Friday, October 30, 2009

I did it tough

Every day as part of my job I read and relate the biographies of our, and other, seminar speakers. Almost without exception, they are "I had to pull myself up by the bootstraps" stories - and they ALL believe this is what makes them so different.
Here's a quick selection - starting with the King - Anthony Robbins... (the longer the story, the better - ie: the more outrageous)

Anthony Robbins was born in a leap year, February 29, 1960 and raised in a low-income suburb of Los Angeles before being kicked out of his house at the age of seventeen for being "too intense." Distracted by his early success Tony soon lost his direction in life. Struggling to pay his bills, overweight and alone, he decided it was time for action, and made a personal commitment to change his life forever. (Yadda yadda - we know how that goes...)

Jamie McIntyre – 21st Century Academy:

“Here I went from sleeping on a mate’s couch, $150,000 in personal debt, no job, no income, no assets, not even $20 left in my wallet, virtually bankrupt, to becoming a self-made millionaire in a little under four years, and creating an extraordinary quality of life for myself and others.”

Dymphna Boholt – Author of Confessions of a Real Estate Millionaire
In 1994, Dymphna found herself 'starting over' after a divorce left her with very little money, pregnant and a toddler to support on her own. Keen to move away from the constraints of being a solo mum who was working full time, she decided to try her hand at real estate investment.

Stephen Pierce – Unleash Your Marketing Genius etc: (a doozy)

“Not too long ago, I was probably far worse than you are right now. It seemed as though I was voted by life to be the one least likely to succeed... at anything! Running the mean streets of Washington, D.C., I quickly exhausted the patience of every major institution that tried to help get me on the right track.

"Heck, even the high school I attended felt I was a lost cause, and decided it was in the best interest of the other students and staff if I just disappeared during my tenth grade year.

"You would naturally think that a few swift kicks up the side of the head like that would have gotten my attention... But it wasn't until I eventually got shot in the leg, declared bankruptcy several times, and finally went homeless that I decided – enough was enough.

"I still carry the bullet in my leg to show for it. (The hospital turned me away because I had no health insurance!)

"That was yesterday.

"Today, because of that decision... My family and I run a huge number of highly successful offline and online businesses that generate millions of dollars each and every year ... and that's not even mentioning the countless numbers of people we've taught how to emulate our success at our sold-out workshops across the USA and around the world.”

Matt Morris - The Unemployed Millionaire

At just eighteen years old, Matt Morris entered into his first entrepreneurial venture. At twenty, he dropped out of college to pursue business full-time. At twenty-one, he was homeless, $30,000 in debt, living out of his beat up Honda Civic and bathing in gas station bathrooms. It was then that he made a life-changing decision to re-invent himself and his career. (Yawn)

Bill Bartmann is the ultimate underdog/survivor/achiever, overcoming personal circumstances and tragedy to rise to the top enterprise in America. Homeless at age 14, a member of a street gang and a high-school dropout - Bill took control of his life by taking the GED exam and putting himself through college and law school.

Carly Crutchfield started life a little differently and the result is most definitely not the norm. After leaving school at the age of 12 she got straight into the workforce, after many jobs (cleaner, waitress and receptionist amongst them) she started to get an itch that there must be more to living than the 9-5 routine. She found a book at her father’s house, read it cover to cover and was introduced to the world of property.

Dr John Tickell

As a student, John Tickell worked hard to pay his own way through Medical School, driving delivery trucks and diving for golf balls in the river by the local public course and playing guitar and singing in Clubs.

Jay Kubassek - “CEO – CarbonCopyPro”:

"I was broke, burned out, frustrated, and at the end of my rope. Do you know what a "dog run" is? That's what my life was.

"I was on a leash that let me leave the house at 7 every morning, go as far as work, and return home tired and exhausted. A life of "getting by". Making just enough to pay my bills to meet the basic needs of existence.

"I was working 50-60 hours a week and was close to burnout. My weekends were spent dreading Monday... And I was doing this all for a meager $50- $70k a year! That works out to around $21 bucks an hour." (Boo hoo)

(But I've saved my favourite for last...)

Joseph McClendon III – one of several claiming to be "Tony Robbins’ Head Trainer":

Just before his 19th birthday, Joseph McClendon III was homeless and hungry, possessing nothing but the clothes on his back and just enough gas money to ride his 1937 Harley Davidson motorcycle to see his mother in Ridgecrest, California.

“I was close to suicidal on the way home from visiting her,” recalls Joseph. “She asked me if I was doing okay, and I lied to her. The only thing that kept me from running head on into somebody with my motorcycle was the fact I thought that I would hurt them, but I considered it.”

Thinking that things couldn’t get any worse, a retread from a truck in front of him blew out and flew into him, forcing Joseph to take a tumble into the desert. Scarred and in pain, he pushed his bike the remaining 10 miles back to his cardboard shack in Lancaster. Like a protagonist in a hard-luck movie moment, he was soon soaked in pouring rain.

Yelling and screaming to no one in particular, Joseph swore that everything was going to be different. The one true defining moment of his life occurred the next morning on his 19th birthday. He pushed the bike to a local garage and begged the mechanic to fix it in return for cleaning the shop. The mechanic said no, but Joseph was persistent.

Finally, the mechanic agreed to fix the bike, gave Joseph some clothes, and made what would be an unusual request even in that situation. The mechanic would not start working on the bike until Joseph read a book, that day, cover to cover. It was Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’.

So... inspired?

Almost makes you want to chuck it all in and live life on the skids for a while so you have a chance of making it in this world...

UPDATE: [They just keep coming...]

Andy Harrington - "One of the leading authorities in the UK on the psychology of success"

"At Age 27 I Was Flat Broke, Lonely, And Heavily Addicted To Class 'A' DrugsI had no compelling future and my life was slowly going nowhere.But one day I had a MASSIVE wake-up call. I took a look at the no-hopers I'd been hanging out with and realised the horrifying truth...I had become one of them!"In that moment, something shifted inside of me. I got angry and furious that I'd sank to such a low. I vowed to immediately do something about it."The first thing I did was cut ALL contact with this peer group. I knew deep down I needed to get around successful people so I could find out what they were doing differently, and then do the same.It became a new addiction to replace the old disempowering one!I read every self-development book I could get his hands on to feed my mind with positivity. But funnily enough, it was just one simple statement that changed my life... 'If you want to be rich, copy a rich bloke' "

Tom Hua - "Internet Marketing Pioneer"

Tom immigrated to Australia with only $300 Australia dollars. After sleeping on newspapers in a tiny apartment for months, he stumbled across Internet marketing and quickly grasped its secrets to become one of the first self-made Internet millionaires.

John Lee - Wealth Dragons

John has not always had life easy. He came from very humble beginnings where he used to wash dishes 10 hours a day in his parents' Chinese takeaway in Manchester. It was only when he sold his car to fund his property education where his life took a turn.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I completely agree. Why would we want to favour advice from someone who admitted to making such an utter failure of things in the past?
    Why aren't there any speakers on the circuit who can tell us how they "just got a bright idea, researched it properly, started small and steadily got bigger" instead of hearing how they were all homeless, bankrupt and up shit creek first...
    I'd like to know the story of how someone took a simple, established idea, like a sandwich bar or a coffee shop, and somehow managed to remodel the idea into a worldwide success, like Starbucks, for example.
    This might inspire anyone with a 'small idea' to realise that it could be turned a 'big idea' with the right moves...