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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Recently, Chris Costa was a guest on The Real Deal On… with Dug McGuirk where they discussed the topic of reinvention. Chris Costa is incredibly familiar with reinvention. He turned his entire life around after a long battle with addiction, and now shares his story of strength and hope to help others.
A little over five years ago, Chris Costa was at his breaking point. Costa describes how his family allowed him to reach rock bottom when they kicked him out of the house in the middle of February in Boston. During this time, he realized how unmanageable his addiction had become.
“I was left on my own, and I was left in the position where I really had to come to terms with the fact that I had a problem, and it became more and more apparent every day that it was a problem that I couldn’t fix myself,” he says.
Once his resources dried up, Costa did whatever he needed to support his habit and prevent feeling sick. While he is not proud of his past, he is open about it because he believes it led him to where he is today.
“I’ve had to do things that I’m not proud of. I’ve had to do things that I’ve had to make amends for. I’ve had to do things that certainly wouldn’t hold up to the values that I have today or the values that I even had then,” he admits.
“Waking up on a couch of someone you don’t even know and seeing yourself in the mirror and having the disappointment of what’s happened over the past several years hit you in what they call a moment of clarity… It’s heavy because you feel like you’ve betrayed not only yourself but everybody that cares about you, and it’s hard to understand why you’ve done what you’ve done, and it’s hard for them to understand why you’ve done what you’ve done.”
Shortly after his moment of clarity, Costa walked into Palm Partners on February 12, 2012, finally ready to turn his life around.
At Palm Partners, Costa learned about what it meant to be an addict. He realized there were tools that could help him navigate life, and he began to understand the reasons for his addiction.
“One of the things I’ve learned […] is we’re not bad people trying to learn how to be good. We’re sick trying to learn how to be well,” he says.
Learning to Follow Suggestions
When Costa first arrived at Palm Partners, his plan was to stay no more than 30 days before returning home. However, one of the things drilled into his mind in treatment was to take suggestions.
Following suggestions, he ended up staying at Palm Partners for 60 days and then spent six months at a halfway house. While at the halfway house, Costa was required to get a job and earn money on his own.
“I was walking to work in the middle of August in South Florida, and I was hitching rides everywhere I had to go to a meeting,” he says.
“I had to ask for rides, and ask for help, and ask what to do next. It all led to taking suggestions and asking where am I supposed to go and what I am supposed to do because everywhere I looked there were people that had more time than me, there were people that had more experience than me and there were people that had been through this. Who am I to have the answers?”
Chris Costa did not rely on handouts. Instead, he established the tools to become self-sufficient. After eight months of working the 12-steps and meeting with sponsors, Costa returned to Boston with the “toolset” he had developed while in South Florida. Chris Costa knew once he arrived, he needed to surround himself with the right people and create clear boundaries. He had to cut the people from his past that would not serve him.
“I made sure that the people I was returning to, the group of friends that I was returning to, and the people in my life that I knew I would be spending all my time with understood what I was going through, and understood what had taken place in my life,” he says.
Reflecting on the Family Program
One of the biggest revelations Costa had while at Palm Partners was when he realized his family needed help just as much as he did. The family program at Palm Partners helped his family understand his addiction, and process everything that had happened.
“They may not have been running around and doing what I had to do to not be sick, but at the same time, they’re sick in their own way in terms of enabling and not understanding the dynamics of what’s happening.”
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Over the course of his recovery, Costa learned to understand and make amends with those he has hurt in the past.
“It’s a process in educating the people around you or making amends with the people you’ve hurt or burn bridges with. Not all those bridges are going to be salvageable.”
On Keeping the Momentum Going
Now over five years sober, Costa admits that life is an up and down journey. He’s learned to keep the momentum going even when life gets challenging.
“I think one of the biggest things that I try to come back to, and I think it’s said by the great Tony Robbins quite a bit, is ‘don’t let life happen to you, let it happen for you,’” he says.
Costa believes practicing gratitude is the key to navigating life when it becomes difficult.
“Finding the ability to be grateful on a daily basis, it’s a challenge. But I think us as addicts or alcoholics or people that struggle with certain issues, we’ve been through a lot,” he says. “And that gives us the ability to really appreciate some of the little nuances in life that we might not appreciate.”
Overall, Costa is grateful to have his program and tools that keep him sober. He continues to work hard as a driven Sales Director and share his incredible story of recovery with others.
“I never would be the person that I am today without having to experience what I’ve experienced and do the work I’ve had to do to get to where I am today.”
Watch the full interview to learn more about Chris Costa’s journey and delve into more important topics like achieving career goals and maintaining a strong recovery program. Costa’s story is a fantastic illustration of how working a solid program can transform your entire life. If you are struggling with addiction, please reach out. You do not have to do this alone. Call now.
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Just over five years ago, Ralph Bailey was in his home about to attempt suicide. His addiction had spiraled out of control, and he did not believe he could ever live a day without drugs and alcohol. Then, in a moment Bailey describes as a“divine intervention,” his sister happened to come by the house and stopped him.
The next day, Bailey checked into Palm Partners Treatment Center, a Palm Healthcare facility. Now five years sober, Bailey is a valued employee at Palm Partners and speaks regularly to clients about his journey overcoming his addiction.
Recently Bailey was a guest on The Real Deal On… with Dug McGuirk. Surrounded by lights and cameras, Bailey describes the feeling of sharing his story as a “full circle” moment. He remembers a time when the cameras were on him for an entirely different reason. He was under investigation.
“I remember back in 2010 when I caught a case, and the FBI came in with pictures and audio of me, and it looks just like this.” He says looking around the room. “Now, when I say full circle, it means I went from being prosecuted with these cameras and microphones to actually sharing my experience, strength and hope with these same microphones and cameras.”
Reflecting Back on his “Death Date”
When Bailey first walked into Palm Partners on May 12, 2012, he was broken. In fact, Bailey says the most important day of his sobriety is not the day he entered treatment, but the day he attempted suicide. He refers to this day as his “death date.”
“I was broken to the point where my sobriety date is May 12, 2012, but I always tell my story with my death date which is May 11, 2012. What I mean by that is May 11 is the day I decided to commit suicide,” he says.
At this point, Bailey had struggled with addiction most of his life. He did not believe he could live without drugs and alcohol, but he did not want to continue living like he was. Therefore, suicide seemed like the only way out.
“I didn’t like where I was, and I didn’t want to go back to where I’ve been, and I was too scared to move forward because I could never picture living life without drugs and alcohol, so my plan was to end it all.”
In a moment that Bailey describes as a “divine intervention,” his sister happened to stop by the house and prevent the whole thing from happening.
“For me, it was totally divine intervention because I was successful at everything and it just so happens that for my suicide attempt, I got stopped. My sister came over to my house and stopped the whole thing. That’s when I broke down and told her I needed help.”
To his surprise, his sister told him the entire family knew about his addiction. Up until that point, he thought his addiction had been a secret for the past 20 years.
“She gave me the biggest hug and said ‘This is what the family’s been waiting to hear. You wasn’t fooling nobody,’ And the whole time, I’m thinking I had everybody fooled [and] nobody knew I was getting high.”
Learning to Cope Without Drugs
From an early age, Bailey struggled with abusing drugs and alcohol. He started around eighth grade and said he could not remember a time he did not use drugs and alcohol before his sobriety date.
“I can’t picture a time when I didn’t live without either one, and that’s what got me here.”
Still, like many, Bailey did attempt to get sober on his own.
“I did what everybody tries to do which is the detox on the couch.” He laughs.
Like most who attempt this method, he was unsuccessful. He did not know how to cope with the emotional and physical withdrawals of not using.
“It worked out good for a couple hours until boredom came in, until I didn’t know what else to do besides use drugs and alcohol, so I had nothing to fill the void when I tried to stop and that’s kinda related to my attempted suicide because I didn’t know what to do so that’s when I finally said enough is enough”
Bailey credits the staff, especially the therapists at Palm Partners for helping him learn how to fill the void.
“They’re the ones that made me realize I had more than just a drug and alcohol problem. I had anger issues. I had family issues.”
Bailey entered treatment in his 40s, a later stage of life compared to many in treatment, but he did not let the age of those around him affect his recovery process. Instead, Bailey says he wanted to make up for all the time he had wasted.
“I’ve wasted so much time in my life,” he says. “At that point, I didn’t care if I was getting clean with 18-year-olds, 20-year-olds; my main concern was the end result. As long as that was the same, it was all I cared about, but the main thing: I was tired. I had enough”
Starting Over On a Clean Slate
Furthermore, Bailey says he went to treatment as a “blank sheet of paper” and allowed the therapists and staff to provide him “new blocks to build on.”
“I took everything I knew and threw it out and started over,” he says.
The therapists at Palm Partners gave him the toolbox he needed and allowed him to realize he had the tools all along.
“That’s why I always say be honest with your therapists while you’re here because they can’t help you if you don’t tell them what’s wrong.”
At treatment, Bailey learned valuable lessons like how to deal with life when it does not go the way you want:
“Incidences like not getting your phone or incidences where you want to do something and you can’t should be a tool as ‘Alright, well how am I going to cope with wanting something that everybody has and I can’t have mine?’ That’s the same [lesson] that helps me stay clean. ”
Bailey says the times he could not access his phone taught him patience and helped him realize ineffective character defects addicts struggle with.
“Addicts, first we are manipulative, and then when manipulation doesn’t work, we’re crybabies,” he affirms. “We throw temper tantrums when we don’t get what we want, but we can’t do that in the real world.”
Navigating Grief: Learning to Change Your State:
One of the most powerful lessons Bailey shared in the interview was how he dealt with the death of his brother. After hearing his brother had passed away, he did what most would not think to do at that moment: jumping jacks.
“I had to do something to change my state,” he explains.
In that moment of despair, Bailey remembered something he learned from clinical director Dr. Beley about the way the addict’s mind works.
“Your brain automatically wants to take care of you. It doesn’t want you to feel any pain, but you have a five-second window to make a decision before you go back to what’s comfortable,” he says.
Bailey remembered the way the brain operates in regards to pain. He knew if he did not change his state immediately, his mind would retreat to what was most comfortable.
“If I didn’t start doing jumping jacks right away, my brain would automatically click to get high because that’s how I cope with things so, in order to stop that, I started doing jumping jacks and was able to change my state and then actually think and dissect everything that’s going on. Then start with a clear head and then move forward.”
“It is so huge to be able to change your state. You have to,” he says.
Ralph Bailey went from a hopeless drug addict to an inspiration of strength to those struggling in recovery. Throughout the interview, Ralph Bailey further elaborates on the importance of having a higher power, going to meetings and giving back. He talks about positive affirmations and further defines how to overcome negative situations through changing your state. We highly suggest you listen to the full interview for more on his journey.
“I never realized I was in a cocoon. I flourished, I came out of it, and it’s like wow, “he concludes.
If you are currently struggling in recovery, just remember that it is never too late to seek help. Even if you believe otherwise, recovery is possible. You do not have to live every day wondering where your next high will come from. Instead, you can regain control of your life like Ralph Bailey did. We want to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.
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