I am very excited to share with my fans around the world my updates on…
In a world where everyone today is so consumed with social media and almost always focused on humility or something negative it is nice to see people who are in the celebrity spotlight continuously focus only and always on the positive. The wife and I love watching HGTV and for years have been fans of Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines are this infectious couple from Waco Texas who create life long dreams for families by enriching their lives each and every day creating ultimate dream homes. If anyone watches the show you can clearly see how passionate, genuine and loving Chip and Joanna Gaines are not only to others but within their own family. They are blessed with an amazing life, family and success because I am a firm believer what you put out in the universe attracts more greatness. To say I am a big fan is an understatement and I plan to visit the Magnolia Team very soon to meet them in person in Waco Texas.
Now getting back to the focus on this post, that is gratitude and giving back. I was raised with a very gracious family who always had an open door and helping hand to everyone and anyone in need. Whenever a stranger, worker, family member or neighbor needed something my father would always step up whether he had the means or if he did not he still made it a personal promise to help. I grew up as a young boy watching the Jerry Lewis Telethons for MS on TV and my Dad not only enjoyed watching for the live music performances but he always picked up the phone and would donate multiple times throughout the event. I never understood that as a kid growing up at ages 5 to 7 years old but as I grew older and my father would take me to work with him at the shop and visiting clients I started to get it. Growing up in the 1980s was a great time because like my father I also became a huge music lover due to his influence on me and my brother at such a young age. Whether it was watching Live Aid and Freddie Mercury performing his ass off or the We Are the World Campaign for Hunger my father always picked up the phone and donated.
Il never forget this one story I was with my dad riding around in Manhattan in his metallic brown 1983 Lincoln Continental and he had 101.1 on the radio, WCBS FM which was a Doo Wop and Oldies station from NY. They would have these fundraisers and families that would call in very similar to what goes on today on many networks. Well there was a family from Queens who called that had a disabled son and they were not able to afford a wheelchair for him as they had no insurance. My Dad got to his office that day and had his secretary call the station non stop until they patched him through and my father donated a brand new wheel chair for the boy whose name was also Phil. Weeks later Il never forget seeing a picture in my dads office on the wall of this boy with his new wheel chair with a huge thank you to my fathers gratitude. Now I started to understand it even more. You see my father came from nothing and from a very poor and humble upbringing but it was his dedication and hard work that built a very successful business to have not only provided for others but also his family. I think it was my fathers way of giving back and showing how grateful he was for the universe to have blessed him with success.
So this generous behavior I was surrounded by in my life sorta rubbed off on me. I was blessed with an amazing childhood with an abundance of friends, fun and of course mischief. It was these early years that I explored entrepreneurship with a paper route, selling customized matchbox cars, my very own bicycle repair business, snow shoveling and even detailing cars. I saved every penny I made and would lock up all my money in a steel combination locked safe my grandparents bought me for my 5th B-Day. I was always a saver and at times would help friends out by paying to fix their bikes, giving parts for their R/C cars or just always lending a helping hand when I could. This was my way as a child of being gracious and giving back similar to how I saw my father except I did not have real money to play with. In Kindergarten my best friend Billy who grew up in a rough home told me he wish he could get the new BigFoot Truck at Toys R Us, I felt bad and the next day in school I gave Billy $100 in wrinkled $1 bills that the teacher and Principal called my parents to school questioning this. My mom and dad looked at me in the Principals office and said where did you get this money? I was embarrassed because I got caught selling all my matchbox cars to kids in class and in the neighborhood. I still to this day have my very first wallet, a Snap Crackle Pop Wallet my Grandmother sent in a few UPC codes for in the mail. Back in the early 80s you had to mail away to get the cereal prize. You can only imagine what 100 wrinkled single dollars looked like in a kids wallet.
As we live our lives each day so many of us forget the fortunes we are all blessed with each day, the most important one being our health. This is something that so many take for granted with poor lifestyles, drugs, booze or bad habits. As a child I was frequently sick. There were always beautiful days I could not go out and play. I missed so many days of school for various reasons but those days I stayed home I would just tinker in my bedroom working with my soldering iron fixing things, building model cars and working on my R/C cars or creating artwork. I was hospitalized so many times as a child and being in the Pediatric Trauma center so frequently the things I saw other kids my age go through changed my life forever. I can never forget some of the things I saw and how bad I felt for these kids. Even though I was in the Hospital I was far better off than most of these other kids and I felt so sad and always wanted to help. My parents would visit and always bring extra coloring books, toys or food to share with other kids on my floor. I had needles and tubes stuck all over my body at times and would be in so much agony and pain but I was still better off than most in the Pediatric Unit. So today when I see sick children it emotionally destroys me. I am fortunate that as I got older my immune system started getting better but I still have some serious ailments that I would need to live with for the rest of my life. Being diagnosed with 3rd Degree Heart Block at the age of 3, IBD, Asthma, COPD and Allergies to just about everything was pretty damn tough to live life as a wild energetic kid but I did my best each and every day and I am so thankful for what I have experienced in my life to this day that many of these sick kids never could. The saddest day of my childhood was having to give my amazing Samoyed away, “Snow Ball” because I was so allergic to him it was sending me to intensive care for my respiratory conditions. Maybe this is why I love animals so much still to this day and the wife and I plan to get a Samoyed or 2 very soon because of that special spot they hold in my heart.
The St Jude Children’s Hospital is a foundation that my family always donated to growing up. My father loved Danny Thomas the founder and I always saw a personal connection with these kids when I reflected on the rough times I had as a child. I always said as a teenager one day I really want to help children, animals, the elderly and those less fortunate when I have the financial means to do so. Back in 2010 I custom built a very slick 5th Gen. Camaro that I was willing to donate 100% of the sale of this car at Barrett Jackson to The St. Judes Children’s Hospital. Well that plan was not so easily executed because major corporations sponsor these high dollar car auctions for foundations of choice because they receive massive tax credits by doing do. I was not even in that same league but at that time I was very successful in all my business ventures I just wanted to give back to a charity that meant something to me. I got side railed doing this many times with the automotive auction houses and just gave up. Then back in 2014 for my design business I made these stainless steel and leather bracelets that I was trying to sell for $100 with all monies going to St. Judes Children’s Hospital and the American Cancer Society. I used social media, family, friends and you know what I barely sold 35 bracelets. This was so painful to me since these were all hand made, hand stamped and polished and I put so much effort into this for a good cause and it just failed once again. People are so caught up in themselves these days even my bests of friends let me down. I even offered to donate bracelets for free and I would put up the money and they still made excuses. My best friends father went through hell battling cancer for 5 years I could not understand his rationing saying he just did not have the money to give. I will never forget the fight I had with him over this because I yelled in rage how he has money to buy 3 packs of cancer causing cigarettes each day at $15 a pack in NYC but He would not take that money to give to a good cause was pure selfish and ignorant. FYI he still continues to smoke and remain overweight with zero effort toward helping himself. I even offered to pay to take him to a Doctor to quit smoking and he has declined many times. Sometimes you just need to walk away some people just do not want to be helped or help themselves.
Fast forward to present times as my latest venture the Auto Fanatic brand has grown so much over such a short period of time thanks to the support from you guys around the world. I am truly blessed to have such amazing fans and customers so I made a promise that when I launch my web store I will donate all proceeds of the first 500 orders to charity. Go back and watch my video that was posted on Youtube on October 14th, 2018 for the Auto Fanatic 007 Gloss Enhancer, watch the intro. I remember this day like it was yesterday because that evening I took delivery of my brand new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio but immediately after the car came off the transport truck I was rushed to the ER because my father got badly hurt. I will never forget the stress I had that night not being able to monitor my video, not knowing if my web store was working or if there were issues and if anyone was even willing to buy my product. As frantic of an evening this was it was a moment of putting family first and my new car had to wait until the next day. I barely got any sleep that night, my video gained pretty good traction and I made enormous sales. My positive energy was out there and God was looking over me that night and I am thankful for where this has taken me today. The following day some hacker bastard hacked my website and derailed my entire weekend of sales. No worries because my friends in Germany Andy and Nico came to the rescue and got things back up and running in no time. I handle problems well and make sure I never let bad things take me down and ruin my momentum and in this case it did not get the best of me.
So the other day when I saw the ChipIn campaign put on by the most amazing TV couple Chip and Joanna Gaines from MAGNOLIA this wasn’t even a hesitant thought I just donated $1000 because I want to continue to keep giving back. I have so many amazing things in store for you guys soon as we fine tune some charitable events for children, for ASPCA and other foundations that mean a lot to me. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with all of you around the world. I also love helping others with words of encouragement or products to give you a jump start on a new business you are passionate about. I am truly blessed to have accomplished things in my life that as a child I could have only imagined. As the Vanderbuilts and Rockefellers always said, “You never want to die rich” Think about that right now and see if this mantra sticks with you. Please be thankful and always show gratitude to your family, friends and everyone around you no matter how little it may be, it is always appreciated and if you can give back to a cause that means something to you please do that today and do not hesitate. There are so many less fortunate than each and every one of us today that can use a helping hand. I want to thank each and every one of you guys around the world who watch my videos, supports what I do, understands my story and helps me to continue to give back. I am truly blessed for everything you do.
Stay tuned for more on this soon.
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