My Story – I Never Let My Dream Die!
I got my start with online marketing at the end of 2002 beginning of 2003, this is when I first dived into trying to make money online. I was literally bankrupt and living in section 8 housing with my wife and 3 sons. (We will get back to this in a bit)
This is where we were actually living.
What Did You Want To be When You Were All Grown Up?
Some people have a dream of being a doctor, teacher or a fireman, I did not know what I wanted to be when I was all grown up. In school this is all you’re taught as a kid, go get an education so you can go get a good job..But none of those jobs interested me..All I knew was, I did not want to work for someone else for 40 years.
As a young kid, watching adults, that rut of going home to work, home to work, never seemed intriguing to me..
Ever since I was a teenager I daydreamed about owning a business, I used to buy those biz opp magazines that were dedicated to franchises and business opportunities you could get into.
I can remember flipping through those magazine pages with excitement and anticipation, wanting so bad to find some business I could get into. I had no money though, so at the time it was just a pipe dream to me, one that was way out of reach, and I knew nothing about starting a business anyways.
My last few years of high school were very confusing for me, because while everyone else was thinking about going to college and their career, I was thinking about how to avoid those things.
I did not want to be a fireman, a lawyer, teacher or a doctor, etc. I skipped career days. I had no vision in my head of going to college so I could get a job and work for someone else. I had no plans after graduating high school. School never taught the option of “how to go into business for yourself after high school”. Seemed like to me most other kids knew what they wanted to be when they were all grown up..
I Had No Focus.
So I felt like a failure in that aspect, before I really even got started. I really struggled with low self esteem in regards to my peers and working for someone else. Because it just did not jive with me, I had no motivation to do it.
Having no focus on the future, I became a pretty wild teenager, and partied a lot, I basically thought about two things, partying and women, that was about it.
Me as a teenager.
Almost straight out of high school, I ended up getting my girlfriend at the time pregnant. I had my first child at 18 years old.
I Went Into The Air Force.
So I got married and went into the Air Force, thinking it would be the right thing to do.
I absolutely hated it, being told what to do 24/7. When to eat, when to sleep, when to go to the bathroom..Hurry up and wait..Toe to heel..
Thankfully I ended up getting a medical discharge. I had amnesia once when I was 13 years old, I had got hit in the back of the head. Back then they never did a CT scan or MRI of my head, all they did was take my blood and X-rays because they did not really know what was wrong with me.
My parents and the doctors thought I was on drugs because I was acting so weird and did not know who I was. We live in a very small town and I do not think amnesia is all too common for someone at 13, and no one even knew I got hit in the head, because I could not tell them.
So while in the Air Force, I ended up getting Peroneal tendinitis from marching and had to go see the doctor.
When he looked through my medical records he looked very perplexed and studied them for quite a while. Then he looked up at me and said, “You’re not supposed to be here. I see you had amnesia once in your life, and 10 years has to pass after having amnesia, before you can enter the military” (and something to do potential seizures with me not being properly checked out).
“So I am going to have to recommend you get discharged.”
I was like what?
“Yep you will be going home in about two weeks.”
Inside I was smiling and happy, but I did not dare show that..
So two weeks later, I went home.
My Work Struggles, Divorce And Being Introduced To Amway.
After getting home I really struggled my first couple full working years, I kept starting and quitting jobs.
I also got divorced, and realized I had married for all the wrong reasons.
By the time I was 21, I was married again and living in a small apartment. I was also working as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
This is about the time I got exposed to the Amway opportunity.
One of my good friends at the time, kinda tricked me into going to an Amway presentation at another one of my friends house. He said I did not have to pay attention and we could drink beer the whole time.
Did you say beer? I am in!
So I went to the meeting with no intention of getting in Amway, it was just another beer drinking party to me.
But when that guy started drawing the Amway business plan on his small whiteboard, and talked about business ownership my brain lit up like a Christmas tree, and no it was not from the beer..lol
He had awoken my own dream of being a business owner. It made me feel hopeful for the future again..I was excited to say the least!
The next day, that guy who gave the presentation came over to my apartment and explained the business plan to my wife, and then immediately afterward we paid for our start up kit and signed up as independent Amway distributors..Now we were both super excited!
We remained active Amway distributors for the next five and a half years. My second son was born during this time.
I learned a lot during those years, as I had attended numerous sales and marketing seminars and was taught by some of the most elite sales and marketing professionals in the world. This is what truly started my business marketing journey and formed my whole understanding of what being financially free could be like..
I wanted to be an Amway Diamond so bad I could taste it!! Diamond was the level that most signified financial freedom in the Amway organization..
Now we never did make it to the Diamond Level. We ended up selling our Amway direct distributorship to our upline sponsor.
All of that financial education I learned in those five and a half years from attending all those sales and marketing seminars, I was not putting into practical use in my own life and I had worked myself into a mound of debt, and I did not see any other way out..
So we got out, we were $60,000.00 in the hole with credit cards by the time we got out and owed my upline sponsor over $18,000.00.
I had been floating my Amway business & personal expenses and it tumbled out of control. I also tried to build my Amway business working only part time for most of the 5 and a half years. (All my fault)
Now I may have quit Amway, but I did not let my dream of business ownership and financial freedom die..
Getting Out Of Debt.
I knew I would have to do a round about to get back on that path of financial freedom, but first I had to get us out of debt fast.
At the same time the house we were renting got sold, so we had only thirty days to move.
While I was looking for a new place to rent, I came across an ad, a property management company was looking for a couple to manage one of their apartment complexes and live on site.
We had done property management a few years before while we were in Amway.
So we applied and got the position, but there was a 2 months lag time before we could move in and take over.
We actually had to stay with my mom and dad for a few months, and had nowhere else to go.
By this time my third son was just being born, so the 5 of us slept in my parents basement until we could take our property management position and move in.
I also went out and got two more jobs and in 8 months time we were completely debt free.
Eventually I hooked up with a vending company and became a subcontractor for them. I was back in my own business and got rid of the other two jobs.
Shortly after starting the subcontracting gig, we decided it was time to buy a house.
We ended up buying a house in the country with 40 acres.
Over the next few years life was very good!
So I decided it was time to move on to bigger and better things!
I formed a partnership with one of my very dear friends, and we opened a retail store together in the town we grew up in..
Once the store was set up and running and doing well, we decided to open up a second store in our mall..(BIG MISTAKE)
Long story short, a couple years later our local economy went straight in the toilet, and wiped us out, bankrupt..
The mall store is what destroyed us, super high rent, and the anchor store of the mall moved out, then 911 happened and retail stopped dead in its tracks..
Our mall became a barren wasteland.
Had we not opened that second store we would have made it through.
We Were Bankrupt!
Yep in 2002 went completely bankrupt, and lost EVERYTHING, I didn’t have a pot to piss in!
I lost my retail businesses, my house, the repo man took my vehicles, well I hid them for a while..lol. Actually that vehicle broke down, and then I told them where to find it. I did not have the money to tow it home.
Lost everything even eventually my wife, (well ex-wife now) she couldn’t take the poverty.
The economy here where I live absolutely tanked!
We were homeless again!
Unemployment was so high here at that time, all section 8 units were full..So a friend of ours who was also living in one of those units, let us live in her basement.
Eventually one opened up for us, but we did get busted living in my friends unit, and almost got her kicked out…Also one of our electrical cords we had connected to a heater to keep us warm had melted and almost started a fire in her unit.
But all of it was a “Blessing in Disguise” keep reading you will see why..
Let me explain… In the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003 I found online marketing..
I was not an immediate success let me tell you..For 2 and a half years I made absolutely nothing!
I used to sit at my computer and cry late at night when everyone was sleeping..
I was spending 10 hours a day on my computer, I literally wanted to smash the damn thing into itty bitty pieces!
We were living in complete poverty, and the economy here was so bad, the only job I could find was 7.40 an hour.
So I was working 50 hours a week at my job, and another 50 plus online trying to make money..
This is when my now ex-wife laughed at me for even doing this online marketing stuff, she thought it was a big scam and I was wasting my time..
This is one of the greatest moments in my life, because it changed everything..
I made a decision, I vowed I would prove her wrong no matter what, I was tired of feeling like a failure! My life was filled with these ups and downs..I was tired of it..I was not learning from my mistakes, I kept repeating them..
I would be successful, and I would have the last laugh!
By 2005 I got divorced, my Ex-wife couldn’t take the poverty..(Marriage number 2 down the drain!)
Funny thing is, in our divorce decree she tried to have me put in there that if I was ever successful with this online marketing stuff, she would get part of the money… HAHAHAHAHAHA! NOT! That pissed me off even more..
I was even more determined now..
Needless to say, that never got put in our divorce decree because I would not sign the papers with it in there..
Things Started To Change.
Soon after my divorce was finished, I had found a system and made my first $1000 in commissions paid to me from online marketing, and boy oh boy did I bawl!
I cried my eyes out..It was the sweetest moment ever!
All that previous pain of the past was lifted, I knew at that moment it was going to be okay!
Then In December of 2006 I got married to my soul mate, who has believed in me wholeheartedly from day 1.(Yep, Marriage Number 3) You know what they say “Third Time Is The Charm”.
Picture of me and my wife April on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Shortly after we got married, I had my first $10,000.00 day with my online marketing..
That too was a hallelujah moment!! A Holy sh*t!
I truly understand how people feel because I have been through it all, there are details I left out, had to, otherwise this would be a book and not just a post..lol
Maybe someday I will write one, there is some other really painful stuff, I am not ready to share yet what happened through all of this progression of events in my life..
The important thing is I made it through it, life has become amazing for me and my family, because I never lost sight of where I wanted my life to go, and I never gave up..
Online marketing has been truly one of the most important gifts I have ever received in my life..
This is when I got my thought process right, and actually started applying all those marketing and financial lessons I learned while I was in Amway.
I started saving and investing some of my money, and I kept working a full time job while building my online business..
The life me and my family live now because of it, is like I said absolutely amazing!! I would not trade it for anything.
The things we are able to do are priceless.. The Dream is alive and well!!
Now I know everyone is different, but I never wanted to work 40 years for a company, and hopefully be in good health still when I finally retire, and look forward to budgeting out my remaining years according to a pension and social security..
Now some people are okay with that, but I wasn’t. I was always a big dreamer, someone who just was not satisfied with the status quo.. I wanted financial independence!
Over the years, there is one understanding, I have learned oh to well..
That you can be broke at any level of income, if you spend all of your money..
This is one of the things the last 15 years, I have worked the hardest on accomplishing, saving and investing more money than I spend, because true wealth is learning how to be in control of money, and not having it control us..
That feeling of living paycheck to paycheck, and always running out of money, before you run out of month..That is why, I never settled for the status quo..It is no fun, when something costly breaks down, or has to be replaced, and you have to beg, borrow or plead for help to get it done..
This is the one pursuit in this journey I have taken that was instilled in me over 29 years ago when I joined Amway, the pursuit of financial independence.
I never let that dream die, no matter how many u-turns over the years I had to take..
One way or another I was going to get there!
I am now 50 years old, and have not worked for anyone else since I was 39, the last 11 years I have been free!
I have always been a very passionate caring person who fights deeply for his family’s happiness and success.
I never give up!
One of my biggest thrills in life now comes from seeing others triumph over challenges..
These stories are so powerful and move people to do great things.
I tell my story today, in hopes I will move others to never give up on their dreams and goals..
Life’s too short not to give it all you got!
I want to take a moment and thank you for being here.
If you made it this far, I appreciate the time you took to read this and deeply value every relationship and connection I make from my website.
I’m here for you as both an online marketer and as a friend.
I try to respond to every email and comment, I want to hear your story – both the good and the bad.
I hope that the story of your life brings you love, freedom, and happiness.
If you have any comments or questions, don’t hesitate to send them to me or just say hello:)
“You Can Either Be In The Parade Of Life Or Watch It Go By”
Your Friend & Marketing Partner
Me having a blast partying in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
Me and my three sons. Ricky, Josh, And John, love them dearly!