Each of us has the potential to achieve greatness through our adversity and challenges. We can achieve prosperity and abundance by persistence and dedication to making the right choice.
I grew up in the small town of Mapleton, Utah. I was the oldest of 10 children in a loving Christian home with good parents. My father had a Ph.D. in recreation leadership and my mother was a stay at home mom.
My father would save 30% of his income for their retirement, which left little to my mother on raising us, children. Often we didn't have a lot of the fancier material goods in life. There were many times I remember not having nice clothes, only hand-me-downs. For Christmas, our parents got us secondhand gifts to save money. My parents' financial decisions and hardships helped me learn about the financial battles I would encounter in life.
As a child in grade school, I struggled with reading and had to be pulled out of class to work with a special education teacher to learn how to read. It was quite embarrassing and didn’t help with my confidence. My father worked and my mother had to care for my younger siblings, so I wasn't able to get the one-on-one reading help I needed at home.
Not being able to read was quite challenging and I was many levels behind my peers in school, in addition to this, I had school teachers tell me I was stupid and could not learn.
At such a young age, it was difficult to ignore the doubt and negativity. I kept studying and practicing, determined to learn. By the time I was in 7th grade I had surpassed most of my peers in school, reading at a 12th-grade level.
I learned early on my love of travel while living on my own in Hawaii for 4 months when I was 16. From then on traveling has been a major role and influence in my life. At 19, I volunteered and served in the Philippines and lived on my own for 26 months in Manilla, learning a new culture and people.
After returning to the States I was out shopping for clothes and the store manager came up and said; “I think you would be great at working in management”. I soon after got promoted to management at a men's retail store while attending college for business management. I advanced quickly and moved on to higher management positions, overseeing employees who were in their 40s and 50s, while I was in my 20s. This management experience taught me the importance of understanding leadership and people.
During this time I was traveling quite often and was eating whatever I wanted. I really didn't know about fitness and health and my lifestyle consisted of chicken fried steak and eating donuts.
At that point, I no longer had the energy to live the life I wanted. I would wake in the morning feeling unrested. I was tired and sluggish and realized I had an unhealthy lifestyle. I would play basketball once or twice a week, but even that left me feeling sore the next day, I could barely get out of bed and walk. I got sick often and I finally reached the point where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired with my health. I decided it was time to change.
While staying at a hotel one night I took off my shirt and looked at myself in the mirror and reflected on how I had mistreated and abused my body. That night I decided it was time for me to get in the best shape of my life. I attempted to do sit-ups and push-ups. I was only able to do 15 push-ups and 23 sit-ups. This weakness led me to study health and fitness to get my body in peak physical condition. With constant work and dedication, years later I ended up being able to do 1000 push-ups and 350 pull ups and achieving a major transformation of my body.
During this period of my life, I was happily married and had 4 beautiful children. I thought everything was perfect. I lived in a high-income area, I was working a high executive position, managing a large territory worth $180 million in sales with close to 100 managers and 1000+ employees working for me.
During this period of my life, I was constantly learning and striving to become better. This ignited my appetite for education and learning. From that point on I bought books on leadership and attended seminars on time management and planning. I looked for every opportunity to learn about the stock market, real estate, and any type of self-development that would improve my life. I was constantly learning and I had a voracious appetite for self-development.
I started investing in real estate, purchasing property every year and building my net worth. I was building a small empire of 26 rental properties throughout the United States. After taking the time to learn about the stock market, I began to invest and get into the stock market, I was doing covered calls and selling puts and calls, I was flipping stocks, day trading, long term holding, and dividend reinvesting.
I was fortunate to have beautiful kids and they were becoming successful young adults, I was coaching them in basketball and other sports. And I volunteered each week in my community.
Suddenly my perfect life took a huge turn. My wife told me she felt it was better for her to go out on her own and find her self-purpose, leaving me with 4 young kids to raise on my own. I soon became a single father with the responsibility of caring for my children. Due to the fact they were so young, I relocated back to Utah from Texas to have the support of my parents. Soon after, the real estate market crashed as well as the stock market. I went from having 26 properties to a handful, If that wasn't enough, I broke my wrist from snowboarding a few months later. And then I got the shocking news I had cancer.
I realized that regardless of my challenges that I had a choice on how I respond to them.
I started to make viewpoints on life and what a world class life meant to me. I began sharing these views on social media, leading to the buildup of a large following on different media platforms. This led to the creation of the concept of "Empowering you to a World Class Life" and also helping other single fathers transform themselves into who they truly want to become, in all areas of their lives, hence creating the program now known as "Fathers on Fire".
As I started to increase my wealth and really get on top of things the most challenging of all occurred, I lost my youngest son in a car accident. It was the most devastating thing to ever happen to me. I had never felt such pain and I realized the brevity of life.
I decided rather than be depressed and withdrawn inside that I would continue to share my thoughts and seek to empower others to enjoy life regardless of the challenges we face.
I realized that we must share our gifts and talents with others while we can and that we need to make sure that we know what our mission is in life and what our purpose is on earth.
Each of us is unique and has lasting gifts and value. We must leave a lasting contribution to our families, communities and the world.
We need to cherish all the small moments we have with the people we love, the sunsets we watch, every second that we breathe, because that allows us to stay empowered and connected with the universe.
These tragic events started me on a new mission in life. I have read thousands of books, attended thousands of lectures and studies, accumulated 10,000 hours in different areas that I could take my life to world class Financially, Spiritually, Physically, Mentally and in my Relationships.
I also wanted to share my message with people in order to help them transform their lives. I wanted to help them achieve a world class life and teach them that we all have the potential to rise above and be God-like within our lives.
I have had a lot of challenges in my life, and a lot of successes. I overcame educational struggles to develop a love for learning. I have been a full-time father to my beautiful children after my wife left me. I experienced what it was to struggle financially and having to sell my VCR to pay for rent. I lost my youngest son and battled cancer. There were many challenging times but these challenges led me to want to transform myself and achieve greatness.
I can only be grateful for that because overall, my life has been marvelous. I have raised 4 beautiful children, I have traveled to many different countries, made millions of dollars with my businesses, real estate, and the stock market.
I have climbed and viewed the splendor of Alps, I have walked on burning hot coals 2,000-degree Fahrenheit.
I almost lost my life while watching a friend lose theirs. I have spent more on self-development than most pay for a Yale Education.
I have seen the magnificence sculptures of Michelangelo to the most breath taking sunsets of the Caribbean.
I have dined with the wealthy and cried with the homeless. I have eaten and stayed at some of the finest hotels in the world.
I was a judge for Miss Utah and I’m on the board of a major University.
I have dated women voted in the top 10 beautiful women in the world to the cover of Vogue Magazine.
I got a kiss from Jenny McCartney… (I guess every guy has, never mind).
I’ve prayed so hard that I felt if I opened my eyes God would have been there crying with me.
I traveled the USA with my boys who taught me more about life than I have taught them.
I have met the most amazing people and created friendships that will last a lifetime. I have swam with the sharks in the Pacific to fly fishing in Alaska.
I once saved the life of a homeless person who was dying.
I have come to realize that it’s the memories with loved ones and warm breezes that you will remember.
The older I get the more I don’t know.
People come into your life at the perfect time, then they leave after you have learned from them.
Thanks to all of those who have made my road, a less traveled one!
My Journey has just begun…
Without change, we never stretch ourselves to our limits and beyond. We never reach our full potential.