I consider myself incredibly fortunate.
Born and raised 30 miles west of Chicago in the suburb of Glendale Heights, my upbringing was simple.
I had everything I needed. Loving parents who gave me everything they could. Food on the table every night. A warm bed to sleep in and a roof over my head.
I was a pretty normal kid. Had video games. Played soccer. Rode bikes with friends.
My mom was a nurse and my dad a project manager. I owe everything to them. They showed me the importance of hard work and family at a young age. They got me into soccer to feed my competitive nature.
Another huge impact was my Grandfather who was a navy man in World War 2. He was like a super hero to me. Fearless.
My grandfather used to tuck a lit cigar into his mouth and dive to the bottom of the lake and come up with a armful of seaweed and covered in leeches. Then he would burn them off with his lit cigar. The last part was told to me by family so I don’t know if that is an embellishment or not.
Having hard work, competition, and a sense of fearlessness programmed into me since birth was the perfect combination. I was a wild one. Hard to tame. And I caught the entrepreneurial bug early.
We always had some sort of hustle going on.
In grade school I would sell pencils with the sports teams on them to my classmates for 25 cents a pop.
I dabbled in cutting grass. Making lemonade. And even picking golf balls out of the swamps and selling them to the golfers.
I went to college not because I had a plan, but because that was the thing to do.
I liked money, so I choose a BA in Finance at Western Illinois University. I wasn’t the model student, but it held my attention enough to keep me going to class and get passing grades.
Like most, it was the social aspect of college I enjoyed most. It got me out of my shell. I had freedom and met all sorts of interesting people and got in my fair share of trouble.
But, I made it out alive and with my degree in hand I took a job in a bank and quickly realized this was all wrong.
My health was a train wreck, I was broke as a joke, and I had a huge student loan debt to my name.
I wanted something where I would be in more control of my time and future.
Something challenging and exciting and that was when in 2007 a college buddy Jay put the idea in my head to jump into a network marketing company that sells real estate investment education. The idea was to sell the courses and flip the cash into real estate deals.
I ran with the course sales and he ran with the real estate.
We made a little bit of dough and we were off to the races from there. While the venture lasted about a year or so, you can say I never left the business of information.
I went on to develop programs and coaching that taught how to use social media to close deals.
That transitioned into software development, a cross country move to California, and a short stint in a self produced online reality show.
I was young, ambitious, and still pretty naive.
Once that business saw its last days, I partnered up with a friend Matt to launch LearnToBlog.com in 2013.
We eventually had a peaceful separation where left the company, but we/I grew that to a million in revenue primarily through digital course sales.
Launching this company taught me how to have a work life balance as an entrepreneur.
I was always go-go-go. My partner had a life and a family.
After some hard lessons, I really took time for reflection and self-improvement. Spending a lot time reading, writing, taking my health seriously, and entered the world of consulting for the first time.
Seeing that other business owners could take from what I learned on my journey and quickly implement it and make a huge impact with it was very rewarding.
You hustle so hard to build start up companies scrapping things together.
So, to work with real companies with systems, people, and budgets was a treat and a change.
I consult, write, and live in Milwaukee with my pit bull Cain who has been by my side this whole journey as he was given to me by my friend Jay.
And of course I am always working on my next and greatest ideas behind the scenes.
My goal in life is to be able to use my knowledge, story, and healing to bring hope and change to people in need.
I wouldn’t call this a business blog, but more a reflection of my life lessons which business happens to be a big part of.
I’ve left the old and embarrassing content on here from when I first started so that you know that it is not about how it looks, but the commitment to the art.