All day people all over the country have been waiting for President Trump to make his formal announcement of the opioid epidemic as a national emergency. Finally, the time for the event at the White House has come, but the announcement has some wondering if enough is being said. So we want to take a little bit of time to talk about some of the highlights from the president’s announcement.
President Donald Trump did give a detailed speech regarding many efforts that are being pursued to combat the opioid epidemic in America. Yet, some are saying that he didn’t say enough about how these resources would be funded, pointing out his declaration was for a Public Health Emergency.
So what does it all mean? Why does the difference matter?
Public Health VS National Disaster
To be clear, both are forms of national emergency declarations. What is the big deal? Well, the difference is the scope and funding that comes with address each order. So today, President Trump, through the Public Health Services Act, directed his acting secretary of health and human services to declare a national health emergency. According to a senior White House official, this designation that will not automatically allocate additional federal funding for the crisis.
If the president has utilized the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, otherwise calling the opioid epidemic a national disaster, the federal government would have been able to immediately tap into funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund to combat opioids.
Some may say this move was made since the Stafford Act is traditionally used for natural disaster relief, such as with recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. President Trump and President Obama’s administration officials both say that using the Stafford Act would have been too broad and put an unwarranted burden on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund. Which seems somewhat likely, since this fund is already being depleted by recovery efforts from the three major hurricanes that hit the United States this year.
Overall, it seems many officials from this and the previous administration feel that a Public Health Emergency was a more appropriate choice out of the two.
What Will Public Health Emergency Do?
The order from President Trump will do some good, including:
- Expanding access to telemedicine to get treatment for those in rural areas
- Instructing agencies to limit bureaucratic delays for dispensing grant money
- Secure Department of Labor grants for the unemployed
- Shift funding for HIV and AIDs programs to provide more substance abuse treatment for people already eligible
- Expands Narcan access
The nationwide health emergency that Trump ordered is more direct but comes with less immediate action.
According to Senior White House officials, they will be following up by working with Congress to get more money for the Public Health Emergency Fund. Which is a good start, since critics are quick to point out there is only $57,000 in this fund.
It is also said to increase federal funding in year-end budget deals currently being negotiated in Congress. In fact, Democratic Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey introduced a bill this week that would provide $45 billion for opioid abuse prevention, surveillance, and treatment over 10 years. But will it ever see the light of day?
The President Trump Plan: Pros
There were various parts of the speech from President Trump that did hint at some interesting ideas. Some pros and some cons include:
Expanding Treatment Options
Possibly one of the bigger moves here is that President Trump said his administration would also be working to reduce regulatory barriers that prevent people from getting treatment, such as one that bars Medicaid from paying for addiction treatment in residential rehab facilities larger than 16 beds.
If the president can remove some of these hurdles, more people may have access to better options for treatment.
National Institute of Health has taken the first steps of instituting a public-private partnership that will be working toward research and resources including:
- New treatment for addiction
- New treatment for overdose
The president also said,
“We are already distributing nearly $1 billion in grants for addiction prevention and treatment. And over $50 million to support law enforcement programs that assist those facing prison and facing addiction.”
For one, Trump said that the Department of Justice is bringing indictments against Chinese drug traffickers responsible for bringing deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the country.
Another interesting announcement made by President Trump is that the federal government will soon be bringing major lawsuits against people and companies that are involved in the overprescribing and other shady practices concerning prescription drugs.
Pulling Dangerous Prescription Drugs
Trump also says the FDA is now requiring drug companies that manufacture one high-risk opioid, Opana ER, be withdrawn from the market immediately. He states,
“We are requiring that specific opioid, which is truly evil, to be taken off the market immediately.”
President Trump also states his administration will also be pushing for the development of non-addict pain medications.
The President Trump Plan: Cons
President Trump did in many cases acknowledge some useful aspects of combatting the epidemic. But, there were also some ideas that continue to fall short of innovative.
President Trump is also emphasizing the use of a “Massive advertising campaign” to keep young people from doing drugs in the first place. President Trump said-
“- they will see the devastation and ruination it causes to people and people’s lives.”
“The fact is if we can teach young people, and people generally, not to start, it’s really, really easy not to take them. And I think that’s going to end up being our most important thing. Really tough, really big, really great advertising.”
While prevention and education are extremely important, many criticize this strategy saying that these old tactics of “Just Say No” and the D.A.R.E. program just don’t work. This advertising might have been useful if focused on treatment options, but if it is more of the scare tactics of “Refer Madness” then we probably won’t see much improvement.
The Commander in Chief also took this opportunity to promote the building of the wall between the United States and Mexico, stating:
“90% of the heroin in America comes from south of the border, where we will be building the wall, which will be greatly helping this problem!”
He took time in his speech to highlight the need to “breaking up gangs and distribution efforts” as a primary way to curb the epidemic.
Of course, the wall is often an issue of contention. Many experts have argued since President Trump proposed this as the key element of his war on opioids that attacking the supply has never worked with preventing the spread of addiction. And even if it did, many believe the wall will do little to prevent drugs from being brought into America from south of the border.
Some experts are still saying this is not a proper plan because while it does allow federal agencies to move grant money, it establishes no immediate funding for a crisis that killed over 64,000 Americans last year.
Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives today narrowly passed a Senate-approved budget resolution 216 to 212, that some experts claim will cause all $1 trillion cut to Medicaid and $500 million cut to Medicare. Many recovery advocates fear that with the ambiguity concerning health care coverage there will not be enough resources in time to provide treatment to those in need.
Some representatives still believe more funding needs to be committed to the issue, while others say that many people struggling with addiction don’t have health insurance and that more must be done to expand coverage.
The chairman of President Trump’s opioid commission Chris Christie commended the president, calling his announcement a “bold action” to address the opioid crisis. The opioid commission will present a comprehensive plan next week with the final report on November 1st.
No matter what your opinion at this point, we can all agree we need to be moving forward. This means taking an honest look at what is working and what isn’t. Still, the fact that the highest office in the nation has taken the time to address the issue in such terms is hopefully a sign of dramatic change on the way. Only time will tell how this latest move from President Trump will truly impact the opioid epidemic. For now, there is sure to be plenty of debate over the weight of today’s statements and how they will influence policy. There are some promises to be kept, for sure.
There is a lot more to this conversation, but for now, we have to hope that some of these new opportunities will give options and hope to those in America suffering tragically. The opioid crisis is nothing we can expect to be fixed by one person overnight. We have to continue to provide resources to those in need. Palm Healthcare Company facilities have proudly provided addiction treatment resources for decades to those in need. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
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Anyone can see that these are divisive times.
Every day we see another story about protestors, protests against protestors, and counter-protests against those protesting the free-speech of protestors. Various movements drive outrage, and some of the loudest voices today are the most controversial. But are we addicted to it?
Today, the University of Florida in Gainesville is bracing for the impact of another contentious event. Known white supremacist Richard Spencer has been scheduled to arrive today on campus to deliver a speech, promoting his openly racist and radically white nationalist ideals. A guy who seems to have a knack for intentionally stirring up racial tension in public, preaching about ‘peaceful ethnic cleansing’, and waving around tiki torches like nobodies business.
With so many other troubling things happening in America; the ongoing opioid crisis that is killing tens of thousands every year; the debate on gun control following the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas; the concern over environmental deterioration or the devastation caused by recent Hurricanes to states like Texas and the island of Puerto Rico, doesn’t it seem we already have plenty to argue about?
How do voices like Richard Spencer spark our addiction to the controversy?
White Supremacist Invade Florida
The event is scheduled for this afternoon and will be the first college visit Richard Spencer has made since he and others participated in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The same day where the horrific display of people marching down the streets of an American city with Nazi flags and Ku Klux Klan symbols, many of them armed, clashed with counter-protestors. The same day a young woman was killed when a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of anti-racist protestors.
Richard Spencer stood on the side with neo-nazis and klansmen.
Today officials at the University of Florida are worried that this event will also become violent. In fact, the president of the University of Florida, Kent Fuchs, believes Richard Spencer wants there to be violence, hoping it will garner sympathy for the ‘alt-right’ movement he represents. In an interview Fuchs states,
“They’re coming to campus with the intentions of confrontation and with the intention of having all of us repeat their view on the world.”
On Monday Rick Scott, Florida Governor, declared a state of emergency for Alachua County to enable law enforcement to work together more effectively at preventing violence. There has also been the talk of activating the National Guard if necessary.
Of course, Richard Spencer took all this extra precaution as an opportunity to pat himself on the back. He’s alleged to be absolutely flattered by the state of emergency on his behalf.
Hint of Hypocrisy
One thing that always comes to these kinds of conversations is the discussion of people’s first amendment rights. When we get to the topic of whether universities should permit speakers to come to their campus, people always argue that the individual’s freedom of speech should be a priority and that these institutions should allow people who are controversial and divisive to speak, regardless of the harm or outrage caused by their poisonous rhetoric.
In this writer’s personal opinion– (and I know this may sound weird)- I agree with letting people I disagree with have a chance to talk. If we give those we think are wrong a chance to speak, we can engage the conversation and challenge them. If we completely silence all ignorance I think we can’t comprehensively address it.
THAT BEING SAID…
The problem I take with situations like this is hearing that the University of Florida is spending over $600,000 on additional security for this event in order to protect white supremacists. Money coming from taxpayers that could be spent on providing tuitions for who knows how many students.
Of course, this is because UF is a public university, and is therefore prohibited from stopping the event based on the contents or views of the speech. The university provided a permit for Spencer to speak, but the event is unaffiliated with the school, and no student groups sponsored the speech or invited Spencer. Plain and simple, it is an absolute set-up for a huge fall-out. And the university is not permitted to defer the costs of protecting Spencer to him or his alt-right movement.
But I digress…
Perhaps the greatest hypocrisy I see here is that the organizers for Spencer’s speech supposedly will only allow people who look like alt-right supporters to be among the 700 people inside the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. I can only guess what they look like.
So in essence, Spencer’s right to preach hate on a college campus should be a priority (sarcasm implied), even if the vast majority of students disagree with his oratory… But no one who disagrees with him should be allowed to participate in the dialog?
Our Addiction to Controversy and Outrage
Of course, just participating in this conversation is part of feeding the controversy. Therefore, this article in and of itself is putting the focus on the divisive subjects that push people into radical ideologies and pull communities apart. But the conversation still needs to be had; why are we so addicted to this kind of conflict?
Did you know our neurobiology rewards our outrage? A simple reason we are addicted to the controversy is that our outrage does feel good.
Our anger overrides all other moral and rational constraints in the brain because it originates from our primordial, original limbic system. This is the part of the brain where our most automatic emotions like fear and desire come from.
The limbic system has the most direct links to our fight-or-flight response system. It controls our adrenaline rushes, alertness, and other instincts. Controversy and outrage tap into those instincts and we can become addicted to the rush we experience through the limbic system.
The ego is a primary fuel source for our outrage and our attraction to controversy. Not only do we get a thrill from the debate and a rush from feeling right in a debate, but it is a way we overcome our own feelings.
Anger can be triggered by feelings of insecurity or weakness. Our outrage is a surge of emotion that flows in to overcome those feelings of fragility. So our outrage and immersion into controversy make us feel stronger or superior.
Feeding Our Addiction
Addiction compels you to chase a high that only makes you feel worse; it reduces you to a lesser version of yourself. It seems, however, that Americans are largely addicted to controversy and discord. When you look on social media or watch television it appears evident we are adopting a society that is hooked on hostility and that undervalues empathy.
How did this happen? Simple; More than most drug addicts, our dealers are literally everywhere! The business of controversy is an ugly but lucrative one. Any drug trafficker knows how that is. Many people who dig up every piece of offensive, frightening or infuriating news to publish don’t typically let it bother them in the same way. Especially online in forums, most posters are thrilled to pedal it because they know their addicted customers all too well.
The drama-dealers know they’re making us feel a thrill of uncertainty or weakness, while simultaneously making us feel stronger and better-than.
True Strength is in Unity
The truth is, being ‘right’ or debating better than others doesn’t make any of us stronger. Our true strength comes not from our addiction to being smarter or superior in any way. ‘Alt-right’ is not the future, it is a reprehensible and sectarian atrocity that should not be given even a finite measure of merit. But people will thrive off of the discourse it will create.
Contrary to the garbage Richard Spencer will spew about diversity being an evil and an unnatural threat to the supremacy of the white race, diversity, and unity despite our differences is what gives us true strength. It almost seems ridiculous that as adults we still have to keep arguing this point. Our nation has a very sordid past, but we are better for admitting it and trying to do better.
People like Richard Spencer, feed on the fear, weakness, insecurity and false strength created by their archaic and disgraceful controversy. This is not strength, it is pure exploitation of their own people in a callous attempt at prestige. Spencer is another dealer, committed to trafficking in racism, fascism, and discontent. Like any other heroin or crack dealer.
Student leaders from the University of Florida have been planning events using #TogetherUF to promote education and dialog while encouraging unity and embracing diversity. Hopefully, these collective efforts to pull people together can counter-balance the separation Spencer and his followers hope to create.
It is with great hope that the campus and its students remain safe, as thousands have already committed to marching in protest of Spencer and his movement.
“Our true nationality is mankind.”
Palm Healthcare Company believes everyone from every culture or community deserves a chance to be happy and healthy. We embrace the unity of our staff, our clients and our community towards building better futures for all of us. We know addiction does not discriminate, and we are here to help. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
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For many years Professional skateboarder Neen Williams lived a life of sleepless nights partying while creating a name for himself in the skater world. Born in Chicago, Illinois and currently shredding street tricks in his hometown of Los Angeles, California Williams has managed to attract sponsorship from several brands including:
- Circa Footwear
- Thunder Trucks
He also has a line of board designs that are all pretty slick. Neen Williams says he’s been skateboarding since he was about 13 years old, and with the territory he found himself smoking and drinking alcohol on a regular basis. Now, at age 31 he has turned his passion into his point of reference for a more sober approach to life.
Sobriety and Skating
Williams admits that he used to have a very different perspective of the life of a skateboarder himself. In a recent video with VICE he states,
“Skateboarding forever was like ‘drink boozes, smoke, we don’t stretch we don’t work out,’ and later in the interview he explains, “Back in the day I used to wake up late, eat like a burrito and slam a beer; go out and skate, manage to get a trick, and it would just be party time again.”
“It would never stop. It was just like a vicious cycle. There were a couple nights I would wake up at 6 or 7 (PM) and it would be dark outside.”
In that vicious cycle, Williams talks about needing days at a time to recover from drinking and partying, and on the last day when he finally felt good enough to get back to skating he would immediately go back to the partying as well.
He goes on to say that he wishes he had known all of this when he was a teenager, but even at 31 years old he is still learning so much. During part of the video interview Neen Williams says that he knows if you take care of yourself, you can skate forever. That, he says, is why he now makes the effort to eat so well and train his body,
“This is why I do all this healthy stuff for myself… because that is what I want, is to skate forever.”
That seems like a really legit reason to take care of yourself; to do what you love forever!
Originally Williams said he decided not to drink for the 6 to 8 month healing period he was told he would need for a torn ACL. Since then, it appears his lifestyle has changed dramatically to make his dream work.
Health Food and Fitness
Even though some may not immediately associate a balanced and healthy diet, along with regular exercise, it appears to have become a crucial element to Williams’ evolution as a skater.
On VICE Williams prepares a breakfast of acai bowls that honestly look stacked with natural goodness. Williams tops off one of the meals he makes- serious serving of what looks like well-blended fruits and vegetables- with diced pineapples and what I would guess to be barriers, almond butter, and granola, it looks like heaven.
You also get to see Williams break out a yoga mat and start stretching himself out. From there he said since Saturday isn’t a week day, he warms up with a quick 200 in to start the day.
When talking about his workout, he compares it to any other athlete. He says football players train to do what they do and they are covered in pads and protective gear. While he admits football players have 300lbs of muscle falling on them, he says the pro skater is usually out in the bare minimum, if anything, fighting sometimes face-first with concrete.
The Deathwish Team Manager, Jay Thorpe, makes a cameo during a street-side video shoot and says it is “really rad to see” when talking about Williams cleaning up his act and committing to the thing he wants to do for the rest of his life.
Williams says that while he doesn’t judge anyone, and doesn’t regret his party days, he has seen a lot of people fall because of it and he likes what he’s doing now. Probably a big inspiring part of Williams’ story is that he says he is glad he went through it and worked his way out of it to be the person he wants to be.
Athletes are put under a lot of pressure to succeed, even professional skateboarders and other extreme sports athletes. Sometimes the lifestyle of pro-sports stars can influence issues with substance use or addiction. Too many talented individuals are held back by these obstacles, but it never too late to get a fresh start toward a better, healthier expression of yourself. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.
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Not long ago, we wrote an article regarding WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Kurt Angle and his journey to sobriety. Now, Kurt Angle is thrilled to announce that he has achieved four years of sobriety!
On Sunday evening, the wrestler posted a black and white meme of Mickey Mouse flipping the bird that said, “To all the people who said I couldn’t stay sober this long…”
He continued his words with a more serious tone:
“Yesterday was my 4th year anniversary of remaining sober. I’m very humbled by my progress and support. Had to post this, because there’s very little humor in recovery.” Angle continued, “So I’m going to enjoy this. Hope you all do too! “Here’s to 4 years bitches!!!!” #stayingsober #doingitformyfamily #itstrue.”
The 48-year-old has been vocal about his addiction and recovery from prescription painkiller addiction. Angle was first introduced to painkillers in 2003 after sustaining a neck injury. He felt pressured to conceal his injury to continue working, so he opted for painkillers to alleviate the pain.
“I remember taking that first pill, and I was like, ‘well, this makes me feel really good. I feel like I can take on the world and I can’t feel my neck.’ And the affect it had on me gave me more energy than I normally had, so I liked that feeling. So I tried that. One turned to two. Two turned to four. Four turned to eight. And before I knew it, I was out of control,” he said in an interview.
In order to conceal his drug use, Angle would hold off on taking narcotic pain medication during the evening. Right when the night time hit, he would abuse painkillers, alcohol, and anti-anxiety medication. At one point, Angle says he was ingesting 65 painkillers a day. He managed to rack up four DUIs over a six-year period.
At times, he was able to withdraw from opioids on his own, but eventually the desire to use caught up with him.
Looking back, Angle admits: “When you’re that deep into that stuff – you can’t do it on your own.”
In August of 2013, Angle finally reached his breaking point. After his fourth DUI in Wise County, Texas, he decided to enter rehab and has been sober since.
Since entering recovery, Angle has returned to the WWE as a general manager and has launched an app and website to help those in recovery.
“I’m traveling all the time for work, and I’m a husband and father to five kids, so I just don’t have time for AA meetings,” he said. “I could go to a counselor or a psychiatrist, but that’s pricey and still just one day a week. Where was I going to get this structure now?”
Because of these concerns, Angle developed a space that would help give people in recovery a sense of accountability and structure. The site and app, AngleStrong, offers users support, structure, positive affirmations, goals and reminders to help with their sobriety. The site offers tools that help address all aspects of recovery.
Angle stressed how crucial it was for him to maintain a conversational about addiction.
“What keeps me clean is talking about my addiction. I do it daily, whether it’s in the form of talking to a group, an interview or a video chat. And at the same time, I’m giving back.”
We commend Kurt Angle for his efforts in not only staying sober but helping others struggling in their journey as well. It is so important to offer a helping hand to those in the early stages of sobriety. The first year of recovery is challenging and a completely new experience. It is important to create a network of people who will keep you accountable during this period of time.
Addiction is a disease and recovery is the only way to manage and take back control fully. If you are struggling with mental illness or substance abuse, please do not wait to seek help. At one point, Angle felt completely out of control, but recovery gave his life back. You can regain yours too. Call now.
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Any James Franco Fans Out There?
James Franco recently opened up about what he calls his “addictive personality.” It turns out the actor/director has struggled with workaholism and mental health his entire life.
Franco is known for his eclectic resume, starring in films such as Milk, Spiderman, Spring Breakers and City by the Sea. He has appeared in television shows like Freaks and Geeks and General Hospital.
The interview, with Out magazine, was to promote his upcoming HBO series, The Deuce. Franco chatted with novelist Edmund White about some of the challenges he faced, and how he managed to overcome them.
Franco’s troubles start way back in his teen years. During this period, he was arrested for underage drinking, graffiti, and shoplifting, among other things. Reflecting on that time, Franco told the Guardian, “It was teen angst. I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I was shy.”
Franco found acting as a way to cope and passionately immersed himself in it. He found acting to be an excellent outlet for his personality type. However, soon acting “became everything” to the point where he did not even socialize.
After doing nothing but working, Franco says he realized he was depressed, isolated and lonely.
“I really threw myself into it, and that became everything, to the point where I didn’t even socialize. And then after, like, 10 years of that, at age 27, I realized, ‘Man, I’m so depressed. On the surface my life seems pretty good—I have a career and everything—but I feel isolated and lonely,’” he admits
To combat these feelings, he decided to switch gears and go to school at Brooklyn College. However, just like with acting, academics became the focus of all his attention, and he was obsessive with that as well.
“I threw myself into school, but again it was just this sort of running, running, running,” he says.
Franco told Out that it has been difficult to overcome his workaholism. One of the ways Franco has found helps is through participating in activities like surfing and taking classes at the International Dance Academy on Hollywood Boulevard.
He says these activities are part of his “therapy,” to help him overcome his work addiction.
“It’s a kind of therapy for me,” he said. “I’ve started a new chapter of my life. I was very work-addicted and addicted to other things—not substances, I got over that a long time ago—but I’ve recently changed my life, and this is part of my therapy.”
What is a Workaholic?
The concept of workaholism or workaholic behavior is very misunderstood. Often, people see these behaviors as positive qualities. You might even hear people joke about how they are a workaholic as a way of describing their passion for their job and solid work ethic.
The truth is workaholism is a real condition that can severely impact a person’s life. People addicted to work sacrifice their social life, families, and personal connections due to their obsessive desire to work.
But what’s the difference between a hard worker and a workaholic?
This is a very common question. A hard worker is someone who works very hard while at work and completes all of their tasks, yet still manages to find a healthy balance between work and personal responsibility. Of course, the occasional burst of overworking may occur to meet important deadlines however, this is not the norm.
Workaholics, on the other hand, are unable to make this differentiation. They view work as a source of adrenaline. They feel they must work harder than everyone else and put in more hours in order to succeed.
Workaholics achieve one goal and immediately set more ambitious ones. Staying at the same level of accomplishment is a failure and results in incredible distress. Workaholics sacrifice their health, family, and personal life in order to work.
Overall, workaholism is something rarely addressed, but like Franco, people who struggle with workaholism often need professional help. If you are struggling with workaholism, mental illness, or substance abuse, please reach out. You are not alone. Call now.
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At the age of 18, David Dweck decided he was going to bypass college and get a job working at a recording studio. When everyone heard about his decision, they all told him it would never happen.
Instead of giving up, Dweck responded with “Watch me.”
Soon enough, Dweck was working at a recording studio over the summer in New York City.
That same tenacity followed Dweck over the course of his career in both the music industry and in real estate. These days, Dweck is a real estate renegade, who leads Florida’s number one real estate club, Boca Real Estate Investment Club (BRIC).
Recently, David Dweck appeared on The Real Deal On… with Dug McGuirk where they discussed the topic of reinvention. Dweck says reinvention has been a major theme in his life both personally and professionally.
Originally, Dweck desired to work in a recording studio as an audio engineer. He was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that goal, even work for free.
Fortunately, his determination paid off. Three stations offered Dweck a job, and he ended up working for a company called Media Sounds.
“I knocked on doors, and I said, ‘I’m hungry, and I’m willing to work for no money, I’m willing to sweep floors,’ and Media Sounds said, ‘Nope, we’ll pay you and we’ll hire you as the night time receptionist,’” he remembers.
Media Sounds was a radio station based out of New York City. Dweck worked the night shift as a receptionist from 4 pm to midnight. Working in the evenings was an exciting time, Dweck says. On one occasion, he even met Mick Jagger.
“A lot of good stuff happens to you at night,” he says. “I walk in for my 4:00 shift and I remember Lisa, the woman I replaced, she got off at four. She goes, ‘You won’t believe who’s downstairs in Studio B!’”
Dweck says it was a “surreal” experience and when he looks back at his time in the music industry, he does not have any regrets.
“I got a taste of it, and that was gratifying,” he says. “No regrets. I sit here today happy with the time I had there.”
Dweck’s Career Revolution
Despite his success, Dweck began to realize how fleeting the career of an audio engineer really was. As a result, he decided to go to college and earn his degree in Communications at the University of Miami. He then spent close to five years working in radio and production sales.
While he was passionate about his career in communications, he eventually decided to pursue a different path. His decision was based on the major shifts he continued to see occurring in the radio industry.
For example, Dweck’s bosses at Media Sound were two very successful, educated men. They put a classified ad in The New York Times that said “Young men with unlimited capital willing to finance legitimate business venture.”
“What was that venture? They financed Woodstock. Those were my bosses. They sold the studio,” he says.
“That’s when the light bulb went out,” he says. “If they’re getting out, that’s a sign.”
Ultimately, Dweck “saw the writing on the wall” and decided to move toward a career in real estate.
“I realized that real estate would be the long term path to benefit my family and to create a life style,” Dweck says.
Still, pursuing real estate did not come without its own set of challenges.
“At the time, I was starting a family, and it was a very big risk to take, and I embraced that,” he says.
Despite the risks, Dweck started his career as a real estate investor. He acquired his real estate license in 1993. He was determined to succeed despite the voices that told him there was no money in real estate and that it was too much hassle to bother with.
“I strategized both short-term and long-term realizing this will be my retirement, so for every house that I bought, built and sold, I also would take that money, reinvest it into a rental property and get bank financing,” he says.
Dweck had to learn the ropes in real estate, so he started studying and learning from mentors. His mentors taught him how to deal in reality and not in theory. This inspired him to create the Boca Real Estate Investment Club.
“That’s one of the reasons why I started the Boca Real Estate Investment Club because there’s really not a how-to manual for investors back in the day, especially down here in South Florida. It’s kind of like the wild, wild west.”
More Challenges: Overcoming the Recession
In 2007, Dweck was faced with another major challenge: the declining economy. Along with the decline in the real estate market, Dweck’s marriage was declining as well.
“When your business is suffering, you want that life time partner, not only behind you but beside you, and I did not have that,” he says.
“That really hurt, so I had to dig in deep because, in 2008, it was on, and I was coming into the office every day and doing damage control, watching the relationships I’ve built and watching people suffer.”
Dweck remembers seeing one of his friends, who was worth 60 million dollars at the time, lose it all.
“I’m thinking ‘Wow, the sky is falling.’ I’m like mystified,” he says.
Fortunately, Dweck was relatively conservative with the risks he took. Still, he began to question whether or not he should give up on his career in real estate.
“I said, ‘Do I hang up, do I just call it a day and reinvent?’”
“The answer, I answered myself, and that answer was a resounding no, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to dig in so deep that whatever it takes, I’m gonna find solutions,” he says
Overall, the experience taught him who his real friends were and how resilient he was.
“You never forget these challenges and how you are able to rise to the challenge,” he continues.
Ultimately, Dweck’s resilience and courage helped him navigate all the obstacles thrown his way. He defines courage as having “balls” and feels this applies to both men and women.
“I think you really have to have a lot of self-belief and have the courage to not just try, but really go for it,” he says.
Reinvention is about having the courage and “balls” to persevere despite life’s challenges. Dweck’s journey defines reinvention. Please check out the full interview for more insights into Dweck’s career in real estate, and hear the crucial advice he gives to those struggling in their own journey.
If you feel like giving up, remember it is never too late to make a transformation. Please reach out if you are struggling. We are here to help. You do not have to do this alone. Call now.
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