the coffee industry because I saw it as an opportunity to be apart of the community like no other business had, and saw it was basically recession-proof. Because in 2009 everything was closing. But coffee lines still existed.
I began my journey in 2010 working working at a coffee shop in Berkeley California for free for two months. I had know idea what it would be like to work at a coffee shop. So, as good of an idea as it was….l need the experience to know what my life was gonna be like. I then can home to Boston. To a place I love more them any other place in the world I have been. And I’ve been to about 15 different country’s. I got a job at Starbucks. The world’s leader in coffee retail business. With over 28,000 locations world wide. Doing over 15 billion on an annual basis. This was an education I was gonna need. The one I worked at, was the regions second to worst rated Starbucks out of 93 stores.