DETROIT, MI–Ryan Ekwonu was something of a gifted child. He wasn’t quite a savant or anything of that caliber, but Ryan’s general skill level ranged from solid to above average in virtually everything he tried his hand at. That included soccer, checkers, spelling, math, and cursive writing. From an early age, people understood that Ryan was on the fast track to a good life.
When Ryan graduated college with a very-solid 3.3 GPA, he had the world at his fingertips. He had a communications degree, internship experience, and a SoundCloud link he felt compelled to include on cover letters. Unfortunately, Ryan struggled out of the gate. He couldn’t land a job with any PR or advertising agencies, and his music career side hustle was progressing slowly. After several months of hopeless rejection, Ryan settled for call center job with a bank. It was just a temporary pit stop along the way to greatness.
Ryan has been working for the bank for twelve years now, and hates every second of it. He’s a shift lead these days, but Ryan can’t help but feel held back in life. When he hit his 10th anniversary with the company, he told himself he’d find a new job. Something more fulfilling. But then COVID-19 arrived, and suddenly Ryan had to be grateful he had any job at all, especially since they let him take the calls from home. So, plans to find a new job moved to the back burner.
With Ryan’s 35th birthday fast approaching, the trajectory of his adult life has been getting the better of his emotions. Earlier this week, while drinking with his best friend Ivan, Ryan shared a big thought. “What if I ran for president? I know I’m capable of it. The passion inside me just needs to be awakened. I’m like a volcano that seems dormant but is actually a lot closer to blowing than it gets credit for,” he reflected aloud. Ivan stayed silent, allowing Ryan’s big idea to run its course naturally. “I was on the honor roll multiple times. Like, every quarter of junior high. I was at least flirting with the honor roll. Remember I got that star reading award in eighth grade? I tested into that honors math track, too, even though I didn’t end up doing it. I could finally fix the economy. Am I crazy for thinking I might have a real shot at the White House? Even if I don’t win, it’ll at least draw more attention to my SoundCloud.”
By the next morning, Ryan’s big idea was already beginning to lose steam. At breakfast, he updated Ivan on his plan of action. “The big hurdle I see is campaign finances. I could always fire up a grassroots effort, but I’d probably have to suck up to billionaires just to even the playing field. I don’t wanna be a sellout.” In the end, Ryan concluded that he should make his fortune in the business world first, then run for president using his own wealth — the right way. “Plus, there’s no rush. I’m only 35.”