Archive for February, 2019

Know where you’re going. Know…

When you venture into a new business journey, you need to know where you are going and what it is you are doing. Every good business has a mission statement… A direction in which it is going… a goal in mind… a purpose.

You have got to have these things locked down.

You know it is vital to have your ducks in a row and know where it’s all going, but what can be overlooked is the confidence level. You have got to be confident in your mission. It can’t just seem like a good idea… or be an idea based on something you’ve seen but you think you can do better… It has to be something you believe in. You’ve got to have that confidence level…you’ve got to KNOW that this is a solid path.

Of course, you can never predict the future and unforeseen circumstances that may come in the way of your flow… but ultimately, you’ve got to believe in what you’re diving into from the jump and go all in without hesitation. You’ve got to give all you’ve got to make it a success or what are you bothering with it for? Fully commit or walk away because there are other ideas and plans out there for you to invest your time, efforts, and money into… Don’t settle into something for the wrong reasons…

Get yours… Get Cocky

It should be obvious if you’ve followed my writing or if you know me at all; I am a fan of hip hop… It truly is a part of who I am… It has been for as long as I can remember. I respect and understand that it may not be for everybody as nothing ever is, but for me, I find it empowering… There is truly something special about it… My Mom raised me with an incredibly wide range of musical influences. I listened to everything from AC/DC to Air Supply, REO Speedwagon to Earth, Wind, & Fire, Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5, Prince, Tone Loc, the Bee Gees, Lauren Hill, Boston, Tupac Shakur, Elvis Presley, & Chicago… and on top of that, we were raised in a good old fashion Southern Baptist church so we were brought singing right out of old school hymnals. I can tell you honestly that all the music touched me in special ways… Music has always been such a powerful thing in my life. Hip hop has always just had this powerful impact on me… but just like any other genre of music, it’s not all good… sometimes, a song isn’t good… sometimes, an artist isn’t quite the artist people build them up to be… and sometimes even a great artist or lyricist can just put down some bad lyrics… It happens.

In hip hop, there is a lot of ego that gets thrown around all the time… many have this idea of a lifestyle they must live up to in order to fit or compete… There are so many who break that mold and don’t fit in this idea of what the lifestyle is… The reality is it about the music or at least it should be. It should all be driven by something meaningful and then it is what is sustainable, and the money will come.

“I get money,” “I get paid,” and “got stacks on deck” are all phrases that have been spouted again and again… You may be able to drop bars, but are those bars paying in dividends? Are you really getting paid? Do you got stacks on stacks? Are you fronting? Are you playing like your bankin’?

It is one thing to drop bars and spout rhymes about getting cash all day long; it is an entirely different thing to actually get paid.

Jay Z has said it time and again, he ain’t about livin’ rich and dyin’ broke. He is all about financial freedom… That is what we are preachin’ here today. You’ve got to make better choices. You are here reading now because you have ambitions of running your own business and growing something great; be sure you’re doing it wisely. You have your entire life to live the life of luxury when you have made it. When you’re trying to make it, don’t burn through the money coming in on appearing rich and wealthy.

Make wise choices and make it happen. Make it happen and get there and then live that luxury lifestyle.

Ain’t no sense in appearing rich if you ain’t never gonna make it there because of your reckless irresponsible choices today.

Whatever your passion is, make it happen and get there be sure you are properly motivated and going where you want to be going…

At the end of the day… You can sing it… Can you bring it…

Get Cocky

You need someone in your corner you can trust… someone to back you up… As your business grows, you need that person who is going to be that unbiased voice in your ear telling you what you probably don’t want to hear.

You are building your business; you are running things. While this is your business and any projects involved are yours, it is never a bad idea to have a trusted confidant whom you can bounce your ideas off. We are all human and psychologically, we can become clouded in our judgement from time to time. Do not allow this to stifle you as it happens to the best of us; I assure you.

There was a man of whom I had worked with many times again and again over several years. We had become close as I grew to know his family as he did mine. Essentially, he would contract work to me, and we had an agreement in which he would pay me by the hour. I would keep a log of my time and submit him invoices. Since the work kept coming, and I saw the work fairly easy to add into my other projects, I continued taking the work. After the first couple of invoices, he began to get behind on paying me… He would fall short of paying an entire invoice; he would pay late…sometimes multiple invoices could pile up, then I’d get paid for most of the sum… He would always catch up, but business just wasn’t as good for him as he would’ve liked it to be. I gave him some leniency as I knew he was struggling, and he needed my help… besides, I would get all my money eventually, at least that is how it seemed to me at the time…but whenever he would get caught with billed invoices, there was already another one in the works.

I had explained to my Mom about the arrangement I had going on as I always told her about my many business dealings. She was always cheering me on, and it felt good having her to always talk to. When I told her about what was going on, she warned me at first to just be cautious. She said, “just be careful; you know how these things can be.” I reassured her not to worry as I got it under control. She always trusted me… she just expressed that that is what Moms do… She trusted me but wanted to be sure I was okay.

This went on a couple of years… Work started to dwindle down and I got calls less frequently which was fine for me as I had other things that were getting heavier that needed my attention.

So after some time, we connected again and tried to get something going… My Mom instantly chimed in and told me to be careful… After working together for two weeks, the second week we worked together was the largest week in sales he had ever had even though he had been doing this for over ten years. It was amazing and he was shocked at what we pulled off. We instantly saw potential… we agreed on a salary spot for me as long as I met quotas each month, I would stay on this salary… otherwise, back to hourly… but I’m still working contract labor. I am running my business and just being contracted by him… My Mom continued to check in on me on the regular which she always did, but she just had a bad feeling that this wasn’t going to work as I was thinking it could. She was right.

Over the next few months he continued to fall short on my payments and then got to the point he was paying me nothing… I was thinking we are working on something big, and I was happy to be a part of it… I quickly realized it wasn’t mine. My Mom…she knew already from the jump… I just didn’t see what she saw. You need that wingman (or in my case… my wing-Momma… haha) that is gonna keep it one hundred with you… not only are they going to keep it real and straight, but they are knowledgeable enough and aware enough to pick up on the things you may be missing or overlooking. That’s what you need… You need someone you can trust who may not know the complete inner workings of how you’re getting down and doing your business, but they know just enough to be the support and confidant to help push you to reach your potential and not be clouded by yourself.

It is hard to know who that person may be for you, and it may not even be the same person every single time… Just be open to the possibility that you may need an extra pair of ears and eyes to catch what you may miss.

Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open. Don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into someone else’s dream. Build your own dreams and don’t build them through others… you got this…. Ya hear me…. You got this!

Now Get Cocky and go get paid already.

You know you’ve heard it before… “stop and smell the roses” To me, that phrase is played out… Time to remix… So, I’m askin’ where the roses at, Yo!

Yesterday was my day… that’s right… My day… My day with my family… with my smokin’ hot wife, Kimberly and our wonderful boys… It was fun and productive. We hung out, went to church, kicked it in the backyard, even did some things around the house… It was great. It was most definitely what I needed. One Hundred.

Not many realize what all goes into running the biz and building my brand.

I haven’t missed a daily post since January until yesterday; at some point you must take a moment for you and the fam. It is critical to your sanity and your survival.

I have so much going on growing my empire… those of you with me, know what you’re putting in and it gets deeper before it lets up. Believe that. Stay strong… all you are doing will be worth it in time. You are growing and know you’re not alone… This is the game we have chosen.

I am running four on line resell stores on top of my daily posts, keeping up with social media to promote all my work and advertise for the stores and the new merch as well as continue to research and acquire new inventory to add to my stores on the regular. It is a constant hustle… In order to maintain such things on this level, there has got to be a rhythm and a constant flow to your game. You gotta keep ya game tight too.

Presently, I hit live auctions weekly as well as checking out silent auctions around town from time to time; gotta keep new product flowing in. Then I must take the new product and shine it up and have it looking as nice as possible, get it pictured, price it, and get it listed in the appropriate store. I then must plug my new items on social media wherever is reasonable to keep traffic flowing through the stores.

I’ve got to keep plugin’ on facebook and IG to keep more people taking notice of my ever growing brand.

On top of all the hustle, probably the biggest challenge is to keep things fresh and poppin’, Part of the job requirement to grow in this biz is to be creative with a high level of fluidity. The creativity must continue to pour out without ceasing and know no ends.

This is only a peek into what it is I do… I still have business consulting, coaching, emails, phone calls, money management, investments…

Truth is, I wouldn’t trade what I am doing for anything… I love what I do. I love being my own boss and building something great for my family. This is such a beautiful thing, and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve got and where we’re going. The key is though…why am I doing all of this… not for fame and glory… although I do love the glory of the game… I do this for my family, and more often than not, moments need to be taken to spend time with my family. I also have other obligations for to my family; simple things that I need to do to take care of them…

Be sure you take a moment or two to ask you family or maybe just some friends…”Where the roses at, Yo!?

You know you’ve heard it before… and the person who said it to you will swear that it is a real thing and will explain that this is their method… False.

That mess is just that… a mess. Plain and simple, there is no organized chaos in business… A successful business although it may seem chaotic at times to someone on the outside, it is strategic and calculated… otherwise, it won’t ever reach it’s potential. Are you trying to do just what you gotta do to get some cheddar in your pocket or are you trying to build something viable, something strong, something great… You notice there is no question mark at the end of that question because it isn’t really a question. If it was, you wouldn’t be reading this.
My uncle is a man who is quite skilled at what he does. He has a reselling business and is quite the hustler. He is so good and hustlin’ and countin’ his bag, he doesn’t realize that his bag is much lighter than it should be. Don’t get me wrong; of all the people I have known doing this type of work, he is close to the top when you are considering sales… but is he efficient… is he making the most of his bankroll… he truly isn’t. He has endless potential with the skill set that he has in this market. He just won’t tap into it because he claims he loves the organized chaos. He keeps everything in disarray and no rhyme or reason to any of it… not his inventory, not the photos log for his inventory, an overflowing email box, and you wouldn’t be able to find anything on his desk… Now he will claim that he can find anything he needs and that the idea is that he doesn’t want anyone else to find anything… What would they be looking for?… He embraces the organized chaos theory, and this is why he is still doing what he is doing which he is very good at, but he has dreams of doing so much more… Who knows if he will make it there…

Years ago, I used to sling hash… for those who don’t know, I was the head cook for four years in a great kitchen. I loved it. It was fun, it was busy… I love to cook and love moving fast. It was a fun adventure in my life while it lasted… Well, point is I remember a phrase that I would here around the kitchen and have heard in many kitchens since then. “A dirty cook is a working cook.” Total nonsense. You do not just get dirty because you are hustlin’. They had mostly red aprons and some white aprons in the kitchen I worked in. Most people preferred the red because it would take longer before you’d notice the grime… Not me nor my homeboys, Poncho and Everisto… We rocked the white shirts with black slacks and just thought the white aprons looked tight. We had to look as cool as we could… I’ll tell you right now that the three of us never really had a problem keeping clean. None of us really liked to be dirty and we were slingin hash in a kitchen that was pretty busy… all the other cooks just got so dirty… When a manager or someone would justify their filth with the phrase, “a dirty cook is a working cook.” Yeah, we never really appreciated that. We were definitely not dirty, and I’ll tell you… myself included, you won’t find a cook elsewhere that hustled like we did… no question. At the end of the night, we were still lookin’ so fresh and so clean. Haha

What it is ladies and gentlemen… It is excuses. Anyone who is falling short of the glory they should be reaching will have plenty of excuses why opposed to realizing that they should be doing it differently.

It starts with pride… whether you are an entrepreneur or not… you need to take some pride in your work. Whether you are slingin’ hash, flippin’ a burger, mopping a floor, or building your own empire… take some pride in it and do it well. Some of you will read this and think it silly to take pride in mopping a floor… Do the best possible job you can so one day you will not be mopping that floor. Take pride in your work. At the end of the day, be proud knowing that your work is a representation of you to others. And if you are an entrepreneur, everything you do reflects to the success of your business as does the success of your business reflect on you. It is a cycle. Be proud and embrace that cycle.

‘nough said… Get Cocky.

Those who have known me for a while know that I have a background in psychology; I attended the University of Texas and even worked in a research lab.

More and more in today’s society, I hear people arguing that education is a waste of time… oooh…. I could not disagree more. I have heard the argument so many times about the statistics referencing that many of college graduates do not even utilize the degree that they graduate with… I hear about the massive debt that students accrue… So many people with so many complaints about education.

I will not say that every must or needs to go to college… I will, however, say that I wish more people would. Just for a personal preference; there are far too many people out there that lack education. It just makes life less enjoyable when you encounter these people daily and they have no desire to learn anything but feel they already know everything… you know these people; we all do. You can’t get away from them. People try to blame it on a generational thing or whatever…but there have been stupid people in every generation; it is a sad yet very true fact. I simply say stupid because that is what it is when people assume they know everything and refuse to learn anything…STUPID.

Now, to put away my soapbox… I encourage education for so many reasons… I do have my personal reasons; yet there are many professional reasons as well. Truth is that you need to be educated. You need to know more than what you are selling. There are plenty of people who get by on just their one little skill or product or idea, but do you want to get by or do you want to be wealthy and successful? Let’s get there already, then.

You need to be educated. You need to know some things. You need to have some mathematical background so you can know how to manage your funds and your budget. You need to be able to budget, manage your overhead (whatever it may be), track expenses, balance your books, etc. These are all fundamentals that ultimately are many people’s downfall. You need to be able to write, at least a little. You need to be able to write a memo, a proper email, draw up paperwork, etc. It can be critical to be able to formulate proper documents and conduct yourself professionally as well as protecting yourself. There have been many business deals that have fallen through in which documents were not legit and one party is left being held responsible. You need to be articulate; be able to carry yourself in a professional manner and speak well to others. You need to speak well and have people want to listen to you when it is your business you are trying to grow.

Overall, there are so many things that you will learn by going to school… so many things I did not even touch on here as I was merely speaking about the fundamentals when trying to grow your business.

I have learned many things over my years in the education system; I learned about statistical design processes as well as in depth psychological perspective, business writing, creative writing, debate, science, history, politics…. Reality is, I could go on and on because I loved my education. I am grateful I did it and have never regretted it. It was a truly amazing experience and I learned so much that I utilize every day. So frequently, I can reference something from my days in school… I also had experiences and fun that don’t compare to anything else (I am not talking about drunken frat parties either).

It is important and beneficial to be educated; there are so many benefits that can propel you into the future. Don’t buy into the idea that it is a waste of time because of all the hype or because it is cool to not go to school. Get out there, have some experiences, make some memories, and learn something.

Your future is what you make it to be. IT is never to late to learn more either. Just sayin’

There was a time when I was in college that I had a part time job tutoring math at the community college. I tutored everything from basic mathematics skills to calculus although calculus wasn’t my strongest subject to tutor. I have always been good at math since I was young, but it wasn’t until I got to college and met the most incredible professor I have ever known. His name was Omar, and he just had this special ability to make mathematics crystal clear. During my tutoring sessions, specifically the students who came to me seeking aide in the developmental math classes had this aversion to math. I can’t say that I didn’t understand. Even though for me, growing up, math was my best subject, in my entire life math was only presented fun a few times…for arguments sake, let’s say I could probably count the times it was presented fun on one hand… math was taught to us nearly every day we attended school all through grade school and then sometimes there was patterns to curriculum in middle school and high school, so you may not see it every day…but ultimately that is a lot of math that is rarely approached from any angle other than technical. I am aware that math is very technical and knowing how it functions is important. I am also aware that there are effective ways to approach as I have seen them in action.

Omar was an exceptional professor on so many levels. He put the students at ease when going through the developmental courses by letting them know he struggled all through high school but went on to get his Masters in Mathematics. “If I can do that, you can get through this course,” he said. He always had these fun stories of how formulas were created…when, where, why…under what circumstances was the mathematician when he discovered something new. It was really great because he made math more interactive and allowed a little history to be involved which made the material more relatable than just memorizing formulas…which to be honest is a truthful thing sometimes. Sometimes, you must just memorize, and it will piece together later.

I utilized many stories and tricks for memorization that Omar taught me in my tutoring as well as my own personal life. Even when you are killed at math implementing formulas can be tricky sometime and you forget little things; we all do.

I recall one day at the end of a College Algebra class, a student who was notorious for questioning everything and always took opportunities to express how this was all a waste of his precious time, decided to ask Omar, when will we ever use this… Omar, knowing who this student was and knew he would quickly shoot down any logical answer provide, simply stated, “the state of Texas requires this course for your particular degree; if you wish to get your degree, you will use this to pass this class.” ‘Nuff said.

Some people are so determined that they do not need math, or they are convinced of their lack of ability in this area, that they are closed off to the idea that they can indeed do math. It is a little-known fact and frequently argued concept that math is involved in all things we do. I live in Austin, Tx which is a very musical city to all of you who are unfamiliar… I know many musicians, several of which believe they are no good at math although they write music. I have had many discussions expressing that if they are writing music, they are using math even if they do not realize it.

The key for many of you out there building your business are growing as an entrepreneur is that math is so critically vital to a business owner. You must know the logistics of what you are building and be able to spout the numbers of your business off with little thought. You must be that involved in the development and growth of your business that you ‘KNOW’ those numbers… but knowing is much more than being able to recite them. Anyone can memorize numbers and list them off; you must be able to understand what they mean and how to apply them. You must know the ins and outs of your finances. The eb and flow of your cash flow is so vital to your success. There are so many people with incredible skills that fell short and their business crumbled because of lack of mathematics in their efforts. They trusted someone else to know or just believed that money was coming in so no need to analyze the details… this is so far from true. Money is coming and yes, your business may be growing, but do you know what your next step is? Do you know where it should be going from here. Maybe you have ideas but without proper analytics of your finances, you can’t make accurate decisions. This can make the difference between your success and your failure.

You need to understand your taxes and make sure you are keeping yourself protected and within the bounds of the law. You can, of course, hire an accountant to crunch the numbers for you especially as your company grows…that is a lot of time that ultimately shouldn’t be spent by you if you are needed elsewhere, but you need to understand how it works and be able to go over what they have done and know your money is in the right place and well attended to.

You need to be able to formulate a budget for maintaining your company as well as the growth of your business and the potential expansion into new business ventures. If you aren’t careful and managing your funds properly, new business ventures can destroy the viable business you already have. These are things you must know and understand.

This is a lot to take in and much of it will be gotten into later in more extensive details… Be sure to stay tuned.

Math is so critically vital and not at all scary. Do not allow math to be your downfall. Utilize it to the greater good of your future success. Math is your friend if you let it be.

No matter what business you are in or how successful you believe yourself to be, there is always more… Never settle or sell yourself short. There will always be more. It is just a matter of how much do you want to be involved in? And how much are you willing to adapt?

Be flexible… and be willing to learn.

For a moment look at someone like Richard Branson…the Rebel Billionaire himself. He founded Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, years ago he began work on a space program. He even funded the company Love Sac which is just a little random.
Jim Jones made his way spittin’ bars as a rapper. From there, he was in a group, Dipset, and got into producing. He now owns a company that provides cell service and is looking into new investments.
IceCube is very well known for being one of the founding members of the rap group N.W.A. as well as his later success as an actor; he also started his own show, Hip Hop Squares, and even owns a 3 on 3 basketball league.

The point here is that these are extremely successful individuals that aren’t banking only on their initial claim to fame… they grew, they adapted, they diversified; you must be willing to do the same. Grow your business into a thriving success and then begin to look towards the future and see what’s next. There are endless opportunities out there if you are ready to get out there and grab a hold of them.

Be cautious to not over-commit and spread yourself too thin… but get it going already. Once your business is thriving, it is time to begin growing the next one… once that is thriving, it is time to move on to the next… sometimes, there may be opportunities for the next before one is thriving… you have to make the best possible call when faced with this… you can always grow more than one at the same time… don’t allow yourself to be sucked in and find yourself over-committed.

Get started on your next big thing. Invest in businesses, stocks, opportunities.

Grow. Nurture. Thrive.

No matter where you are and how high you have reached… Reach for more.

What’s the last book you read? How often do you sit and read a book?

This is an important thing… It is frequently an overlooked part of success…

It is important to continue learning and expanding your horizons; it truly never ends. The rich and successful spend more time reading than they do watching television… and I am not referring to random fiction. They are reading things that expand their minds or help them grow in their field of expertise.

It is also important to know that it can be incredibly helpful to read things written by your peers. Doctors, psychologists, scientists and theologians are constantly reading works written by their peers. Sometimes we need to be reminded that this is not only okay, but the best way to broaden your horizons. Sometimes, in business, people allow their pride or ego get in the way of progress. You never want to take someone’s ideas…that is stealing and wrong and will almost never help you; it nearly always blows up in your face. You do not want to waste time and efforts on something like this. But we all get influence in everything we encounter… it is only natural that influence is all around is… it is just a matter of whether we pick up on it.

The idea that it is all around us, as I have expressed many times before, you already have ideas and direction… it is what makes you, you. But there is always room to grow and learn. The most successful people know better than to stop learning and being open to growth. You must be on that level.

The reality is that you may need to adjust your train of thought or maybe there is that little something that you need to know that you may not have been aware of before.
When I was about 22… I was young and eager to learn more and more and grow myself into a business mogul; at the time, I was really open to so many possibilities and always had an interest in real estate because of a small collective of people I knew. My cousin was a realtor and a friend that I had worked with for some time had been flipping houses and was quite good at it. My uncle ran his own business, but it was simply built by him without any investments as his began as a fluke (that is a story for another day). My Mom and Dad had multiple successful and some not so successful businesses as did my grandma. I had another close friend that at the time seemed a lot like me with ambitions of success and was eagerly seeking new opportunities. He knew some things about business and he and I had began working on some business adventures together. Nearly all did fizzle out… (stories for another time…) you do learn from the ones that fail… sometimes more than the successes. Having been under the influence of so many people with what I thought was the right mentality, I felt I had a pretty good base of business knowledge already from a young age… having said that, I was ready to learn more; I wanted to soak up everything like a sponge.
So, I went with a friend to a seminar on real estate thinking I would learn so much… from this particular experience, my friend and I both walked away feeling as though we had missed something… we were aware that we were not yet moguls nor were we successful business men yet. We were just trying to get started, but we felt like we already knew most of the information that was presented at this seminar. We weren’t sure what we were missing, yet we were excited about the one little nugget of info that neither of us at that time knew… Neither of us knew about a ‘hard-money loan’ nor did we have any idea of how such a thing would work. We walked out of their looking shocked that we felt aware of most of the rest of information but were stoked that we both looked to one another and said nearly at the same time, “what about that hard money loan?… Yeah, that’s pretty tight.”

My friend who had been flipping houses for some time now, never did it that way. He had his own system which he shared with me and seemed much more challenging but for him it worked. Him and his wife had a system. Their system worked for them. You will always find new information even if just a small detail… that detail may not be ideal for you, but you have at least expanded your knowledge and some day it could be what you need. Or today, it could be a game changer. You never really know. You must be open to learning. The fact that what you have going works, doesn’t mean there isn’t more out there… something better or more efficient. You may learn that something you were doing just a s a hobby, could really be your future… Be willing to learn.

Pick up a book.

Today is an important day…

This is, without question, the most difficult post I have done thus far… A year ago, today, my life was changed and will never be the same…  I lost my Mom. I can’t begin to express what she meant to me. She truly was one of the most amazing people I have ever known in all my life.

She was the one who taught me to be the man I am today. She taught me to be ambitious. She taught me to be strong. She taught me that fear was okay, but not to be scared or controlled by fear. You must be strong and decisive.

I remember growing up hearing the stories of her and Dad’s business ventures. I always knew that I would own my own business one day. Over the years the type of business changed so many times…but ultimately, I was going to be like my Dad… my Dad wasn’t around when I was growing up. He was when I was little, but then him and Mom divorced, and we lost touch for much of my life… When I was a teenager, I looked to him like a hero… it wasn’t till later that I grew and realized that I was seeing him through my Mom’s eyes. He wasn’t my hero; he was an amazing man. He was a wonderful man. He was my Dad. He will always be my Dad, and I love him dearly… I hold the moments and memories that we shared so close in my heart. But the truth is, as amazing as he was and still is, my hero, he is not. My hero is my Mom. She has been for nearly all my life, even when I was too clueless to realize it.

My Mom taught me about being an entrepreneur, and she also taught me about the importance of writing and expressing myself artistically. She told me stories my whole life that caused me to look up to my Dad and want to be like him…

All along, I wanted to be like her. I wanted to be the type of man that she would see as worthy and good enough. I wanted to make her proud. I wanted my Dad to one day come back in my life and see the man I had become. I wanted her to know that as incredible as she thought he was, I could be great too. I could do the amazing things they did.

My drive and ambition have always been there… It was always something that was in me. Many things over the years have clouded my judgement as life tends to do, but that drive has always been there, and it was because of her. It was because of what she taught me and how she taught me to be.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the stories she shared about Dad and the picture she painted of him being a Texas Hero and an entrepreneur with ambition to spare…. But ultimately, when telling these stories, she never expressed that they started these businesses because of success, fame, or fortune… she always said they were just having fun. That was something I never forgot. They had fun. They loved working with one another and in so many different arenas also. At one point, my Mom… 5’2” 120 lbs… and my Dad owned a company laying brick… She was always so proud to tell me… “Me and your Dad used to lay brick.” I was so proud every time I heard it.

Mom, I’m doing it! I am running my own successful business and I am reaching others and helping them start and run their business. I am also reaching more people through my writing which you always encouraged. I wish you were here to see what I have accomplished. You were always so proud of me and loved when I started my first business years ago and always encouraged and helped as much as you could along the way… I am now helping others as you always helped me. I love you, Mom. I am so proud to share your stories and the things you have taught… Me and Jason shared stories with each other today about growing up… we talked of some of our friends and the experiences we had. I remember friends like David and Andre called you ‘Mom’. If only more people could have been so lucky and so blessed to have a mom like you. I am thankful everyday… I am learning that you never stopped teaching me… even to this day… just by talking to Jason, I realized things that I was still learning from you. I miss you more than you know and will continue to honor you, Kimberly, our kiddos, and the Bayless Family traditions as I grow and continue to develop my business. I don’t think I ever properly thanked you either… but I don’t think we can ever thank the people who touch our lives and effect so strongly.

Today, I ask of all of you, please take a moment to show a little love and appreciation to those who support you in your efforts and business… those who are always there for you. Whether it be your Mom, Dad, brother, wife, husband, or true friend…  whoever is in your life who is there for you in that special way and continues to encourage you and help you grow to be a better person, give them your love and appreciation… You wouldn’t be you without them.