On April 13 1984 during a beautiful evening in St. Petersburg Florida, I made the arrival to this great world we live in. My parents were of modest backgrounds. My father worked in the sprinkler and lawn care industry as my mother was doing her thing as a legal security.
My family was big on traveling and seeing the world when we could though. So, we did a lot of that. Since we lived in Florida, the water had a lot to do with that as well. At 3 years of age, my family ended up taking a 45 foot trimaran boat and lived in the Caribbean for about a year traveling from island to island.
I was a bit young to remember this fully, but I definitely have some distinct memories that pop up from time to time. One of which includes me falling off the boat before I could swim because I was reaching into the water to grab the book I dropped… I can still see glimpses of that underwater experience from time to time.
Even though just a fleeting memory, I’m sure these type of experiences have played a major role in how I see the world today.
As the arrival of my sister was right around the corner, we headed back to the mainland. We stayed in Florida until I was about 10 years old. At this point, the family decided it was time to move elsewhere and experience a different environment. Dad found a nice 500 acre plot of land in east Tennessee on the Clinch River. This is where we would end up heading next.
We didn’t have a house on the land when first arriving, so we lived in Kingsport TN for 1-2 years as my dad and the rest of the family built the house that they still live in today. This part of the world is where I would spend the rest of my adolescent years.
I attended Rye Cove High School which was actually across the state border in Virginia. This school was out in the middle of no where and a very rural community. The school had grades 8-12 attending and at max 350 students were a part of this entire school.
This small town effect definitely played another big role in my outlook on this world. Not only do small communities like this keep very few secrets, but it’s also very easy to become known as the outcast. I myself saw this early and conformed appropriately to fit in. But, I saw as many others felt persecution just for being a bit different.
I was very active in sports throughout high school. Luckily for me, I was gifted with an extremely high level of athletic ability from birth. I was the quarterback of the football team, leading scorer in the region of basketball, the ace pitcher in baseball, and also won many awards in track & field.
These positions put me in a leadership role from a very young age. Even though, I was very shy at this stage of my life, sports showed me the potential of being on top. Being at such a small school and community with those titles allowed me to have a lot of power in the area. If I got pulled over by a cop, they’d start talking about the game coming up on Friday more so than any form of punishment.
Playing sports non-stop like this for my high school years also caused a bit of disdain for the sports themselves. Even though, I was being recruited by many colleges for athletics, I decided not to pursue any of those scholarship opportunities.
Instead, I decided to head out of town and experience something a little bit different. For college, I attended Auburn University.
In 8th grade, my English teacher asked me to write a paper on what I wanted to be when I grew up. I opened the employment option book she had and looked for the job with the most pay but least amount of work. Dentist popped up. This sounded perfect especially since my uncle was a very well known dentist back in St. Pete. So, that’s what I pursued from 8th grade all the way through college.
My first year was not so hot. I signed up for admission a little late and all the dorms were taken when I got there. I ended up having to grab an apartment right off campus which was a big part of that unsuccessful first school year.
This apartment became the party zone for all my friends who were stuck in the dorms with RAs. Many times, people would show up at my front door around midnight looking for a spot to drink. I would be asleep, but I’d still let them come in and have fun. Needless to say, my grades suffered greatly from these decisions.
With risk of flunking out after the next warning, I decided it was time to buckle down and figure out this college thing. Now, I’ve never been a big backer for today’s college educations and the actual schooling that is given… but I can tell you one thing that college delivered to me… it showed me how to learn on my own.
I was one of those guys who never went to class. I’d hit up one of the cute girls I connected with in the first week of the semester in the class, get her notes the night before the test, and I’d typically do better than the majority of the class.
This only happened because I understood how to learn myself. This was one of the most valuable skills I’ve ever acquired in my life. It is a big reason behind much of my success today. I know I can learn anything and be good at it with enough practice.
I bounced around from focus to focus in college, but it always was in line with that original dentist plan or close to it. The very first football game of my freshman year, my friends and I decided it would be a good idea to paint our bodies to spell out AUBURN.
We ended up getting on the front page of the newspaper for doing this. This picture caused a large shift in my mentality. I looked fat as crap. Coming from a very athletic background and being very interested in the opposite sex at the time, it was like a kick in the teeth to get up and change that.
From this point forward, I started to dive into the health and fitness world. I became a bit of a fanatic and working out was my thing. After a few years of transforming my own body, I began working as a personal trainer throughout the days and as a bouncer for the local bars and DJs during the night.
I also liked to dabble in the computer world. I was building websites back in high school and started to dive into learning how to code with C++ and graphic work with Photoshop during college. My senior year, I saw how much I enjoyed this and really wanted to change my major to Computer Science… it was a bit too late to do this without adding a few years to my college and that was the last thing I wanted to do.
I tried out a few business concepts at this point… all of which failed, but it was the start to that movement in myself. I started a website called “Overheard that in college”. This was a play off of the very popular site at the time, “Overheard that in New York”. I didn’t follow through very well here and it died quick.
My good friend and I also ended up wanting to start a national beer pong tournament. We set up a solid business plan and started to pursue our first event. After a handful of NOs from the local bar owners that we couldn’t use there space, that drive behind that died as well.
In the end, I graduated in 2007 with 2 degrees… Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences and Bachelors in Nutrition Science. The plan was to attend dental school and do that whole thing… it didn’t take long for me to decide that just wasn’t for me.
A few weeks after graduating, I decided that I’d pack up and move out to San Fransisco on a whim. It literary all happened over a week period. My parents were not too amused by this one.
When I got to San Fransisco, I had nothing except my bag of clothes. I had no job, no place to live, nothing. This experience showed me quite a bit about how the world works and what survival really is.
I found a place to live in a very bad neighborhood and worked for a pyramid scheme type business selling office supplies door to door for commission only. It didn’t pan out very well for me.
I wasn’t in San Fransisco for too long until reality set in and I had to either live on the street or head back home to figure it out at the parent’s house. From here, I headed back to live with the folks and I started working with my father who owned a stone mason business at this point.
My first business venture…
I mentioned a few times that entrepreneurism popped up in my plan before, but my first real business venture that started this whole train happened due to the personal training I was doing. I was in need of finding new clients. So, I thought it would be a great idea to begin a blog to start driving them in.
This worked pretty well. It didn’t produce a huge amount of clients, but it gave me some quality content to make closing the clients coming in much easier. It didn’t take long for me to start to see the potential that digital information had.
From this blog, I started to research ways to expand my traffic beyond just my local clients. This began my real internet marketing journey where I began diving into social media, search engine optimization, information products, and so much more.
I turned my fitness and nutrition concepts into guides and workbooks for potential clients. This quickly showed promise and I began selling these through Clickbank and a few other online outlets.
This opened up my eyes to the possibilities out there and really began the entire push forward. Once I returned from San Fransisco, I started to use these skills and techniques to make the starting pieces to the business I run today.
The creation of MB3…
Success didn’t happen instantly. It actually was many years before things started to pick up for me. Throughout this entire time, I consistently pursued the online marketing dream I had though.