I was 24 years old and already on parole for assault with a deadly weapon
...totally hooked on crack cocaine, drinking non-stop, and barely hanging on to my job as a chef.
I was a functional wreck, just like the Mazda 626 I drove around town selling drugs in and blasting Mobb Deep through the speakers that were worth more than the car.

February 15th, 2008.

I’ll remember this day forever, because what happened that morning would scare my ass straight as an arrow.
It was 6am and I was tripping my balls off on acid while smoking crack in my bedroom with this crazy chick I was dating at the time.
My room was a dim yellow color, and filled with empty iced tea bottles, petrified pieces of pizza, and the faint smell of throw up.
Wait, let me backup a minute.
You should probably know that the entire week was one long giant bender, a blur of drugs, drinking, no sleep, and more drugs.
That morning I was higher than Everest.
And so was my girlfriend.
In fact, she was so high she was trying to climb out the window for the last hour because it was too much acid for her to handle.
She was literally trying to jump out of my second storey window.
I had to hold her down for an hour until she was relaxed enough to fall asleep…
I remember this so clearly, even though I was high as a fucking kite.
When she finally passed out, I sat up on the edge of my bed and tapped on the lamp.
I stumbled over to the washroom to take a piss and caught a look at myself in the mirror...

Something was really wrong.

It’s like I was looking at a broken version of myself through a puddle of murky water.
It was really creepy, almost as if there was someone else looking back at me.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to turn out, this is all wrong.
It was scaring the hell out of me and these waves of shame came crashing over me…
...ashamed of who I let myself become.
And how I let down my mom and dad.
And all the things I’ll never get to do in my life because I can’t even stop getting high, let alone make something out of myself.
and then it happened…
The one moment that would alter the course of my life forever and ultimately give me the strength to rise up and become the man I knew I still had somewhere buried inside this drug addict failure.

PART TWO:
HIGH AS A KITE AND NOWHERE TO FLY

While staring at this stranger in the mirror, I had a flashback to when I was a little boy…
Inside my mind, I watched myself grow year by year from that innocent little kid, developing into an out of control monster.
I was so innocent and life seemed so easy then, but now?

All I felt was pain.

I had this clear sense of how much worse my life had become and I had this sickening feeling of doom that it wasn’t going to get any better…
If I kept doing what I was doing, life was just going to keep getting worse and there was nothing I could fucking do about it….
I started crying.
I started praying to God that he would help me...
That crazy junkie chick I was with must have heard me crying and talking to myself, so she sat up and said
“We need to get some help.”
The way she said it cut deep like a knife…
I can’t explain it but it was like she wasn’t herself anymore… something about how she said it…
It felt dire...
Like it’s now or never.
I turned around shaking, "What did you say?"
She said, “We need to get some help, we can't keep doing this anymore.”
I went to a meeting the next day and I've been sober ever since.

Now, I’m not your life coach or anything (Donohue is mine), but a couple lessons here:

1. No matter how fucked up you or your business is, if you are still alive, you can fix it, trust me.
2. Sometimes the weirdest, and most fucked up circumstances make for the best comebacks. (And if you hit rock bottom hard enough, you tend to bounce up pretty hard too)
3. You have to be brave enough (or accidentally) look at yourself through the murky mask you’ve created, and see your life for what it really is, and where it is going if you keep doing what you are doing. Finally admitting you need help with a problem (like your Facebook ads) is half the battle won.
4. There is nothing wrong with getting help... In fact it’s the only way because you can’t see the forest for the trees, you have deviated so far off the path, you can’t do it alone - nobody can.
5. Always look at failure as the beginning, not the end. You have to breathe it in and use it as fuel to start kicking ass. People don’t fail, their strategies and habits fail them and you can change those.

Now, did I magically start making 7 figures and deep sea fishing with a cigar hanging out my mouth just because I got sober?

Well, look at the resume:

College dropout
Former drug dealer
Convicted felon
Only ever cooked food for a living

I had no fucking clue what to do next but it may have involved making $20,000 a day, trading Chinese penny stocks…

The one thing I’ve always had was balls of steel.

PART THREE:
WHAT THE HELL DO I DO?

I was pretty much a dumb motherfucker in high school and barely made it out.
I couldn’t go back to college because I fucked that up.
Before I got sober, I went to college for three months and never went to any classes except for creative writing.
I got an A plus in Creative Writing and when the teacher would hand out my papers, I'd write them high, talking about all types of weird shit, but I was damn good at creative writing.
So, I knew I couldn’t go back to college. Most of the colleges wouldn’t accept me because of my felony anyway.

The only thing I was really good at was cooking.

So when I decided to finally leave the restaurant industry at 29 years old, it was a huge turning point for me.
I was absolutely terrified to ever leave that industry because of my felony...
I thought, "What the fuck am I going to do? I'm a really good chef but if I stay in this industry, my life is going to be shit.”
Every head chef I ever worked under before I became a head chef told me to get the fuck out if I don’t want to be a 60 year old man making $60,000 a year and working 80 hours a week…
Over a three month period, I latched on to this weird belief that I was going to make it.

I wanted more money…
More than the money, I wanted a different life.
I decided I was going to “make it”.

I didn't know what the fuck I was going to do, but whatever it was, I was going to make a ton of money doing it.
But my friends and family had other opinions about that...
“You’re an idiot. You’re a convicted, violent felon with no college education. All you know is cooking, that’s all you got since you were 14, you are now 30 years old and you have a mortgage”.
That was basically the gist of what they were all saying to me when I told them I wanted to quit the cooking industry.
And looking back, they were absolutely right.
It seemed completely idiotic to leave my cooking career by normal people’s standards.
The only person who supported me was my wife, Rachel.
She even wrote me 90 days of personal motivational quotes.
I really struggled to put in my 2 weeks notice.
I put it off for a long time.
Every day I woke up with the plan to hand in my resignation letter but every day I would just say, "Fuck it I'm not putting in my notice yet."

At the time I was trading penny stocks on the side.
I was starting to get decent at it…

I had already been trying stuff on the side to figure out how I would get out of cooking…
I would stay up until 5 in the morning trading penny stocks in the Chinese market.
I’d make 15k, then I’d lose 25k in a DAY, then next week made 20k in a day.
Like my life, it was a complete shit show rollercoaster.
At one point I lost all of my money and ended up living by myself in an empty house…
I had no furniture except one couch and two TVs.
I’d trade stocks on one TV, and play Modern Warfare 2 on the other.
In a fit of feeling sorry for myself, I bought my dog, Boo Boo.

One day Rachel said to me: "You have to build a fence for the dog,"
Little did I know those 9 words would be the catalyst to having a 7 (soon to be 8) figure agency…

But naturally some shit had to hit the fan, like partnering with an online con artist.

PART FOUR:
THAT TIME I PARTNERED UP
WITH A CON ARTIST

Rachel told me I had to build that dog fence in my empty 3 bedroom home.
Who could have known building that damn fence would be my introduction to the business and marketing world...
When you don’t know jack shit about something, you hop on Youtube. So I hopped on and started watching fence building videos and realized it’s not actually that hard.

I built the fence like a boss.

And I kinda liked doing it.

I found out there’s good money in it too...

So I started posting some cringy ads on Craigslist… got a few jobs,
then started discovering marketing stuff and how to use it to get more fencing jobs.

Naturally, I did the only logical thing I could think of since I was fundamentally unemployable:
I employed myself and started a fence building company.

I ran that company successfully for a couple years, that’s actually where I learned how to run paid ads profitably, and marketing in general. It’s important to cut your teeth in the real world, so many of these 10 cent gurus pop out of nowhere because they attended a Dan Henry webinar and think they are god's gift to ads.

Try spending a couple million dollars of ad spend.

Try spending your own money on ads before you let that new found ego go to your head about how well you can run ads for other people.

Anyway, 2015 was a big turning point for me.

I decided to leave the fencing company and go all in on internet marketing.
I did my very last fencing job December 2015, and that month I did 10k with client fees online.
I was like ok, I'm doing this, I’m going to take the leap.

But because I was afraid to make the leap alone, I ended up getting involved with a dude who ended up being a total con artist.
If I’m honest with myself, there was an overarching theme through my life at that time and the theme was this:
I wanted to be seated behind somebody else because I was afraid to fully put myself out there. If I hide behind someone, I can lean on them and they will take care of me if shit gets hard.
I was afraid to trust myself.

So when shit hit the fan with Scot, I had an aha moment:
I am not a #2.

That’s not who I was, I was hiding, and because I was hiding, I was attracting shit shows to me.
The second I stepped out on my own, shit got real. Not gonna lie, it was scary.
The first month I split off from him I made around $700, which isn’t much but it was awesome because I earned it on my own.

But it wasn’t enough.

Rachel had a good job, and I was barely scraping by. I felt like shit about that, the idea of not being able to fully take care of her ate me up inside.

One day she had to draw a hard line in the sand, and thank god she did because I had BIG goals and I was always talking about the massive things I was gonna do but I wasn’t doing any of them, I was afraid to.

So she decided to kick my ass into gear like she does so well for her own clients…

What did she say to me that finally made me start living up to my own potential?

PART FIVE:
MY WIFE HAD TO KICK MY ASS..

She drew a line in the sand.

We were on the beach that night in Playa Del Carmen Mexico and she literally drew a line in the sand and said,

“Either you shut the fuck up and it's cool and you're just happy with what you got or you stop talking about it and we start doing it. You've got 24 hours to tell me one way or the other, and either one is fine, I don't care. I just don't want to hear this constant talking about you're going to do all the stuff and then you don't do it.”

Maybe you can relate to that too.
Rachel is my biggest supporter and she wasn’t letting me off the hook this time.
Let’s back up 6 months.

After I broke away from little scammer man and went out on my own, I was always babbling on about creating a course, a large agency, and all of this super wild-eyed stuff I was going to do (while basically making no money) and I remember Rachel just snapped.

She was like, "Look, I love you. I know you are going to do it. You're doing well, you're getting some clients and you got money coming in, but I'm sick and fucking tired of hearing you talking about all this shit that we're going to do and this life that we're going to have living in the tropics and all that stuff."

I was constantly talking about shit that we are doing now, but always in this wanting and degrading way like, “if I can just do this, everything will be okay.”

I wasn’t enjoying the journey and my actions weren’t matching my mouth.

Rachel told me “You are paying half of the house rent with me and the first time you miss it, I'm sleeping on the couch.”

“Then you have another month and if you miss that one, I'm moving to my parent's house.”

It was like shit or get off the pot.

Then the next month I made around $2,000 and then August I did over $5,000.

The huge turning point for me was November 2016 on that beach, on Playa when she drew the line in the sand and said,

“Either you shut the fuck up and it's cool and you're just happy with what you got or you stop talking about it and we start doing it. You've got 24 hours to tell me one way or the other, and either one is fine, I don't care. I just don't want to hear this constant talking about you're going to do all the stuff and then you don't do it.”

I owe a lot to Rachel for her support during the rough times, I’m not sure I could have done it without her.
I have many more crazy stories, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what I’ve gone through to help you not give up on yourself.
You see the beach, the boats, the nice house, the successful business, but now you got a peek at some other stuff.

Peace