Only those who risk going
too far can possibly find out how far one can go
-T.S. Eliot

My Story

Like most boys my age, I cut my teeth on making money mowing lawns. Looking back, I “founded” my first business by doing yard work. Only I did something a little different. To my knowledge,I was the first agency in my neighborhood, maybe the city or state, for my age. At 12, I learned how to land the mowing and yard work jobs, sub them to my friends for a piece of the action and collect a “cut.” I also wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty either. I kept the choice of jobs for myself!

At 18, I worked for a moving company, Affordable Moving. Watching the halfwit that owned the company, I realized how easy it was to own and operate a moving company, so I started doing it myself. I even dropped out of college, realizing my music major would never lead to a six-figure income. I quit the moving business and decided I had sales skills. Much easier money than the hard work of moving people’s stuff. I soon became the top sales rep at a Primestar distributor, and they promoted me to district manager over 5 cities in three states. I even earned a brand-new BMW 5 Series! I wasn’t the best salesman; I was the hardest working!

Through a series of events, I found myself in the big city of Dallas two years after the Primestar gig. This city was overwhelming at first compared to Oklahoma City. Unafraid, I rolled up my sleeves, dug in, and soon would be off earning more money than I could imagine. I took an independent job placing vending machines. Investors who bought them didn’t know how to get them in profitable locations. This was easy for me, like taking “candy” from a baby! After exceeding customers’ expectations, I launched my own company, soon putting my employer and biggest competitor out of business. After dominating this space, I had clients start asking how they could buy their vending machines cheaper. A little research and boom, now I am an equipment sales company. The leading equipment company, now losing its customers to me, fought me, even publicly in the papers. They finally conceded and asked if I would be willing to buy them out. Believe it or not, they actually paid me $10k to take over their business (long story, but I digress). I took the deal and consolidated everything under one roof.

After 1 year of operating this new consolidation, I hired my brother-in-law from Oklahoma to manage the company, and I set out to expand my little empire. One of the slot machine clients I had sold equipment to and did locating for approached me to inquire as to what I thought about starting a casino. Intrigued, I looked into the newly discovered state laws on amusement/gambling devices and thought, if Dave and Busters can do it, we can do it! We rented a 1000-square-foot interstate store frontage, and Treasure Island Game Room was born. This would be a groundbreaking business for Texas that would soon spread like wildfire. We were a 24/7 casino with weekend entertainment, dozens of TVs, state-of-the-art surround sound, best-in-service staff, and customer perks that launched me into mid-6 figures at age 23. We were one of the first of thousands of game rooms across the great state! My little game room/casino became the benchmark.

Six years later, fate would put me in the orbit of a guy my age that was worth millions, now billions. This guy and I became best friends through very strange but extraordinary means. (He would even go on to be one of my groomsmen twice. Once to my late great wife, who discovered my Learning Agility gift and who I married in Lake Como, Italy, and to my current wife, whom I married in Newport Beach, Ca). After turning a limousine company around that my new friend blindly sank $250k in, we were off to races both in business and friendship. Next came a commodity brokerage he owned that I kept afloat for him during one of the biggest commodity exchange bankruptcies in US history. My loyalty paid off.

After this was cleaned up, I approached him with a business plan I had written for a new type of gas station brand I had thought up. I told him that I wanted to brand his oil-producing company into a street brand like Shell or Exxon, only better. (Coincidentally, his oil company had the same last name as I did- Cox. Bonus)! He said he was in if I could raise the $12 million on my own to execute the plan. Not exactly what I thought or wanted him to say, but “I can work with that,” I said. “If I can use your name and reputation, I can certainly do it!”

I landed the investor on a quick trip to Houston to see a friend we knew that had just inherited $300m. I pitched my plan, and he invested. With the money now in the bank, I hired the best branding company in Dallas, the Richards group. They checked the landscape of gas station flags and designed the perfect logo. We had our brand flag, and it was competitive and stood out!

I grew the Cox brand to almost 6 locations, and my big day came. The refinery opened up their kimono and showed me bulk pricing. I then made my first trade of $5 million in one shipload of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel to the Dominican Republic’s Haina power plant. I figured out how to secure a tanker and go through the port agency’s red tap to get a berth to load 2.1 million gallons on the ship. I figured out how to test the product for purity and navigate the complex contract from the seller to me and then to the end buyer.

 Fast forward ten years, I am now a part-owner of a 97k barrel fuel terminal operation in the Free Trade Zone of Barrios, Guatemala. I have done everything you have read about with zero college education, nothing handed to me, no trust fund, and no business upbringing. My parents worked in a factory, and we were lower middle class; I grew up with a brother and sister, all five of us living in an 800-square-foot home.

Determination, Perseverance, and Persistence are all that one needs to be a success. A little help from someone like me won’t guarantee anything, but it can help you speed up your journey by helping you navigate what you don’t know or understand and avoid pitfalls I have already fallen into. If you are not willing to invest in you, you might as well stay at McDonald’s flipping imitation burgers! Have a dream of creating the future you want? Quit dreaming and SELF-DO™ by partnering with me!

Port of Santo Tomas, Guatemala

Whatever the Mind can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve
Napoleon Hill
American Author