Client Interviews: Sam Bart & Olivia Marcozzi
Tune in NOW for this episode of The Dani Johnson Show to hear personal stories from outstanding millennials, Sam and Olivia, in their own words!
“Your business will be transformed, your family will be transformed, your finances will be transformed.”
Huntington Beach, California
Q: When did you first hear about First Steps To Success/DaniJohnson.com?
In May 2012, I heard about it from a man who was doing consulting work for us. He said he had a way for my business to grow. I checked out the website and I was turned off because I thought it was gonna be like Tony Robbins. But I ordered the “First Steps To Wealth” and “Grooming The Next Generation” books. I was so convicted, because I thought I was a terrible mom and I was doing everything wrong. It no longer was about the business, I didn’t even care about that anymore. Now, it was about my family and kids. I was like, I have to check this out! So he took me to First Steps To Success and I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much. I was doing it all wrong. It became about restoring my family and being a better leader to my kids. It was not about business anymore.
Q: What did your family look like at that time?
There was so much animosity, contention. I was a workaholic. I loved my kids but I thought I needed to be in every little piece of my business and needed to know everything about every little part of my business, instead of delegating. My business ruled my life. It was disgusting. I was money-hungry. My kids were disrespectful; they weren’t loving. They were imitating how Drew and I acted and treated each other. Our marriage was in a downward spiral. We never traveled anywhere, never left the business.
I was a greedy pig. There was never enough. I never got that satisfied feeling of “Ah, I made it, I’m here.” We tithed loosely. We never had a relationship with Christ, not like we do now. We had filed for bankruptcy in 2010. We had a business loan of $150K and school loan of $120K. Once we started going to First Steps To Success and following the guides in “War On Debt,” we used Dani’s strategies to become more productive. My husband and kids came, but I was more consistently plugged in. I needed the most help and change. The more I plugged in, the more my life got better and better, because I was applying what I learned at each event. It was really important to stay plugged in because our lights tend to burn out and we need to be relit and empowered and reminded of what’s important in life. These events are where you’re going to get it. They keep your priorities straight.
On top of that, you have accountability, because when you go back you don’t want to return in the same as you were in before. You want to be able to bring results.
Drew knows that every time I come back from First Steps To Success, I’m a better person, a better mom, a better businesswoman.
Q: What surprised you the most about First Steps To Success/DaniJohnson.com?
I never imagined, with all the debt I had, that I would ever pay it off. My school loan was a 30-year loan. Dani totally changed my thought process and said “What are you waiting for?” I never imagined that when you’re obedient in paying off your debt, we are then blessed 10-fold. We paid off $892K of debt in 2.5 years, have investments in gold and silver ($25K), $80K in a Roth IRA and $45K in savings.
Q: How has your life changed since First Steps To Success/DaniJohnson.com?
I came back from First Steps To Success and I was like, “OMG, I have to bring my staff!” I brought 6 of my staff members with me and it was so great to be able to help them catch the vision. Not just for our business, but they have gone through a lot of stuff – divorce, being molested, etc. – and this has given them hope. When I invest in them, it makes them feel so much more valuable and important to our team. I tend to forget other people sometimes, but this helps me to make sure I pause, take a breath, and think about my team and ensure growth not just for the company, but for them personally. My staff knows how to speak in the language of other people’s “GEMS” and what makes them tick. That makes everyone who walks through our doors feel loved and special. Our clients feel like our office is their safe place, a place where they come for restoration and comfort and love. Our staff has really caught the vision. It’s amazing when you’re all on the same page and working toward the same ultimate goal… which is making our clients want to keep coming back again and again.
Going to the events has taught me personal responsibility, especially with my family. Everyone plays a part in the family dynamics. Everyone pulls their own weight. We have a chore chart, and before the kids go to bed their chores have to be done. The kids are learning what to do with the money they earn. Everyone gets their $10, and they tithe first: 10% tithe, 40% fun, 50% investments. We match them, and they’re getting close to their $1000 match. They are learning how to be investors. There is so much money in the area where we live. Other kids are handed money for Starbucks and toys and games and clothes. My kids don’t ask me for money, they know they have to earn it.
I came from a family who didn’t talk about money, so for me, it’s very important to teach our kids about money. Dani has taught us how to put our kids on the right path, instead of just hoping they end up on the right path. We talk about it and show them that we’re living on 42% of our income. Our daughter asked us a few years ago, “Mom, I know you make a lot of money. What do you do with it all? You don’t spend it…” So we teach them how to do it right.
The kids are respectful. Before, they never said “Yes, mom, I’d be glad to…” Now, Cru (5) is the pro! They are also respectful to each other. They want to serve and help. It makes my heart melt when I see them loving each other and caring for each other and playing together. And now, we get to travel and vacation together, going out of the country at least once a year.
I cut my hours from 60 to 32 hours a week and m priorities are in check. We have dinner together every night and I’m here for my kids. I’m a much better listener than I ever was before. It used to be all about me. My family still has tons of work to do, but we are so far ahead of where we were.
When we were getting ready to go to Belize 2 years ago, I wanted to teach my kids how to reach out and care for others, thinking “Dani has the right idea about this!” We told the kids, “We’re not doing Christmas gifts this year, we’re gonna take Christmas to the orphans.” Our kids had a FIT! It was pure rage! We picked out 100 pairs of shoes and 100 pajamas and soccer balls. When we gave it all out to the orphans, these kids LOVED their gifts. They stayed in their new pajamas for 3 days! Our kids got to see the orphans and it completely changed their hearts. We did the same thing the next year, and the kids were so excited to give to the orphans. We’re going to do a local family here this year.
We want a simpler life. We are teaching our kids to be grateful and to love and care for others. Our hearts have changed and moved to help the less fortunate. We have everything and more, so we’re giving to those who don’t have anything. There was such transformation in a year.
Q: What would you say to someone who is on the fence about attending First Steps To Success?
It’s all about wanting change, wanting to help people make their life better.
I’ve learned how to live my life by design. It’s bigger and better all the time. Life is so good, but it can always get better and better. There is hope. There IS a way to have the best of the best, if you really, truly want it.
Your business will be transformed, your family will be transformed, your finances will be transformed.