The Epic of Mullet Head: From Starving Artist to Millionaire

I am a 47-year-old left-handed Gemini. A Communications Expert, Business Consultant and
Awareness Trainer.

I’ll forgo the verbal-vomit resume because I’d rather tell you my story–from a flat broke and desperate door-to-door salesman, to a multi-millionaire, then traveling to India, living essentially as a monk for two years.

Your standard rags-to-riches-to-rags tale…

But keep reading, please: there’s some vital information at the end that may lead you towards your life’s purpose and achieving the happiness and success you deserve.

My journey starts in the summer of 1998:

I was 6’2” 165 lbs with a face like a pepperoni pizza. I was living in an apartment so small you had to move the bed in order to access the front door.

I wore black T-shirts; I drank black coffee; I rode a black bicycle. Starving artist type. A nobody.

I answered an ad for a summer job, and the trajectory of my entire life changed in an instant. I was interviewed, hired, and trained in the same afternoon, along with half-dozen other unsuspecting miscreants.

It was a tech start-up—commission sales..

1.  Pull your car into a strip mall;

2.  Ignore the no soliciting signs and walk in;

3.  Extend your right hand and smile;

4.  Walk out;

5.  Repeat 25 times;

6.  Go home, open the phone book, and do it all again;

7.  Try not to throw yourself over the upstairs balcony before bed.

I was pummeled.

Took me three months to make my first sale. (Quota was two sales a week.)

Personally, I would have rather shoveled chicken shit. But for reasons I didn’t fully understand, I could not quit. And
they could not fire me.

I earned just north of $10,000 that year. Worse, cold calling surfaced all kinds of crazy demons from my past.

All my life I had been plagued with social awkwardness: skinny, tongue-tied, never quite knowing what to say, how to express my feelings, or how to get my point across. And, yet, here I was in the lion’s den. The first day of school—every day.

But, I stuck it out. Slowly, I was waking up from the illusion of my own mediocrity. The job was a vehicle for becoming the man I longed to be.

Public humiliation is a powerful motivator.

Over the next several years, I devoured knowledge.

I took night classes and attended seminars in the fields of human behavior. Basically, I wanted to not suck.

Transformational Leadership, Social Dynamics, the Psychology of Influence, Eastern Spirituality, improving myself was my obsession.

I ended up with a Master’s degree and four certificates. Above all, I wanted to understand myself— and other people—so I could get what I wanted in life. I wanted to matter.

Fast-forward six years:

That little start-up became a publicly traded corporation with 2,500 employees. I became a senior executive training and leading the sales force—now one of the largest in the nation. These were the salad days, riding the gravy train, hand over fist, and all that.

Of course, the bottom fell out.

Everything changes. Our stock price dropped to $2. Our reputation was tarnished. We couldn’t
sell; we couldn’t recruit; we couldn’t retain.

Our beloved little company was gut-shot. I would fire about 300 individuals during this time. It was bleak. It was brutal.

Bottom line: The sales tactics I had used to climb the ladder didn’t work anymore.

We even brought in expensive consultants to determine the characteristics of the perfect salesperson to hire and train to that profile, trying to capture the elusive X-factor that would guarantee success. But, nothing worked.

The competition, the market, and our customers had all changed. We’d fallen asleep at the wheel, and we were paying the price.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Because I was desperate and because I was bored, I designed a three-day “Communication Workshop,” and put 30 new-hires through it on the sly.

It was intensely personal, interactive, and rigorous; a deep-dive immersion into the best material I had learned.

I taught them next to nothing about the company they worked for, or the product they were selling, or even “selling”
itself, much less policy, paperwork, and pricing.

Instead, I wanted to put interactions under the microscope.

The countless mini-encounters that make up the fabric of our professional, social, and personal lives.

I wanted to help people understand how they are being perceived; how to take off the mask and project themselves authentically with power and presence; how to interpret the motivations and intentions of others.

I wanted to learn how to hover over the surface of every interaction and see it three dimensionally.

In the three months following the workshop, we had retained 29 of the thirty new-hires.

One woman lost 25 pounds; a man repaired his marriage; someone else quit smoking.

And, yes, they sold our small business solutions like freaking hot cakes—to the tune of three times the national veteran average. This was unusual.

Veterans should have a significant advantage over rookies—after all, they know what they’re doing and have an established book of business.

I ran another workshop. And another.

And the ratios proved out: Graduates of the communications workshop fared 300 percent better than non-graduates. Word got out.

The Human Resources department feared I was running a cult, so they came down to investigate. Upon completion of the course, they recommended the entire organization attend.

And so it was.

I ran 37 more workshops from coast to coast. Eventually, the stock price of the company would
climb to over $100.

Still, the question you may be asking is: What did I learn from this experience that you can apply
to your life today?

Let’s be clear: I wasn’t abused. People were in fact quite kind to me.

They just weren’t about to follow the lead of someone whose body was instructing them not to.

As it turns out, countless Attraction Infractions were going on beneath the surface, killing my chances before they even started. 

1. Your Personal Pot of Gold

There are times in your life when you need to just not fucking quit.

If you have this tendency to quit—whether it manifests in jobs, school, relationships, etc.—I can certainly relate. But consider interrupting that pattern.

Learning occurs when we are uncomfortable. And we all have that thing we resist and avoid. Our Achilles’ heel.

Life has a funny way of putting that thing directly in your path. In other words, there is a Pot of Gold waiting for you on the other side of whatever it is you are resisting and avoiding in your life.

You have to wade through the muck to get to the gold. It’s not supposed to be easy. And there are no shortcuts. But it’s so worth it.

2. Everything is Changing

You included…

Today, nothing is more important to me than my personal growth, which I value even above my family.

The P.S. to this story is that, after my corporate experience, I had an intense desire to move in an entirely different direction. I gave away my belongings and traveled the world, visiting the most sacred sights on the planet and studying with enlightened masters.

In 2012, I spent four weeks in silent meditation. Then, I volunteered on a yoga ashram for two years, living a simple life of service—back to being a nobody. And it was delightful.

We weren’t put here to stay the same.

If you’re not moving forward, you are moving backward.

Make your personal evolution your hobby and obsession. The world needs you.

3. Knowledge is Not Power

It seems that if we put a person through thirty-some-odd processes, certain internal light bulbs would flicker on and stay lit.

Course participants would connect the dots and make necessary adjustments in their lives—on their own terms.

Personal growth is not didactic, and it cannot be downloaded or put into a PowerPoint.

Change is so personal. We all have blind spots. When you move a blind spot into your field of vision, then and only then, can you take improved action.

Indeed, awareness is power!

Awareness comes in three flavors

1.  SELF: How we manage our own beliefs and mindsets

2.  SOCIAL: How we connect with and relate to others

3.  INFLUENTIAL: How we get others to align and cooperate with us

4. Dynamic Interaction

In 18 years of working with individuals and organizations around the world, the distinctions from the original communications workshops have only grown stronger with time.

Today, I believe Dynamic Interaction—the ability to respond dynamically, authentically, and in the moment, when it matters most—is the X-factor for prosperity and fulfillment in the new economy.

As the information age gives way to the experience age, emotional and social intelligence are more vital than ever before.

But, why is this? What has changed?

a. We are currently living under the illusion that technology can mimic the presence of human beings in time and space.

It cannot…

Rather, technology has changed us—from the way we listen and relate to the manner in which we connect and pay attention to one another.

b. Subjected to 3,000 brands a day, we’ve developed very proficient filtering mechanisms.

People detect self-interest and agenda from a country mile.

They weed you out and cast you aside without even realizing it.

Americans hate to be sold—more now than perhaps ever before in history.

Yet, paradoxically, in the new economy, we’re all in sales.

c. Today’s forward-thinking entrepreneur sees this as an opportunity to separate from the sleeping herd—and crush it!

Your prosperity is no longer riding on what you know, or even who you know.

Instead, it depends entirely on how deeply you impact the person standing right in front of you.

Ten minutes after you leave the room, they will forget 90 percent of what you said to them anyway.

What they will remember is how you made them feel.

The simple fact is that people are starving for what they’re not getting from anyone else. Presence. You, fully, exactly as you are.

The cosmic irony is that what I ultimately learned in becoming a personal development trainer is that people don’t need to change or to improve anything…  So much as remember who they really are.

When we blow the dust off of our most dominant positive qualities and make peace with our negative ones, our highest self-shines brightly.

From that standpoint, self-actualizing through Dynamic Interaction is the easiest, and the most difficult skill you will ever learn.

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