Shortly after I returned home from my wedding in Costa Rica, I felt motivated to do something with all of the footage I had collected for the year leading up to our beautiful wedding in Costa Rica and the entire week of fun that we had in Central America. I wanted to make something that Keeley and I would always be able to look back at to remember this time in our lives and show to our kids one day!
This entire movie was shot on cell phone cameras and Go Pros! Coupled with my limited video editing skills, I put together a 40 minute movie that tells the story of the entire year leading up to our marriage and I think it’s pretty epic.
In the movie, you will go on a journey with us and all of our friends to around the world, surfing, skydiving, dodging volcanoes and eventually see the moment that changed our lives forever.
I hope that you like it as much as I do! Now enjoy, and let me know what you think! Thank you in advance for watching and for everyone who was a part of this and helped make this happen!
Keeley and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing this chapter of our life. The wedding was absolutely amazing. Better than Keeley and I could have ever imagined or anticipated. We hoped and planned for the best, but what transpired over the week in Costa Rica went far beyond our expectations.
All of this could not have been possible without the love and support from our friends and family who graciously made the journey from all over the world to join us on our special day. Our hearts are filled with gratitude and we are so elated over the entire experience. We rode zip lines in the jungle, surfed in the warm Central American water, did lots of yoga and got married on the beach with our toes in the sand and an amazing Costa Rican sunset as our backdrop.
The most amazing part of our wedding week in Tamarindo was how everything just flowed. The weather called for pouring rain on our raining day, it didn’t rain a drop. We were able to spend time with all of our guests who came which was important to us because everyone made a long journey to get to Costa Rica.
To top it off, not only did our guests get along, they all made friends with each other which is so cool. I don’t know if I can attribute that to the quality of friends Keeley and I have or if we just got lucky on when it came to personalities that just jived. Either way, I have never seen a group of people in my life get along and engage with each other so well especially with such a diverse group of people from so many different walks of life. It was just really neat to experience that!
I am writing this final newsletter/blog from Santa Teresa, Costa Rica (about 4 hours south of where we got married). I have finally had some down time to take in the entire wedding experience. As I look through the photos, and see the posts coming through on Facebook and Instagram, I am filled even more with gratitude. I can honestly say that this wedding was the best day of my life. To be able to share this beautiful country and our wedding day with our families and closest friends meant the world to me.
We were able to capture this experience in time and essence of the entire week through photos and video of the wedding and all of the activities leading up to and after the wedding. As a result of this, I am going to make a very cool video outlining the entire trip. Look out in the next couple of weeks for that as I will put it up in another blog post along with links to download all of the photos from the wedding.
Also, keeley and I have decided to have two different receptions sometime this summer in San Diego and North Carolina for all of the guests who simply could not make the trip. We will send out a newsletter announcing that when we choose the dates.
Until then, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everyone who came, it was absolutely magical!!!
When I was 17, my mentor Mike Watson asked me to write a list of all the things I wanted in my life. Here is what I wrote
-Get my own place.
-Get a car.
-Get a girlfriend
-Get a job and be able to support myself with out the help of my family.
By the time I was 18 years old, I had gotten these things. I had a little apartment in South Los Angeles, bought a 95 Acura Integra for $5,000 and met a pretty girl that I was with. I was working at Guitar Center in Lawndale CA as sales rep which was a step up from my last job working the burrito line at Chipotle. I went back to my mentor and told him that I had gotten everything that I wrote down on my list. He told me to go make another list, but this time dream bigger.
My next list looked something like this.
-Go to Jr. College.
-Move in to a bigger place.
-Make enough money to where I have some left after bills at the end of the month.
-Get a truck!
-Start a business
When I turned 20, again I finished these things. I enrolled at El Camino Jr. College paid for by a scholarship I won in a persuasive speech contest. I found a nice little house in Lomita CA I moved in with a couple of friends and started my first business, a clothing company called All Else Failed Ind. He told me to keep going, that I can have whatever I wanted as long as I put it down on paper and was willing to work for it. (So I did, but I went big on this one)
-Make 100k or more per year
-Transfer into a UC/CSU school to finish my undergraduate degree.
-Write a book
-Make an album (Im a musician)
-Buy a house
-Buy a nice Car
By age 23, I published my first book “The Rich Kid Syndrome.” I moved from Los Angeles to San Diego to buy my first home in Oceanside CA, and then transferred to CSU San Marcos after spending the summer of 2007 Studying abroad in Spain, Italy and France. This was also my first $100,000 year and I earned quite a bit more the following year with my little brokerage firm that started in Carlsbad. I was doing so well, I decided to buy and new BMW, and I bought it with Cash 🙂 I also finally completed my first full-length solo album entitled “The Midnight Songbook.”
As my 24th birthday passed, it seemed as if I could do anything. It was like every single year, I would just write a new list of things down that I wanted, and then I would get them. I felt unstoppable, and invincible. Then the year 2008 came and everything changed.
It only took about 6 months after the economy crashed to lose just about everything that I had worked for. Aside from the fact that I had lost all steams of income, I ended up being 160K in debt to boot.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I broke up with the girlfriend of 2 years, my dad went to prison, my mentor Mike (pictured above) died from cancer, my best friend screwed me over and I was conned out of my last $10,000 by a person posing as a roommate of mine who stole my identity and flew the coop. That’s what I call a bad year. I was so beaten down by all the loss in and around my life that it was hard to get back up and keep going. In fact some days it was down right direly depressing and some very bad thoughts entered my mind.
I realized that even though I had some major setbacks, and life threw me a couple of shit sandwiches, I had 2 choices. 1)Quit and kill yourself 2) Eat the shit sandwiches and make a list of things you want (as it has always seem to work before). So after a long day of gathering my thoughts and some meditation at the beach, here is the list that I made.
-Publish my second book
-Find a new industry to work in
-Surround myself with better people.
-Climb out of the hole (meaning get out of debt)
So, I picked up the pieces of my life and got back to work. I was 24, in serious debt, couldn’t find a job that would pay me nearly anything I was making in the mortgage game and all my “friends” or at least the people who I thought were my friends seemed to disappear with the money, the girlfriend and the stuff. I literally just had to hit the reset button on my life and start over.
I got in to Multi-level marketing, first with a company called Mona-Vie and then eventually in a company called RevvNRG. I always thought MLM was a scam but saw a lot of people making money in it. I figured if some barley high-school educated bozo’s from the Utah could make a couple million bucks on the Network Marketing game, how hard could it be? So I jumped in with both feet.
It took me about 18 months before I saw my first $10,000 month. As it turns out, you really can make some money in MLM. The next 3 years of my life seemed as if I was getting back in to my groove. I was traveling around the country, building a huge organization, making great money again and speaking on stages around the world telling stories of success and rising back up once life had knocked me down. I graduated college, published my next book “The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life.”
I felt relieved in a lot of ways. I felt as if I had a handle on things, life threw me some curve balls but I learned how to bend and fold in the situations and survive. As I was nearing 28 Years old, I began to reach my peak again. Now that I had the money game on point it was time for me to start living again, for me, this meant lifestyle.
What do I mean by lifestyle? Well to me “life” encapsulates all the things a human being has to do to live. Meaning we need to eat sleep, make a living, have friends etc. “Style” is a manner of doing something, so when you put those two together what you have is how a human being goes about living. I’ve come to understand that living life can be done many ways. Some people live very safe, they like a 9-5 job with benefits and 2 weeks vacation. Some people don’t even get that choice, they feel stuck in their life due to circumstances. Example: The man who worked as a mechanic his whole life because that’s what his father did and grandfather father did before him or the idea that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, thats all bullshit at least to me it was.
So I picked up a few new hobbies, and got back in to someones that I had neglected due my crazy ass work schedule. Here is what it looked like.
So I finished, college, published my new book, completely changed the people I surrounded myself with and found myself 5 years in to a promising industry that was allowing my to travel the world, live my dreams and crawl out of the black hole that I had lived in. I wish i could end the story here, because then it would be a happy ending, but there was one more twist that was going to happen to me before I hit the age of 30. But I at least got my dream trip of traveling around South East Asia and Surfing in Bali twice before shit hit the fan again. (see below)
And then I got back to America. in fact it was Early May of 2013 when I arrived home from Bali for the second time that year to find out the master distributor of the Network Marketing company I was involved in was trying to do an end-run on the distributor base and secretly move them in to another company all together. When I caught him in the middle of it, I blew the whistle (get that full story here).
In a mad rush to try to save what was left of the company, I began negotiations to broker a buyout from another MLM company. In fact that is where I was last year on my 29th birthday. Even though we were able to get a deal done, it ultimately fell apart because as it turns out the owner of the company I was staying loyal to was scarred and greedy.
Fortunately, being down the “put all your eggs in to one basket” road before, I had some back up plans this time around. I had learned how to trade the FOREX market (read that story here) for some time and I had a little Tech-Start-up called Roommatefax.comthat I had been working on for a little time. Although I though I would have at least another year of residual income to count on from my network marketing ventures, I didn’t so I had to execute that back-up plans a little faster and take some side consulting work to make ends meet till I got them off the ground.
That brings us to the present, and as I cross the threshold into my thirties, I took some time to reflect, and these are the questions that kept repeating to me in my head.
-Have I lived honestly and had the best intentions?
-Did I take all the risks necessary to pursue success no matter the cost and safety?
-Would those (dead or alive) who came before me and made sacrifices for me so I could get ahead in life be proud of the man I have become?
-Will I be able to look my child in the eyes one day and proudly tell him or her about the choices I have made?
-If I were to die tomorrow, did I accomplish everything I set out to do? and when some of those things failed, did I see them through till the end and learn something from the experience?
-Have I lived with Honor, Integrity and loyalty?
-Was I a good son, brother, friend and human being?
I can honestly and confidently answer yes to all these questions, and that makes me grateful. I always thought by 30 years old, I’d have a million dollars and today I’m 30 and I don’t have a million dollars, in fact, I’m far from it, but what I do have is something that money can’t buy. What I have is something a lot of rich men spent their entire life chasing but could never seem to find. It’s the thing that most people live their whole life trying to find but it eludes them. What is it? Love. I’m surrounded by it and all the things that happened to me in my life were for a reason, they were to keep me safe from people, places and things, and sometimes from myself. I had lots of guardian angels that came in the form of people and circumstances.
I did my best to put Love out in the world, to give it when I could and try to keep the faith that it was there even when I couldn’t see it. I found hope, even when good people died or went to jail. I make hard amends to people I disliked, and let go of hatred for those I could justifiably hold resentments against. I found out what kind of man I was when life got hard, and saw what I was capable of when surrounded by the right people and situations. I learned to have a thick skin, be fearless and most importantly, not take life to seriously.
So all that’s left to do is make a new list. The list will probably have some things like get married, have kids etc. For me, it’s an open book. A big blank canvas waiting to be filled with life, love and memories. Fortunately, I’ve got quite a bit of experience now and I believe my best years are ahead. My 20’s were the minor leagues, and now its time for the major’s and I can’t wait to start playing!
Thanks for all the love and support! See you at the top!
It is always interesting having conversations with people when it comes to questioning their belief systems. Depending on the emotional intelligence ofthe individual you might find yourself in a very sticky situation if you begin to allege that what ever the believe is simply not true. No one likes to have their bubble popped, and for a long time, I believed that even if I was to send the person in a tail spin temporarily by popping their bubble, I honestly believed that the truth would set them free, and even though they would hate me in the moment they would thank me for it later. They approach worked about 1% of the time.
Case and point. One day I made some comment on Facebook about why football was a modern-day bread and circus. I went on to say that “it is ridiculous to spend as much time, money, and effort following, knowing about and discussing football games, players etc.” What happened next was absolutely mind-blowing. A group of my so-called “Facebook” friends turned on me and started attacking me. It was as If I told them Jesus doesn’t exist and their mom is a Kunt!
As I watched these people attack me personally and go through my past Facebook posts trying to find hypocritical statements that would give them more fuel to de-legitimize me as an individual proving to anyone who looked at the post that I was an idiot and fuck me because I didn’t like football. I should have known better. You can questions someone’s religion, you can punch them in the face or call them an idiot, but don’t EVER attack football! And if you are going to attack football, don’t do it in a public forum like Facebook, ask me how I know. I’m pretty sure I lost about 25 or so Facebook friends that day.
So what does this have to do with VICE. Well everything actually. As one of my favorite political philosophers Herbert Marcuse wrote about in his book The Dimensional Man. He introduced the idea of “Repressive-Desublimination.” It’s the idea that Pop-Culture eclipses real culture. For example, give a 21-year-old the option to listen to Frederick Chopin or Flo-Rida and see what happens. Even though Chopin is considered by many to be one of the best pianists of all time, most of my generation doesn’t even know who he is.
Here is a better example, and one you test. Next time you’re in a group, ask the group “who here know’s who Brad Pitt is married too?” Guaranteed 100% will know the answer. Then ask “Can anyone in here name just 2 standing supreme court justices.”
No one will get that one. So what does this all mean? It simply means that the media has done an incredible job of keeping us fat, entertained and happy. This won’t stop either. As long as we continue to plug-in and support shows like MTV’s Teen Mom, or Jersey Shore, and have a bigger turn out for the super bowl than the popular presidential vote. The Media or the people/corporations that control the media, aka: the elitists, illuminate, the Bush’s, Clear channel, AOL-Time Warner, Disney, The Kerry’s, Powell’s, News Corp, GE, and of course Wal-Mart will continue to sell you watered-down cheap thrills, food, explosions, wars, and fake Chinese-made bullshit wrapped up in American flags as long as we continue to buy it.
Click to Enlarge
So coming back to why I love Vice is because they are the one entity that is going against the mainstream and finally getting some traction. If we as a public sphere could become more educated as a culture, then we could do a better job at such things like electing public officials or not allow ourselves to be manipulated by some dodgy lobbyists looking out for the corporations the represent and not the people. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with anything. I’m not representing a conservative or liberal biased here. I’m not even going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t believe, all I ask is that you look and decide for yourself.
God, or the Universe, (what ever you believe) gave a you a brain and the ability to reason so that you could make informed decisions about your life and the world around you. As for as American Democracy is concerned, what I believe is that because it is a democracy, we all rise or fall together as a nation of people. Just because I may have been against the war in Iraq doesn’t get me off the hook for all the innocent people who died out there at the hands of American Soldiers. If you disagree, good, but what did you do to stop it then?
You see, in a democracy, like it or not, any decision made as a country represents the individual decision I make or don’t make if I agree to call myself an American Citizen. So with that being said, lets stop complaining about shit that we “DO” have control over. Educate ourselves, and become a more informed populous. A more informed populous = better elected officials. Better elected officials = Government that represents the people better. Government that represents the people better makes for a happier life. Happier life = longer life and a solid future for us all. Choose wisely.
Now here are my most favorite media spot Vice ever put out, I guarantee once you watch one or two, you will be hooked too! After all, the truth feels good!
Here are some of my favorites!!!
Vice (Show: Guide to Travel) North Korea, the only American media outlet ever to get in to the country.
Vice (News) the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan (This is what winning looks like)
Vice (Documentaries) “The Jesus of Siberia” Classic Vice reporting! Awesome
Vice (Picture Perfect) Saudi Arabian Women “Unveiled”
Vice (Fresh off the Boat with Eddie Huang) FOB in Mongolia
Vice (Far out series) Surviving in the Siberian Wilderness for 70 Years