3 Things Our Dogs Can Teach Us About Leadership

This morning I came in contact with a young man, maybe around the age of 25 or so. He was visibly upset. There was no holding back his tears, and there was nothing I could say that would make him feel any better. In fact, I felt a bit distraught just by being in the same room with him.

What was wrong?

This young man just lost his 12-year-old dog. He had photos of him on his phone and was proud to share these images with the rest of us. He talked of all the good times they had together. His heart was broken and he had no idea how to navigate through his feelings.

We’ve all been there. The dreaded day that our furry loved ones die. The day that the veterinarian walks up to us with the bad news. This took me back to our Golden Retriever, Mandy, that passed away 2 years ago this April. Our dog was just 9 years old. She had cancer that we didn’t even know about until the day she died. What a shocker it was. There was nothing they could do… she had to be put down.

All the memories. All the love that was shared between a man and his best friend.

What do we take from these experiences with our dogs? We all know that when we take on the ownership of a furry friend, they won’t live as long as we will. We know that there will be a time when “that day” comes.

What do we learn from them in the process?

I believe that our dogs can teach us 3 things about leadership and how to treat others. Here they are…

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

They accept us just the way we are

dog acceptanceWe live in a world where so many people judge others by the clothes they wear, by the color of their skin, and by the money that they make. Dogs won’t ever judge you. They see past the façade and truly love you.

From the minute you bring a puppy into your home, they light up with joy. They rush to you to be in your arms. When you are feeling down, they console you. When you are excited, they get excited with you. All they want to do is spend time with you. Quality time.

We need to look at others the same way. When we meet someone, don’t go into a lengthy talk about what you’ve done or what you’ve achieved. Find out about them. See what their world is like. Don’t judge and accept them for who they are.

It’s easier to be a leader of someone who knows that you accept them.

They get us to do things even when we don’t want to

dog and soldierI’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Some nights, without fail, I would feel a wet nose touching my arm as I would be deep in sleep. Almost immediately, I would see Mandy looking at me with an eyebrow raised, as if to say, “time to go outside”!

Boy, would I absolutely dread those moments. I didn’t want to get out of the warm, comfortable bed. I didn’t want to get up from my sleep. But I did. You know why? Because she had my heart.

It could have been a blizzard outside, but because she was so important to me, I would do anything and go anywhere with her.

This doesn’t happen by accident. If we are to get people to do things for us even when they don’t want to, we need to show them we care about them. Scratch their backs when they are having difficult times. Build a relationship with them. Do things for them that no other leader has.

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

They want to serve us

serving dogI don’t know how many times that I would be laying on the couch relaxing on a Saturday afternoon when my awesome dog would come up to me and just lay her head on my chest. Not wanting anything, just wanting to let me know that she loves me.

If I moved over to the floor to cuddle, there was no question in her mind that she was to lay with me and give me love. You also see this when you are giving commands.

A dog will not obey commands just because there is a treat on the other side of the equation. No, they obey commands because they want to make us happy. Simple as that. Dogs will do anything to see that we are in a joyful mood, whether or not they are receiving it back.

I believe that there is no better leadership than servant leadership. When you can serve others as you would want to be served, something magical happens. The people you lead will see it and know that you are not a fraud. You are the real deal.

I’m sure there are more ways that a dog can teach us about leadership. These 3 just came to mind.

To your Massive Impact,


P.S. I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how this impacted you and share with me your feelings on how dogs can teach us better leadership. Comment below!

These 5 Actions Could Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever

2015 has come and gone. Another year has slipped off the calendar faster than a speeding car slips off the road, after locking its breaks on black ice. New Year’s resolutions, new habits, awe-inspiring goals… nothing can keep us down once the magical countdown hits 12 am on January 1st.

But what happens 30 days later? 60 days? 90 days?

Our lust for change gets consumed by our everyday lives. The fire that burns within gets quenched by the cold winter months.

Passion… gone. Desire… gone.

It seems as though we never even made a commitment to pursue our dreams that we were so doggone excited to visualize. They simply become a figment of our imagination. At least until the beginning of next year!

Yet so many of us continue to wonder when it will be “our year”.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to live in “dream leaver” mode any longer. But to be able to breakthrough this continual pattern in our lives, we must first come to understand that we are in breakdown. Breakdown occurs when you lose sight of your vision. Vision that you created with passion and purpose… that was so dear to your heart and quite possibly others hearts, as well.

It’s ok. Pick yourself up off the ground, pat yourself off, and let’s put these 5 actions into place to move forward.

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

Acknowledge the breakdown positively

breakdownFirst off, don’t be so hard on yourself. Seriously. Things happen in life and the last thing you need to do is create negativity in your own world. Doing so could cause you to not want to dream again.

Evaluate the breakdown that took place. Find out what you didn’t do and what you could have done that brought on the breakdown in reaching your goals. Know that there are better days ahead.

Take responsibility and identify what could we could do differently

We must look into ourselves and consistently examine where we are in our life, our relationships, and our business/jobs. If we are not where we want to be or where we need to be, then we are in breakdown. In order to make positive changes, we must first take full responsibility.

People who play the victim card will always blame others for their situations and the way their life is turning out. Unfortunately, having this mindset can keep us in breakdown for long periods of time. Having an accountability mindset will bring you to realization that we create our own destiny. Isolate the actions, stay positive, and mindfully avoid the landmines that sidetracked you.

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

Forgive yourself

forgivenessForgiveness… the real “f” word! This is an extremely important point because if we can’t forgive ourselves, it will be hard to make that critical shift within our minds. Our minds will never be free.

Yesterday was yesterday. Tomorrow can be your first day back on track. Let the past stay in the past and know that we are not defined by our mistakes.

If you are mad at yourself for failing to accomplish something, get past it… it’s wasted energy. You are the only one that can change it. Write down what you feel guilty about, forgive yourself, then burn it.

If someone else held you back from accomplishing your goals, take the high road. Get over being right! Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. When you have unforgiveness for yourself, it’s double the poison.

Make a new commitment/declaration

At this point… you are ready to rock and roll! Understand that up until now, you have acknowledged the breakdown positively, you’ve taken responsibility, and you’ve forgiven yourself.

Kudos to you!

Time to dream again… time to create a vision!

I ask you these questions. Close your eyes and think of the perfect day. All day. Is the love of your life waking up next to you? Is there no alarm clock? Are you waking up to waves slowly massaging the beach in Tahiti, or are you overlooking the majestic landscape of the Rocky Mountains? Is it a vacation or do you live there? Are you in good physical health? Have you lost the weight you want?

What does your day look like? Do you have to work for someone (it’s ok if you do) or do you own your own business? What job/business is it? If you have the power to imagine it, you have the power to create it!

Create an action plan

Don’t just create an action plan, create a massive action plan. Write down what it will take for you to get where you want to be, step by step.

Know your “why”!

This is huge. Why do you want what you want? Your “why” needs to inspire you, it needs to bring something out of you that you never thought you had. It has to be fueled by passion, not ego. Example, I’ve always wanted to get my wife home from work. Even though she loves her job, she would love not having to work it more. That is my first “why”.

Surround yourself with people who are passionately seeking their goals as well. They will support you during the tough times and be your biggest fans in the good times!

Final thoughts

Every tree produces its own fruit. How is that determined? It is determined by the root. The root is the DNA, the wiring within that automatically tells the branches what the fruit will look like, smell like, and taste like. We, as humans, have root causes that determine what our production looks like in life. Isn’t it time to shift our wiring so that our hands will take our dreams and produce amazing fruit from them?

It takes work, hard work… but it will be better than waiting 11 months to see if next year will be “your year”. The time is now. Go for it!

To your Massive Impact,


P.S. What are your goals? What vision do you have for 2016? I’d love to know! Comment below!

3 Go-To Questions The Best Leaders Use to Create Influence

Make a MASSIVE impression on even the most experienced leader — even if you’re deathly afraid of small talk

How much of a difference would it make in your life if you had three powerful questions at your disposal that you could ask anyone, at any time, and dramatically make an impact?

Now, of course, this would only work if you truly had a desire to make that impact in the first place…

These questions, although simple, have the power to create massive influence if utilized the correct way. As you’ll see, the third question should only be asked if you are indeed planning on doing what you are asking…


With that said, let’s get to the questions

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

Question #1 – Where are you currently at in your (insert topic you’re discussing)?

Where are you currently atLet’s say you are talking to your friend about his/her marriage. He/she is telling you how dissatisfied they are in certain areas of the marriage and all you hear them talk about is how the other person is so this, and so that.

They never once take the time to actually think about where they are currently at in this issue. Asking this question will get them outside of their current perspective and allow them to dive deep into their own thoughts and feelings. Where are their hearts at?

The main strategy here is to get them to be honest with themselves. Get them to speak about where they currently stand and what needs to happen in order to move forward.

Question #2 – Where do you want to be in your (insert topic you’re discussing)?

When asking this question, you want them to be as real as possible. Let them know that it’s OK to go hog wild on the answers! I like to think that if I can shoot for the stars, the worst that can happen is I land on the Moon.

Have them go there, to the same place…

What dreams and desires do they have in this area? What keeps them up at night? What type of outcome did they see themselves having that they currently are not getting? A lot of times, we set our dreams aside to settle for the status quo until one day we wake up and realize that we’re just going through the motions.

It’s time for them to understand that they need to be the change that they want to see.

Question #3 – How can I help you get to (insert topic you’re discussing)?

Now this is the biggie, and also the most dangerous question of the three. When asking this question, I cannot stress the importance enough, you need to fully be on board.

Asking this question shows that you care and you are willing to do whatever it takes to help your friend to their desired destination. Set up a plan and stick to it.

Helping your friend by doing this will show that you are a person of great influence…

Better yet, a great leader!

To your Massive Impact,


P.S. What do you think of these questions? Do you have any others that may be good to add? Comment below! :)

Dream Again – 3 Things You Absolutely Need To Destroy First

Three Things to Dream AgainWhen it comes to getting our dream back, there are a few things we need to do first to allow our minds to roam free. If not, we can actually hurt our attempt to make a comeback to accomplish the dreams that we’ve always had.

We all know that “life happens” and we’re dealt blows that are beyond our control. From family issues to work issues to loved ones passing away, they come like a thief in the night and can curtail our progress when pursuing our dreams.

We know that every day brings new challenges and as much as we’d like to be ready for them, we are not. They are simply out of our control.

But what about the things we can control?

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

All too often, I see friends who simply can’t get over the things that they can control. Things that happen in their own minds. Things that continually bring them down when, in all honesty, they have all the power in the world to identify them, package them up, and ship them out forever.

If not, you are practicing self-sabotage… dream suicide, if you will.

Here are 3 things that you need to quickly get rid of, or they will forever be a dream eating cancer that will continually slap you in the face, mocking your every desire.


Resentment has a unique power, all of its own. It can sneak its way into your heart and tap into all of your hate emotions and literally sink you. When you have resentment towards another person, you are allowing that person to run your life.

I have seen people quit doing what they love the most, just because they felt “wronged” by another person. Maybe the other person cheated their way to a promotion, maybe the other person got the loan, or maybe they just worked harder and got a job, fair and square.

It doesn’t matter…

When you let resentment in, along comes unforgiveness and that sets the stage for a lot of other complications. Not only in pursuing your dreams, but many other areas of your life as well.

Let resentment go!

Past Failures

Past FailuresFailure gets a bad rap. I think it is one of the most misused words in the English dictionary. If you can see failure not as an end result, but simply as a result, you will learn from it and continually sharpen yourself to get a better result.

Sometimes when people fail at something, they quit doing it for the rest of their lives. Now that is a failure.

Some of the most beloved figures in history have failed more than we can even count. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team in his sophomore year. Steven Spielberg was rejected twice by the University of Southern California film school. Colonel Harland Sanders’ (KFC) famous recipe was rejected over 1,000 times before he found a partner to find his idea worthwhile. If you can get a hit in baseball 3 out of 10 times, you more than likely will be paid millions… that means you failed 7 times!

What do all of these examples have in common? They used failure as a result, not an end result.

If you have failed at a business idea in the past, at going for a top management position, at writing a book… don’t let that deter you from trying again! As long as you fail forward, you will at least be…

Moving forward!

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others


Pride… what an ugly word. The moment this word comes into my head, I think of someone who pulls his shoulders back, puts a smug look on his face, then suddenly knows everything!

I believe pride is the ultimate dream killer, simply because it will stop you from learning what you are supposed to learn. Pride will keep you in the hen house when you should be strutting with the roosters.

You will be self-absorbed, you will not seek out advice or counsel, and you will piss a lot of people off in the process.

Pride will make you do it for “you” and not for anyone else. If you have any issues with pride, please get rid of it now if you are looking to pursue any dream you may have.

Let pride go!

Wrap Up

I’m sure at least 1 of these resonated with you. When writing this, I could feel my emotional thermometer rise when I was writing about past failures. I am thankful that I was born to be a risk-taker but at times, I can feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to failure. It takes a conscious decision to know that I have and am failing forward, that it is a result and not an end result. It hit me right in the face and I am so glad it did. I needed it!

To your Massive Impact,


P.S. What are your thoughts about these? Did any of them speak to you? Any others you can think of that could hinder your growth in pursuing your dreams?

Comment below… I’d love to know! :)

The Only Thing That Can Really Stop You From Living Your Dreams Is You

I was sitting on my couch a couple months ago watching ESPN when a story came on that I just had to watch. This was the story of a young man who had the world at his feet. He was supposed to be the greatest ever at what he did, he was supposed to set records and his name was supposed to be in lights.

Until he got in his own way…

It all started in Philadelphia – Philadelphia, Mississippi, that is. A young high school phenom, that looked every bit like a man among boys, suited up to play football for the Philadelphia Tornadoes. He was 6ft 2 inches tall and weighed in at 225 pounds. An astonishing size for the position he played… running back.

Oh, and have I mentioned how fast this young man was? He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds. Incredible, considering this was in the late 1970’s… light years before the training regimens that are quite the norm today.

He was big, strong, and very fast…

The Promise Is Just Beginning

Marcus DupreeBy the end of his high school career, he broke Herschel Walker’s high school touchdown record by 1 and rushed for over 7,300 yards to go along with an 8.3 yard per rush average.

Major colleges lined up to get him to sign the dotted line… and that he did with the Oklahoma Sooners in 1982.

His first year on campus wasn’t what he was hoping for initially as he didn’t play much of the first 3 games. After a realignment in the coaching style, by then head coach Barry Switzer, the young man blossomed and started to show the rest of the country just why everyone was so hot for him to be on their teams.

He rushed for almost 1400 yards by the end of the year, and all seemed well down in Norman, Oklahoma.

Until the following season…

Trouble Sets In

The next year, this young man and the head coach weren’t seeing eye to eye and there was trouble brewing. After a mid-season loss against rival Texas, he disappeared and was no longer on campus and decided to leave the University of Oklahoma.

Trouble Sets InOn the surface, it may have seemed that this young phenom may have been bitten by the “spoiled rotten” bug, but it went a bit deeper than that. He was being influenced by an outside source.

This outside source was a man who was “guiding” the phenom down the path to greatness. He was injecting a “larger than life” attitude into the young man and making him believe that he was bigger than the sport itself. Telling him that he should now transfer to a college that was closer to his hometown in Mississippi, that was exactly what the young man did.

But at that point, the damage had already been done and he didn’t last long at the new school. 3 months to be exact.

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

Going Pro

The man who was influencing the phenom had convinced him to now go pro. However, because of his age, he was not able to go directly into the NFL so he decided to go to the USFL… a now defunct league but a very prominent “contender” to the NFL at the time.

The phenom played with the New Orleans/Portland Breakers for 2 years only then to succumb to injuries and weight gain. The most significant injury was when he essentially blew out his knee in the beginning of his 2nd season during a game in Phoenix.

The injury and rapid weight gain kept him out of football until 1990 when he was urged to give it another shot by Walter Payton. That he did.

He was picked up by the Los Angeles Rams to try to resurrect his career only then to bow out graciously after 2 NFL seasons managing to rush for only 251 yards during those 2 seasons as a backup.

He started 1 NFL game…

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

Lessons Learned

This phenom was none other than the great Marcus Dupree. A man with so much promise, so much ability, and a man with so many regrets. What did he do wrong? Could he have done anything different that would have taken him down another path, filled with success?

Who knows?

In fact, we will never know…

Marcus Dupree could certainly blame the “outside influence” that was present when he was in college. He could blame the fact that he was misdirected, misguided, and then dropped like a bad habit the moment it was evident that he would not be the greatest ever, that he would not set records, and that his name would not be in lights.

The only person that stopped Marcus Dupree from living his dreams was himself.

His dreams had a time frame. His dreams of playing in the NFL and being the best… had an expiration date.

Shape Your Future Now

In athletics, if you make a decision to go down a road that guides you the wrong way, you have little time to correct the decision and to right the wrong.

Keep LearningYou see, our bodies can’t stay in prime condition like it was when we were young. Our bodies peak when we are in our youth and slowly fade as we get into our middle ages and, ultimately, our senior years.

Our minds, that’s a different story altogether…

Unlike our bodies, as we grow older, our minds get stronger. We can do things at 50 that we could never do at 18. We become smarter, wiser, and more astute to becoming the best we can be.

We can right the wrongs that we have made when we were younger, we can train our brains to do things that we’ve never been able to do before. We can make up for past bad decisions or wrong turns in the road.

You can do whatever it is you want to do. You can become whatever it is you want to become. If you’ve always wanted to own your own business but have felt trapped for years in a dead end career, you still can do it. If you want to become the head of a department at your company, you still can do it.

It takes work…

Hard work…

But the work will always pay off as long as it is the right work. The right plan.

I encourage you to go for your dreams. If you feel stuck, get unstuck. If you feel trapped by the life that you have somehow conjured up over the years, set goals to grow past your present circumstances.

Persistence breaks resistance… every time!

The only thing that can really stop you from living your dreams is you.

To your Massive Impact,


P.S. I want to hear from you. What dreams or goals did you have growing up that you’ve somehow not been able to attain? What has kept you from attaining them?

Let’s be transparent, a demon exposed is a demon defeated. Comment below :)

Unlock The Best In You – 15 Character Traits That Will Explode You To The Top In 2016

In order to have true success in any and all areas of our lives, we need to continually work on ourselves. How we are portrayed externally is a direct result of how we look and feel internally. Therefore, it is extremely important that we constantly keep pushing ourselves to bigger and greater things.

One area that is of extreme importance to me is my character. I like to think of my character as the… default “unconscious me”. This is the “me” that will always shine through when the “conscious me” wears off.

For example, when I stop focusing on how I will react in a certain situation or of what I will think about in a conversation, my trained self will kick in. This is my character.

I like to think of my character as a group of muscles… The more I work the area, the more the area grows. The more the area grows, the stronger the area becomes.

In each area, there are individual muscles… and each muscle needs to be worked out individually so that it can be a healthy contribution to the area.

We all have many character muscles that need to be worked out individually so that our character, in whole, can become strong and fully developed.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of character traits.

I’ve studied a lot of them, and after much thought, I would love to share with you the 15 that I am uber-focused on. Making a legitimate effort to single out certain character traits to work on is a goal of mine for this upcoming year so that I can become the best “me” possible. I believe that working on these character traits will help you explode to the top in 2016 as well! Let’s go 😉

Note: These are in alphabetical order, not by rankings.

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others


I want to be more of a man of courage. Fear presents itself in many ways. It tells you that you’re not worthy, you’re not able, and that even if you are, you’ll never get it done. Having the courage to battle the fear that you have within is a tremendous asset to have. It says that even if you are afraid, you have no problem going up against the fear while believing that you will prevail.


Being a dedicated person, to me, means that whoever and whatever I am for, I will not easily be swayed in my devotion. I will be true to what and who I believe in and nothing can change my mind or my feelings toward this.


I want to be more disciplined in 3 key areas of my life this next year. To do this, it’s not that I need to remove temptations… I simply need to defeat the temptations.


I want to be more aware of how other people feel. Understanding how they feel will get me out of my own way when dealing with them. There is such a lack of empathy nowadays as people are so concerned with themselves. Being self-concerned is not the issue… only when it’s at the expense of others.

Time for a Change


Enthusiasm is contagious. I want to be a person who is so enthusiastic I can lighten even the darkest room. There’s something to be said when you can always see a positive outcome from all negative circumstances.


Being fair to everyone I encounter means I will not show favoritism. I will treat everyone equally in all situations, good or bad. Giving extreme praise and extreme grace to all the same.


I want to be an emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially faithful man to my wife. Being faithful means that you have to have faith in the person that you’re faithful to. I have extreme faith in my wife as she is my biggest fan.


Being flexible means, to me, that I don’t have to be so rigid in everything I do. Things happen and life happens. Just because a deadline is set, it doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone.

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others


This is the real F word! I don’t want to be a person that holds grudges against anybody. If someone hurt my feelings, I will let it go. If someone offends me, I need to take it as a learning experience… Not forgiving somebody is like drinking the poison and hoping the other person gets sick. Not good.


I want to be more generous with my time, my talents, and my treasures. If I have the capabilities to give more than I currently am in any given situation, then it’s time to up the ante.


There is nothing like a genuine person. My wife is one of them. She doesn’t have to act when she smiles, she’s not afraid to tell you what’s on her mind, and she just has that special something that exudes from her every pore. Being genuine means that you can be transparent about anything and you can show your vulnerabilities.


Humility means never having to talk about yourself. You don’t have to boost your own ego, there will be many others to publicly boost it for you when you are humble. You make morally based decisions, you’re continually happy, and you’re conscientious of others around you.



Wow. Passion! What a great feeling! People with passion are fun to be around. They bring excitement, they show excitement… they are excitement! Nothing can substitute passion as it is a deeply rooted conviction of something you truly believe in. I want to be more passionate about leadership.


Reliability is a great asset to have as a character trait.  When others can count on you when you say you’re going to do something or be somewhere, it is priceless.  I want my “yes” to be my “yes”, and my “no” to be my “no”.


Does anyone know the main difference from being a winner or a whiner? It’s in the sound of the “I”…

In the word “winner”, the letter “I” puts the emphasis on the other letters. In the word “whiner”, the letter “I” takes the emphasis away from the others. Whether we are selfless or selfish, the letter “I” will always remain… it’s where you put the emphasis that will make all the difference. That’s my take on being selfless… I want to be a winner!


I believe that if you are true to yourself and focus on character traits that will genuinely help you, you will see tremendous strides in all areas of your life in 2016!

To your Massive Impact,


P.S. I would love to hear what your take on this is. What character traits did you think spoke to you the most here? What character traits will be your target for this next year? Comment below :)

How To Go From Disappointment To Destiny

Circumstances dominating lives is commonplace in today’s society.  All too often, people are crippled in their present state because of what they have done or because of what has happened to them in the past.

We have control of what we do and of what we become and we need to understand that we are not our past. No matter what disappointment you’ve seen or have been through, I believe that you can become what you’ve always dreamed of being or doing and reach your destiny.

I wanted to kick Massive Impact University off with a post that, I hope and believe, will inspire you.  It is not a post that will require you to be sympathetic to my past…

It is simply… my story.

I’ll try to keep it short and sweet :)

Growing Up Without A Father

I don’t remember much of my father as a child since he and my mother had split by the time I was 3.  They had a rocky relationship and it was probably best they went separate ways when they did since there was a lot of animosity between him and my family.

Disappointment to DestinyI had 2 older brothers, Steve, and John, who were twins and 14 years older than me… and an older sister, Julie, 9 years my senior that were all conceived from a prior marriage.  Steve and John went back and forth quite often between where we lived in Tacoma, Washington and Tucson, Arizona where their father lived, so there really wasn’t a large family consistent in the home.

The one memory I have of my father was when he was to come and pick me up on a rainy morning when I was 4 years young.  My mother had already known that he wasn’t going to show up, but she didn’t have the heart to tell me.  Unfortunately, after waiting a few hours outside on the porch, I realized he wasn’t going to show.  I cried all afternoon.  I was only to see my father 3 other times after this point…

Can you say disappointment?

Adolescent Years

By this time, my brothers were living in California and Arizona and had been out of the home for quite some time.  My sister had moved out to live with her boyfriend when she turned 17 so it was just my mother and me.

Here I was, a latchkey kid.  Growing up and taking care of myself from the time I would get home from school until my mother returned from work around 7 pm.  It wasn’t all bad, I actually enjoyed my childhood.  My mother and I had a great relationship, and we had a park in our backyard!  Literally… there was a park, where I could keep myself out of trouble and play the sports that I loved so much!

But there was something missing… I felt like I didn’t have the family that a lot of my friends had.  At times, it weighed heavily on me.

Can you say disappointment?

My Brother John Returns

In the summer of 1989, my brother John was 27 and he was having a lot of difficult times in California.  He called our mom and needed some help, so he moved up to get his life in order.

My Brother ReturnsIt was tough for me at first because John never really liked me as a child… quite possibly because I was the baby, from a different father, and because he was known to do drugs.

After a few months, we developed a relationship that I was extremely proud to have.  He was my older brother, I bragged about him all the time.  He loved me and I loved him!

What was to happen during the next few years of my life, I wrote for a speech I gave recently.  I welcome you to read on…

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

Disappointment To Destiny

November 3rd, 1989…

It was a rainy night in Tacoma, Washington (sound)…

The wind was howling (sound)… My hair was all over the place (ha ha)…

The trees were swaying…

My friend, Steve, and I were waiting to be taken to the movie theater for an innocent 14 yr old date with a couple girls…

My older brother John, who had come up from California 3 months prior to stay with us to get his life in order, was excited to take us…

My mom said, “It’s OK, I’ll take them”…

We headed down the steps to the door…

“Love you John”…

“Love you too Jake”…

The next morning, Steve and I woke up excited to have breakfast…

I looked out the window to see if my brother was home, his car wasn’t there…

My mom went to the kitchen, just around the corner from the front door…

She started making pancakes…

Knock, knock, knock…

I jumped down the 3 steps to answer the door…

There was a police officer and a man in a suit…

They asked… “Does John Laws live here?”

My mom came around the corner…

“Oh my God, NO!”

(Me looking back and forth confused) “Mom?”

June 10th, 1992…

Bottom of the 7th inning at our high school baseball game…

We were beating a team that we most certainly were better than 8-1…

Our star pitcher was pitching a gem…

But it all fell apart…

They scored 8 runs to come back to beat us 9-8…

My stepdad came at the very last moment to pick me and my stepbrother up…

He normally was there to watch the whole game…

He took us to 7-11 to get a Slurpee on the way home but told Jason to stay in the car as he wanted to talk to him…

I came back and although I could tell something was wrong, I was more focused on talking about how we lost the game…

As we drove to our home, something felt weird…

My mom’s car was there…

We walked in the door with my stepdad behind me…

My mom looked at me with tears in her eyes…

“Jake, your sister”…

(Me looking back and forth confused) “Mom?”

In the early hours of November 4th, 1989, my brother John was gone…

He died in a major car accident…

On June 10th, 1992, my sister Julie was no longer with us…

She died from a blood clot to her lungs 6 months after having her 3rd baby…

They had disappointments in their life…

Some might say they didn’t reach their destiny…

But maybe their destiny was to let me know that I was to become a great leader…

Maybe their destiny was to let me know that I could do whatever I wanted to do…

They told me those things all the time…

Within the next 13 years, I chose alcohol over others and saw myself becoming someone that I wasn’t…

I chose to lead others through arrogance and selfishness…

I put my arm through a window and almost lost my life…

I married the love of my life, only then to treat her like she wasn’t…

I lost my mother, my father, and my other brother…

I had disappointment after disappointment…

But how do I get from my disappointment to my destiny?

How do I become the great leader that my family always said I could be?

Well, nothing can grow you into a great leader more, than when you can parlay your pain… to help others gain…

You see, I believe that everyone was created to be a leader…

Everyone leads others, it’s just a choice on if you want to lead positively or negatively…

We can lead others… in our pain… or from our pain…

We can build people up… or we can tear people down…

Either way… we’re leading…

I don’t know what your disappointment is…

I don’t know if you lost siblings when you were young…

Maybe you grew up without a dad in your home…

Maybe you got fired from a job that you loved…

Maybe you got a divorce…

I don’t know…

What I do know is this… there’s no such thing to not have disappointments in our lives…

There’s no such thing to live without pain…

It’s what you do with your pain that will make all the difference…

My brothers Steve and John, my sister Julie, my mom and my stepdad all taught me that I could become more in life…

That I had something, that special something that could make a difference…

Maybe your disappointment is that you don’t have someone that can tell you that…

Well, if that’s the case…

I’ll tell you…

You… have something special…

You… have the ability to make a difference…

You… can parlay your pain… to help others gain…

I leave you with this…

I believe everyone’s destiny is to become a positive reinforcement in society…

I believe it is your destiny to show others that it’s OK to be selfless…

To put others ahead of our own agendas…

Then, and only then, will you be able to see the full transformation from your disappointment to your destiny…

JOIN THE CLUB: Get Exclusive Content Every Sunday Join Over 1,000 Others

The Loss Of All My Siblings – The Gain Of My Wife

As you can see from the speech, I lost both of my brothers, my sister, my mother, and my father… all by the time I was 30 years old with the exception of my brother Steve, who passed away at the young age of 51 in 2013.

My mother got remarried to a great man, who took great care of her when I was 16.  He was by her side up until the last moments of her life.  I am forever grateful to him for this.

My father passed away 2 months prior to my mother, and although I didn’t know him, I have been blessed to get to know the 2 older siblings he had in a prior marriage and we have become family.  I know that my father went on to live a good life and there are no ill feelings in my heart any longer towards him.

MarriageI have also been blessed to have met the love of my life, my lovely wife, Maricela.  She has been through some crazy times with me but has always chosen to stick by my side through it all.  The good times, the rocky times… there have been many of both.  She is my rock, my best friend, and after 11 years of marriage, we are going stronger than ever!

I thank God for you babe… 381!

Can You Say Destiny?

First off, I want to thank you for reading this HUGE post :)  Second, I want you to know that you have the ability to make your destiny shine bright, right through your disappointments.

DestinyWhat you have inside of you is more powerful than you can even imagine.  Your heart has the capability to mend friendships… and to build relationships.  Your life means more than just getting up every day to do the same thing you’ve been programmed to do for so many years.

You are a difference maker… a world shaker, you just need to tap into your capabilities and draw it out.  I tell you, it’s already there.

I’ll never forget a post I read a few years ago on Michael Hyatt’s blog about not waiting for a funeral to give someone a eulogy and it made me think.  Why do we live our days not letting people know how much they mean to us?  Why do we let our days go by not fulfilling what we have inside of us?  It’s a question that only you can answer…

To Your Massive Impact,


P.S. What disappointments have you had in your life that have made you feel stuck?  What are you doing about it?

So… I want to hear from you in the comments section below! :)