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Rarely do you have the opportunity to impact others’ lives and when I finally sat down to rite 180 Degrees, I had realized after a long time that sharing my story was in fact a great way to share my wisdom of lesson’s learned. It’s taken a long time for me to reach this point where I can comfortably accept my words as those of wisdom – and it’s taken me a lot of personal growth to be able to smile and receive compliments from those that recognize my achievements.
So when I was invited to meet and speak with Bradley Quick on Cool Change Radio, you can imagine my excitement to be able to sit with yet another inspiring individual. Throughout our conversation we were both able to reflect upon times of strife and overcoming so many different obstacles.
Here, at the top and enjoying the pinnacle of personal and professional success, I am very pleased to share with you the video stream of that interview.
Building the Perfect Storm
As my childhood progressed, little did I know that things were shaping up to be very difficult in the coming years ahead. By the time I was 15 years old I was shooting dope when other kids the same age were involved in their schools, families and friends. I was a mess. The day before I turned 17 was the day that my family put their foot down and made me go to rehab (for the first time). How many young kids do you know are dealing with so much personal pain and strife that they are channeling that pain through drugs? Whether you know them or not, there are millions of us out there. And I, for one, wanted to share how I got out of that mess.
My time in rehab, as I shared both with Bradley and in my book with readers, was not pretty. Thinking it was going to be more like Club Med before I passed through those doors at first, is probably the only reason I agreed to go in the first place. When I finally made it through I somehow got through it playing the role of a lifetime, “acting” for therapists, hoping they couldn’t see through my façade. They saw through it all right. And though I had hoped to be discharged sooner, I wasn’t – the damage had already been done. I was right back at it again just shortly afterward when I traveled to California to be with my grandmother and finish high school.
Turning Point and Turning Life Around
Things do turn around if you want it badly enough. And after living on the streets, under a bridge, on friends’ couches, people’s garages – getting nasty stares by those that came within a few feet of me – all of that finally got me to take a chance on myself and make a change in my life.
I am still, to this day, overcome by fear at times but not nearly as much as during those days when I would wonder where I might lay my head down that night, unsure of day to day rather than long term like most people my age were doing at stage in their lives. I remember seeing myself, with my grey sunken eyes and almost feather light weight, realizing that something had to change.
I had to learn to find another coping mechanism to deal with my issues – drugs were off the table. The cocaine in Miami, pot (which seemed like child’s play after all that I’d been doing), acid and dealing drugs – all led to my demise and I now knew that.
While living in Venice, California I began working at a small real estate office. That was the beginning of the rest of my life. One step at a time, things began to change. Today, I am a self-made millionaire; I have a family of whom I am so proud, a thriving real estate practice and renowned status as an author. It doesn’t get any better than this. Bradley quotes me during our interview and nothing could be truer about that mantra:
Life as you know, is a series of cycles of ups and downs. When we reach a peak of any type we have to recognize that we have to descend into the next valley to get to the next peak. The valley is what makes us stronger.
We talked about the 180 blog and the purpose of this blog – and the truth is that by being able to share inside information, behind the scenes views and provide interesting insight about what got me to where I am today, I see the 180 blog as the perfect supplement to my book. One through which I can give readers (and potential readers) a glimpse into the reality of the book. For me, it was very real and to be able to show that on video makes it all the more gratifying that those interested in my story will get a 360-degree view of it.
More About the Book
To tell the story of my lifetime, in a way to share how it has impacted my life forever from this point on, 4 years to write the book doesn’t seem like that much time. For years I hadn’t even considered writing it and it wasn’t until an acquaintance of mine turned on the light bulb one day by reminding me that a book like this would not be for me, rather it would be to help the millions of people that do deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis. The most surprising thing though has been the revelation that most of my readers are mostly touched by part 2 of the book, where I talk about the turn around.
It’s been out for three years or so now and when you read it along with visits to the 180 blog it gets really interesting. The book’s available on my website or on amazon.
I believe that life’s schoolroom never closes. We learn new lessons everyday and will continue to do it. To this day, I am practicing the lessons of forgiveness, letting go of fears and not being afraid to inspire others – every single day. Sometimes it gets hard to stay in a comfort zone but I have to remember what really matters in life and I get right back on track. I am ever thankful for having God in my life, my family and of course the strength and conviction to do what I know is right for my life.