"Learn. Learn. Learn. The greatest competitive advantage for an entrepreneur is knowledge."

– Mark Cuban, billionaire, Shark Tank


Back to start






Products I Love





Trust is the Greatest Gift: You Realize That When You Totally Lose It Like I Did

Michael Graham


The problem started pretty early.  Actually, it was sixth grade.  I found a big grocery bag in a locker at school in the PE room.  I knew what it was and I was curious.  So, I emptied out my mom’s cigarettes and put the marijuana in it.

But I didn’t get high, so I decided to sell it for $20.00.  The person who bought it was my friend’s brother and after he bought it, he showed me how to roll it.  This time, I did get high.

After that, “high” was a constant state.

Then my parents found out.  Boy, were they disappointed in me.  I had let them down and not honored their trust in me to make good decisions.  My Dad kicked my butt and confronted my friend who had given it to me.  Mom was in the house crying.

My Personal Core Values Disappeared

But smoking pot was the entrance into “The Crowd.”  By 16, I was doing cocaine.  And by 25, I was doing crack cocaine.  I got addicted on the first try.  It was overwhelming.  This went on until I was 35.

At 20, I started embezzling.  I started at a store where I was good friends with the manager.  She trusted me, but I let her down.  I felt so bad because she was a friend.  But I was letting people down all the time.

I shoplifted every day to keep my habit going.  I knew exactly what items to shoplift that I could sell for drugs.

One problem with being so dishonest and untrustworthy all the time was the accumulated criminal charges.  I had 40 or more charges pending and plenty of warrants out for my arrest

How I Finally Got Unstuck

I had gone through 7 or 8 rehab programs before Victory Outreach, where I finally got clean.

Detox took 3 weeks.  “It was the worse 3 weeks of my life.”  Needless to say, “clean” was not an easy road either.  It wasn’t easy finding a job with nothing but dishonesty, lies, and betrayal in my past.

Alpine Creek Market was a grocery store who gave me a chance.  The store knew my background when they hired him.  I was very open and upfront with them.  I was hired as the night janitor, but it wasn’t enough hours.

I was working just twice a week.  Eventually, I asked the store manager if I could get some extra hours so I also worked Load Crew–stocking shelves at night to get extra hours.

De-Hydrated Water and Shaken Salad Dressing

Even though that was true, I can’t say I wasn’t above a few practical jokes.  The first week of New Hires were often subjected to a few initiation rites.

I would tell them to go stock the dehydrated water.  The new recruit would then go ask the manager where the dehydrated water was.

I would say, “We want the salad dressing to look presentable to the customer.  Go shake the salad dressings on Aisle 7.”  The new recruit would be in the aisle shaking salad dressing with both hands, while another person and I would be falling over laughing in the freezer.

I Had Earned Self-Confidence

After two years, they told me they considered me the best Receiver they had ever had.   The store owner even came in to say it to me directly.  I got three awards for “Employee of the Month,” $100.00 for each one, a Playstation, a camera, and a 100.00 lunch.  After another two years, they made me front-end manger and shift manager where I was over money and lottery tickets.

I’ve been clean now for ten years.  Now my Dad says, “Michael, log into my bank account and tell me how much I have.”  He never did that when I was using.  Now he gives me the keys to his shop–which has thousands of dollars of equipment.  He never did that when I was using.

Trust Yourself and Others Can Trust You

Now I trust myself.  My brothers trust me.  They leave their wallets and money out.  They let me take their kids.  And now my Mom trusts me with anything.

After I had been clean for two years, Mom saw that I was punctual with the rent for the apartment I was renting from her, that I had a consistent job, and that I was never sick or late.  Slowly, day-by-day, I earned her respect and trust.

Trust means being reliable, consistent, and honest.  The definition of trust includes “believing in the strength of someone or something.”  I finally earned that.

How to Get Motivated:  Cherish Trust

Without a doubt, trust was my greatest motivator.  That grocery store job was the first time I had ever been trusted and that was the greatest gift anyone had ever given me.  You don’t realize how valuable trust is until you don’t have it. 

There is no greater gift than to ultimately be worthy of trust and have someone extend it to you.




(Using Knowledge You Already Have)

    Find Your Purpose

    How to Find Your Calling from God:  7 Truths about Your Purpose

    One of the most challenging, but also one of the most important things, we will ever do as believers who strive to follow God’s will is to discern His calling or purpose on our lives. How do we know what God has planned for us? What if we make the wrong choices? Will...

    Create Your Course

    12 Types of Knowledge You Need to Create Your Course

    Did you know that having the right knowledge can dramatically impact your success and your income? There are 12 types of knowledge and each one matters. Having the right kind of knowledge can help you create an engaging course that would ensure the success of both the...

    Ten Ways to Increase Your Expert Power (And Your Income)

    Influence and Income are Only Two of the Advantages of Expert Power. Today’s top digital content course creators, like Sherpas, help others reach incredible heights.   You can make a big difference in peoples' lives Sherpas are trusted guides and guides for the climb...

    Knowledge Quotes

    Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough, and I will move the world. -Archimedes (and Knowledge is that lever) No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire. - L. Frank B....

    Create Your Breakthrough

    4 Ways to Delegate Well to Create More Time & Wealth

    1.Pay by the Job, not the Hour. Paying by the hour rewards the wrong thing.  What difference does it make to you how long it takes someone to do the job?  You just want it done well and on deadline.  The better they are, the faster it will go.  Why punish someone for...

    Create the Space, Effective Communication Will Happen

    No Time, No Communication, No Problem! There is a comic strip that shows a man lying on the psychiatrist couch talking to his psychiatrist. The patient said, “I had a dream. I don’t know if it was a good dream or a nightmare.” and the caption goes on to read: “I...

    Why You Need to Quit Trying (An Unconventional Technique that Works)

    Try Harder to Fail:  The Crazy Secret Not all failure is created equal.  Instead of saying there is the good, the bad, and the ugly type of failure, (which would be so clique), I will say, “There is the learned, the innovative, and the crazy.” Crazy is the bad and...