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Yesterday, my wife surprised me with an all-day event for my birthday. Some years it included something adventurous and other years something more meaningful with friends and family. This year was by far the best one yet! Earlier weeks prior, I was talking to Jade how I don’t need or want anything and all I want to do something to give back.

I pull into a parking lot and starting walking in from the back of a building still not knowing where exactly I’m at and sure enough I’ve realized I’m at a soup kitchen and then I start seeing other managers and employees there ready to volunteer! We prepped and cooked food from scratch all morning for well over a hundred homeless or low income families. Then a second shift of more leaders and family members showed up to help serve. It was 7 hours of hard labor, yet one of the more enriching experiences since I’ve been out here in California, especially to have my leaders quickly jumping in to volunteer out of their busy work days to get their hands dirty for a day.

I came rushing home to get ready for our company-wide holiday party. Two years ago I hosted it at my house, this year we have over 200 people attend just from our Orange County offices. I quickly rush to finish my speech and started entering stats I just received from my team members of our companies. We grew from 104 employees to 225 employees just this year. Next year there’s no reason we won’t be closer to 350 and growing. Being able to celebrate what my partners and managers have been able to accomplish in such a short time frame and how positively we can effect each and everyone our employees is what it’s all about!

Later during the night, they sang a little Happy Birthday and then generously handed me with a check of $5,000 that our employees rounded up to give to a charity of my choice. I couldn’t believe it. I am so appreciative and thankful that this is all I ever wanted. They get it. It’s not about me, it’ll never be about me. It’s all about what we can do for those around us. And when you start to “get it”, miracles start to happen.

I’ve going close to 15 years now as an entrepreneur. And more than a few times especially my first decade, I’ve had some epic “failures”. Looking back to them, I’ve realized where truly my heart was and how self-centered my intentions were. I was still serving the community, giving often when I could, but my focus was still towards money. And my association with money mostly due to my Christian upbringing was misguided believing that money is the root of all evil. The love of money, or in other words, greed is closer to what they were referring to. I started to realize most people, including myself, are tight-fisted with their money and try to hoard it but tell themselves they want to make a lot of money. The problem lies when you hold a tight fist, you don’t allow for money to come in. Money is energy.

When I lost it all again, I hit a turning point in my life. Somethings got to change and that’s when I surrendered. I stopped caring about the material things and started focusing on giving back. That’s when I found my purpose and life’s calling and the further I realized how resources can positively impact the world. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my money and it had little to do with me.

All of a sudden, things moved quickly. I had a newfound purpose and motivation to grow my companies. I was in alignment to the Universe. Positive mentors, future partners, my first few employees, and clients started to come in my life and I made a conscious choice to distance myself for anyone who wasn’t in my same alignment. A few million a year turned to $30M and then $150M and this year even more.

Get yourself aligned with the Universe first (hint: we are all part of the same overarching mission). You wouldn’t give all of your money to someone who would mismanage it, why would God?