It seemed like I’d lost everything.
Success had been in my grasp. I was living in the tropical paradise of Florida.
I had a loving wife a growing business and was following my dreams and passions.
Then it started to fall apart.
My wife left, the business died a horrible death and soon I was lost, alone in a haze of confusion.
My finances were a disaster. The mobile home I’d been living in was repossessed and I found myself sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of a spare bedroom in a house that five people were sharing.
All of my earthly possessions were stored in a storage locker that I shared with another young man who was going through a divorce and then he stopped making his share of the payments on the storage locker.
Unable to pay the rent on the storage locker and unwilling to go to my parents and ask for the money to pay it, I lost every single possession I had with the exception of my Martin D-35 12 string guitar that I’d had since 1967, the sleeping bag, a used copy of “Los Angeles on $5 a Day” and a VW bug with no spare tire.
I did have a few dollars from singing original music with my brother in local pubs, just enough for a bit of gas money, but no job, no future.
It’s time to make a decision.
When you are completely down. Emotionally shot. Financially broke and unable to see a positive future, you get to make a choice whether you want to or not.
To be sure, you can decide to do nothing.
If you do chances are things will get worse.
Or you can decide to do something – even if you don’t know what to do.
I certainly had no clue what to do.
As far as I could see there was failure.
- A failed marriage.
- A failed business.
- A financial failure
- A failed vision
And as far as I knew, it was just going to get worse from this point out.
So I made a decision
Since I didn’t like the way things were going, I decided to change — and not just a little.
I left everything I had. Threw the sleeping bag and guitar in the VW bug, put some gas into the gas tank, said goodbye to my brother, family and friends and in the time worn tradition of pioneers from the past, headed West.
There was no clear vision
I just knew my time in Florida was done.
There was nothing, but more of the same there.
So with vague visions of eventually getting to Los Angeles and a plan to at least reach Houston, I got in the VW bug with no spare tire and drove.
It wasn’t an aimless drive though. More like a charging sprint. Up through Florida to Interstate 10, through the Panhandle of Florida, across the coastal areas of Alabama and Mississippi, through Louisiana and into Texas.
No resting, just driving, driving, driving.
And then I hit Houston.
It was boom time in Houston and as I’d driven across the southern states I’d decided to stop in Houston, find a job and earn enough money to travel on towards Los Angeles.
It wasn’t to be.
I reached Houston in the evening after driving 16 hours non-stop, but there was no room in the inn.
Not a single room to be found.
So I kept going.
It’s 12 hours of desert from Houston to El Paso and I hadn’t had a minute of sleep since I left Tampa but, I headed across Texas driving though the night and in the early hours of the morning reached the outskirts of El Paso, which was a good thing, because if what happened next had happened a few hours before, I would have been a long ways from nowhere.
I blew a tire.
Now you figure if you are completely down and out, the bad luck has to end sometime right?
And maybe the fact that it happened close to town was my share of good luck, because I had no spare tire, so I did what I had to do and drove on the rim of the wheel to a tire store on the edge of El Paso and waited for them to open.
They didn’t have my size.
You can imagine my frustration. I’ve been saved by the appearance of the tire store on the edge of El Paso only to discover that there is no solution for my problems there.
But hope MUST spring eternal and so when the owner of the tire store told me that there was a used tire place down the road a mile or two, I climbed back into the VW with no spare and now only the shreds of a former tire and drove on the rim down the road to the used tire place.
And my efforts were rewarded.
This dump of a tire-place not only had a used tire my size. It had two and even better they were willing to part with two totally bald spare tires in my size for only $5 each.
So I bought insurance.
When life is uncertain — and mine certainly was — it pays to have some insurance.
I bought mine in the form of two, totally bald used tires. One to go on the car and one to go in the spare tire compartment under the hood of the VW bug.
Back in the VW …
Still no sleep, but armed with all four tires, a fresh tank of gas and best of all a spare tire, I headed into a new day.
Across New Mexico, into Arizona, through Tucson, Phoenix it was another 9 hours of driving and 580 miles before I reached the California border.
Where I blew my second tire
2,306 miles from Tampa I heard the pop and then the flapping as my VW bug descended to the rim once again.
But I had insurance!
I pulled the spare tire out from under the hood and changing the tire, I smiled as I headed across California with no reserves, barely enough for gas money, no job, no friends, no contacts, nothing but a dream.
And 212 miles later, I reached the suburbs of Los Angeles where suddenly ….
I hear flapping sounds …
No it’s not the wings of a seagull on a Pacific breeze. It’s the sound of my formerly spare tire. The totally bald, used spare tire which had been pressed into full service at the California border. The one with the now separated tread flapping on every rotation of the tire as I carefully drive into my future.
Flap, Flap, Flap, Flap …
That’s the sound of success.
I dug out my used copy of “Los Angeles on $5 a Day” and looked through the listings of cheap places to stay and found a place to spend my very last dime to spend the night.
Monday morning I got up at the crack of dawn and headed for the employment office.
They asked me what kind of a job I wanted and I said ANYTHING to keep me going.
There was a potential job delivering paint for a store that sold paint to auto-body shops and I walked in to apply.
Luckily, the manager of the store gave me the job.
I worked through the day and then evening came.
That was a bit of a problem.
So I went to the manager of the store and told him my story and asked him if he could possibly pay me for the days work since I didn’t have the money for the motel room.
As I told of my quest to come to Los Angeles, I must have hit a few heart-strings with the manager.
His own dream was to become a movie director — what else would you expect, this was L.A.
So for the next week, I stayed night by night at the YMCA until I could save up enough money to be able to stay by the week, which was a cheaper rate.
And things got better …
It didn’t happen in an instant.
I worked two jobs for a while, but at the end of three months, I was offered the editor’s position on a national trade magazine in the recording industry and the REST of my story is much too long to tell here.
That’s for another day.
What’s important for TODAY is …
Sometimes, it’s time to make a decision.
If your life needs to change there is no better time than today to get started on the rest of your life.
I have a lot of ways I can help
I’m going to …
- Please people who want to be pleased
- Help people who want to be helped.
- Fix people who want to be fixed.
- Do what is effective.
- Know what is needed.
- Be the best I can.
I’ll be working with less people, more closely.
To be effective, I need to work with the people who want to work with me, without being everything to everyone.
That’s what the new consolidated Impact/jvAlert program lets me do.
So let’s make it simple, effective and MUCH more valuable for the people who I want to help.
If you would like to work with me Click here and check out the New Impact Partnering Program.
You can be involved as little or as much as you like, but the one REQUIREMENT is that you have to WANT to work with me and this amazing family of remarkable people.
I ONLY want you to join us if this is a good fit for you, but if you think it IS, then I DEFINITELY want you there with this amazing family, building your business, enriching your life and expanding your reach.
Let’s go out there and make a difference.
All the best,
And more, more, more.
P.S. Would love to have you join us at jvAlert Live Washington D.C. because it will give you the chance to meet all of these amazing people LIVE. You’ll never want to leave.
that was really great, each and every word makes me to feel better…failure wont be their for long time as if ken said.. i would like to work with ken…i am from India, all the best to ken
Wonderful Keerthi! We work with people all over the world and would love to work with you.
All the best,
Ken I have already joined the new Impact program at the 2nd level.
I’ve even payed you some.
I still need help.
Thanks for sharing this very personal story. It’s always good when a very successful person can look at their past and see that it was possible to dig out of the hole (I have a few of those moments in my own past, too)–and inspire others to do so too.
We all have them, the hard part is admitting we have them — especially AFTER we’ve been successful in some way and then fallen on hard times.
Success is not a straight line to the top. Lots of zig-zags along the way.
Thanks for being here!
All the best,
A very inspirational story Ken. Thank you for sharing this with us. Like the saying goes…”adapt, adjust and overcome”. I hope & trust this story will inspire and motivate others to achieve their own personal success, as well.
Thanks so much for your kind words Grover. This is a great group of amazing people.
Have to say I love being in the New Impact Partnering Program. One of the best choices I could have made was to join this incredible group of people. It’s only been a couple weeks now and I already have a few things in the pipeline.
If your on the fence what the hell are you waiting for? Jump off the fence and dive into the deep end of the pool, You wont regret it. Just remember knowledge alone is not enough, Action by itself is also not enough, but combine the two and Knowledge + Action = Success
Thank you so much for this kind testimonial@facebook-685419800:disqus It’s great to have you as part of this amazing group in the Impact Partnering Program!.