Over the years, I've had the opportunity to meet and learn from world champion athletes, grammy award winning artists, billionaires and Fortune 500 CEO's. While I gained a wealth of knowledge, I'm a believer that you should idolize none but learn from all. To really succeed you have to create your own formula for success.
I grew up in a small farming town in the Central Valley of California and was raised with an education first mindset. My dad was a teacher and basketball coach. In fact many of my relatives including my grandmother where also teachers. Top grades and basketball was all I cared about. After high school I went on and played college basketball, earned my degree and was ready to take on the world. I bought into the idea that a college diploma would guarantee a great job and a stable future. How wrong I was!
I soon ended up as a miserable cubicle dweller being paid well below market value. (See picture to the left)
I was working for insurance companies who didn’t want innovative and creative leaders which meant I was mired in a dead-end career. Having no background in business or exposure to entrepreneurship, I had to learn on my own. I began to study, read and gain as much knowledge as possible to build the skills that would help me, where college failed.
As a competitive and driven individual who wasn't going to be stuck in the corporate machine, I took control of my career. I'm a huge believer that energy, drive and enthusiasm can lead to massive forward momentum, so I decided to strike out on my own.
I began to test my mental & physical limits by training and competing in long distance triathlons, marathons and open ocean races to build my grit.
I also started to take action on my entrepreneurial dreams. Some failed and others had only glimmers of success but I kept moving forward.
I made mistakes, I learned, kept trying and after several failures, I bootstrapped (i.e. had no outside investors ) and started a company with no formal business training and built it into an award-winning business that has been on the Inc. 5000, 6 times. (Inc. Magazine’s List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies In America) and was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies In America."
Was it easy? No way! Was it worth the effort? You bet!
The world is changing fast and automation and AI are displacing careers even at this moment. There is no such thing as job security or guarantees. You have to claim your own life, become your own brand, be your own business and market your talents.
I'm not here to just rehash generic business tips. I’m a believer that to succeed and win in all aspects of life, you have to be fully optimized in health, fitness, spirit and mind.
I hope to inspire and motivate you to go after your dreams and become the best YOU, that YOU can be!
ERnie's FAst FActs
- 6x Inc. 5000 CEO
- Personally bootstrapped and built a 8-figure company.
- 2x Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" Semi-Finalist.
- 2018 Insurance Entrepreneur of the Year - Gold Stevie Award.
- Published author & speaker.
- Regular contributor to various business and entrepreneur focused magazines.
- Led company to four years on the Deloitte Technology Fast-500 of North America rankings.
- Led company to the Entrepreneur 360 Award "Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America"
- Former collegiate basketball player and amateur triathlete.
- Enjoys science, health, fitness, history, art and writing