I appreciate you for having me here today! My name is M. Curtis McCoy. Friends & family call me Curtis, so you can too.
I don’t need to sugarcoat stuff with you, right?
What’s the difference between losers & winners? Losers blame their past as an excuse for why they are the way they are… Winners use their past as a REASON to be better!
You’re where you are today because of the choices you made in the past. You’ll be in a different situation in five years because of your choices starting today. Right?
Raise your hand if you had an incredible childhood.
How many of you had great parents who loved you unconditionally?
Were your parents uplifting, encouraging, and supportive?
My personal story
I grew up hearing my dad say, “Children are to be seen and not heard.” He became increasingly abusive as I grew older, and when I was 13, my mom got the courage to leave. She took us with her.
My dad later got full custody, so my little brother and I were forced to live with him.
He used to tell me, “You are a waste of skin,” and he said, “You are a waste of oxygen.”
He was extremely abusive, and at one point, after beating me for hours, he backhanded me, knocking me down on the bathroom floor. As I sat there crying, he left and returned with his gun.
He set his loaded .357 revolver on the bathroom counter and told me to “do the world a favor.”
As I sat on the floor with the pistol in my hand, I had absolutely zero self-worth, but I thought, “If I was REALLY brave enough to do the world a favor, I’d put 2 in his chest and 1 in his head.”
I didn’t have the guts to shoot him (or myself), but for years, I let my dad’s view of me become my identity. I felt like a waste of skin and a waste of oxygen, just like he said I was.
I heard people say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I hated myself because I thought I was destined to grow up like him.
I felt worthless, but I knew I wanted to be a better man than the example I had.
We received $1.75 each day for school lunch, but I bought a $0.25 cup of Jello and saved the $1.50 so I’d have money to buy stamps to write my mom letters and save up so I could run away.
I never saved enough money to run away and was too scared of what would happen if I got caught.
On rare occasions when my dad let us go for visitation with my mom, she took my little brother and me to business seminars and multi-level marketing events where professional speakers came to uplift and inspire us to become the best we could be.
She took us to buy a suit & tie from a thrift shop.
I bought cassette tapes of these speakers and listened to them until the tapes wore out.
My mom always had books like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and others that taught me I didn’t have to become the man my dad was raising me to be.
When I returned to my dad’s place, I started sneaking out of school during lunch break and spending the $1.50 I saved daily to buy personal development books.
The first book I bought was “How To Win Friends and Influence People.”
I started devouring personal development books.
The power of choice
When we face difficult circumstances, it’s easy to feel like everything is beyond our control. It’s easy to get lost in a spiral of negativity and despair. I want to remind you today that you still have the power to choose how you respond to those circumstances. Even in the darkest moments, there are still positive choices that you can make. Right?
For me, it was choosing to believe in myself and my worth, despite the constant negativity I faced from my father. It was choosing to save my lunch money to write letters to my mom and buy books that could teach me how to be a better man.
Each positive choice we make has a ripple effect that can shape our lives. It may not always be easy, and we may not always get it right, but we can always choose to take a step forward and keep moving toward a brighter future.
So I urge you today to focus on the positive choices you can make, no matter how small they seem. They have the power to transform your life and the lives of those around you. Remember, your circumstances do not define you, but your choices in response to them do.
The devil wants you to fail
Raise your hand if you’re proud of who you are today. Maybe you have a hard time even looking in the mirror.
Raise your hand if you look back at things you’ve done and feel you can never make up for it. Do you still feel shame and embarrassment?
Someone else wants you to wallow in your shame & regret, too – the devil!
He wants you to believe that you’re not worthy of love and forgiveness, that you’re too far gone, and that your mistakes define you. He wants to keep you trapped in a cycle of shame and self-doubt because that’s how he can control you.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to listen to his lies. Your mistakes do not define you, and you are not beyond redemption.
Jesus gave His life on the cross to pay for your sins and mine. His sacrifice means you are forgiven, no matter what you’ve done.
That doesn’t mean that your past doesn’t matter or that you can ignore the consequences of your actions. But it means you can relinquish the shame and guilt holding you back. You can start to see yourself as God sees you – as a beloved child worthy of love and forgiveness.
If you still carry shame and embarrassment from your past, I urge you to let it go. Don’t let the devil keep you trapped in his lies. Choose to accept God’s forgiveness. Live in the freedom that comes with it. You are worthy, loved, and can overcome anything with His help.
Choose your destiny
As I read dozens of personal development books each year, I started to see myself differently. I started applying for scholarships and put myself through college (sleeping through many of my classes as I worked night shifts and went to school during the day).
I want to stress the importance of stretching yourself outside your comfort zone.
I forced myself to start talking with people when I got to college. At the grocery store or the coffee shop, I made it a habit of looking people in the eye so I knew their eye color. My goal was to make one person smile each day.
It was difficult, but that forced me to become more confident and outgoing.
After finishing college in 2002, I decided to start my own business. I founded a sports supplement company –and– a Christian clothing company.
Later, I got a partner and launched a cosmetic medical LASER clinic in Evergreen.
Using the medical contacts and resources we had from the clinic, we launched a white-label pharmaceutical company. We were able to develop and distribute high-quality pharmaceutical products to consumers Nationwide, which was incredibly rewarding.
These experiences taught me the importance of taking risks, stretching yourself outside your comfort zone, and pursuing your passions.
As my businesses grew, I started sponsoring events at the Denver Coliseum and hosting events at local clubs to promote the companies.
My friend, IFBB Professional Bodybuilder Andy Haman, came to pose at an MMA fight I hosted! Andy tore off a shirt I gave him and did a cool posing routine as the announcer thanked me for being the title sponsor and encouraged the crowd to visit my booth!
I stepped out of the ring… As I walked back towards my booth, I fell and had a seizure, banging my face on the concrete and even peed myself.
I had seizures often, but pretty soon, I was having 7-10 seizures weekly.
One morning, I woke up, and half my body didn’t work. I called my mom to let her know half my body was paralyzed, but I realized I couldn’t complete a sentence when she answered.
Paramedics arrived and took me to Sweedish Medical Center. A couple of days later, I woke up in ICU as an oncologist was talking to my mom.
He told her I had a malignant glioblastoma (brain tumor) & I had less than 90 days to live. Chemo, radiation & brain surgery wouldn’t save me, but he said it could ease some of the pain from the migraines as I passed.
I didn’t do chemo, radiation, or brain surgery because American oncologists said I had a 0% chance of survival.
My mom & stepdad took me to Tijuana, Mexico, for treatment that wasn’t approved in the United States.
I lost everything. My companies failed. I was unable to live alone because of the frequent seizures, and I couldn’t ride my new motorcycle (or even go for a walk alone) because I lost my sense of direction & my short-term memory.
I moved in with my mom & stepdad, sleeping on the living room floor of the 100-year log cabin they lived in, in Crawford, CO.
Of the hundreds of “friends” I could text with free tickets to an MMA fight, concert, or afterparty, none of them showed up when I sent a text needing help moving.
Everyone thought I was dying. People tend to pull away in situations like that.
As I slept on the floor at my parent’s place, my mom worked to inspire and encourage me. Rather than letting me lay around & feel sorry for myself, she nudged me with ideas of businesses I could start.
I watched some YouTube videos & started repairing broken iPhone screens. I printed flyers and hung them at the local church, the grocery store, and every business around town.
I still couldn’t drive, so I had to ask my mom to drive me to meet customers to pick up their phones. (Being a full-grown man, asking my mom to give me rides was pretty humbling.)
As I worked on my new hustle, the alternative cancer treatments helped me to start healing.
Soon, I rented a house in the middle of Hotchkiss, Colorado, and got permission from the owner to knock out the wall between the front bedroom and the living room. That became my first cellphone store!
Over the next ten years, we launched our own telecommunications company and opened more stores. When we closed Best Cellular in 2020, we had over 250,000 customers hitting our website each month!
The business looked incredibly successful on paper. We were making good money and growing like crazy, but I worked 80-100 hours weekly. My mom was managing one of my stores, and she was absolutely worn out.
My mom called, crying one night because the workload was too much to handle. I decided that night to close our stores and shut down the company. Life was miserable working that hard, just chasing money.
I had started speaking professionally in 2018 when I was invited to speak at Caesar’s Palace.
I loved encouraging and inspiring people. I knew this was my calling, but I didn’t know there was a way to support myself while traveling around speaking.
Many of you may feel overwhelmed like you need to figure everything out right now. You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do with your life. Sometimes, life has a way of taking you in unexpected directions.
After I lost everything, I had no idea what the future held. All I knew was that I wanted to impact the world in some way positively.
What I want you to take away from this is that personal development is always worth investing in. Working on yourself will always be beneficial, even if you don’t know where it will lead you.
When you get out of here, don’t be discouraged if you don’t know exactly what you want to do with your life. Just keep working on yourself and exploring new opportunities. Who knows where it might take you?
What’s important is that you start building a foundation for a life that helps others. Maybe that means volunteering in your community, starting your own business, or becoming a mentor to someone who needs guidance.
Maybe it means being an incredible employee that takes two men to replace when you leave.
Whatever it is, focus on creating a life that is meaningful to you and helps those around you.
Remember, your past mistakes do not define you. You have the power to create a better future for yourself and those around you. Keep working on yourself, stay open to new opportunities, and trust that the path will reveal itself to you in time.
I want to remind you that your past mistakes do not define you. You are not your crimes or your convictions. You can still make positive choices and create a better future for yourself.
I know that life may sometimes feel hopeless, and the weight of your past may feel too heavy to bear. But I want to assure you that there is still hope. There is still a chance to turn your life around and positively impact others who are struggling.
It starts with taking responsibility for your actions and committing to change. It starts with seeking help and support, whether that be through therapy, education, or mentorship. It starts with surrounding yourself with positive influences and building a community of support.
I want to encourage you to embrace the power of choice, pursue a path of growth and healing, and never give up on yourself. You have a unique purpose and value in this world, and I believe in your ability to create a better life for yourself and those around you.
I challenge you to take the first step towards a better future today. Every step counts.
Remember that your past does not define you, and your future is still in your hands. You have the power to impact this world positively, and I believe in your ability to do so.
Thank you for allowing me to speak with you today. I wish you all the best on your journey! It starts TODAY!