This Blogger turned 65, today July 9th. I was born in Ohio 65 years ago to parents of Italian decent, just one generation removed from Italian Immigrant Grandparents. In 1958, my parents moved my brother and I to California in a new 1958 Ford Station Wagon, with everything we owned in the back of that car, including me, laying near one of the back doors. I came down with measles the night before we left Ohio, so I don't remember too much of the trip because I had high fevers the whole way.
My parents sold basically everything we owned before we left Ohio so they had $13,000 to their name to start a new life in California. To put this in perspective, the new car they bought cost $2,700 and the home they bought in 1959, about 1200 square feet, cost $20,000. Even so, my Dad had to sell the new car we drove to California and my parents never did own another new car until 1980. My parents both got blue collar jobs and didn't make much money; but they were able to provide a roof over our heads and plenty of great Italian food.
Most important, they passed on family values and the notion that with hard work anything was possible. My parents rode the California boom. The home they bought and paid off for $20,000, eventually turned into $600,000, that not only allowed my Mom to live in Assisted Living for 7 years until she died at 94; but even allowed her to pass on an inheritance to her Grandchildren.
However, while I was growing up, my parents were not in a position to provide much for my brother and I. As such, I worked my way through university, selling ladies shoes in Beverly Hills. I earned several degrees and a teaching credential, which allowed me to teach Junior, Senior and Adult Schools in LA inner city for six years. Before I went there, I had no idea that there were several million Mexicans living in East Los Angeles. Even though some of my students were gang members that carried knives and guns, it was a great experience that I will never forget. It showed me that no matter my plight, there were people far worse off.
By 1979, I decided that I could do more so I sent my resume to Merrill Lynch Relocation Management to embark on my business career. Three months later, I was hired as the youngest manager they had ever hired to help found a Group Move and Consulting Services Division. Through many twists and turns by 1991, I founded my own relocation and mortgage company and the rest is history.
I have certainly lived the American Dream, which sadly is under attack today. With a little luck, lots of hard work and God's help, I am rich in possessions and more importantly in family. I have lived a very interesting life so much so that I decided there is a book in it. I want to share my life experiences and lessons that I think will benefit others. Most important, Never Give Up, Never Give In and always practice Focus, Discipline and Passion as the secret to success in Business and in life. The American Dream is still possible; though big government often stands in the way, but it is not achievable without hard work and self sacrifice.