What a whirl-wind of a life it's been. As a child I was actually raised in Kingston, Jamaica where I was born. It was a life that was almost from a fairy tale. Growing up in a beautiful tropical island, learning to swim in rivers, playing in the waterfalls that come rushing out of the mountains, fishing and spending weekends on a coffee farm that my father had bought was an up-bringing that you just can't forget.
Growing up in Jamaica
Our family has been in Jamaica for over one hundred years and is still there to this day. I try to get back home at least once a year or more. People often wonder why I don't have a strong Jamaican accent. I am what we call in Jamaica, 'Jamerican'. Half Jamaican and half American if you will. When I'm with my family and in Jamaica the accent is back in full swing.
What brought me to the United States was the unfortunate divorce of my parents. I was one of four siblings. My sister and I stayed with my mother, my two brothers stayed with my father.
My mother remarried and life changed dramatically after that. My mother's husband was very jealous of our close relationship and the mental abuse by him was almost unbearable. This was my first lesson in dealing with someone who played mind games with others. My life style, living with her new husband, and the life style I had in Jamaica was so different. A culture shock for sure.
With my 'new life' I saw the usual struggle to work for a living and living from paycheck to paycheck. My mother's husband was in his late fifties and worked as hard at that age as he did as a teenager. I personally did want to live like that. When he died of cancer he was penniless which left my mother in a financial mess.
I learned some interesting lessons from all this. Most of the men on my father's side of my family were very successful financially. Their thinking was different and so were their attitudes.
I started my first business when I was 11 years old and my second business when I was 15 years old. My second business was in the jewelry trade. By age 17 I had my own fine jewelry store and was making over $100,000 a year. At a very young age I had found a passion. The passion was teaching. I loved to teach and transfer my knowledge or skills to others. I loved what I was doing so much I nearly dropped out of high school.
I had developed techniques in the jewelry trade that were unprecedented. I was able to teach someone who had no experience as a jeweler to repair gold chains in less than an hour. They were able to repair jewelry better than a jeweler who had been doing it for years. I knew I had developed an acute ability to teach others and shave days, weeks, or years off the learning curve.
My success was short lived though. I had gotten married, and then my wife tells me that our baby really isn't mine. My father was murdered. I couldn't cope, nor did I know how to, as I was overwhelmed with all this tragedy. I lost my $100,000 a year business. This is only half of my story. I was an emotional wreck. On medication and at times drinking very heavily, I had hit rock bottom.
I chose to become my own 'Doctor and Patient'. I wanted to learn to play games with my mind instead of it playing games with me (if I could only get a grip on my thought process). One thing I knew, the negative feeling and emotions I had now were different than the feeling and emotions I had before all this tragedy. Why? There is one reason and one reason only. I had been a product of my past experiences, which I allowed to affect my thinking, mind, feelings and emotions. I had experienced in three years what most will never experience in a lifetime. With my faith, and a desire to move ahead, I started making strides to do so. If I could be successful once, I could be successful twice.
I had fears of falling in love and being around people. I was scared to even think of trying to be successful financially again for fear I would just lose everything anyway. Step by step I made changes, opened my curtains to let the light in. I changed my 'friends' and threw the medication away. It's a mindset that has stayed with me till this day. I'll be the first to tell you that moving forward is still often easier said than done. But I have learned a lot.
I began consulting with people who wanted my advice. From this point I worked on getting my message and information out to people through my CD's and seminars. I soon received attention from national television producers of one-show-after-another, and things started taking off. My work was getting in front of millions of people and lives were being changed. For some, it may be a strategy or technique that I have shared with them that has improved their lives, for others, just knowing that I have been through so much serves as an inspiration for them to keep reaching toward their goals.
My passion for my work comes through in everything I do. I love teaching and love to see people succeed by applying what they have learned. It makes it all worthwhile for me.
When I'm not traveling to seminars I like to take time and unwind in the Caribbean with close friends and family. I am very fortunate to be able to fly myself to my speaking engagements, which gives me the ability to manage my schedule and maintain the pace that I do.
I have accumulated nearly 5,000 hours of flight time. I enjoy flying everything from Lear jets to helicopters, and, I am a certified flight instructor in both airplanes and choppers. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll get to take you flying to the Caribbean or to one of my events. It's truly Beyond First Class!