No matter how bad you think you have it, there is always an entrepreneur who has had it worse. Use this rags to riches story to inspire you to greatness.
Over the last three years, I’ve had an epic journey with Tony Robbins. I’m not alone. Many of your favorite celebrities and financial experts all have benefited from the breakthroughs they have received when engaging with one of the most powerful state-changing CEO whisperers of our time.
If you’ve ever been to one of Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within events, then you are familiar with Mike Melio, CEO of Western Piedmont Metal, Inc., a scrap metal company on track to grow to $100 million in revenue in the next two to three years. If you haven’t had the pleasure, allow me to do my best to share the incredible story of one man’s journey from homeless to multi-millionaire. You can watch much of what I’m sharing in this article in my interview with Mike Melio on YouTube.
Dead Broke and Homeless Living on a Beach
My heart went out to Mike Melio the very first time I heard him talk about being homeless. “When I was homeless in San Diego, I was fortunate enough to have a job in a call center,” said Mike Melio. “I would come into work and a number of my colleagues would leave bars of soap on my desk because they didn’t like how I smelled.”
Mike Melio had hit rock bottom. He was sleeping in one of the lifeguard lookouts on a beach in San Diego, California. One day, one of his managers gave him a copy of Tony Robbins’ book, Unlimited Power. He read it several times and began living the principles in the book. Little by little, he saved enough money to get off the street and back onto his feet.
Helping A Co-Worker with Drug Addiction
Mike Melio was promoted to manager at that call center and became responsible for a small team of employees. This one woman kept sporadically missing work and was frequently coming in late.
“I asked her to come into my office and I was seriously considering firing her,” says Mike Melio. “Before I could say anything, she stopped me and told me that she was addicted to drugs and wanted to quit, but couldn’t. I told her I would help her and keep her employed if she would agree to seek help, including the help of Tony Robbins.”
The woman got clean and, at the encouragement of Mike Melio, reached out to her father to repair their relationship. “One day, her dad called me and said he wanted to meet me,” Mike Melio said. “I said I was happy to talk with him on the phone, but he was adamant that we meet face to face. When we met, he told me that anyone who could help his daughter overcome drug addiction was a person he wanted to do business with. He took me under his wing and showed me how to run a scrap metal business.”
Learning the 7 Forces of Business Mastery
In addition to the incredible support received from his scrap metal mentor and silent business partner, Mike Melio continued to invest in himself and continued his journey on with Tony Robbins via his Business Mastery seminar, where he learned the 7 Forces of Business Mastery.
“I learned more in ten days with Tony Robbins than most entrepreneurs ever do,” said Mike Melio. “I keep going back every chance that I get because as Mr. Robbins says, ‘repetition is the mother of skill’ and I keep learning something every time I go.”
It was at Tony Robbins Business Mastery that Mike Melio came up with the game changing brilliant marketing programs that continue to fuel his growth at his company. By investing in his own marketing and sales efforts, he was able to grow even during flat and downturns in the economy.
The Impact of the 2008 Crash
In 2007, just as Mike Melio had started growing a multi-million dollar scrap metal business, Tony Robbins called him up and was adamant that he join him and come listen to the advice from billionaires like Ray Dalio and former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan.
“I was told in no uncertain terms that the stock market was headed for a major correction,” says Mike Melio, “but I was doing far too well financially to be concerned about it. Instead of heading their warning, I kept my focus on growing my business until one day everything came to a grinding halt. My largest competitor went into Chapter 11. It was only because I had begun working overseas that I was able to keep going and survive the crash.”
The March to $100 Million
Despite the economic, political and even the industry-specific roller coaster ride over the past dozen years, Mike Melio is now on a growth trajectory that will allow him to hit the $100 million dollar revenue mark in the next two to three years. This is an important milestone because when he does, he is going to trigger an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) which will allow him to transfer much of the wealth he has created in his company to his employees.
“I knew I wanted to help my employees become financially free and when I first discovered what an ESOP was, I knew it would be a powerful way to make that happen,” said Mike Melio.
For me, this is the ultimate “rags to riches” story. Mike Melio has gone from being a homeless man to a multi-millionaire, and now he is working on building and supporting the financial freedom of all the employees who work for him. He is also incredibly humble. “I’m just a regular guy,” says Mike Melio. “Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can.”
And that’s the incredible thing about being an entrepreneur. When you’re willing to take massive action on great advice, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Be bold and go after everything life has to offer. When you decide to tap into your own infinite resourcefulness, nothing can stop you from the outcomes you seek. If you’re not sure where to begin, start here.