Every Business Leader Started Small – Build Up From The Bottom

Every business leader came from the bottom in one way or another. A lot of top entrepreneurs and moguls started with nothing. They all had some hardship story. Tony Robbins slept in his car while building his business initially. Lisa Nichols had $11 in her bank and couldn’t afford diapers so her kid had to be wrapped up in a towel for three days before she could get diapers. Ray Higdon had seven foreclosed homes, collection agents knocking on his door. The list goes on of successful business leaders starting at low points, laboring on, and pushing through. We all have obstacles to overcome as we start from the bottom in the business realm.

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For example, it was tough for me to build my business because I was an extreme alcoholic. One morning. I had three beers left in the fridge. I depended on each beer they had to be in my system for me to survive. That’s what I thought. And I drank the first one. It was 730 in the morning and I drank it. I drank it fast because I wanted a big buzz instead of a big biz. 

My girlfriend at the time she was leaving to go to a job. She didn’t have a drinking problem. She had a life. She had friends and a job. My day was going to be rocking on a bed in the dark, too nervous, too angry to even listen to jazz music or anything. I had to have it quiet. 

The first beer went down. I held it in and then a horrible thing happened. I puked it up all over the floor. She was leaving the house. She’s like, oh, Erik, how could you. She helped me wipe it up. Vomit was all over the floor and I was so upset. 

Here’s the thing: I wasn’t upset because I pissed her off. I wasn’t upset because there was beer all over the floor. I was upset because that was one of the three beers I needed to survive. There went the buzz. That buzz was gone because I puked it up. It was lost. I just lost $1.67 on the floor and I was very upset. That’s how pathetic my life was. 

That was 12 years ago. I was very, very depressed. I was so depressed that I created an imaginary Bumblebee. Her name was Mrs. Bumble, and she would peek out of the closet in the bedroom. The bedroom was dark. I was rocking on the bed, nervous, scared, hated people and hated myself – crying. And I looked over to the closet through the little closet door crack, and there was this imaginary cartoon, female Bumblebee.

Mrs. Bumble with big innocent eyes, and she was so sweet. She looked at me, and she was so innocent and naive that she didn’t know what I was doing to myself, and it made me cry, thinking about how innocent and sweet she was, Mrs. Bumble, I created her because I was so depressed. 

I was destroying myself and friends were telling me that I was going to die within a year if I kept drinking the way I was. And I didn’t care. I didn’t know what I was going to do. And that was my bottom beating my business dreams to a bloody pulp. 

One day this guy came over. He was like a skater punk. He was like friends with my girlfriend at the time. And, I mean, I’ve destroyed my life. I mean, broken friendships and wrecking cars and jail and vomiting and pissing on myself at night. Just pathetic. But that didn’t stop me from drinking. 

But this skater punk came over to the house. And this was another morning he must have been up all night on speed or something and he came over and he was looking for my girlfriend, but she was at work and I was in bed trembling. I was naked because I slept nude. 

I was just sitting there and I was like, I was scared because there were only two beers left in the fridge for my whole day. And I couldn’t drive and I was too weak to walk to the store so those two beers had to last. And he came into the bedroom. He just barged in, he didn’t knock or anything, and came into the bedroom. 

He picked up this little guitar , my girlfriend’s son’s guitar, a miniature guitar, and he picked it up and he sat in the chair, looking at me while I was laying in bed, and he started making up songs about me. He’s like, ah, Erik’s a loser. Erik’s a loser. We don’t know really about Erik, but he’s a loser. 

I started trembling. I started trembling with anger. I wanted to kick his ass so bad. And I was so upset. I couldn’t do anything because I was naked. And I was trembling and I was scared. I was having alcohol withdrawals. I wanted to kill him and I couldn’t do anything about it, because I was just naked and, and trembling. 

He finally left, and it was at that moment, I was like, that is it. I am done with this nonsense. That is completely pathetic. That is absolutely. You know, everything was pathetic, but that was the final straw and it wasn’t even what I was doing. I did many more pathetic things than that he made me ask, “How can I say this? he shamed me. He ridiculed me – and it was that that made me stop everything. 

I stopped drinking the next day I walked home. I was living with a girlfriend and I was like, I am done. And I walked back to where I was living in a converted school bus. I walked back home and that was it. 

From then on, I read Think and Grow Rich. And I started picking up the pieces of my life brick by brick. I slowly started to figure out who I was and started to work on the demons that I had created from all the alcohol and all the abuse and all the dark Music and just crazy stuff. I started to exorcise all the demons out by doing good work. And I started to learn about myself. 

So what is your story, everyone’s got a story, it all depends on what you’re going to do with it. Leaders learn to flip that story around and they take action, and it’s just a little bit of action every day. It’s baby steps, but it compounds and it gets better and it gets better. It’s all in your mind, everything that’s happened to you, it’s all in your mind. It’s what you did. It’s the environment, whatever, it doesn’t matter. 

You can change your reality by your thoughts and what you do. 1% a day can change your life dramatically in one year. Most of us, we’re not really driven. You know, we’re like, yeah, I should change that. Yeah, I know. I should meditate more. Yeah. I know, I should eat right. Yeah, I know I shouldn’t cause, I know that I don’t really like my job. It’s like, when is enough? Where’s your bottom? 

Where is your bottom to change? I mean, once you decide that you want to change and you mean it, you know, you can feel it in your heart. When you know that you’re ready to change, and the next day you wake up and you’re like, this is it. I’m doing it. That’s where you want to be every single day.

And it sucks and it gets hard, and it’s lonely being an entrepreneur. It’s lonely being a leader. But then people will be like, wow, Erik shows up on a Saturday morning. It’s foggy at 7:45am you know, I didn’t sleep in. I didn’t even feel like doing this video. And I was like, No, do it. Tell your story. Get it out there. Someone, just one person, if it gets to them, if it helps them, I’ve done my job. I’ve done what I want to do. 

Because I was a selfish bastard, I was just take take take, I was an alcoholic. I was an addict. I just looked at people like they were just numbers, or meat or whatever. You know, I objectified women. I hated guys and I treated people inhuman because I felt inhuman. I was in the depths of hell and I created it. I’m not blaming anyone. I take total accountability. 

You should take total accountability too. It’s not about anyone else but yourself. It’s not about your job. It’s not about your upbringing. There’s people that have been molested. There’s been people that have been beaten every day by their dads. There’ve been people that eat out of dumpsters. There’s people that have suffered tremendously. But they turned it around. They stopped being a victim. 

So what’s your story? How are you going to share it? How are you going to change? It takes one foot in front of the other. Wake up a half an hour earlier and focus. Write down your goals. Write down your goal for every single day. Then write down your one month goal. Three months goal, one year goal, three year goal. You gotta visualize clearly what you want. 

I never knew what I wanted. I was just talking in generalities. I want to be a rockstar. I want to be a leader. I want to be a writer. I want to be a poet. But it wasn’t specific and I didn’t have a timeframe. You got to get that stuff down on paper. Just the act of writing it down, solidifies it in your mind. It helps you remember your goals. It helps your goals come true, whether you want to be a network marketing superstar, SEO expert, reputation manager, or stock market mastermind

If you look at your notepad every day and write something down, write your goals for the day and do the hardest task first. Turn off the TV. If you’re watching four hours of TV a day, cut it down to two hours a day. Then in a couple months, cut it down to one hour a day. If you’re on Facebook three hours a day, break it down to one. Take all that stuff down. All the externals reduce them. 

I’m on social media five minutes a day. I go in there in the morning for a couple minutes. And I go in there at night, a couple of minutes. I just like to see if there’s any messages. That’s it. I don’t look at the news. You know, there’s a lot of censorship. You think it’s honest news? Why would I waste my time looking at that stuff, the man made, spinning wheel of lies and deception. It’s always been that way. We’re just now waking up. 

But I’m the news. And I’m going to help someone out there discover themselves and change their life. I don’t care how bad you have it. You can change it one day at a time. Write down your notes. Write down your goals. That’s it. But you really have to know your backs against the wall. You really know when it’s time to change. You know, deep down when it’s time to change. 

So look at your life. Look at everything that your life is doing. Look at your results right now. Look in the mirror. Look in the mirror and look at your life. Are you really happy? And you only get one life. I mean, I could be dead tomorrow. This could be the last video I do. You have the same impact idea as anyone else. You have a story. You have a bottom. You have a chance every minute to change. 

You can just stop what you’re doing and start new. Every day. You can start new. And that’s what I’m doing every single day. Because I was plateauing I’m not a one timer. I’m not gonna just, you know, 2018- 2019 we’re great. You know, I climbed really high in my business, and then I started coasting. There’s no time to just coast. You have to constantly be growing. 

So I got a new mentor. And I’m training five hours a day or more pure knowledge from the leaders, from the greats. And they all have a bottom. They all came from bottom. No one is like, Oh, yeah, I had a great life. No one. Everyone has a tragic story. 

How are you going to use your tragic story, you can die with it the way you are now and might not be too happy when you see your life review. You might be like, Yeah, I know. Yeah, I know. I just ran out of time. I know I was supposed to be a ballerina. But my parents wanted me to be a doctor. You know, you got regrets. You can undo those regrets. Doesn’t matter how old you are. I’m 48. And I’m just I feel like every day is new and I feel like I’m in my 20s because I’m onto something here, crafting my life the way I want it. 

Design your life. You’re the sculptor. No one else is gonna do anything for you. Every day you can wake up and you have a decision. You can hit the snooze and go back to bed or you can get up and say this is it. Today’s the day – my wife and I say that all the time. Today is the day or How good can it get and then things start working in your favor, you know, things line up. It’s like, Oh, yeah, that’s great. That’s great. And miracle stacks upon miracle success, stacks upon success, and then you start rebuilding. 

12 years ago, I don’t even recognize that guy anymore. I’ve done a lot of work. And one step at a time. 1% a day. 12 years later, I have some amazing things I can look at. and see that I’ve progressed and it’s true. The leaders are right about certain basic principles, and formulas, and you can change your life. You just have to know that you can change your life. Start writing your goals, laser focus on one thing. If you’re not happy with your mind, start reading more, start reading the right books, turn off the TV. Don’t look at your social media, 

Take notes. Find someone who’s doing what you want to do and study them. Then in a couple months, you might outgrow them, and then you’ll find someone else. I’ve done that with many different niches.

I started with preachers, because I was born again a few years ago. So I started with, you know, elevation church. And then I was like, No, and then I found Todd White and then I was like, No, and then I was like Dan Mohler and then I was like, yeah, and then I just kept moving to different preachers until I found the one who was the most true for me and the most raw, and then I did that with entrepreneurs. And then I did that with Network Marketing Leaders. Then I did that with spiritual gurus. 

So you’re going to have different phases in your development. You’re going to be like, okay, I did all of that. I took notes, I internalized it. Now I’m gonna move on to spirituality. Okay, this Matt Kahn guy, he’s all about love. I’m gonna watch him. I watch him every day. Two hours a day. Okay, look, there’s Teal Swan. I’m gonna see what she has to say. 

Then I get into motivational videos and then I get into money videos. Oh, Grant Cardone. Okay, I’m gonna watch him for a while. Okay, there’s this other guy named Ed Mylett. I’m gonna watch him for a while. Oh, then there’s the Impact Theory. That’s a great channel. I’m gonna watch that. I’m gonna watch everyone on that and it goes on and on. 

You’re never going to run out of resources. It all depends on what you hunger for and what you want to change about yourself. You are the sculptor. It’s hard, but it’s fun, because it’s all about sculpting you and changing yourself, and knowing one day that you can help somebody or help thousands, it doesn’t matter. It’s unlimited. But get out of your situation. You don’t like your job. Start looking for a way out. You think I wanted to flip burgers for the rest of my life making $11 an hour and be an introvert? No. And I knew that knowledge was power. 

So, I came home every free minute I had I started reading and researching business building tips. I started with think and Grow Rich then the secret. Then the success secrets. So many books. I can’t even think of them right now. But so many entrepreneur books, The Master Key System, The Millionaire Next Door, all those guys. Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar and I just worked my way up to some really good modern mentors out there. And they’ve spun off the first generation. You know, if you look at the top 50 on YouTube, you can see all the greatest ones right now. Robin Sharma doggins I just watched Daniel doggins motivational guy. God, there’s been so many. Lisa Nichols, Gary Vee, of course. Grant Cardone. Simon Sinek these guys are really spinning off hard on the first generation, and it’s just getting better and better as we evolve. So it’s just an awesome ride. It’s a trip, life’s a trip guys, and you have a bottom. What are you going to do with that business bottom?  

When you start from the bottom in business, you have nowhere else to go but up. Get going and get growing!

Erik Christian Johnson

Enjoy this beginner business builder infographic below as well:

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