The following is the first chapter of my book – published in August 2012.
If someone had told me when I was seventeen that I would be where I am today, I would not have believed them. I’m not sure how long this feeling will last, but right now, I feel like I’m on top of the world. This is the culmination of a long and arduous journey. Everything I am and everything I have achieved seemed so impossible at one point in my life. I didn’t have a trust fund, I’m not from a prestigious part of town, and my family didn’t have any connections. I made it to where I am purely based on hustle.
“They’re ready for you, Mr. Morrison.”
“Thank you,” I said, as I peeled myself off the plush leather couch.
I followed a production assistant down a long corridor and into the studio. When I entered the studio, I was instructed to take a seat. One perky assistant clipped a microphone on me while another one touched up my makeup.
“Are you ready?” the hostess asked.
“Yes,” I said, then I took a deep breath.
“Roll cameras in three, two…”
The hostess looked into the camera, which was just beyond my right shoulder, and began to speak. “Hi, I’m Mikayla Martens for In the World of Finance. Thank you for tuning in with us this week.
You can find our next guest gracing the cover of this month’s issue of Force Magazine. He is a self-made billionaire and is the President, CEO, and founder of Unity Inc. Remarkably, Mr. Morrison accomplished all this before his 30th birthday.
Mr. Morrison, thank you so much for being with us today.”
“It’s my pleasure, thank you for having me.”
“Congratulations on all your success and making the cover of this month’s Force Magazine.”
“I appreciate that, thank you.”
“I found this article about you fascinating. Is it true that you were nearly homeless at one point in your life?”
“Yes, that’s right. It was a very precarious time in my life. That was just over ten years ago.”
“That must have been a trying ordeal to go through at such a young age.”
“It was. I remember feeling as if I were teetering over the edge of a cliff, holding onto a small branch for survival and unable to get a foothold. I was physically drained and all alone. Left to the physical laws of the universe, I would have inevitably fallen – either the branch would have given way or I would have fatigued. I was at that point… I mean down to the last second, where I was facing imminent defeat… then something amazing happened. I reached out my hand in a desperate act of blind faith and somebody grabbed onto it and pulled me out of that situation. I was still not out of the woods so-to-speak, but I was lucky to have at least avoided an early demise.”
“That’s incredible. So from that point, you turned your life around and now you are a multi-billionaire.”
“Well, yes, but it wasn’t easy.”
“I’m sure it wasn’t. You mentioned the term luck. How much of a role has luck played in your life?”
“That’s a great question. I don’t think too many people would deny that luck plays an important part in the lives of successful people, but I like to think that people can create their own luck. I also think that I have a unique ability to see the value in something. What may appear to be junk to some, may actually be something of great value.”
“Can you give an example of that?”
“Okay, I can give you a trivial example. One time I was playing poker with some friends. It was down to three players at the table and I was the current chip leader. The cards were dealt and I ended up getting 10/6 off-suit. Now, if you don’t know anything about poker, 10/6 off-suit is typically a junky hand, most people would fold it immediately. For a moment, I contemplated folding as well, but I decided to play the hand just to see what opportunities may come from it. As it turned out, I got lucky and took out all the remaining players at the table to win the game. Some may say that I just got lucky, but I say that I created that luck. After all, I was the one who played the hand, right? So, sometimes life is like that. We need to play those junky hands that we are dealt once in a while, and they may create an opportunity that would otherwise not exist.”
“That’s interesting. I like your example because you are not saying that 10/6 is always a good hand, but if the timing is right and you have the courage to play it, sometimes you can get lucky.”
“Exactly. I put myself into the situation giving luck an opportunity to affect me. Had I just played it safe on the sidelines, the luck may not have entered my life. Even the most mundane moments can provide you with a life altering lesson, it’s up to you to recognize those moments and apply them appropriately.”
“So I gather there have been many situations in your life that were like this card game?”
“Yes, a lot. In fact, there have been too many to count.”
“Can you give us another example?”
“Actually, my investing strategy is based largely on a concept that I learned while I was waiting for the bus one morning when I was in college.”
“Really? Most people waiting for the bus in the morning are trying desperately to stay awake, or they’re kicking rocks to occupy their time. However, you are coming up with investment strategies.”
“To be honest, that wasn’t my intent. I was presented with a scenario that on the surface didn’t appear to have much value, but I recognized its potential in a broader scope. I knew that if I applied it in the right way, it could be a tremendous lesson.”
“I can’t wait to hear it.”
“It’s actually kind of a funny story. One morning, I was waiting for the bus to take me to school and I noticed this gorgeous girl heading in my direction. When she got about fifteen feet away, she noticed that I was checking her out, which in turn affected her behaviour. It was like the spotlight was on her and she was trying to ramp up her sexiness. She puckered her lips, flipped her hair, and batted her eyes a few times. She was trying to be subtle, but her actions were actually quite transparent. However, since she was doing all that fancy stuff, she wasn’t paying attention to where she was walking and she stepped in this huge pile of dog crap. It was hilarious to me, but obviously she was completely humiliated. She hobbled away quickly with her head down, dragging her shoe, trying to scrape it off. It was great. So the lesson I took from that was – no matter how hot you are, you can always step in some crap if you are not focused.”
“Those are some very important words to live by, presented to you by the financial prodigy himself, Mr. Trevor Morrison. We are going to take a quick break, but when we return, we will find out when all of his success began….”
Article by Edward Mullen
Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast