Chad Holmes is just a young lad who knows really little, honestly. “All I know, is that I know nothing”… However, he has managed to accomplish a few things in his life so far. He has spent time amongst indigenous Kichwa tribes of the Amazon teaching and working, the most poverty-stricken areas of Mexico giving missionary service, Muslim fishing villages in Thailand training Muay Thai, and currently resides in the suburbs of Utah.
He has over four years of sales experience. Two of which he managed top sales teams and was in the top 5% of his company—generating over 2.5 million dollars in personal sales. However, this story is not about Chad but about his father. The story of how his father became a millionaire at the young age of 23 after growing up in a family of 11 without a father.
The biggest obstacle to becoming a millionaire is being too realistic and not being ignorant and optimistic.
I have a story that can prove this.
A young boy, at the age of 13, lived in a happy family of 11—including his parents. One cold and windy afternoon, his father went for a plane ride around the valley (he was a scientist who studied plants with infrared technology from planes).The wind was too strong and blew the plane into the mountain side, demolishing it into pieces.
Their family of 10 was left with little to no money. The mother had no job and no skills to provide for their family.
Instead of giving up and being a victim to life, this young boy was optimistic and ignorant to the reality of the situation.
When he turned 15 he started selling chocolates door to door to help put food on the table for his 8 brothers and sister. Within a year he had a small business with 10 employees (other little 10-year-old) going door to door selling chocolates.
He made enough money to pay for his family’s dinner every day for years.
As he grew up, he learned the value of working hard and never being entitled to anything.
Always optimistic and a bit ignorant—not having any formal education beyond high school.
He had a decent amount of money saved when he got married and life seemed hopeful.
But on the way back from his honeymoon he got a call from one of his business partners. He was informed that their 3rd business partner had taken all their money and escaped the country.
(They had recently made an investment with the majority of their money and he had access to all the funds). Upon arriving home, he had a total of $52 in his bank account.
Life seemed hopeless. Again.
Many would give up, say life is not fair and get a job busting tables to make ends meet.
But not if your ignorant and optimistic.
Luckily, this young man was.
21 years old, just married, no college degree and almost zero dollars to his name, a realistic person would look at this scenario and predict this man to a life of struggle.
Maybe after some hard work and schooling he could make his way to a decent life—but never a millionaire. . .
Instead of seeing how a realistic person would and conforming to the life currently laid out before him, he pushed on, just like he did when he was 15—ignorant and overly optimistic about the future.
Within 2 years he started a successful coaching business by going into small businesses and promising them he would raise their sales by at least double.
He would do so by interviewing all the employees, discover what the business lacked, then implemented it.
After two years he was making $150,000 a year (equal to $350,000 now).
He wrote a book about how he did it and became a millionaire by the age of 23.
Fast forward a few years. This same man had invested all his money into real estate. Him and his business partner had over 10 million dollars of investments that they could not sell. The bank would not give them any more loans and they were in a pickle.
So one day, his business partner decided it would be a good idea to transfer their debts to our character’s house so that they could keep getting loans for the company.
It ended up being the worst move for them and they lost almost all the investments—save a little less than a million dollars.
But his house still had a 4 million dollar debt on it that needed to be paid off. His business partner moved out of state and never contacted him again.
Instead of being realistic and saying “Crap. I have 4 million dollars in debt, I should file bankruptcy and face the facts”.
He was ignorantly and overly optimistic.
He got up, brushed himself off, and kept going.
10 years later he started another business doing car emission testing and within 1 year it was generating over a million dollars a year.
There are two more stories that are almost identical to these last 3. He lost almost everything he had—the last one being the real estate crash in 2008.
But every time, he got up, brushed himself off, and kept going—making his money back 5 to 10 times each time.
Being ignorant. And being overly optimistic…
I am blessed and lucky enough to have this man as my father.
Time after time I have seen him go through hell and fight his way out. The funny thing about it, you would never know he was in hell. With a smile on his face and a skip to his step, he never saw his life as it was but as it could be.
The worries and anxieties of the normal man bounce off him like water does on rubber.
He is the most overly optimistic person I have ever met.
I am so humbled I have him as my mentor and role model. And I hope I can have a fraction of his success one day.
The reason I tell you this story is because the path to having a million dollars in your bank account isn’t for realistic people.
You will face trial after trial. Get knocked on your ass time after time. The realistic thing to do would be give up and get a comfortable job in corporate America. But the one who gets up and pushes on is the one who gets the prize.
And maybe that prize is a million dollars.
Maybe it’s not.
No matter what, living your life ignorantly and optimistically is the only way to a successful life. Financially—but most importantly, emotionally.
Chad has interviewed over a 100 millionaires on his blog. You can read them all to get inspired.
Do you have an inspirational story to share, join in the discussion below.
Adeyemi Adetilewa is the founder of Ideas Plus Business, online brand strategist, digital marketing consultant, and cryptocurrency enthusiast. He writes about business, marketing, and technology. Featured on the HuffPost, Evan Carmichael, Thrive Global, and several other publications.