My story

My early childhood

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, I spent most of my childhood living in poverty surrounded by drugs, gangs, and violence. Oftentimes, the ghetto is romanticized. People who didn’t grow up in that unfortunate situation think it’s cool. I can assure you, it’s not.

We lived in government subsidized housing. Another name for this is public housing, or Section 8. These are essentially homes or apartments that the government owns and rents out to people who qualify for them—typically people below the poverty level.

And naturally, because you’re surrounded by poverty, this usually means more crime.

I have vivid memories of our our home being broken into on several different occasions. The first time it happened, I was only 10 years old. I came home from school one day alone, took out my key to unlock the front door to my home only to realize that the door had been kicked in. They stole every valuable they could find, which wasn’t much. The PlayStation 1, all of our PlayStation games, money, and maybe a few other things.

I remember walking through the house assessing the situation before calling my mom on the landline. When the news broke to my two older brothers, we swore that day we would find the thief—we never did. This same thing then proceeded to happen four more times. They even tried breaking into our home when we were sleeping one night. They were climbing through the window when suddenly my mom screamed and ran toward them. This scared them enough to make them run away. Terrifying.

This is one small story. I’ve got many that could go on for days.

My childhood was filled with a lot of trauma, neglect, bullying, and abuse. I’m not saying this because I want your pity. Not even close. I’m writing this because I want you to know where I started.

I didn’t have any advantages. I didn’t receive a handsome inheritance. I didn’t go to a fancy college or have fancy connections. Nothing.

Moving out of the ghetto

By the time I turned 13, we managed to move out of the ghetto into a small affluent town called Lake Orion.

Lake Orion was a town full of big houses with perfect green lawns, state-of-the-art schools, and a crime rate so low that you would question why police even exist there.

Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that we lived affluent wealthy lives once we moved here. No. While it was certainly an improvement from our living conditions in Detroit—we were still poor. The only place my mom could afford to move us was a trailer park hidden away from the richer parts of the town.

However, once school started, and I began befriending many of the rich kids, I got to see what their lives looked like.

Being invited to their homes was always an experience. A big, beautiful, well-kept home with impeccable landscaping—and even more impeccable interior decorating.

I remember seeing my first home theater room. Literally a room, with several rows of theater seats, and a massive theater screen with flawless 7.1 surround sound audio.

Seeing all of this, the big homes, big cars, big money, was overwhelming at the beginning. A culture shock. But eventually, a seed inside of me began growing.

You see, the first half of my childhood was lived in the ghetto. I got to see and experience poverty firsthand. But now, I was experiencing the opposite. I was experiencing what wealth looked and felt like.

This gave me perspective. It gave me a choice. I’ve seen both sides of the picture, which side do I want? I prefer greener grass.

Many business failures

The school system teaches us that failing is a bad thing. That if you fail a test or an assignment, then you yourself are a failure. And this is the furthest thing from the truth, especially in real life. You see, in real life, if you aren’t failing, it means you aren’t trying. And if you aren’t trying, then you will never win. Failure is a pre-requisite to success. You can’t have success without also having failure, don’t ever forget that.

The first official business I ever started was during my senior year of college. A clothing brand directly out of my college apartment. I learned how to sew from my girlfriend’s grandmother, she taught me everything I needed to know about bonding two pieces of material together.

And so, I invested in a sewing machine and set out to make my first batch of handmade t-shirts. I had four different designs. Solid color t-shirts with paisley pockets and paisley sleeve cuffs. I sold them on Etsy and eBay and made a decent profit. But after the initial batch of maybe 40 shirts and a few custom hats, I got tired of the business and decided to shut it down.

Directly out of college I attempted to become a day trader. I lost a few thousand dollars in the process and learned that day trading definitely wasn’t for me. I also started a YouTube channel where I would track my progress and vlog about it. That only lasted a few months.

My next business shortly out of college was a digital asset and media subscription website in which my wife partnered with me on. Think of like a small scale Envato Market. That lasted two years, and I learned a great deal from the venture. But we decided that it wasn’t the right path for us, and so we closed doors.

After that, we started our first YouTube channel together called Hey Mayos. We did vlog style content, challenges, and all the other trendy things. That didn’t work out too well.

After that is when I started my web development freelancing business. I would consider this to be my first success.

And while running that business, I started an online website template marketplace called Elementor Market. That added a nice bit of passive income to my pocket, and I still get sales from that site to this day. I also started a YouTube channel for this site and produced some content for the channel.

Additionally, while running my web development business, I started a real estate wholesaling business, a lifestyle blog called Fine Curate, two more YouTube channels, all of which failed miserably.

After those failures, I started another blog called MayoFi which was later renamed to The Investor Post. I would consider this business a success as it taught me a lot about keywords, ranking, and communication which I would later bring with me to my current YouTube channel that you know today.

There were a few other quick business attempts mixed in with all of these, but just understand, I’ve tried a lot. I’ve had some success, but a lot of failures. I attribute all those failures as the reason I am successful today. All the failures taught me things and gave me insights that I use on my YouTube channel today.

What's next?

Helping people has been my goal and passion since the beginning. One of the things I said in my first video ever on my channel was “as I grow, I want you guys to grow with me”. And I meant that. It’s one of the reasons I offer the free 30 minute calls—because I care about you. We can talk about anything you want that will help you progress and live a better life.

Growing up poor, I made the conscious choice to decide that I didn’t want my kids to experience the same thing. And so I work extremely hard to grow my business by providing value and giving back on a consistent basis.

My goal is to continue building and growing. Whatever that looks like one, two, five, or ten years from now, I don’t know. But what I do know is I will continue to strive for the best, I will continue to care about people, and I will continue giving back any way that I can.

You’re an amazing human being. Despite your past or current circumstances and how you may feel about yourself, just know that you are special and powerful beyond words. And as cliche as it sounds, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, and if no one else believes in you, just know that I believe in you.