I am the CEO of BigNet Group, a Virginia Limited Liability Company, an entrepreneur, retired US Marine, 2x combat veteran, and former defense contractor for 3 Fortune 500 companies. However, I was not born a CEO, entrepreneur, US Marine, or defense contractor. I became all of these things by decisions I made in life based upon childhood observations.
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri (the Show Me State). My father was a cab driver and mother a nurse aid. At an early age my parents divorced, so I became the product of a single-family home. Consequently, I can never recall a time when we were not on welfare. It was always so embarrassing going to the store and using Food Stamps. Back then, food stamps looked like monopoly money. However, today’s welfare system is less obvious because recipients are issued an EBT card, which resembles a debit card. I knew from that point forward I wanted a better life filled with purpose and prosperity.
I was a senior in high school and learned I had a full academic scholarship to St. Louis University, one of the foremost business colleges in the Midwest. However, I realized I wanted to leave St. Louis and spread my wings. So, when a Marine recruiter came-a-knocking, I enlisted to join the United States Marine Corps. Initially, my mother would not sign the authorization as I was only 17. However, she quickly realized I was determined to go, so she relented and signed the documents. On February 10, 1986, I went to Saint Louis International Airport; destination Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California. I never looked back...