Mike Johnson had a drive in his blood to be a success and 14 yrs later the NYU graduate who came into the military to pay off his college loans left as a multi-millionaire. Entrepreneurship was in his blood.
The combination of drive hard work and patience drives someone to build a business when there was none before. But it seems that this soldier had something else driving him. He told a story of how he wanted to date a woman years ago when he had no money and she kept rejecting him. This caused him to do things that were against his code until he won her over. But she still rejected him. One day she admitted that she loved him but she couldn’t marry him. He didn’t have enough money. So he joined that Army that day and that seemed like his first investment.
While in the military he first invested in a the stock market. A little company called Yahoo and AOL. A retired CMS recommended it to him. He took the money he had invested and within 2 yrs he earned his first million.
During the next few years the Mike continued to invest. While other soldiers relaxed by working out, Mike relaxed by reading Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. A military career though was the start. “Besides the honor of serving your country I have been able to live all over the world making friends in places as diverse as Bosnia, Australia and Saudi Arabia. My eyes were opened to the wonders of the world and all the people who inhabit it.
But for him that investment was just the start.
In 1999 his drive kicked into gear. Most people would have been happy with their success. His drive lead him to invest heavily in web sites. He started creating names and holding on to them thinking that they might be valuable in the future. He created over 100 of them and sold 62 of them for a total worth of 16 million. Real estate became his bigger passion and he started buying homes, fixing them up and then selling or renting them. This was all before it was vogue to do it.
He started a property management company with his family. He hired some people His wife ran the business while he was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
But if he was the drive… She was the caution
‘I would want something and she would tell me to put it down I lost that battle many times”
His next passion became prepaid phones ‘I though that the cell phones were pricing themselves out of a large part of the market and I thought this would be a good thing to look into” It was an email the actress Sandra Bullock left on a website saying that this was a good idea that fueled it also.
So with his contact he and his wife sought to tear down another hurdle.
Gradually all his business grew. At one point he and his family had 52 million invested in real estate, stocks, bonds , cash and rents generating over 75 thousand a month income.
But if you knew Mike you would have never known. He lived a modest lifestyle. It was only until it was revealed that he was a Secret Santa quite a few families did the military community know the extent. When asked how he was able to keep It a secret he said he said ” I just started seeing all those Santa letters from military families and I asked my friend at the community service that If I answered them, would they keep my name out of it”. So what would happen I would buy the presents …the community service would wrap and then they would call the parents to come and pick it up.
Due to the fact that he was making so much money, he became a security risk. Mike left the military. In 2007, he lost his wife to cancer and is now a single dad to a 6 yr old. His daughter is the light in his life To this day he continues his drive His first novel is coming out in December. He has written movie scripts that are greenlighted to be created into original movies
Mike Johnson is not his real name although he is a real person. The point of all this was to say Hero’s exist not only in uniform but in everyday life.
What would you do if you have only so little time left in life? Have you ever thought about it??
Would you appreciate life more than ever? Would your perception of time change?
Would you love your loved ones even more knowing that your time on earth is limited?
We don’t endure to live a life. We live life because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?”
aNSWER: That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may give a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.
Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!
Mike Johnson doesn’t live a life of quiet desperation for he took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.” It also helped that a woman rejected him.
What will your verse say ?
I find that the greatest thing in life is not so much as where we stand but in what direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven we must sometimes sail not only with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, not drift nor lie at anchor. I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor in magnificent glow. The proper function of man is to live not just to exist
This July 4th on beyond. Make your Verse light up the sky