Tag Archives: family

The Truth About Luck and Success

“I shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” – Og Mandino
The Truth About Luck and Success
By Craig Ballantyne
Luck has been in my corner since day one back in 1975.

I was extraordinarily lucky to be born in Canada into a lower-middle class family. Lucky enough to have been educated in the years of the first home computer, to have come of age with the first Internet generation, and to have stumbled across Internet Marketing before everyone and their uncle knew about it.

When I was a child I was also lucky enough to have an alcoholic, underachieving, embarrassing father who gave me the first chip on my shoulder, one that compelled me to work harder, achieve more, and go further so that I could escape his shadow.

I was also lucky my mother had dropped out of high school and spent the rest of her life working for barely more than the minimum wage, never earning more than $28,000 in a year (an amount that I’ve made in a single day on several occasions). I was lucky, because of her mistakes, that she would never let me make the same ones.

And boy was I lucky to have went to grade school with patches on my knees, for this caused me great embarrassment and instilled in me the drive to do better, to excel in school, to get into the best program in college, to make the Dean’s Honor List three years in a row, to get accepted into a Master’s program, and to study until 10 p.m. on weekends so I could earn a scholarship to help me pay for 6 years of post-secondary education — so that I’d never feel embarrassed like that again.

It’s as though I’ve had a horseshoe made out of rabbit’s feet around my neck for these past thirty years.

I’ve also been lucky to make friends with entrepreneurs like Bedros Keuilian, a real-life American Dream. Bedros was lucky to have been born in Armenia (then part of the Soviet Union) and to have a father that gambled his family’s safety by bribing their way out of the USSR so they could arrive virtually penniless in America (legally).

Bedros was also lucky enough to arrive in America in 1980 without being able to speak a lick of English. He was fortunate that his family was so poor that he had to dumpster-dive behind grocery stores for food.

Without this luck, Bedros wouldn’t have the burning desire that has allowed him to succeed and create a better life. He calls this The Immigrant Edge, and claims it to be his secret weapon for success.

“Craig,” he often says to me, “My kids will never have to spend an hour of their lives in daycare thanks to my luck.”

And I’m lucky enough to be friends with Matt Smith, another lucky young man from my generation who, like me, grew up with a disappointment of a dad and a mother that spent the little money she had to take care of her children.

Among Matt’s lucky childhood experiences was the night when his mother scraped together a few dollars for a special Friday dinner of take-out pizza. That night, the Smiths were lucky to have mistakenly left the pizza on top of the car as they drove away. The pizza fell off the car’s roof into the middle of a busy intersection — where car after car drove over it — and this was a lucky break for Matt.


Because the Smiths’ had no money to go and buy a replacement pizza. And so Matt will forever remember that night — and that feeling — as something he will never want to experience again. It’s just another lucky motivator in his drive to do better and succeed so that his children won’t have to experience that great fortune.

That kind of luck leaves a burning desire that NOTHING — certainly not a life of iPhones,  TV’s in every room of the house, unending after-school activities, or 24/7 Internet and cable TV access — could ever top.

My luck continues. I’m fortunate to know Isabel De Los Rios, one of the world’s most successful nutrition experts, who herself was lucky enough to spend almost a decade as an unhealthy, overweight, and unhappy young woman, so that she could truly understand the troubles that her millions of female clients go through.

Isabel was also lucky enough to be downright broke when she applied to my Mastermind Group in 2008, having to borrow the money from her fiancé. Her luck caused her to work harder than almost any other person I’ve ever coached. This has allowed her to pull herself up from financial distress and into a business where today she has over 1,000,000 customers that have been lucky enough to get Isabel’s help as they change their lives.

Finally, we’ve all been lucky enough to learn from Michael Masterson, our mentor that was lucky enough to grow up in a poor household of ten children. He was lucky enough to have so little that it drove him to become the entrepreneur and mentor that we all came to know through Early to Rise.

This is the luckiest group of individuals you might ever meet. We were lucky to have had the experiences we did because they taught us so much and drove us to great action. Without our setbacks, what would we have achieved? We have been part of the luckiest generations to have ever lived.

What about your luck? Have you lucked out and been fortunate to have gone through similar struggles? Have you been given the inspiration to work harder than ever, to explore new opportunities to take control of your future, and that drive you towards financial independence? Are you one of the fortunate ones that were not born with a silver spoon so that you could learn the importance of adding value to the world in exchange for a fair return? Have you been lucky enough to fail again and again?

Never forget that failure isn’t bad. Failure isn’t final. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from achieving the success you deserve. If you’re struggling, keep hustling. Keep taking at least one big action step each day.

Failure is good luck. Just listen to these experts.

“Problems are in your life so that you can discover potentials that you didn’t even know you had.” – Barry Michels

“Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” – Zig Ziglar

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.” – Napolean Hill

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

“Everybody in your situation has the same choice: you can rue your situation or you can dedicate yourself to changing it. Accept responsibility for your future. Refuse to complain, criticize, or condemn. If you want us to help you achieve your goals, then trust in and follow our advice. Stop doubting it. Stop denying it. Have faith.” – Mark Ford

I can only hope you’ve been as lucky as I have over the years. And the old saying is true, you know, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” So take that luck that you get and press it. Keep on pushing. It only gets easier from here.


Weird Dreams

In this dream I went to Dr. Botwin and Innella office to ask for a job since I worked there a long time ago. I started to cough and Dr. Botwin said to me “Let it out of you” he put a paper on the floor and I cough two big green nasty flames. He stood there with me after he went to talk to Dr. Innella. He called the secretary to bring him a specimen cup to put the green stuff that came out of me in there. The secretary said that her coffee machine was not working in a way she was saying that things have been going wrong for her. I felt better after I cough the green flame.


Dream on 8-23-12

A funeral of a woman but there’s no coffin, it’s a Caucasian woman, and her body was cut into pieces. A piece of her arm fell on the floor and I saw it but I was not scared. I was thinking of getting a box and offer it to them for the body but I said I’ll mind my business. I saw my daughter in a basement of a funeral home and I went to get her.

I saw the older children that I raised in a car but they were small. I started to look for something in the car while they were in the car. I started shaking my front tooth and it came loose, I pull it out and I saw one of the instructors and she had a jean jacket on. I went in the karate school, my kids were there but my daughter was hiding from her father and I cover for her. I saw four black men in the street and they started to dance and sing. I saw a yellow school bus following the four men like a parade. I went and asked a friend to help me get a job where she worked at; she called the place and gave them my number. I did manage to put my front tooth back in place without anyone notices the space in my mouth.


A Recent Dream

Two men came by to give me a message about my friend that was out of the country, I wanted to prepare a plate of food for them but the microwave wasn’t working and my sister didn’t want to help. She was busy with her son so I had to figure out how to make the microwave work. I did and I feed the two men, my sister asked me how it went, I told her that I figure out how to make the microwave work. She said that is good that you figure it out.


Dreamt on 8-22-2012

In this dream my ex husband is around me and our children but he’s not allow to speak to me. There’s a karate event and his older daughter was going to perform next but I had to go do somewhere and she really wanted me to be there but I told her that I can’t. I saw my daughter went in a bathroom and came out with no clothes on at first then my niece who my daughter is very close to like a sister, came also out of the bathroom without clothes so I told them they need to put clothes on now.


My Dream on 8-6-2012

I was at a mansion on top of a hill with a gate entrance and that is the only way to the home also someone has to drop an anchor to let you in. There were celebrities all over the place and one of them I went with and had a relationship with. After I got up and took a long stair up without looking back. I went to check different room and one had two men about to have intercourse and I asked the one that is my friend “do you know if that man you ‘ r with if he is safe?” he answered I don’t know. After a few minutes they couldn’t t get it on and the strange man came out of the room and I started talking to him. He said that he wants to have good times that are all and I ordered him to leave the party. He didn’t want to go so I escorted him to the exit and made sure he left. The party was wild with so many people; it looks like a Jean family party. I also saw three women that were trying to get me to go to the spa area and they said that they had a bath waiting for me but I told them I can’t now. I also saw in one room a young lady singing.


Dream 8-20-2012

In this dream, my daughter asked me for a sandwich for school and I told her we need to go to the market to get the items.  When we get there I told her to go ahead and look for the items. As I am pushing the shopping cart, I saw a man with Russian feature and he told me that he lived in Connecticut but he did not look like he had money.



In this dream I saw my friend Martine with a baby boy and then I saw Wyclef Jean carried a baby boy with him and he didn’t want anyone to see the child. The baby was in a baby carriage.

In my next dream I saw that I was dressing in a black dress and wear also black shoes and I was going to a wedding. Apparently it was Kassy that was getting married. We went in a house and part of the house was a different area and it was beautiful. There was a girl in the bathroom taking a shower.

In another dream I was at the karate school and everything was new and fixed really nice. I sat at the front desk with one of my kids and one parent came and said to me “I fixed this corner very nice.” The parent was looking also at the paper on the desk then I went to the bathroom, I noticed that the bathroom was so filthy and the toilet had poo or as you say number two on the seat and I started to clean the bathroom.


My Dream on 7-3-2012

I dreamt that I went to victor from Rhingo and I was with my children to ask him to give me $300.00 for a job I did for him. I saw he was getting shirts from a vendor and he was hanging them after he was going to steam them. I asked him for the money and he asked the vendor or distributor to give him the money and he gave it to me. I took the money and left with my kids. We were looking for route 1 & 9 and when we got there I noticed my friend’s husband was there but in my dream they were just engaged.

I had dinner with my kids and I took them to our room and I left to meet with my friend’s fiancé. While I was there the hotel manager was being nosy and wanted to know what my story is.

A mail came for my friend’s fiancé and it was receipts and he looked at them to try to understand what was going on. He noticed that they were bills that my friend charged to his accounts and credit cards and his father wanted to show him that my friend was taking him to the cleaner.


My ex

My ex made sure that he did everything he can do so I can lose the business, my house and my car. I called to people who I knew in the church and the martial arts, their answer was Miss Theresa ask me  for anything else but do not ask me to help you at the dojo. The people at the church said I will tell the pastor was it going on but the pastor had his own stuffs to deal with. My ex scared them and they feared for their lives. He knew the tricks of the street unlike me I was raised in a shelter and safe environment. I was raised to be nice to people and help people since I am the oldest of nine children. The oldest helped carry the burdens since my father died. I was also spoiled by my father and my mother and I spoiled myself also.

At first I was trying to teach the oldest son that I raised the same way but he was smart , clever and his birth mother brainwashed him about me, she always hate me. He wanted no part of that kind of thinking, lol great for him. I wished I had that kind of determination to do the same thing like he did. He left to find his own race that was wisdom. He cared about himself and that was good for him. He wasn’t going to be responsible to no one else but himself, I respected him for that.


Free Moral Agents

Theresa said “The truth is that we live among free moral agents who often choose evil, resulting in inescapable trouble for others.” Jim Cymbala author of Breakthrough Prayer

Example of such people is the mastermind and cohorts of 9/11 and others who live among us.

The young lady that I raised since she was two and a half years old, I loved her like my own because I am capable of that. I raised one of my brothers when my mother left for the state to make a better living so she can give us the best. The young lady got brainwashed just liked Mat did with me but she will understand the truth later on. Just liked I understand her mother now what she went through because of his lied. I told him that his children need their mom when they were with us. I called her and asked her for help with the older son when he was going to his bad stage but she answered that she can’t. It was the hardest time in my life. I started to hold grudges against her cause I didn’t understand how can she just left.

He didn’t care that the mother of his older children were not there for them; in his mind everyone is replaceable just like him. The spirit that took him hostage ruled him and he had no sympathy for no one. That spirit is the same that embody his new wife, they r lost souls. He knows in his dream that the evil spirit came for him but he wanted me to stop the spirit but I was too tired. I fought too much in my natural being to stay alive. I had too many against me and some said they were Christians which made it worst. They used white magic to hurt people and the one that called themselves pastors, brothers were against marriage, they were dividers. Sunday school teacher with no soul just knowledge of the bible but no good spirit. That young lady helped her father with his lied and she was still young therefore she didn’t know the outcome of her being a helper. She has not experience motherhood or marriage.



More of my Dreams


I dreamt that I had a baby boy and I introduce him to my friend Melky Jean. Before that my mother brought the baby to me and I breastfed him while I sat outside and I had so much milk that I had to put a cup on the other breast that he wasnt’ t using to get his milk. I saw that I am happy, after I fed him he fell asleep again, I went to a house to look for a sandal and there was someone taking a bath in the bathroom so I couldn’t go there. I went to another room I saw a bag and inside were the uniforms of my children from when they attended Abundant Life Academy. I looked inside for the sandal but it wasn’t there then I looked around the house and I saw a pair that match and I put it on my feet and went outside the porch. That’s went Melky Jean came in and I told her about my baby. We went for a walk and the baby was still in my hand asleep and he opened his eyes, I noticed that the baby is my son Anthony. He is so handsome and I love him so much.



Recent Dream

I dreamt that I was in a car and my mother was driving, we were on the way to church. We came to a stop sign and the traffic was going the wrong direction, I told my mother to cross over ago to the next street in the right direction but she didn’t want to. She froze so I told her to move over so I can drive in the right direction. We got there and we walk in the small street and I saw a lady inside a beauty salon and we keep walking. When we got there I went upstairs and I sat on the table with the pastor and two other people, the pastor was teaching Latin. At the end of the meeting he said something but I didn’t hear what he said so I asked the other person and the person told me that the pastor said “The world”. After I went in the back and I saw the pastor children in a room and they were talking to each other. I tried to leave so I went in the basement and it was dark but I still managed to get out.

March 22, 2012

I dreamt that I went to a small hospital that have also a nice mall downstairs and apparently my kids were there with me. I went to visit the patients in all the rooms in the hospital and one young lady had to get a procedure where the technologist put dye in her veins and followed it all the way to her heart. I ended up in a room and the Bishop that married me before came to visit the same patient. While the nurse was putting the IV for her, the Bishop started to talk to me about his family that was nice. My ex husband came in to see the lady that was in the next bed, she was very heavy and he picked up the lady in his arm and he was sad. I looked outside I saw my ex husband new wife was with three other Caucasian ladies and they were poking their heads to spied on what was going on. Anyway I didn’t pay any attention to them and I went to the elevator to meet a friend of mine that was there and we started to talk about what just happen. I explained to her how my ex lied then it was time for me to go home but the kids were not there so I figured that they left with their father so I called them and they confirmed that they left with him and he’ll drop them home to me. Then his wife called me and said ” did my husband called you” and I answered no and I proceed to tell her that she knew that her husband lied about me but she started to argued with me and I just said to her never mind. That helped me to understand that she made him lied about me.





Dream on 4-5-2012


In this dream I went to visit a family in a building and they were on the third floor, the apartment was full of family and the stairs were full of so many clothes also. It looked like people used the stairs as a dumpster. The apartment turn into a school and my kids were there so was their father and his new wife. I noticed that I brought chicken and I served everyone than a feast start with lobster, clam, fish and a big plate of paella.

After I want to take some of the expensive foods but my ex-husband wife told me no because she’ll make a plate for me. She was happy to be the lady of the party; I told her it’s ok. She looked happy and I saw that she started to dance because the music was playing. She was putting on a show for everyone. I had more chicken on the stove so I took an aluminum foil and took the rest of it without anyone knowledge. I left the party and my kids were on the deck and I kiss them goodbye.




My dream on March 29, 2012

I dreamt that I was at a place that I worked before for a meeting, all the family was there and I sat behind my old desk in the office. I saw that my sister brought me a baby boy, he’s so handsome and I had to change his diaper because he urinates. My sister handed me the diaper bag and I empty the bag on the desk, inside the diaper bag were expensive items for the baby. Then I woke up.



My dream on March 29, 2012

I dreamt that I was at a place that I worked before for a meeting, all the family was there and I sat behind my old desk in the office. I saw that my sister brought me a baby boy, he’s so handsome and I had to change his diaper because he urinates. My sister handed me the diaper bag and I empty the bag on the desk, inside the diaper bag were expensive items for the baby. Then I woke up.


My dream on March 24, 2012

In this dream, I saw my ex-husband was over my house and our children were there also, we were on good term. Then he said to me, “I need my wife to sign the paper for me to buy a house”. After a while I heard his wife outside screaming and going crazy so he went outside to her and they started to argue and fight. He asked another lady we knew to come to the house with the contract so he and his wife can sign the paper. His wife came in my house and she was still upset and she said to me, “I don’t have money to buy foods, clothes or anything else for me and my kids.” Another lady from my church came to my house with her family and I told her what was going on. Then I woke up.


#1 Factor In Building A Successful Family

#1 Factor in Building a Successful Family

By Dr. Joanne Stern

You may be surprised at how much time and attention successful wealthy families devote to family issues. Sure, you receive a lot of information on stock market analysis, strategic investment recommendations and the best ways to grow and protect your family wealth. But financial matters are only part of the equation.

That’s because the best financial advice in the world can’t overcome a weak family unit that’s unprepared to meet the challenges of preserving multigenerational wealth. That’s why we devote so much energy to showing you how to build a positive family culture, develop strong family relationships, learn better communication skills and resolve conflicts before they tear your family apart.

So what underlying element creates a cohesive, cooperative family capable of sustaining both financial and personal prosperity?

The answer is character.

Character doesn’t necessarily earn you more money or ensure your financial security. And because character is subtle, it doesn’t naturally boost your ego. But it is the foundation upon which successful families are built.

Broken Trust in the Family

I’ve been consulting with a wealthy family whose parents recently passed away. The oldest son (I’ll call him Jim) took over the family business. Everyone thought Jim was a great guy. But he allowed the winds of temptation to carry him away and become deeply involved in porn and prostitution. When his wife found out, she was devastated. He repulsed her. She threatened divorce.

His siblings told Jim that he should resign from his position in the family company. They were horrified that someone with such a deeply flawed character was representing them. They were disgusted because his morals so violently opposed their own. And they were fearful that his behavior would become known in their community and thus ruin their business.

Instead of pursuing honesty, integrity and sound moral behaviors, Jim got sidetracked. He lost sleep thinking of how to cover these new tracks by lying, hiding and covering up. He became exhausted, anxious and depressed.

Jim is clawing his way out of the hole he dug within his family. You can imagine how tenuous his relationships are. But he can’t go backwards and undo what he has done. He’s now working hard to repair that trust and rid himself of the character defects that nearly destroyed him, his family and the family business.

The Slippery Slope of Dishonesty

Not all character flaws are as dramatic as Jim’s. Sometimes lack of character can be as simple as lying when you’re afraid to tell the truth. You convince yourself that bending the truth, just this once, won’t really matter.

But bending the truth is a slippery slope that leads to dishonesty creeping into other areas of your life. It makes you untrustworthy, which damages both personal and business relationships.

Recently I worked with a family trying to divide the household items in the family home after the last parent passed away. It was a large estate home with many antiques and museum-quality valuables. One brother kept slipping into the warehouse and snatching oriental rugs, antique purses, beautifully framed photographs of ancestors and family documents dating back two hundred years.

When the sisters questioned their brother about the missing items, he simply said he didn’t know what had happened to them. They knew he had taken them, but there was nothing they could do. The trust between them vanished and will likely never be rebuilt.

The sisters were angry at the loss of these sentimental and valuable articles. But most of all, they were disappointed in their brother, a man they had loved for many years who had degenerated into a person of low character. The loss of the brother they knew far outweighed the loss of the valuables.

Are You a Moral Compass?

If you’re a parent or a grandparent, there’s an additional purpose of constantly monitoring your character — of making sure you are living an upstanding life. You are the most important role model your kids will ever have, and they imitate your behavior far more than your words.

Even when your kids become adults, they still look to you to be the moral compass in their lives. They watch how you behave and how you treat other people. They take their cues from you.

I met Natasha when she was twenty-one. Her mother is an alcoholic and has been divorced four times, with lots of boyfriends in between. Her mother has never worked because she lives very well off her family trusts. She’s immature, selfish, self-centered and considers only what works for her without regard for how it impacts Natasha.

Natasha doesn’t want to live like her mother. She doesn’t want to become an alcoholic. But she has watched her mom slug a few drinks every time discomfort or anxiety spilled into her life, and Natasha fights against the urge to do the same.

Natasha is now in a serious relationship that resembles her mother’s marriages. But it’s difficult for Natasha to change because her mother is still the most important adult in her life.

Natasha wants to have a job that pays for her lifestyle, even though she also receives monthly checks from her family trust. But she doesn’t know how to talk with her mother about career possibilities because her mom doesn’t understand. Natasha is fighting against her mother’s character and trying to build a better life for herself. But her mother’s behavior has made that an uphill battle.

Like Red Wine on a Cashmere Sweater…

My two daughters each have a two-year-old. They tease me because both toddlers repeat my phrases from time to time. One has picked up, “Oh honestly!” The other uses, “What the heck!”

It’s obvious that my grandchildren pay close attention to what I say and do. How I behave in front of them leaves much the same imprint as spilling a glass of red wine on a white cashmere sweater. Once it’s there, it’s really hard to remove. Am I helping them build good character? Or will they have to overcome the negative influence of my behaviors?

If you place great value on materialism, your children will do the same. If you put on a show and flaunt your wealth in public, your children will probably do the same. If you cheat — on your income taxes, on your spouse, on your restaurant bill — it’s like giving your children a pass to cheat as well. So don’t be surprised if they get caught cheating on their SATs, copying someone else’s term paper or denying bad behavior.

Dishonesty takes a wide variety of forms… and kids learn to mimic them all.

The Greatest Gift of All

All is not lost. Take comfort in knowing that instilling character in your children is within your control. If you live your life with honesty and integrity, they will learn to do the same. If you are generous and thoughtful of others, they will follow suit. If you have a good work ethic and put your passion and energy into producing rather than consuming, they will value that as well.

Sometimes we get so busy dealing with the urgent things at hand — in business and at home — that we don’t take time to examine the state of affairs in our families.

With that in mind, I urge you to take a deep and honest look at your behavior by following these four steps:

1. Make a list of character traits that are important to you and your family’s success.

2. Talk with your kids about character and why it’s important.

3. Analyze whether or not you are living up to the character traits you deem valuable.

4. Take specific steps to align your daily behavior with your ideals.

I recommend that you periodically call “time out” in life to assess where your family is and where you want it to be. These moments help remind you of the long-term goals that can sometimes get lost in the noise of your everyday routines. They also reinforce a sense of mission and purpose in your life.

We all want happiness and well-being for our loved ones. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to act as a shining example of high character in words and deeds. Be the person you want your children to be. It won’t always be easy… but it may be the greatest gift you can give them.