In my early 20s, I met a man that mesmerized me.
Frank was loud, outlandish, and polarizing. Most people loved and gravitated to him, while others couldn’t stand him. Until then, I had never met anyone like him, but I wanted to be like him, the fun and exciting part.
I found my first mentor. I now know that, but he was my boss at the time.
Growing up, I didn’t have many people like that in my life. Luckily, I’ve put myself in rooms that allowed me to grow and meet some fantastic people. In 2007, I sat in front of another loud and outspoken man.
This dude could not be quiet.
However, virtually everything he said to the class was either true or hilarious. I could sense that a portion of the class wanted to tell him to shut up.
He was annoying and engaging.
Little did I know he would become my new mentor. But at the time, I thought he was just a friend. Over the next 15 years, Brad exposed me to a world of possibilities I had never considered- we even started a business together.
My world until that point revolved around 10 miles from the home I was raised in. His friendship allowed me to be in rooms with men and women who were out of this world- much further than that 10-mile radius.
I’m not joking. I hardly left my hood.
Last week I relaxed with him at his beach house in San Diego, because he’s fancy like that. Besides going to the San Diego Comic-Con, I spent most of the week hanging out with him. The conversations were philosophical and borderline woo-woo. He’s still pushing me outside my radius of comfort.
I loved every moment of it.
Unfortunately, I never got to tell Frank how much he meant to me. He died a few years back. But I’ve ensured that Mr. Brad knows how much he means to me and how he has impacted my life and family. His impact will be felt for generations.
I hope I can be that man that helps others see the possibilities. One day I hope to be that obnoxious, annoying person in the room.