Each connection in your life brings growth. A connection can be within yourself, through an experience, or with another person.
Sometimes we get busy and our life connections do not mature fully. During my life, I must pay tribute to some of the key connections that helped my footprints lead to this direction. Thank you for taking the time to explore my world and my story will add to the roles played in your life movie.
I thank my mother, Edna Dixon- Lawson. She grew up in North Carolina, but made a life-altering decision in August, 1970. After graduating from Lenoir Community College in Kinston, North Carolina, she relocated to Brooklyn, New York where she felt she would have a better chance of getting a career started in her field of study and more opportunities for advancement.
She met my father, Leroy Mcclarin in 1975; I was born on December 14, 1978. Subsequently, I did not grow up in a traditional two-parent household because my parents did not marry. However, in my particular situation, I feel that this scenario did not adversely affect me because both families were supportive of all stages of my development. When I think back, I realize that my mother made positive decisions that added to my ability to succeed in life. I am so very thankful for her literally giving everything she had to ensure that I become a success. I am a primary example that if you give your all as a parent great things will happen. It truly takes a village to raise a child. The foundation that she gave to me through constant development and concern for my future allowed all that happened after my birth to come into fruition.
I thank my father, who always played a part in my world. When I was fifteen, he and step-mom gave me a mental wake-up call. At a time when I thought I knew everything, they helped prepare me for the harsh realities of the real world. I know that I do tell him enough, but I sincerely thank him for his involvement and influence that contributed to my growth. There would be no me without him.
I want to thank Helen Murphy, my Godmother, and Grandma, Ms. Maude, her mother, who would never let me go outside to play in the streets of Brooklyn. I spent time with them occasionally after school and they ensured that I was fully protected when I was in their care. Today, as an adult, I thank them for their over protection. I was safe because of it.
I would like to thank the principal and teachers of Arista Prep Academy in Brooklyn. This was the private school where many valuable lessons were instilled in me and are still useful to this day. From first to sixth grade, I wore that burgundy and gray uniform. I will always appreciate the curriculum of that school.
I thank the faculty and staff of Paul Robeson High School in Brooklyn for preparing me for the adult life, and a special thanks to the class of 1996 who voted me “Most popular” and “Class Clown” during my senior year of high school. That was really an honor to a 17-year-old. At least once a year, I glance at my yearbook and reflect on my high school days.
I thank my Aunt Linda and Uncle Curt. I spent several weeks with them before going into the U. S. Air Force. My Uncle Curt was a military veteran and helped prepare me mentally with the guidance and strict discipline I needed; he prepared me physically with the schedule and routine workout which gave me an idea of how military life would be. My transition would not have been as smooth without the two of them providing significant guidance at such a critical time in my growth and development.
I thank the leaders and those in charge in the U. S. Air Force and all of our other armed forces for (1) helping to protect this land of opportunity and (2) for opening my eyes to another world outside of Brooklyn, New York. That structured method of training introduced during boot camp training still helps me stay focused to this day. My occupational skill involved was an aircraft structural mechanic. I still remember helping to paint an airplane for the first time.
I thank Davino Richardson, a very close friend who called me and told me about the telemarketing opportunity he was taking advantage of at the time after I transitioned out of the military. Without the entry into the communication field I would not be giving this insight that you are reading.
My telemarketing position ended due to a company shutdown in 2004, which led me to Wyndham Vacation Ownership. I did not start off well at all and I thank Brendon and Tara Dow, the two mentors who played a key role in helping me push forward during a very unsure time in my life. One conversation with Brendon in my third month of sales inspired a life change that led to a consistently successful career afterward.
In 2009 the site in Williamsburg, Virginia introduced a new Vice President, Butch Gunter. This man taught me so much in the time that he has been in my world. His college football background and tremendous range of knowledge in several areas helped his attention to detail and methods of instilling desire to the masses. I would also like to thank him for submitting my performance accomplishments to be judged independently by the Stevie and A R D A foundations in 2012 and I am deeply appreciative of his support throughout my career.
I thank Barbara Henderson who was my manager at Wyndham from 2009 until her retirement. She retired with her husband to travel the world in June 2013. She became like a second mother to me. She taught me one of the most valuable lessons that I will never forget, and I am humbly appreciative of it. Barbara told me that one of the keys to continuous success is to learn how to build businesses from the ground up and sell them off if you need to. Those are simple words yet if that method of thinking is built upon, you become much stronger. Out of the four types of earners described from Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Barbara was definitely an investor and business owner.
I am extremely thankful for the year of 2009. It was a very pivotal year in my growth for several reasons: but mainly because that was also the year that my mother found out that she had breast cancer. Due to the research and procedures that she underwent it was removed. I thank the doctors and scientists who dedicate their life to helping to eliminate the health issues that come with diseases of all kinds. Using the principles taught to me from a life changing read that I highly recommend, written by Napoleon Hill, and called Think and Grow Rich, I researched my family’s background and decided to change my life at that time as well.
During that phase of my life I weighed 305 pounds with thirty-five percent body fat. I sought out some help from a nutritionist/bodybuilder named Carl Frady, III, who helped me change my life in a major way. I dropped 75 pounds and twenty-two percent body fat within a year under his guidance. As I write this book, I weigh in at 195 with seven percent body fat. The disciplines that I gained through changing my daily habits definitely contributed to my overall success. Thanks Carl.
I am thankful for my two most recent relationships in the last three years which have had a major part in my personal growth as a man, and that also contributed to all of my life movements.
The young lady that I dated, from 2009 until 2011, when she was accepted into a government contract in Africa, helped teach me how to communicate more effectively when in a relationship. One of the books that we read together was The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I truly value and recommend it to anyone that is in a marriage or ever planning on getting married.
My most recent relationship ended because our growth took us in different directions. This relationship taught me several lessons. The most valuable principle that I took away was that all pain can be turned into positive production. This book is a product and direct reflection of what can be done if you positively channel your feelings in the right direction when you plan for something that does not end up how you intended.
I thank my close friend and business partner, Robert Cuff III, who shared so many ideas with me that helped expose the creative side of my brain. The business idea that he shared with me on our first plane ride from Dominican Republic was a true eye opener. I have many more places to see in the world, however, the ancient ruins in Mexico, Panama Canal, getting one of the best haircuts that I ever received in the inner cities of Dominican Republic, and learning how to ride a scooter in Bahamas has been taken off of my to-do-list.
I also thank Xavier Bryan, whom I have known for several years. He has taught me many lessons that have heavily contributed to the path that I am now on. He has helped me understand the true meaning of freedom. One of his personal goals was to put himself in a position where he could satisfy his financial goals, maintain the freedom to be a better husband to his wife, and to devote more time to develop his daughter. I saw him attain each of his personal goals with my own eyes within a matter of months. When he shared his thoughts about time and how most people relate it to money, I was inspired forever. Time cannot be paid back.
The places I frequented, the events I attended, situations encountered, and the challenges I confronted and overcame, were instrumental in the choices I made, choices that were directly influenced by the above mentioned individuals. I would have made different decisions had it not been for my interaction with them.