On this episode of Establishing Your Empire I host Nelson Tressler. Nelson’s early life was filled with trauma, struggle, and court trials. But although his childhood was something that many of us couldn’t fathom going through, he was able to turn his life around in a positive way. He set goals, kept a positive mindset, and stayed accountable to his actions and has developed the IGotSmarter App and wrote a book, The Unlucky Sperm Club, to help others do the same. We discuss how you are not a victim of your circumstances but a product of your choices. We talk about how to start a business or write a book and how to simply design a better life.
Start now and start where you’re at. I mean, that’s the only thing we can do. I think there’s so many people out there that want to wait until all the traffic lights are green. You know, I make, okay, I need to make sure I have this and have that and enough money bank and missing. And they wait and they wait and, and, and they never get started. You know, what gets started today and get started where you’re at. I mean, chances are, you can do a few small steps to get you moving in that direction. Other things will open up. But if you kind of just stay there and wait for things to be perfect, you’re going to be standing there an awful long time.
I got Nelson here on the establishing your empire podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. This should be a really good episode. Very unique. He’s the author of the unlucky sperm club, which is a very unique name, which will ask how you got up, came up with that name. But why don’t we start off with give us a little story of who you are and what you do.
Yeah. So I’ve got quite the unique origin story. You know, my mom became pregnant with me when she was 15 years old and while she was pregnant with me, her father, who was the local trash collector in a small town in central Pennsylvania drove into the town square. Spotted two police officers stuck a gun out the window and opened fire on those police officers killing one and critically wounding the other.
And eventually my grandfather was captured and brought the stamp, you know, to stand trial for what he had done, where he was facing the death penalty. And during his trial, my mom got up and testified to the jury. That the reason that her father had shot and killed that police officer was that that police officer had raped her.
And she was now pregnant with his baby who was me and That a testimony of my mom’s worked. The first trial ended in a hung jury. Eventually my grandfather was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, where he ended up spending the rest of his life more than 40 years behind bars.
Oh my. So that, I mean, that’s amazing place to start. So obviously. Your upbringing wasn’t easy. Right? So maybe keep, give us a little bit more in that. Yeah. I mean, if you can believe it or not, it actually got worse. My mom, you know here I am the child of a 15 year old mother. Eventually my mom met a man who would eventually become my stepfather, you know, come to find out he was an alcoholic, very physically and emotionally abusive to me and my mom.
Almost on a daily basis. Eventually my mom and stepdad have four children and because of the lifestyle that they’re living, a lot of the basic needs of taking care of my, my siblings fall upon me as the oldest, you know, from diaper changing to bottle feeding, to waking up at 2:00 AM to put crying babies back and.
Because of that lifestyle. My mom would rather me stay home from school and help with the kids then go to school. And I remember in the fourth grade looking down at my report card and, you know, in elementary school, you’re excited to find out who you have for home room the next year. And I remember looking down and seeing straight F’s on my report card and realizing that I would be repeating the fourth grade and I had probably miss 50 or 60 days of school that year.
And the following year, you know, I was placed into special ed. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t spell and come to find out I had dyslexia. And that pretty much took me up to that point. And then one day my my stepfather was walking home drunk from a bar. Somebody else was driving home drunk from that bar.
And they ended up hitting and killing him. And it was at this time, you know, as hard as my mom’s life has been to this point and it’s been brutal losing my stepfather pretty much broke my mom. My mom had dropped out of school in the eighth grade, never worked outside of the home, and now she was trying to figure out how she was going to care for, you know, five small children.
And it was at this time that she. Decided that she was going to take her own life and she attempted suicide. And fortunately she was not successful, but whenever she got out of the hospital, it was at that time that she determined that she was going to not, you know, our family got split up and I went to go live with my grandmother, who was the wife of the man who shot and killed the police officer.
So obviously you were saying that it broke your mom, but how did that affect you? Especially, I mean, you could have been that old at this time. Yeah, no, I was, I was nine or 10 years old when this, when this happened. I mean it affected me, you know, I, I was actually, I never wished that my stepfather would die, but it.
Yeah, I wasn’t too upset that it happened. I mean, it was a, it was a living nightmare living with him and everything that went on because of him. Yeah. And then let’s, let’s jump to where, what, there’s obviously something that happened in your life to make you a successful person. So, you know, you have a lot of these things that happen to you really, really tough childhood.
Was there a mentor that came in anything that kind of happened to give your trajectory kind of a different you know, different turn. Yeah. Like I said, after my stepfather was killed I went to go live with my grandmother and I always had a strong bond with her. I mean, my mom had me when she was 15, so I lived with her the first few years of my life.
But when I went to go live with my grandmother, you know, for the first time in my life, you know, there was always food in the house and the lights always turned on when you turned on the switch and I didn’t have to worry about somebody coming home drunk and. Beating me or my mom, and didn’t have to worry about caring for babies.
So my basic needs were kind of met my survival instincts were, were kind of set at ease. And for the first time in my life, I started to really. Think about where I was heading and what type of life I wanted to live. And I saw the direction I was going and I didn’t like it. And then one day there was a counselor that came in from Penn state university and they talked about what it was going to take to get into college.
And I kind of thought at that time of my life, man, if I could graduate from college, my life would be perfect from there on, and you know, you, you know what happens whenever you start to think about something that’s hard, you know, all those voices in the back of your head tell you all the reasons you shouldn’t even attempt it.
And I remember thinking Nelson, you know, you’re in special ed. You can’t read, you can’t write, you can’t spell. And of the family that I came from, my, my mom had 14 or 15 brothers and sisters, and only two of them had ever graduated from high school. None had ever even attended a college. And I start to think to myself, I’ll be lucky to graduate from high school, let alone go to college, but I had nothing to lose.
And, you know, after that, I started to really. Do my best in school with that goal of, of going to college and getting a degree. And, you know, it took 12 years from the time that I set that goal. It took four different universities and four years in the air force, but eventually. I became that person you know, that first person in my family to graduate from college.
And I think this notion of having a goal and trying to reach that goal is very powerful. A lot of times we get unmotivated because we don’t really have a true North. Can you talk to us a little bit more about how, you know, you set that goal or any goal and how you, you know, was there some steps that work for you too?
To attain it, you know, and obviously that’s a really big one, but we, we all have big ones. A lot of times we just are comfortable enough to shy away from them. Sounds like life was uncomfortable so that sometimes can help even. But maybe expand a little bit on your, how you could, how you got that goal and, and your steps to get there.
Yeah. I mean, that, that one goal, I w I really didn’t even know what goals were back then. I just knew what I wanted to do, but after I achieved that goal, that’s when I came obsessed with goals and personal development, and I saw the power of what you know, a goal could do for you and your life and what, you know, personal development could do for you.
And, you know, over the last 25 years, you know, I I’ve bought. Every book, I could get my hands on and, and went to every program I could go to and really used goals and personal development to design the life that I’m living today. And, you know, it’s a life I couldn’t have even imagined, you know? 30 or 40 years ago.
And it makes all the difference. And in fact, I mean, that’s, that’s what I’m doing today is I started a new company it’s called, I got smarter and it is a program. And it’s associated with an app that helps people achieve their life’s biggest goals. It’s it’s what I’ve used. And perfected over the last 25 years as I’ve used goals in my life.
And I know, you know, the power of it because it’s not just affecting the person who accomplishes the goal. In my case. And in a lot of people’s cases, goals are generational because of that goal that I was able to achieve in the goals that I have, you know, been able to achieve since then, it not only has it changed my life, it’s changed my family’s life and they’re living a drastically different life than I lived.
And that all started with that one goal. And, and their families are going to be living drastically different lives. And that’s the power of. Goals and, and becoming that better version of yourself and striving to reach your potential. And that’s what I got smarter does for people, you know, whether you’ve never been able to get past January with a new year’s resolution or you feel like you’re pretty good at achieving your goals.
The I got smarter program will help you take your goal achievement to the next level, no matter where you’re at. So one thing that we always like to do with this podcast is, is how you kind of got started with something like this app. And obviously some goals worked for you, but what was one, you know, what got you the first step to actually create an app or the idea or wherever it was to where you said, okay, this worked for me.
I want to do something with it. Yeah. And like I said, I’ve used goals for the last 25 years, you know, and, and, and built some great success with it and started some businesses have built a good family and marriage. And I kind of became known as that goal guy because, you know, I always talked about it. I loved it.
And eventually gave some talks on it and, and people would come up to me. You know, and say, man, I really need help with my goals. And I need some goals in my life and I’d be all too excited to say, okay, you know, let’s sit down and I’d sit down with them for two, three, four hours, teaching them everything that I knew how to write a proper goal on how to break that big goal down into small goals and set milestones and make sure that they knew what.
Price was going to need to be paid to achieve that goal and all these things. And I’d be so excited for them and I’d leave. And then I bumped into them, you know, two, three, four weeks later, and I’d be excited to see him and like, Hey man, how, how are your goals coming? And they kind of almost, without exception, their eyes would drop to the ground.
They’re like, Oh yeah, Nelson, I need to get back on that. And it was like a kick in the gut, you know I had spent all this time with them and they couldn’t last two, three, four weeks. And what I realized, you know, after doing this with several people was they needed somebody to kind of help them stay accountable to their goals.
And so I kind of stepped in and said, you know what? Let’s let’s be accountability partners. And what I realized was. As soon as somebody else was involved, they took it to the next level. But you know, here, here am, I who’s obsessed with goals. My goal achievement went through the roof too, because I knew somebody else knew about my goals.
And, you know, I knew I was on this something. And eventually I became, you know, accountability partners with three or four people who. We’re working on their goals and found out it was too much for me. You know, I wasn’t charging for this, this wasn’t my job. I, you know, I was just doing it to help people, but then I was on a hike one day and I, you know, I had this.
Pithany, you know, I need to just start a group and then we’ll rotate partners and help each other. And so I did that got 12 people together, you know, and these people came from every walk of life. You know, there were surgeons and lawyers and business owners, and it was during the recession. So there were a few people out of work, but we did it and I taught everybody how to do goals and we all rotated partners to help each other stay accountable and.
When I knew I was onto something was the wives of the men who were in this program. They would see me out and they’d come up to me and say, Nelson, you can never stop this group. My husband is a different man. He’s thoughtful. He’s living life with purpose. He’s this he’s that you never stop it. And then a few years into the program.
All the wives of the men who were in, in my group, they started their own gold program because they saw the benefit of it and they saw how valuable it was in their lives. And that’s when I kind of knew that we needed something like this. And you know, that was 10, 12 years ago. And a few years ago I was able to sell a couple businesses and I got to the stage in my life, like, okay, what are you going to do with the rest of your life?
You know, I didn’t want to watch waves crash on the beach. It’s. Not, not in me. And I started to reflect about, about the kind of life that I had lived, you know, my birth and everything that, that represented. And I started to give that a positive meaning and, and think to myself, you know, maybe I live that life so that I can help inspire other people and motivate other people.
And then that’s when I came up with this idea to help. People through helping them achieve their life’s biggest goals and, and design, you know, for two years I wrote and designed, I got smarter and then build it into an app. And now that’s what I’m out there doing is trying to help people you know, live to their potential and live the life of their dreams.
Yeah. I mean, it’s very similar to, you know, the personal trainer, you know, and, and the accountability of having somebody there. So it sounded like you were able to fund self-funded a little bit, but how did you market this app and how do you currently market out anything that’s worked marketing wise and then I want to dive more into the app, have some more questions there too, but let’s talk about the marketing aspects.
Yeah. I mean, we’re, we’re trying to market it through social media. I w I wrote a book, the on lucky sperm club. You’re not a. You’re not a victim of your circumstances, but a product of your choices and trying to gain awareness through it, through that. And just doing some ads like that and, and really you know, giving some talks, getting on podcasts like this.
So just trying to draw as much awareness to it as, as we can. And then for just whether it’s for you or your app or wherever you want to take it. I assume in order to get stuff done, like this, writing a book, getting an app created, having businesses. Is there any daily rituals that have been helpful for you or that you currently do or recommend others?
Yeah, that’s, that’s part of our app is, I mean, we are what our habits are, right? So we start every day with what we call our morning routine and you know, that, that has a lot of stuff, you know, first of all, we start. By designing our goals and knowing what our goals are and knowing what price you have to pay and making sure that, you know, We’re willing to pay that price, but yeah, every single morning the app pops up and it walks you through your morning ritual.
You know, first we start with gratitude and we’re giving thanks for what we already have, because we realize, you know, if you’re not, if you’re not happy with what you have now, chances are, you’re not going to be happy with what you gain now. There’s a big difference between being happy and having that attitude of gratitude and being satisfied.
We’re never satisfied. We’re always striving to reach our potential. And the app walks you through your reviewing your goals. It teaches you philosophies and it. It walks you through like, okay, today, you know, my goal is I will weigh a hundred, you know, I weigh 185 pounds on February 20th, 2000, you know, that’s my goal.
So what am I going to do today to reach that goal? And, you know, and the app walks you through that, you know, I’m going to work out and I’m going to limit my calorie intake to, you know, 1200 calories. So I know every single day what I need to do to achieve my goals. And then it walks you through that and it auto-populates your task list.
So when you’re done with your morning ritual, which takes five to seven to 10 minutes your entire day is planned out and you know exactly what you need to do. And that now all you have to do is look at your list and start checking things off. And so many people out there think that. They don’t have time to plan out their day and work on their goals and really focus on what’s important.
But what I found as I’ve done this program and use the app is you actually have a lot more time because you’re, you’re not being reactive. You’re being very proactive with your day and you’re working on those things that are truly going to make a difference in your life and not just a browsing your email.
Well, I think it’s very powerful to, to, you know, play on your day before you start your day in, same with the year. And and so and so forth. I can’t remember who attributed to that. I think it was the Tony Robbins or Jim Rome quote, but I also think that if you play in your day, then you know, what, how to measure success.
Like, am I going to be happy that I just got a lot of tasks done? Or is there one or two tasks or three or whatever it is that I will. In the day being satisfied with what myself. And, and if you don’t plan it, then how do you actually know that? So with the, the app, like where like along the path, just so we can take a step back.
Like, where are you at on the, where you want to be versus where you guys are at now? Like, is this early stage, middle stage, or are you guys getting mature with a bunch of users? Where are you? Where are you at right now? You know, w we’re in the early stages, w we actually had a different app, it was called six months to success, but that, that program actually had people meeting in person in groups.
And then this lovely thing called Corona virus struck and a meeting in groups was no longer fashionable. So we had to start all over and redesign our app, which, you know, the I got smarter program was what was in six months to success. So now we’re, we’re redesigning it as it’s a standalone app where, and in this app you can invite a partner and we call them success partners because we don’t like accountability.
It gets kind of a bad rap because you know, you’re, you’re not accountable to me. You’re, you’re accountable to yourself and I’m your success partner. I’m here to help you stay motivated, inspire you and, and, and help you kind of. Do the things that you said you’re going to do, and you can invite them through the app.
And now all of a sudden, when I’m doing my morning ritual, you get an alert as my partner and say, Hey, Nelson just finished his morning ritual. Now that could let you say, Hey, kudos to Nelson. Good job. But it also will remind you that, Oh, I got to get my morning ritual done. And there’s all these little strategies and techniques that we build in there to just make sure that you are Sticking with it and doing it because what we realize, we don’t have a knowledge problem when it comes to achieving our goals, we have an execution problem.
We just don’t do what we know we need to do. And this app, I feel like with the success partner and with the alerts and with the program in the morning and the evening ritual, it’s kind of plugged up all those holes and you almost have to try to fail to, to not achieve your goals. If you’re, if you’re using this app.
What about just someone who wants to create an app or a business wherever you want to take it, because we have a lot of, a lot of our listeners is kind of those ones wanting to be entrepreneurs and stuff like that. What advice would you give for somebody to kind of take some of those first steps to get going?
Well, th th the first step is start now and start where you’re at. I mean, that’s the only thing we can do. I think there’s so many people out there that want to wait until all the traffic lights are green, you know make, okay. I need to make sure I have this and have that and enough money in the bank and missing.
And they wait and they wait and, and they never get started. You know what get started today and get started where you’re at. I mean, chances are, you can do a few small steps to get you moving in that direction. And as you do those small steps in the direction to, to start this business, other things will open up.
But if you kind of just stay there and wait for things to be perfect, you’re going to be standing there an awful long time. What about any failures in your business career that you want to talk about or that would help somebody? Yeah, I mean, I I’ve had a lot of you know, what, and failure is such a strong word.
I, I don’t ever feel like I failed because I never quit. So, but I definitely had some struggles. I mean, I, I built a you know, well, first I invested in a chain of children’s daycare centers. And our operating partner embezzled over a million dollars from us. And. Had to take that business over with no intentions of ever taking it over.
And I write about this in my book, the on lucky sperm club, but eventually a few years after I’ve taken it over and we’re going through the great recession at this time. So business sucks. Anyhow. And one of my directors was leaving and I had to hire a new director. And my regional director came to me with this person that she wanted me to hire.
And it was a man and you know, a man in the daycare industry has a target on him and. I’m like, I’m not hiring a man. I don’t care if it’s illegal or not. I just, you know, people aren’t comfortable, but anyhow, eventually, you know, I took an interview with this guy and he blew me away and was incredible and did a great job until one day I turned on the TV and there was the news outside of my daycare center.
And in the upper left-hand corner was a picture of this male director. And underneath it, it said, you know, Daycare employee charged with child molestation and you know, there’s very few things that are worse for any, you know, anybody, but, you know, a child molester and childcare, but, you know, anyhow, you know, come to find out, he, you know, unfortunately had molested a few of family, friends and not anybody in the, in the center.
But after a year of legal battles in dropping business, you know, down to you, maybe 20% of what we were originally at eventually, you know, we, we figured it out and stayed the course and I was able to recover from that and sell that business. But yeah, I mean, there’s tons of mistakes. I mean, I’ve been blackmailed from employees, from my pet resorts and.
You know, commercial real estate I’ve I’ve, I’ve invested in deals and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but, and that’s people need to realize is I love reading biographies. I love, you know, hearing these stories of people who are successful and without exception. Without exception you read into that, you’ll see where they were one or two days away from failing, or one choice away from failing or one choice from the business not going, you know, the direction that it was today.
And we all just have to get through that and people see people who are successful and they think that just happened and it wasn’t hard. And they had no. Trials or struggles. That is the furthest thing from the truth. I mean, every business I’ve ever started, including I got smarter as I’m trying to figure out a whole new industry.
I mean, there it’s hard and it struggles, but the only way that you can fail is when you quit. So you just have to keep at it and keeps you going. Right. You’ve you’ve had some of those. Things happen that would probably just get you boom, dead in your tracks for some people. But is, is it a motivation?
Do you have a big goal in mind? I think you might there you know, what keeps you going. Yeah. I mean, I know, I know if you keep going, you can’t fail. And the only way that you fail is if you’re going to quit and you know, if quitting is not an option, if you’re crystal clear on what your goals are, if you’re crystal clear on what you want to accomplish, you’re clear on what it’s going to take.
Then you, you know, once, once you have a goal, you just don’t quit. And I mean, I find that in every area of my life, I mean, you know, I talk about my relationship with my wife and the struggles that we had and I moved out and we got counseling and, you know last week we just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
It would have been so easy to throw our hands up, you know, 10, 12 years ago and say we’re done and move on and think that, you know, it was going to be easier or different, but we didn’t do that. And I’m so thankful that we didn’t, you know, we, we have all those memories now and, and a lot less stress because we did stick it out and you know what, we’re not to the end of the road yet.
And we’ll, we’ll have more Strauss and more struggles, but. You know, we, we both have that same goal and, and we keep fighting the fight every day. So let’s talk about the book for a little bit and we kind of, I’m kind of bouncing around, but there’s so many different areas I want to talk to you about.
So first off any, I think you kind of already have, but give us a little synopsis of the book and then what I, what my first question after that will be used, you know, what got you to write a book? Like why. Yeah, well, the book, the book is kind of a memoir slash self-help. I mean, it kind of tells the story one it’s it actually starts with the daycare situation and kind of later in life.
And then I flashed back and forth between my childhood and, and the struggles there, but also the lessons that I learned and, you know, the one thing that, that I truly believe is things only have the meaning that you’re willing to give them. And you know, if you get to assign meaning to everything that happens to you in your life, why on earth would you ever assign a negative meaning?
And I know you have to get creative. You have to dig really deep sometimes on some situations that we go through, but you can always find that silver lining. And I try to give a positive meaning to everything that happens to me in my life. And that in the book is kind of, that is it. I really pull back the curtain because of what we just talked about is people think.
That once you’re successful, you’ve always been successful. You had no trials or no struggles. And I wanted to show all the trials and the struggles and the mistakes that I made but also to prove that, Hey, you can make it through it. And you know, here I stand, you know, 40 years later, 48 years later from what people would have given me every excuse in the book to fail.
So I w I wanted to portray that and. I think it’s done a great job of that. It’s a great read. It’s and it’s inspired a lot of people, but I’m very proud of it for someone who wants to write a book. I think a lot of people I’ve always thought, man, I really would love to you know, write a book someday.
Do you have any advice or tips or tricks that kind of got you through, you know, zero pages to a completed book, right? Yeah. Well, and remember, you’re talking to a guy here who has dyslexia and I cannot spell man. If I’ve ever written you, if I’ve ever written you an email or, you know, there’s somebody who has an edited my work, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
But you know, the one thing that I. That I did was I just started writing down stories and started to kind of, you know, th this, the book that’s out there, the on lucky sperm club is totally different than the book I set out to write. And you know, I, I worked with a company. I mean, I knew I was going to need help with editing, and I’d never written a book before and kind of coming up with, you know, how the book was going to flow and how we were going to put it together.
So, you know, I worked with they’re called book launchers. I’m not getting paid to say that, but they were great. So you can find people out there that can help you do that. And I’ll tell you that the reason that we’re talking about my book now is because COVID struck and everything was shut down for months and months, and months.
And all of a sudden I had all this time on my hands and, you know, again, things only have the meaning you’re willing to give them. And, you know, as sucky as COVID was for a lot of other things in my life, in the world it was exactly what I needed to finish my book. And that’s why it’s finished today.
Yeah. A lot of people frowned upon, you know, hiring companies to help you with a book. But to me, it’s just like a business. Like if I’m going to create an app or a website or new name it, like I’m going to contact some experts to basically celebrate the process. Right. So any rituals with writing though, that you had, is it something where daily, or just when it struck you or anything that would help others?
Yeah, no, you know, I did start to write it as often as I could. I don’t know that I did it every single day, but you know, if I ever went on vacation and just had time, I’d love to, you know, sit down and. You know writing wasn’t great for me. I did a lot of talk to texts, so there were a lot of people out there that thought I was crazy as I was talking to text, you know, and they’re looking at me and wondering who I was talking to.
So, you know, you just have to do what works for you and. I, I think that’s the struggle. I mean, believe me, I could have looked at this and said, I’m never going to write a book. I mean, I can’t, I can’t spell. And you know, I, I can’t write an email, but I found people who could edit and help me and, you know, it’s, it’s my book.
It’s my stories. Did they help me kind of put it in a, a great sequence where the reader would be intrigued and did they help add it and take things out that weren’t necessary and add? Some things were so people were clear. Absolutely. But, but it’s still my book. And still my stories I don’t think it takes away if you get help.
And I think that’s one of the biggest problems with most people have, is they’re afraid to ask for help and look for help. But jeez, I mean, none of us can do it on our own. I completely agree. What about a normal day in your life? Right. Obviously you’ve talked about a lot of rich rituals. Maybe give us a couple of things that you do yourself that helps you kind of achieve all these things that you’ve had have done.
Yeah, I’m, I’m an early riser. And I have I have a little man cave out behind my house that Has my computer there and, and my workout equipment and everything. So I wake up haven’t used an alarm clock except, you know, for a flight or something like that. And in 10 years, and I just wake up and I go out there and I’m working on myself the first, a couple hours of the day, you know, I’m listening to some motivation and inspirational YouTube videos.
You know, watching a podcast, anything that builds myself and then I get in a good workout and I head in and, you know, and then, you know, I’m using the, I got smarter app and, and planning out my day and what I need to do for my goals. And then, you know, I’m in I’m shower and I’m at the office and, and doing everything there.
But, you know, I found it such a huge advantage to get all of that stuff done. First thing in the morning, before all the fires start. And so, you know, it’s kinda like that. Put that oxygen mask on yourself first so that you can help others. And, you know, I always want to take care of myself, you know, through those motivation and inspiration and working out, you know, I’m taking care of myself first so that I can help everybody else around me.
You mentioned some, you know, YouTube videos and some motivational things, and you can go there or any mentors that you’ve had or books that you recommend to people that, that have been powerful for you. Over the years, Monday through Friday, I’m either listening to a podcast or an audio book in my car and I probably listened to 50 or 60 books a year.
And I, who knows how many podcasts, but yeah, I mean, I. That’s the one thing that I would suggest to anybody, if you don’t know where to start, go buy an inspirational book, maybe the on lucky sperm club you know, but listen to something that inspires you and start feeding your brain with, you know, all of this personal development and strategies.
I mean, if you’re in sales, go buy a sales book. If you’re in whatever business you’re in, if you want to become a better husband or. Or mother go buy a, you know, a marriage book or a family book, but you’ve got all this time that you’re in your car, use it to your advantage. And I just, I can’t stress enough how much of a difference that’s made in my life by learning that and putting that great information in there because you never know when you need it.
And when it actually comes out, you know, I was in sales and, and for in commercial real estate. And, you know, for the first three, four, five years of my career, Every I was listening to every sales book there was, and you know, it helped me to become the top salesman, you know, nationwide for that top five firm.
And there’s no way I would’ve ever done that. If I didn’t put in that time and learn those strategies and techniques. And I think, you know, we’re in such a amazing point of time in our, in our lives to where we have so much great audio from so many great people and they’re available to us, but we can just pop it on why we drive, you know, like we don’t even have to go buy tapes and it’s free.
Yeah. It’s free. Yeah. It’s so amazing. So what about like, obviously your rough childhood, any, what advice would you give yourself when you’re your 16 year old self? Right. If you could. You know what don’t quit. Things are going to get better. I mean, I couldn’t imagine living the life that I’m living now at 16 at wa wasn’t, even in my.
You know, realm, or it was like fantasy land and you know, w we are not the person that we’re always going to be. And I think people get caught up into that is like, I’ve always been this way, or I always do that, or this things never work out for me. You know what I truly believe we are exactly where we choose to be.
I mean, we we’ve chosen to be where we are. You know, for, for the most part, I know there’s some, some situations out there, but for the most part, we choose where we, we are right now. And if we don’t like where we’re at. In any category of our life, all we have to do is start making different choices and making the choices that are going to get us to where we want to go, because we truly are the captains of our ship and we are in control.
We just need to understand, you know, how to make different choices and more consistent choices to get us where we want to go. And that’s why I designed the, I got smarter app to help people do that. I think we all have a story that we tell ourselves of who we are. And a lot of people, I don’t think realize the story that they’re telling themselves.
So I think that’s very powerful to understand that and maybe feed your own brain, some, a healthy diet. I want to talk about a subject that in feel free if you don’t want to, but so you had an alcoholic father and I did as well. Any. Have you had any struggles with alcoholism and drugs or anything that has helped you?
Not have those issues. Cause I think a lot of people have parents that have gone through a lot of that and it’s not the easiest thing to overcome. So wherever you, yeah, no, I, you know, I was definitely fortunately never did drugs and I don’t know why you know, it, it was around me as a kid and I just always equated that with trouble.
Yeah. So fortunately for me, I didn’t, but I definitely drank you know, and was a partier and, and ended up you know, meeting my wife and you know, met her at a bar. And but fortunately for us, I mean, faith came into our lives and you know, it’s been 25 years since I drank since then. And, you know, I, I.
I, you know, that’s made a huge difference in my life too, because, you know, I, I haven’t had to deal with that. And, and, and those struggles, and I know what they’re like, because I went through them and the stupid things that I did, you know, I wasn’t a smart drunk by any means. I never was an alcoholic, but whenever I drank, I drank to get drunk and did some stupid things.
And, you know, fortunately for me, I, I don’t think I could have ever been just a social drinker either. So. You know faith came into my life and was able to quit and put that out and it’s made a huge difference for me. So what does that success look like for you? You know what success looks like? When I’m 130 years old, I’m laying on my death bed surrounded by five generations of very productive.
You know, posterity and everybody looking down on that bed and just remembering the great memories that they had with me and, and you know, the inspiration that I was to them. And, you know, also realizing that because of some of the risks that I took, like writing a book and starting new businesses that not only was I able to change my life, but I was able to change the world, you know, one person in one inspiring goal at a time.
Any regrets along the way, tons, tons of regrets. But you know, you look at that and, and you think if I didn’t do that, you know, would I be here, but yeah. I mean, you know, rough, rough marriage when we first started and, and did some things that, that I regret and, and said things to my wife that I regret I never can get back.
So yeah, I, I regret some things, but you know, what. I’m trying, you know, every day I’m trying to become a better version of myself and trying to reach that potential inside of me. And, and you know, fortunately, you know, forgiveness is out there as well. None of us are perfect. And all I’m looking for is progress.
I’m not looking for perfection. And my last question, I end every podcast with this is how would you like to be remembered? Yeah. I I’d like to be remembered of somebody who inspired people and, and was a breath of fresh air and of hope and of a, of a good husband and, and a great father and a great you know, grandfather, well, Nelson, I really appreciate you being on the establishing your empire podcast.
It was a big pleasure of mine to have you on the show. Yeah, I appreciate you having me on. All right. Cheers. Bye.