How to build a high-impact second act that makes and gives in a million ways.
We have all heard the story a many times before: The millionaire had everything and lost it all, then the broke millionaire manages to come back from the low point to become a millionaire again.
David Meltzer’s life mirrors this story. Today, he is the CEO of one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment marketing agencies, Sports 1 Marketing. He is also the Chairman of the Unstoppable Foundation, a non-profit bringing sustainable education programs to people and places that need it the most. Yet, that hasn’t always been the case.
Though the story will sound familiar, Meltzer’s story and path are unique.
From Millions to Broke
His story started at a time when the tech industry was flying high. He went to law school, but quickly realized he didn’t want to have a traditional law career. Soon, he found himself in the technology industry. He became an internet guru in the early days of the internet and was part of Westlaw’s $3.4 billion sale to Thomson Reuters. He led the launch of the world’s first smartphone with Samsung and so much more — not to mention, becoming a multi-millionaire.
David took time out of his busy schedule to reflect on his experiences and the lessons he learned as he experienced his rise and fall, and revival. His raw-honesty and transparency about the person he once was, and the person he is today is inspiring.
Lesson 1: Past Success Doesn’t Guarantee Future Success
When success comes relatively easy, there’s a risk of becoming too comfortable and too certain. The feeling of invincibility is a powerful delusion.
“Everything I touched turned to gold. I always made a lot of money,” says Meltzer. “But, one bad assumption led to my losing everything. This is when I realized that success isn’t guaranteed, no matter how good you are,” continues Meltzer.
It was a rude awakening that led Meltzer on a 12-year journey to rediscovering and redefining his purpose in life.
Lesson 2: “Losing Everything is the Best Thing to Happen to Me”
Though he doesn’t wish the experience on anyone, traumatic situations call for major soul-searching and that’s what Meltzer did.
“Losing everything was the best thing that ever happened to me. The day I filed bankruptcy, I lost everything,” shares Meltzer. “The people closest to me became very honest with me. They said I was lost and arrogant. It was hard to hear this, but I knew they were telling me the hard truth. Had this never happened, I don’t think I ever would have reconsidered my direction in life,” says Meltzer.
Lesson 3: Live in a World of More than Enough
When you have just filed for bankruptcy, it is difficult to imagine living like there’s a world full of opportunity. At the same time, having nothing to lose can be liberating.
“When I lost everything, I also lost the house I had purchased for my mom. Telling her I had lost her home was terrible,” expresses Meltzer. “When I told my mom about her home, her immediate response was, ‘Are you okay? Do you need anything?’,” says Meltzer. “She was only concerned about me. It was at that moment that I realized my mom had always lived in a world of more than enough. She was happy and lived in abundance. It was a turning point for me. It was at this point that I decided to live a life of abundance. The first check I wrote after filing for bankruptcy was actually a donation to the Crescent Moon Foundation,” says Meltzer.
Lesson 4: Trust the Universe
You hear stories about people having people come into their lives just at the right moment. Some people call it fate, others a coincidence. Whatever you call it, the outcomes can be life-changing.
“I was on an airplane to India and I met a woman. She said I was blocking my light and that I would benefit from meditation. I told her I didn’t have time for that,” recalls Meltzer.
She said, “That’s too bad because everything vibrates. Truth vibrates the fastest.”
“I eventually took her up on an offer to attend her meditation workshop. That chance meeting on an airplane led to learning about theta-wave mediation and quantum healing,” says Meltzer. “It has changed my life. I wake up every day at 4am to meditate and focus on what I want, what value I have to give, and how I can have fun while serving others,” continues Meltzer.
Lesson 5: A Jacket without Pockets
It’s a fact many of us avoid. You can’t get out of this life alive or with a million. Meltzer remembers something his father frequently told him.
“My dad bought me a jacket with no pockets to remind me that I’m not going to be able to take anything with me, and that I don’t want to be the richest man in the cemetery,” remembers Meltzer. “When I began to truly embrace this truth and live in a world of more than enough instead of in scarcity, things began to click for me. Opportunities began to emerge out of what seemed like the most unlikely places.”
Make A Lot of Money, Help A Lot of People and Have Fun
Today, David has reestablished his millionaire status and is involved in more projects and initiatives than you can imagine a single person could possibly manage to participate in. Most importantly, every business engagement he gets involved in has a charitable or social impact aspect to it. I asked him how he decides what projects to work on. He has a simple approach to assessing opportunities.
“I ask myself if this opportunity will make a lot of money, help a lot of people and be a lot of fun. It’s that simple. If I can say yes to all three, it’s a great opportunity, and I jump at it,” says Meltzer.David Meltzer
Let’s review the valuable lessons David shared with us:
- Past Success Doesn’t Guarantee Future Success
- “Losing Everything is the Best Thing to Happen to Me”
- Live in a World of More than Enough
- Trust the Universe
- A Jacket without Pockets
Checkout the next story in the Executive Spotlight series and learn about a company that is changing how first responders and military leaders do their jobs better and safer – all told by one fly guy.
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