The Power of Extreme Hustle
University felt exciting. I was no longer in a village. I was in the BIG CITY OF MONCTON (Population at that time: 100,000). There were thousands of people from all over the world including thousands of beautiful women.
The internet had just started. It was a mind-expanding technology. I would spend several hours a week surfing and reading.
My First Internet Sale
I made my FIRST EVER INTERNET SALE at the age of 19. I sold a training program to someone from a Newsnet group. They sent me a check for $47. It was a life-changing experience. I couldn’t believe that a total stranger sent me money.
Keep in mind the internet was EXTREMELY PRIMITIVE at that time. There was no Paypal, no Google, and no social media.
At the end of my first year, I saw posters on the wall saying “Make $10,000 this summer.”
I was intrigued so I filled out the form. A few days later I got a phone call and we set up our first meeting. They explained that it was for painting franchise called College Pro Painters.
I had no clue how to paint anything. I thought, “What the hell… this is $10,000!”
I went for the interview and Rick grilled me harder than I had ever been grilled before. They did 3 long hard interviews and it came down between me and a high-school buddy of mine.
They did one more interview and I got the gig.
Facing Frozen Hell
Little did I know that this summer painting adventure would begin in the middle of brutal Canadian winters.
After several training seminars in January, they unleashed me on the frozen streets for cold calling (no pun intended).
There I was in the knocking on doors in the middle of February with temperatures as low as -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) asking “Would you like a free estimate to paint your house this summer?”
14 out of 15 houses would tell me no and close the door on my face. I would maybe get 1 lead per hour if things went well. HATING IT would be an understatement.
Then I would set up the estimates for the weekend. My first weekend I strike out on all 3 estimates.
My second weekend I strike out on all 4 estimates. I’m 0/7.
Third weekend, I strike out again. I’m 0/10. Out of twenty-one franchisees, I’m the only one in all the Atlantic Provinces without a sale.
I still remember my 11th estimate like it was yesterday. I was looking at the house full of fear. Wondering “What the fuck am I doing?? I can’t even paint. I can’t sell. I’m frozen. This is hell.”
I wanted to quit like I had never felt before.
I just pushed through it and I CLOSED MY FIRST PAINTING JOB. I was SOOOOO PUMPED.
Over the next few months, I learned: cold-calling, how to hire people, how to train people, tele-marketing, direct mail, guerilla marketing, face-to-face selling and more.
I was able to amass 125 leads and had a 33% closing ratio.
At the end of the year, they gave me “Most Improved Franchisee Of The Year” award.
My second year I got 175 leads and my closing ratio was 50%. I won the “Most Improved Franchisee Of The Year” award again.
Looking back, it laid down a deep business foundation that still serves me today.
“My life wasn’t worth a nickel”
The final significant event that happened in my first year of University was receiving bizarre letter in the mail. It got my attention because it had a nickel attached on top.
I started to read it and it said: “my life wasn’t worth the nickel attached to this letter in certain bad areas of Oklahoma.”
It proceeded to tell the tale of a fighter who challenged 3 neo-nazi skinheads and beat the shit out them.
It went on to sell me this video package called “Combat JKD” featuring Christophe Clugston. I bought it and I couldn’t believe how good this stuff was. This launched my…
It was my NEW PASSION.
I started training daily with my friends. We couldn’t believe how effective it was.
I wanted to train with Clugston but I couldn’t afford to fly to Oklahoma so I decided to fly him up to Canada and do seminars. I figured if I sell enough tickets I can train for free.
We went on to do over 26 seminars and dozens of hours of one-on-one with him during that 6 year time span. With those experiences (including eating 4 habanero peppers in 8 minutes) I really evolved into a man.
I would hustle my ass off to get people to come to these events. I was spreading as much fear as I could to everyone I knew to motivate them to come. HA!
After 4 years of training, I became the first certified instructor in Canada and youngest instructor in the entire organization.
I started my own class and gave women’s self-defense seminars.
At one point, Christophe calls me and says, “It’s time for your next stepping stone. It’s time for you to fight professionally.”
So I started preparing for my first pro fight. It was gonna be held at the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic.
We started training at extreme levels. Our heart rates would go well past 200. It was so brutal that I thought I deserved a gold medal after every tortuous workout.
Now back then, MMA was just getting started. UFC had just begun. It was an extremely controversial sport.
Three weeks before I was scheduled to fight, they canceled the entire MMA event. I was devastated.
Looking back it feels like a blessing. I have a feeling I could’ve done really well in MMA and it would’ve taken me on a completely different track in life. But I think the life I have today is much better than any life I could’ve had as a fighter.
Rock N Roll Dreams
One day I was introduced to this amazing singer, Joel Goguen.
We instantly hit it off and became close friends. Within weeks we were jamming and writing songs and decided to create a band: DRIL.
We applied for a contest and WE WON! They gave us over $10,000 to record a CD.
We hired Nando Speranza who was a nominee for producer of the year at the Junos.
We recorded a hard-rock CD called “Myth Conception” over a 18 month period. If you’re a fan of hard-rock/metal.
International Love Connection
While going to University, I did personal training on the side.
One day, this tall, gorgeous woman with striking features walked in. I befriended her and quickly developed a crush.
A couple of weeks later, I asked her out and we started dating. She was Swiss and she had to leave Canada.
A few months later, at age 24 I proposed to her on the phone. She accepted. We got married 18 months later. We decided we were going to save up our money and move to Vancouver.
To Hell With Sleep
From 19 years old to 26 years old – I was a voracious learner, hard worker and my core value was: MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY.
I became one of the most successful personal trainers in Moncton. I was literally working 60 to 80 hours a week. I would train clients from 6 am to 8 am. Then I would work from 8 am to 4 pm. And then I would train people from 4 pm to 9 pm. It was 12 to 15 hour days plus I would work on Saturdays.
I had no TV. I had almost no social life.
I trained twice a day. I was reading books and listening to learning packages. I was recording a CD. I was writing a book (while I was working). Plus I was married.
I even experimented with sleep deprivation in order to increase my productivity. I got down to 4 hours a night before calling it a failure.
During this time, I had the most significant discovery of my business life which was: MARKETING IS THE #1 KEY TO GENERATING REVENUE FOR ANY BUSINESS.
So guess what my next obsession was? Becoming the greatest marketer ever.
I bought every book I thought was gonna be useful. I invested thousands in audio packages and video series.
I was determined to become a world-class copywriter.
And comment below — tell me which part of my story resonated with you!