Money is Not Everything

You may think that I’m a living contradiction; from the tweets deep into the night about money, to my wholehearted belief in God, to the gratitude that I have for everything I’ve been blessed with. The fact is that I am only human, multifaceted with several different parts to me. My girlfriend, the lady I confide most in, tells me it even took her six months to figure me out. There is no one way to categorize myself, and for someone to classify me in any single category would be strongly mistaken. I have a passion for business, I love money, I’m covered in tattoos, I wear business apparel almost every day, I drive fancy cars, and I play RPGs in my free time. Money is not everything, and as you’ve read before this it’s nearly been the death of me.

I had not heard of Don Lapre until his charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy and promotional money laundering were brought up in The Republic of EWA Group. After reading about his charges, the first thought in my head was how greedy and stupid one person could be. As I read more about his history of informercials, I came across a website that he made for himself about how much he loved his family. The website, DonLapre.com, almost seemed like a suicide note and the feelings that overcame me were almost unexplainable. For someone as ruthless as me, I actually sympathized with him. Today, the embattled TV pitchman Don Lapre was found dead of an apparent suicide in his cell Sunday morning. Even though my feelings on suicide are not favorable, it really made me reflect on myself.

About two years ago I was speaking with a close friend and advisor of mine, discussing my day to day activities and he asked me a simple question, “What would happen to you if you lost everything, your business, your money, your livelihood?” At the time, I was taken aback and quickly answered saying that business and money isn’t everything to me. As we got off phone, I realized that the truth of the matter was that at the time, money and business was still so important to me it that if I lost it – it would be the demise of me. His challenging question put me deep in thought and actually made me react; I needed to find other things in life. At the time I was 22 years old and I had spent at least 6 years of my life cooped up inside in my nest, building my empire. I had a girlfriend, but I was not ever fully mentally there – business was such a high priority in my life I just didn’t care. Hobbies? None – what was the use, I loved business and that was my hobby.

From that moment, even though I had full confidence in myself and my businesses success, I realized that I needed to find more balance in my life. I couldn’t be chained to the computer for 18 hours a day for the rest of my life. That night, I had a vision that if I didn’t change, I would one day have a wife and kids in a wing of my house while I’m completely locked away from them in an office. I didn’t want that and I wanted to be part of life. I needed to make a change in my life. I had put so much time, effort, and passion into my business – wonder if something actually had failed, what would become of me?

I reacted, and started the process of developing a hierarchy of employees in my company. I refined the art, scaled it up, and quickly got to the point where I did not have to be physically running my business to make sure it worked. I had the option of having free time, if I so felt like taking it. I got so good at building an actual business, the day came along where I actually had free time and I was at a complete loss. I was forced to find hobbies of my own, something that took nearly a year to find. As the necessity of my involvement in day to day was lessened, I used the time to develop closer friendships and then one day my girlfriend walked into my life.

For once, I could actually mentally be there for someone. Because I’m still addicted to work, I had to set a decompression time before seeing her and when I was with her it was strictly with her: no business whatsoever. I put a focal point on developing a real relationship with someone, learning from my mistakes in the past – I’m reaping the benefits of that today. As time progressed, the newly found hobbies and friendships started building up a more prevalent role in my life; it gave new meaning to my life. Business and money finally because an aspect of my life, not my entire life – and if I were to lose that I would have self worth.

20k5PEven with the newly found balance, I don’t think anything is going to get me off this computer. I absolutely love working, interacting with people, and developing businesses. I’m addicted to the hustle and I’m still going to be up working every waking moment. It’s my passion, but it’s not everything – and that is the point that I’m trying to get at with this post. Clearly, Don Lapre was one of the unfortunate ones to never find the balance in life. Rest in Peace, Don – you will be remembered.