One of the reasons I love public speaking skills, presentation skills and love teaching people is I do believe it's a great way to help your career at any stage. No matter where you are, whether you're here want to go here down at the bottom, or maybe you were up here, went down here to wait to get back up. I know that firsthand. In 2001, early 2001 I was not a young man back then I was 38 gonna turn 39 Later that year, I had a string of failures, I'd had.com failures, syndicated talk shows go bust. Frankly, almost everything I touched, just didn't turn out well. And I found myself living in a slum in the worst part of Queens.
I won't even mention the name of the place, but I'm right next to Kennedy Airport. It's loud airplanes are going over. And I'm living in what's literally a flophouse It was a $400 a month place. And I think my entire bank balance at that point was $400. And at that point, that's when I started my career for real. As a professional train, I'd done trainings on the side since 1984.
But as far as really establishing myself working full time to build a presentation skills training, business and immediate training business, it started right there. That was kind of my beginning point. I'll never forget I was sitting on the floor in my bedroom, because I had no chair and a laptop on the floor because I had no desk or table. I had 112 year old video camera. One old and it was VHS. I had one old laptop and that was it.
Now the good news is When you're really poor, you don't have any distractions. I didn't have time to go out and date or socialize them, I had no money for bus fare or subway fare to go even meet my friends. So it gave me the time to really, really focus. So what did I do? I wrote newsletters, I sent emails to prospects all day long. I called when I could afford a phone call.
And it forced me to develop a marketing mindset was also a recession that by the way, so it was, in a sense, the worst possible time to start a new business, but it was also in retrospect, the best time to start a business. Because if you start with nothing, and you're scrambling around and doing everything you can to market it builds into a marketing mindset. And that's what happened to me that so it was a very, very humble beginning, but it did teach If you focus on presenting constantly presenting yourself helping other people, you don't have to have big fancy offices. You don't have to have all sorts of equipment marketing budget. You just need to focus your energies and speak every prospect. You can call as many people as possible, email as many people as possible and pitch, your vision, pitch your mission, and you can ultimately find some success.
Okay, so why do I tell that story? I want people to realize that I'm not just someone who everything I've ever touched, is turned to success. I've had some hard times too. I want to seem relatable to people. And it does make them feel like Oh, he's had some downsides too. It's long enough ago that they don't feel like why am I using this guy.
He's a failure. It was long enough time ago. So it's kind of safe. For me to use that as an example. And it does stress to people that if you focus in speak, there was no YouTube back then. But just speaking to people on the phone speaking to people who meet you for a free meeting, speaking to people through an email can be enough to build a business.
Now, I don't want to make it sound like I did it, anyone can do it and be just a generic motivational speaker. Because there are some advantages I have that other people don't have. Let's face it, the world is filled with racism and sexism classes and all sorts of other problems that frankly, have benefited me. So I don't want to make it sound like everybody can do this since I did it. But I do want to give people kind of a sense of my own art, things that have worked for me, so that they can pick and choose some of them or use that as inspiration. Even better.