It’s 2015, I’m about to take the stage at my Genius Network® Annual Event, and risk what feels like everything. My reputation. Rejection. Humiliation… Because I’m about to publicly reveal all my “stuff,” the stuff I’ve tried so hard to keep “private,” and doing so is either going to really help the group or really hurt me. On the outside, I look like “me” to the 400+ in the audience. On the inside I’m pretty scared and sweating bullets.
My mother died of cancer when
I was just four years old.
My father was heartbroken from my mother’s death. My brother was screwed up as well. Through it all I felt scared and I was very disconnected. I spent three months the summer after my high school graduation freebasing cocaine every single day. At my worst state I weighed 105 pounds. In one single day I did every drug you can think of. I came an inch from death by overdose.
To save my life, I cut ties with all my friends, moved a state away, and
After a series of odd jobs I became a failing carpet cleaner. What saved me was the discovery that I love marketing and I explode my business, and soon branched out to teaching others how to do the same. My idea for Bill Phillips' “Body for Life,” raises the most money ever for Make-A-Wish®. By 2004, my Nightingale Conant marketing course is the top seller in the world. I’m making millions and helping others do the same. Stuff like that.
But around this same time, I’m living this double life, successful in my forward-facing business, but privately in a lot of pain and turmoil. Toxic relationships. Embezzlement by an employee. My father dying. Addictions… Through this the only real guiding light is all the time I spend sitting in circles with others at recovery groups.
I ask her how much she’d pay for such a group and she says, “$25,000.” So I take her suggestion, receive her check and Genius Network® is formed.
It’s powerful right out of the gate. Abundance360 was started in Genius Network®. (Peter Diamandis sold it for millions in 2018.) We birthed Arianna Huffington’s marketing campaign for her book Thrive, and it debuted at #1 on New York Times List. Richard Branson spoke at my first Genius Network®. I started Entrepreneur trips to Necker Island and raised millions for Virgin Unite. I’m curating Genius and lots of big stuff is happening.
Recovery circles showed me everyone has pain (and addictions) no matter how successful or famous they are. Especially Entrepreneurs who are often addicted to work. But no business groups were ever addressing an Entrepreneur’s pain and suffering.
And so that’s why in 2015, I’m about to take the Genius Network® stage and at great risk, reveal all my “stuff.” Because I’m hoping it will help the group evolve.
So I take a deep breath,
share all my “private stuff,”
and reveal ALL my addictions. I lay it all out there. In front of all my peers.
That’s the day Genius Network® up leveled to a place where people not only grow their businesses, but also recover their health, save their marriages, and become better fathers and mothers.
My mission today is two-fold:
1) To help build a better Entrepreneur through an E.L.F.®(Easy, Lucrative, and Fun!) life and business; and
2) Help change the global conversation about how others view and treat addicts.
Yes, I love marketing, but I’m driven to help reduce human suffering, and I know connection is the way.
Any problem can be solved with the right Genius Network®. In addition to building a better Entrepreneur, we build in solving the addiction problem…
Addiction means something different to everyone.
For Entrepreneurs, it usually means workaholism to escape life’s other problems… or another addiction to escape work!
The Genius Recovery Mission is to Change the Global Conversation Around Addiction and Recovery.