My Story & Witness
with photos of me and my daughter.
I was born in upstate New York and lived there until age six when my family moved to Detroit, Michigan. My dad was an engineer in the "connector" division of Bendix Corporation. In 1958 Bendix gave him the choice of moving to "snowy" Chicago or "sunny" Florida. He chose Orlando, Florida, to sell connectors for the new missile launch program at Cape Canaveral.
Growing up in Florida led to playing sports in school. Learning from the competition and the discipline that came with it was very valuable. My high school to college transition was a trying time. I attended four colleges to complete my undergraduate degree, and worked 35-jobs to get the money to pay my education.
Six months before graduating from the University of Tennessee my parents divorced. Two years later my father died at the young age of 52. I missed having my dad around as a mentor and coach the rest of my life. Before his death he was honored as the Bendix Corporation's "Top" field engineer in America. Dad was very smart, and a good father, except when he drank. I will always remember his cheering for me in Pop Warner football, when I hit my first home run in Little League, as the pitcher with the most wins and home runs in Pony League, and at the Kumquat Bowl Championship in Junior High, when I was quarterback, and we won the game, in the ninth grade.
I loved my parents, but did not understand what a "professional drinker" my dad had become, and how it affected his job, my parents marriage and his relationship with me, my brother and my sister.
At age 17 my brother joined the Air Force after dropping out of high school. So, I rarely saw him during his twenty year stint. My sister married early, divorced, and remarried the same man, a few years later. They were married 35-years until he passed away in 2015.
High school was when the family dis-functionality showed up. In addition to my brother quitting school and my sister quitting college after one term, to get married, I got hurt my senior year. I was the quarterback of the "hopeful" backfield, to be state champions in Florida football. When this happened, my dad's drinking increased, and that created intense family problems because I was unable to play my senior year and lost all chances for a football scholarship.
Two years after graduating my Dad divorced my mom. They were married 27-years. Right after the divorce he was fired from Bendix, probably because of his drinking, I think. When dad was sober he was "entrepreneur driven", so he started his own business designing and manufacturing connectors. I remember that he hired a WWII Veteran who had lost both legs and walked with prosthetic legs. This man had a cute 4-year old daughter, born with an appendage growth on her left leg. I mention this only because it really touched my heart, that my dad was so willing to help someone with obvious challenges. I respected him very much for this, and learned from it, that its not the "person in the fight" but "the fight in the person" and this man dad hired was a winner!
My mother was always loving and the spiritual leader in our family. We always went to church and because of her teaching, I have always worked on strengthening my relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ! She taught me to pray for help and guidance to help me get through the challenges in life, and the importance of learning to "forgive."
Upon graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN in 1970 the Vietnam War was raging, and I was going to be drafted. So, I wanted to use my education and applied for, and was accepted, into the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School, and for military flight training. I received my commission but during flight training, many of us were informed that our military obligation was fulfilled, and we could get out if we wanted. this was right around the time the U.S. planned to pull out of the Vietnam War. I requested an early-out got it with an Honorable Discharge. Then I moved to California, to figure out my life.
I had loved football and always worked out, and kept up my punting skills. I found out there was an open tryout with the Los Angeles Rams, in California so I ask to participate as a punter. After the try outs with two hundred players, only one was signed. This is when, I gave up my football aspirations.
Two months later, I joined the U.S. Peace Corp and was assigned to Ethiopia, East Africa. I was lived there two years teaching hygiene, developing a basic village sports program for kids, and set up a hybrid farming project. For the project I wrote a plan asking for $5,000 to be donated from a British relief organization named O.X.F.A.M.. It was to pay for the crop planting and chicken raising programs, which turned out very well.
While in Ethiopia I was sick with amoebic dysentery many times, had typhoid fever, a kidney stone that finally passed. broken ankle from a motorcycle accident, and was treated by a Swedish Mission hospital for a sever case of Malaria, which I almost died from. This taught me that: "You never know how much you can take, until you have to take it!"
Upon returning to the U.S. I petitioned to get in graduate school at the University of Central Florida and graduated with a M.Ed, in Counseling Psychology. I then worked for a counseling center helping to set up and open five counseling centers in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. After that, I opened my own center, the Counseling & Personal Growth Center, in Orlando, FL, and ran it five years.
I got burned out and decided to leverage my psychology counseling skills into a training company and raised $50,000 to fund it. This led to my first lesson of betrayal in business. Totally unexpected, my two partners voted my out of the company after we signed a major deal for training. I pursued them for two years and got $20K returned to the investors.
Apparently entrepreneurship was in my blood, like my dad because I then opened the Business Development Center, in Orlando. The services I offered were the same as I am doing with The BOSS™, but I needed to learn more about financing a small businesses. To do this, I needed to find a financial mentor. While researching in Success Magazine, the 1985 issue with Diane Sawyer's (famous TV reporter) photo on the cover, the second key article was "Mr. Write". It was about Jim Howard, a Harvard graduate, owner of Symbax Business Services, New York City, former owner of the 6th largest public relations finance firm in America, and a key firm that handled the successful campaign that got President Richard Nixon elected. Jim's expertise was business valuations, how to raise funds, and the acquisition and sale of small businesses, using his valuation formula. In five years, he had successfully negotiated the purchase and sale of more than two hundred small businesses.
Once I figured out how to contact him and we met, he agreed to mentor me for awhile. But, to get his mentoring I would have to pay him $25,000, in advance, for a week of training in NYC. At the time I did not have money, so I read and studied how to write a business plan and that helped me raise the money, so I could go to NYC to be trained by Jim. Six months later I raised $1.2 million for a military simulation, new startup. From that time forward, every time I went to New York, Jim took me to the Harvard Club for lunch and mentoring. This was a priceless relationship that I cherished until he passed away in 2000. It played a key role in my thoughts and ideas for The BOSS™ program.
My business and personal experience includes the pain from being forced out of two companies. The second resulted in my first divorce, bankruptcy and having my life turned upside down. At that time my brother was working as a consultant in Indonesia and invited me to visit him, so I did. I then returned and stayed 6-years working as a consultant. This is where I met and married the wife of my daughter. In 2014 after 23-years of being together and 19-years of marriage, I went through my second, self-esteem shattering, divorce. And, I am a counseling psychologist, can you imagine!
My first Indonesian job, in 1992, was the Director of an MBA Program at I.E.U. Institute of Management, a "Top Ten" Southeast Asian university, in Jakarta, Indonesia. The owners were Abdul Gafur, former Minister of Sports under President Soeharto and his wife Kemala Motik. In 2006 Bpk. Gafur became Governor of Maluku. His wife Kemala comes from one of the wealthiest families in Indonesia. When their daughter married, President Soeharto and Vice President Soetrisno, came to the wedding. I was honored to be seated just fifteen rows behind them for the wedding!
After a year at IEU, the Government of Indonesia announced major changes for the university system. It motivated me to do move on, so my wife and I purchased P.T. Cosmorindo Megah, a business consulting, import and export company. My time was spent consulting on development projects for education, the police, simulation training and on establishing the first "rubber processing" education program in Indonesia. For one project, I negotiated for Mott McDonald, England, a very large British consulting firm, and the Government of Indonesia, the release of $58 Million funding from K.F.G., the Germany funding entity. It was halted for reasons that could not be resolved, and were needed for a major water project in Indonesia. I also was a consultant on World Bank and Asian Development Bank projects.
In 1996, I negotiated a multi-million dollar pro-basketball deal to provide $5-Million funding, plus marketing and pro-basketball support from the U.S.. My partners were the Indonesian pro basketball association and league, KOBATAMA and PERBASI. Bpk. Harmoko, the Minister of Communication, was my partner. He was also President of D.P.P. Golkar, President Soeharto's political party, and Chairman of the pro-basketball organization. After eighteen months, ten round trips to the U.S. and securing $300,000 development funding, in Orlando, the deal finally came together in October 1997. But, November 1, 1997 President Soeharto appeared on Indonesian national television with Paul Wolfowitz, former Ambassador to Indonesia and Chairman of the International Monetary Fund, at the time. President Soeharto announced that Indonesia's economy was in a tail spin and the next day 29 major banks would be closed. This was the "ripple effect" from the devaluation of all Southeast Asian currencies, starting with the Thai Baht. In January 1998 we were forced to leave everything and exit Indonesia under duress, returning to Orlando.
I remained hopeful that a part of our project could be salvaged. This was an exclusive licensing agreement with P.T. Dong Joe, an Indonesian/Korean joint venture sport shoe manufacturing company. The agreement was for marketing Spotec sports shoes in the U.S.. It did not survive because President Soeharto was forced out of office in May 1998. Three months after arriving back in America, our beautiful daughter, Tiffany, was born. This was truly God's blessing to us, after all the dislocation and losses we experienced.
I started working on The BOSS™ as a concept in 1998 and in 2001 began putting my plan together. From January to March 2003 and August to October 2006 I had a self-funded business talk radio show in Orlando named The BOSS™. From 2002-2004 I toyed with ideas about the method and platform to use to deliver The BOSS™, and in 2005 secured the domain name. I then started developing the website, and initial draft business plan. In 2007-2008 new developments called for a change in the original website appearance. I realized it needed to focus more on using the platforms available to deliver The BOSS™ products and services I wanted to offer.
Also, in 2008 after a eight trips to the hospital, my wife insisted I change my profession. I joined the top vacation ownership company in the world, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, where I became a top sales consultant over six and one half years, selling 6.7 million worth of vacation ownership real estate.
Since my divorce in 2014, when I am not consulting entrepreneurs I am working on my dream, for The BOSS™. But, I am also focused on my daughter.
My business plan calls to action, opening "500" of The BOSS™ Centers in American, over a five year period, once funding is secured. By doing this it will enable hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs to Start, Fund and Run their own businesses, and help existing small business owners, grow their businesses. The BOSS™ will become the "Go-To" brand for entrepreneurs to launch their business, and thus create thousands of new jobs.
Life is not always easy, but knowing that I am loved by Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, helps me take one more step every day and and I will make it, and so will my daughter! If it was not for the Love of Jesus, and His Grace and Mercy, I am not sure I could have made it to this point in my life! I remain so thankful for all that I have.
I hope my "witness" and being honest, has not caused you to leave The BOSS™ website, depressed you, or demotivated you. Instead, I hope and pray it has inspired you to take action, and to go ahead and start your own business, knowing that:
"What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve, with the help of GOD,
and of course,