Client Q&A: Rick & Melissa Hinnant
“We got instantaneous results; it was like I got a shot in the arm and another chance, a new life.”
“As a businesswoman, as a mother, as a real estate agent, as a wife, as a financial person, I would say: Do not try to change your life yourself, because you can’t.”
Real Estate Agent
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Q: When did you first hear about First Steps To Success?
I heard about Dani in October 2008 through a business partner. He set an appointment to meet with me 3 different times, and I canceled each time. Finally, after the third time, he said, “I have something important to tell you that can change your life, but I guess you don’t want your life to change.” That got my attention. I agreed to meet with him, and he told me about Dani. He told me story after story about people whose lives had been changed.
I went to DaniJohnson.com, and I saw a video of Dani, and she said, “It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are; what matters is what you do with the circumstances!” That’s when I knew I had to go to First Steps To Success.
I didn’t have any money at the time, so I called a friend and asked if she could pay my way. I told her I wanted to go and change my life. I knew if I could just get to that event, my life would change.
Q: What was your life like before going to First Steps To Success?
I was very emotionally distraught. I didn’t have relationships in the community. I was working 80 hours/week, in the office from 8 am to 10 pm, trying to come up with ways to sell. I was always out of the house, so I didn’t have any real relationship with my husband or children. I was stressed-out, very mean to people and contemplating committing suicide, because I didn’t like my life. I had already gone through one divorce and this marriage was falling apart, too. My kids were disrespectful and my son was strung-out on drugs.
The market had crashed and I was not making any sales at all. I had an ERA (real estate) franchise, and I put $100K into the business in 2005. In 2008, the market crashed and I lost everything. Without any sales, I was very stressed. I was just trying to figure out how to make money.
I felt rejected and that people didn’t like me, no matter who they were. But I didn’t care if they liked me or not; I was very arrogant. I didn’t care about other people’s feelings. All I thought about was my own feelings.
Deep down, I had a good heart and I knew that. But because of all I went through from the time I was a little girl, I was emotionally distraught.
My parents divorced when I was 3, and my dad became an alcoholic. My parents fought all the time. My dad was very hostile, always cussing and wanting to fight. When I was 4, I lost my oldest brother, who I was very close to. I was told it was my fault, so after that, I wouldn’t let people get close to me because I was afraid of losing them. When I was 6 and 7, I was molested by my babysitter and her brother.
Because of all of this, I became very angry and I did not like people. I always wanted to fight and always caused problems for other people. I had to put up a front so people would think I knew things, but in reality I couldn’t learn anything from anyone. All I knew was bitterness, anger and running away from people.
Between 1994 and 2007 I made money in real estate, and then it stopped. The economy started changing. Looking back, I made thousands and thousands of dollars. I was selling 75-100 homes a year. But my expenses were as high as my income, because I felt like I had to put up a front. When the market crashed and I lost everything, I didn’t know what to do! I couldn’t make any sales, which meant I wasn’t making any money. We were a million dollars in debt!
Q: What has happened in your life since attending First Steps To Success?
First Steps To Success opened my eyes. I was the type of person who was so emotionally distraught, I didn’t know anything at all, and at first I couldn’t even hear what Dani was saying. I would hear only little pieces and only work with the little pieces. I’m so glad I made the commitment to going over and over again and not just that once. I had to go through a healing process. I had to look at myself and understand what life is really all about. It’s family, business, finance, spiritual, emotional.
After returning back from my first event, I sold 4 homes in 4 days. Dani gave us the strategies to help me build a strong foundation for my business, and it continues to grow! I’ve sold over 200 homes in a year! We have paid off $256K of debt in 3 years, and we’ve had $58K of debt totally forgiven!
I learned how to forgive people. I’ve built relationships with the people I would have run from before! My marriage is strong and my kids are respectful. It’s amazing! We give to orphans and the homeless and widows. That’s not something I would ever have expected!
Q: What would you tell someone who is on the fence about coming to First Steps To Success?
As a businesswoman, as a mother, as a real estate agent, as a wife, as a financial person, I would say: Do not try to change your life yourself, because you can’t. Put God first. He gives us a desire and a purpose on this earth. If you learn about your purpose on this earth and what God is saying, follow your passion and your heart. Do those things. Have an ear to hear and have your heart and mind open. Do not shut it down. Come to First Steps To Success. Don’t come trying to figure out everything. Just come open. When you are open to change, your life will change and transform and you will get immediate results. That happens to those who are ready to learn.