I used to weigh 305 pounds with 35% body fat. I had an eating and drinking problem. As I speak to you now I weigh 186 pounds with seven percent body fat...
When I got out of the Air Force I was stationed at the Langley Air Force base in Virginia. I ended up staying in Newport News, VA working as a carpenter – I helped build massive homes in Williamsburg for $500 a week. One day my friend told me he'd just made $1,000 for a week of work...and he didn't have to stand on a roof risking his life every day! So I tried working at his company that weekend. I ended up making more that weekend than I made the whole week in construction.
The name of the company was MCI. I made over $50,000 my first year. I had made $18,000 in the Air Force so this was a whole new reality for me. I thought I had made it.
I did that until 2004 when some drastic changes took place due to decisions that were made by the company's leadership. Management called us into a conference room and told us they were shutting down operations in three months. I was upset – I loved working there and thought I would be there for the rest of my life. That was the first time I realized that attachment can hurt you.
After I was let go from MCI there was an opportunity at Fairfield Resorts where the top sales people could make $30,000 a month in commissions selling time shares. There were two sales departments: sales to new owners and sales to existing owners. Because of my 'expertise' they put me in the department selling to existing customers. But I struggled in the role because there is a big difference between telemarketing and face-to-face sales with people that already own timeshares.
After three months I wasn't doing well. I was about to quit because being in 100% commissioned sales with no base salary was a very uncomfortable place for me at the time...very.
I had a conversation with the Vice President of my group.
"Kinja you are one of the best sales people we have." He said. "Why don't you try selling time shares to new owners instead of people that already have them?"
So I switched into the new department. I got a sale the first day and my life changed forever. I got five sales the first week – $5,000 of commissions. I was also reading 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki. I realized I had been looking at my finances the wrong way when I worked at MCI – I had been spending all my earnings. But from that point forward I saved everything. Save save save – that's all I did.
I was killing it at work and partying every night. The problem was what I deemed as acceptable – that you can drink and party every night as long as you show up for work the next day – was slowly but surely hurting my future. I didn’t know it at the time...
In 2007 I went to the local Bank of America to deposit a check. The lady at the counter saw that I had over $1,000,000 in my account and gave me a double look. When she looked at me funny, I thought, 'Damn – I've made it.' I started really turning it up.
I was living the life of a top salesman. Buying out the bar. Partying every chance I got. Long nights without any sleep. Not taking care of myself physically. The gym or what I ate or drank wasn't even a factor. I ate what I wanted when I wanted it. All I knew was how to get external pleasures. I didn't know anything about internal happiness. I thought my internal happiness was the satisfaction of being the top sales person. That was my determination – to keep the top salesman spot.
I constantly went on trips where my company and different trade organizations recognized the top sales professionals. In February of 2009 my girlfriend and I went to a recognition trip in Puerto Rico. After we returned we were entertaining another couple at her house and showing them pictures of the trip. That's when I weighed 305 pounds with 35% body fat. Nobody ridiculed my body in the beach photos, but I was personally embarrassed. They weren't judging me – I was judging me...
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