Down to My Last $7 & How I Survived

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During the height of my career, I was making a great deal of money, traveling all over the world, and experiencing a high level of notoriety within the organization that I worked for. I was enjoying what I thought was success. The only problem was, I was away from home so much that my relationship with my son began to suffer. He would be at home with babysitters while I was on the road changing lives. For years, I justified my actions because I thought I was doing so much good, which I was. However, the cost I was paying became too much.

I decided to make one of the hardest yet best decisions of my life. I walked away from a lucrative career and job security to spend more time with my son. I wiped my calendar clean and maintained one focus, which was to be the best dad in the world. While I have never for one moment regretted this decision, my life did drastically change. I went from making a six-figure income to being completely broke. Believe me when I tell you that I left the high life to move into a 700 square foot apartment where I had to sleep on the couch. We struggled so badly at one point that Caleb and I slept on the floor in a Sunday school classroom at a local church.

That time was not easy, and it came with some unique difficulties. I had little to no money in the bank, was practically homeless, and I was struggling to get my business off the ground. People ask me all that time, "Matt, how did you survive mentally and emotionally during that time of your life?" Well, there are ten strategic things I did during that time, and I will share a few of them with you today.

1. I refused to complain and feel sorry for myself:

Look, during that season of my life, I was so thankful to be home with Caleb. It didn't matter if I had 7 dollars in the bank, and I was living on the floor in a Sunday school classroom. I got to wake up every day and be the dad to the greatest kid on the planet. During that time, I felt so much peace, happiness, and freedom. It felt so good to be with my son on a Saturday morning. I had forgotten what that was like. My focus remained on what I had gained, not what I had lost.

Friends, stop complaining about your situation and feeling sorry for yourself. You are alive! It’s time for you to fall back in love with life again. If you stop complaining, you will experience a significant increase in your energy and power. You have too much living to do to be a complainer.

2. I practiced the deepest level of gratitude and mastered positive thinking:

Because I knew how blessed I was, I spent so much time being thankful for what I had. In fact, I became so intense with gratitude that people started thinking I was one of those self-help, positive gurus. People became annoyed by my positivity. But you know what, I didn't care.

After two near death experiences, I was so grateful just to be alive. I can assure you that there will be times when you are going to struggle in your own life. If you practice daily gratitude, and positive thinking during difficult times, you will heal and stay strong.

3. I continued to give and serve the poor even when money was tight:

I remember times when we were down to our last $20, and we would still buy a homeless person lunch. I would take Caleb with me, and we would go to the park to pick up a homeless person and take them to Five Guys across the street.

As we continued to give, wealth and abundance began to come back to us. If you are depressed, frustrated, broke, or need a breakthrough in your life, start giving. Friends, giving is the most powerful thing that you can do and will give you more joy and personal fulfillment than anything else in the world.

4. I followed my true passion and began to live my truth:

For years I felt as though I had become a version of myself that was not true to who I was. When I walked away from my career, I began to rediscover who I was and I started following my passion. My passion is being a dad, starting my coaching and consulting business, and launching my health company. This is who I am, and I started following this truth. Once I started following that passion, I began to experience power and creativity that I never thought possible.

One of the reasons you are stuck is because you are living someone else’s life. You need to set yourself free to follow your passion and live your truth regardless of the consequences or opinions of others. You can do it!

5. I mastered focus and learned how to say no without guilt:

For me to be the dad that I was, it meant that I had to say no 90% of the time without guilt. This was difficult at first because I used to be a people pleaser and I had to develop inner confidence and mental toughness. I knew that to become the 5-star dad that I am and build a business, I literally could not keep doing the things I used to do. This meant that anything that took my focus away from being a great dad and my business, I would have to say no to it.

Please give yourself the gift of focused living. Start establishing true boundaries and practice saying, “No” without justifying yourself or feeling guilty. I learned that people started respecting me more because I refused to compromise my passion and values.

Looking back at this period, I can say that it was one of the best time periods of my life because of what it restored and taught me at the same time. It restored my joy and passion for life, and to be honest, it prepared me for the success that I'm enjoying right now.

If we allow it, difficult times come to help us grow and reinvent so that we are prepared for the next big thing in our lives.


Matt Maddix

Matt Maddix, master sales trainer, consultant and CEO of Matt Publishing, is a successful international speaker and master motivator. He has hosted over 120 live events with as many as 32,225 registrants. 

During past events, Maddix has shared the stage with some of the greats in the world such as: Kevin Harrington, Gary Vaynerchuck, Darren Hardy, Greg Reid, and Glenn Twiddle. 

In conjunction with traveling as a motivational speaker, Matt is the founder Maddix Publishing, My Health Coach, TextNinjaPro and Maddix Missions. He is also the author of bestselling books How You Can Have It All and Just Juice It. 

In addition, Maddix is co-host of two internet talk shows—Morning With Maddix and Fuel for Success. 

Matt is best known for his life strategies along with his sales and marketing success, but he is most proud as the father of 15-year-old celebrity superstar speaker, Caleb Maddix.

His son was recently voted in the Top 20 Most Motivational People in the world. Caleb has been featured in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc and interviewed on Good Morning Australia with over 8 million viewers. Caleb wrote his first book by age 12, Keys to Success for Kids and has already earned Six figures by age 14. 

Matt lives in Los Angeles and St. Petersburg, Florida.