My Story

Zero to Hero

From an early age, I always felt the deck was stacked against me. Anyone ever have that feeling? Like you could never get a good hand?

I was labeled with learning disabilities & anxiety as a kid which kept me thinking I couldn’t do much of anything. Things just didn’t come easy to me from academics to even the game of baseball I deeply loved– to top it all off – I was even bullied in school and told by my teachers I wouldn’t amount to much in life unless I took up a trade working with my hands..

Not the makings of an ideal start , eh?

One thing I did pick up a bit later in life however was something I got from my Dad. You see he was the hardest working man I have ever met even to this day. He taught me work eithic and how I could close the gap by out working everyone else in the room. He taught me Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t want to work hard.

I then finally started to get some traction in college when I found myself being pretty good at baseball. I was excelling thinking this could be my future. And right when I thought my luck had started to change, I got injured. The rug was pulled out from under me again.

later in life I would battle various health issues

I remember asking God why are these things happening to me? I just felt like I was in a boxing like Rocky at times backed into a corner taking blow after blow…
I wasn’t very good at wrapping my mind around a trade or skill so I found myself in a basic retail job: Circuit City. How many remember Circuit City? It was like Best Buy; an electronics store. And I just did retail.

With my learning disabilities, I didn’t believe I had any great talent – but I found myself in a basic sales role and began to outwork everyone in the room again.

I had the pleasure of meeting someone who would become very important to me: Oz, my store manager.

Oz saw something in me I didn’t even see in myself. So he began to mentor me and, before I knew it, I was getting good at sales. It wasn’t because I was so smart, it was that I wasn’t afraid to work hard.

I was sick and tired of having the deck stacked against me and the only thing I could do was to outwork those around me; to work my butt off. What else could I do?

Well, wouldn’t you know… before long, I rose to the top of my store in sales. And before too long, I rose – not just to top of sales in my store – but in the ENTIRE company of Circuit city. Soon, I became one of the youngest store manager in Circuit City history.

Eventually, Circuit City started sending ME around to help turn around other stores around that were struggling. I was like the Navy Seal of store-transformation. Haha!

Finally, my luck had started to change. Things were on an upward trajectory. Pretty good right?

I mentioned earlier that I was battling health issues. “Ankylosing spondylitis. That condition is a type of arthritis that causes massive inflammation in your joints and ligaments in your back. It’s extremely painful and debilitating and there’s no cure.

Anyone ever have massive pain? A headache? A toothache? Back pain? Something that just kicks your butt? How much do you feel like working or doing other things when you experience that? Not much, right? That’s what I was LIVING with daily.

So right as I was excelling at my Circuit City job, my health issues worsened. My neck pain / back pain / was excruciating. I used to just push through it because I had to work but soon, it was affecting me to where I could no longer walk I was swollen so bad all over. BUT I HAD TO KEEP MY JOB, so what could I do?

And right then, I had the rug pulled out from underneath me AGAIN. Oz, my mentor said I had to go on short-term disability. I didn’t want to believe it. I went to the doctors to see what they could do and guess what they said:

They said I had to just come to terms and needed to prepare myself to be on – guess what – “long term disability for the rest of my life!” –. That’s what most people with my condition face especially when it’s a case this severe

Anyone experience that? Things are going well and then all of a sudden, the rug gets pulled out from under you?!?

It shook me up / deep down to my core. But despite that diagnosis, I had a sneaking feeling that wasn’t meant for me; that God had more for me but what could I do?

So, I had to go out on Disability. Circuit City agreed to hold my position at the store for 6 months which was so kind of them but guess what? THE BILLS WERE STACKING UP!!!

With all the regular bills PLUS all the new medical bills, I blew through my savings but forced myself to get back to work before I was ready health wise just to preserve my job

And right when I was getting back to work, I’m struggling and after a few months at least started to great business results while pushing through the pain. Then one day a customer walked in and said, “I’m so sorry.” And I thought, ‘Sorry for what?’

He said, “You didn’t hear? Circuit City are going out of business and all the stores are closing laying off 25,000 people! .

Talk about full on panic and meltdown.

All this uncertainty and fear stacking up. My wife and I were wondering, “What the heck are we going to do NOW?” Because I broke, I’m dealing with health challenges and now for the first time in my life on the verge of being unemployed.

I was close to just giving up but I had that suspicious feeling, a Intuition you could call it that I had in the beginning when I was told my health was going to stop me… that God wasn’t through with me.

I knew my life wasn’t finished yet which is why the FIRST KEY to living an extraordinary life is FAITH.





Whether it’s faith in God, faith in yourself, faith in who you are called to be and what you’re called to do in the world. Better yet, all of the above: The key is FAITH!!!

Next I went home and did something crazy I wrote a check for ONE MILLION BUCKS paid to myself. Now at the time I didn’t have more than 3 zeros in my bank account.

I needed a visualization of my future; something to chase and that check wasn’t about the money it symbolized the vehicle that can take me to my destination of accomplishing my goals in life.

I had NO IDEA how it was going to happen but after praying some more I ran into a friend of the family who had started his own insurance agency. He was doing really well for himself.

I thought: Hmm… could I do something like that? I mean, the challenge is that most knew businesses fail. I had a learning disability, remember? I had no money having just spent it all to keep my wife and I afloat.

But faith led me to believe this one thing: if HE can do it, why can’t I do it too?

In my heart, I knew I had to rely on faith after praying some more about

David Williams

Insurance Agency

2 weeks later, I saw an insurance agency in the same strip mall as the Circuit City that was going out of business /just across from a DMV

It was almost like confirmation that God was paying attention to me. That maybe the deck wasn’t stacked against me. I thought Could I sell insurance?

I had always heard: “Miracles come in the form of opportunities” and I thought, “Could this be that opportunity for me?”

But I knew that my faith said: “Find a way where there is no way” and so I started doing insurance at night …

Then, something really strange happened.

The liquidators who were clearing out Circuit City were offloading all the equipment – computers, printers, TONS of office stuff.

I thought about that million dollar check and what it meant. It meant creating a “life by design.” What is “Life by Design?” It means creating the life you want; not one forced on you by others. Not by the government, not by corporate America, not by being pressured or forced into something but YOU getting to create and design your life. How many like the sound of THAT?

Before I continue I want to stop for just a moment and talk about something important..

Inconsequential and defining moments:



I knew that if I could cash that million dollar check, what it could mean … not just for me but for my wife, my parents, my family… how I could finally be a provider for everyone I loved.

I had a deep desire to give back to my parents for what they gave me; to be my hero’s hero.

You see, I had a brother I loved dearly but he got caught up in the wrong crowd and went down the wrong path and, unfortunately, he’s no longer with us.

My father was working around the clock sacrificing for us 7 days a week running on just a few hours sleep to afford the things he couldn’t afford like private baseball lessons for me and music lessons for my sister; meanwhile never taking vacations, never saving for retirement, and I knew eventually I needed to be the one. The one to change the trajectory of my family tree financially to take care of them later in life. I’m where I am today because of them.

But I always knew – deep down – that a day would come that when they couldn’t care for themselves; my parents put our family first so that million dollar check was more than just paying my bills… it was about family…

I could build a life by design and take care of my family. How many have that desire? To be able to provide for your family? And maybe even friends who ARE like family… we call that “Family.”

How many want to be able to take care of your FAMILY?

And really, that’s Key #2 for living an extraordinary life: FAMILY. Family is the foundation for us – whether it’s your biological family or an emotional family; family keeps you centered, supports each other…

So as they were liquidating the inventory, one day the liquidators came to me and they said David all the open merchandise we need to get rid of pennies on the dollar. I said to them, ‘What if I bought everything from every CC store within 4 hours of hear?; so I took my last $7000 from my 401k (after penalties) and actually bought about $70,000-80,000 in electronics – I thought, maybe *I* can buy for cheap and sell it off. Crazy right? But I had faith that said, “Miracles come in the form of opportunities” and “Find a way where there is no way.” This to me was a defining moment!

So I bought all the inventory, filled my house with equipment – by the way, I forgot to tell my wife and she came home to everything was stacked to the ceiling – Haha!

But I had a plan, I was doing it for us and our family so she gave me Grace.

I sold the equipment on sites like eBay. I was paying off all my medical bills and actually raising the capital to start MY OWN insurance agency.

If I’m going to be starting from scratch, I might as well go all the way, right?

But I was under a time crunch. I only had very few weeks to make things work before I could run out of capital.

I started to push, grabbed people from the DMV across the street and pulled them in.

I had no idea what I was doing. I took hours to write my first insurance policy / I jumped head first into the water.

How many know that waiting and procrastinating can produce fear and sometimes you have to just JUMP IN HEAD FIRST, yeah?

So I did it!

And guess what – Within 6 months in we were one of THE top insurance offices in the entire company. The money started to come in and we were going strong.



I hadn’t known money until now. I had always been told “Money is the root of all evil” so I never tried to make money. How many have heard that?

But actually, that’s a MYTH.

The scripture says, ‘The LOVE of money is the root of all evil” which, if you understand the context of what was being said, where it was being said and to WHOM it was being said, you’ll know that it’s not anti-commerce – it’s about greed.

But in THIS society, we’re told it’s Impolite to talk about money – that’s another myth. I think its impolite NOT talking about money as it results in people not understanding it.

That’s why the third KEY is Finances. When you understand faith and family, you understand that finances become a means to an end: To bless others. Yes, you can have nice things but the key is to realize that money is a means to create a lifestyle by design and, consequently, use that power to influence others for good.

But I thought: How am I going to open an insurance business?

But I dove in, head first.

I ended up building location after location / launched 50 team members / 22 million dollar business.

Oh, and as for that MILLION DOLLAR CHECK I wrote to myself? I ended up cashing it 6 months earlier than I had planned.

I don’t tell you any of that to impress you. I tell you that to say this: If I didn’t have my finances in line, I wouldn’t be able to help my wife, my parents, myself or anyone else. Getting your finances in order is more than about collecting money; it’s about building a muscle that allows you to be stronger in the world.



And so now that I have money, I can focus on getting my health together…

I started doing everything I could,

Being healthy and fit is such an underrated quality in this country. It’s more than not being too fat or thing – it’s about energy, vitality, clarity, empowerment to do all the things you’re called to do.

That’s why the 4th Key is FITNESS. Faith, Family, Finances, FITNESS…

I ended up getting off all the meds they had me on and I reduced my pain by 50%

I’m getting my life back

How many of you dream of getting your life back or creating your own life by design?

Exactly! Me too!

I began to focus on my health and fitness in new ways; ways never taught in school. And with my finances in place, I have the wealth to get back my health.



I felt – for the first time, I had become FREE.

Can anyone guess our 5th and final key to living an extraordinary life: Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness and FREEDOM.

Freedom is the ability to live life your own way and you should always standing strong to protect that very freedom. That’s what Freedom is to me

So many people give up before they ever become free which is why the title of this talk is called “Going the Distance: 5 Keys for an Extraordinary Life.”


I sold my insurance company for my first multiple 7 figure business exit

I now use my resource to invests, build, create, with partners of my choosing.

Again, I don’t tell you ANY of that to impress you but instead to impress upon you: If i can do it with the deck was stacked against me; with learning disabilities, health battles, bullying, having the rug pulled out from under me, having to start over many times… If i can do it, YOU can do it.

I don’t know what you believe personally but I believe God was not doing this TO me but FOR me; to build strength within me, give me discipline, and teach me valuable lessons so I could go out and teach others; teach youth, teach adults… spread the word to YOU on how to get past your own similar setbacks.

You can lead an almost life or an utmost life as my good friend & mentor Tim Storey says.

To answer the question we asked at the beginning, what is the difference between people who settle and give up vs. people who go the distance?

THIS is the answer: The people who go the distance are those who know they’re called –called for something bigger than them, bigger than us. not to live an almost life – but an UTMOST LIFE.

That’s why so many people have come to us and the 5th Degree Academy asking us to help; to mentor and create a space to instill these 5 keys in each person’s life.

How many want these 5 keys in your life?


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