veteran / father / entrepeneur 
It's hot but I can't feel it. There is a baby in the back but I don't hear it. I honestly forgot I wasn't in my Brooklyn apartment until the smell of takeout BBQ roused me from an open-eyed slumber. Derek beams with pride as he shows me around his adopted home state as I arrange imaginary finances in my brain trying to figure out if I could afford to live in this car for the rest of my days. 
"A lot of people get stung once by the bee and jump out of it. It's not like they had a whole hive take them out. You have to stick with it." 
On having a family
"Proudest moment of my life is becoming a father. Hands down. We asked for a girl and we got it."

On growing up
"I’ve got responsibilities now, before I didn't. I used think that freedom was running around with your head cut off, picking up in the middle night and going on a motorcycle ride or hooking up with some other chick or doing whatever you want without regard to anyone's feelings. 

Responsibility is what changed. You know being married, having a family, having people depend on you. You have to get your act together. Responsibility and executing on that responsibility. 

Execution is the key to everything. And that's what I've been learning here in the last four years. Ideas are great but if you don't execute, you're done. Derek the boy, he was talking more there was executing, that had to change."
On addiction
"I wasn't some ghetto strung-out thug or anything, stealing from people, I just had bad habits. And now I just have good habits. And those turn into a beautiful life, beautiful family that I built for myself. 

I'm pretty proud of that. I hadn't been strung out for 20 years or anything, but that wasn't the path I was destined to be on, it was the path I chose. I really wanted to see what it was like to smoke weed. And once I started doing coke, it was hard to let go. I wanted to find out why it was so hard to let go. Where does the addiction come in? Why do people make those choices to keep going? It's just choices. That's all it is."​​​​​​​
On business risk 
"As far as risk and fear, if you're educated in what you're doing and you're prepared, it minimizes the risk. Like worst case scenario, someone tears your house up. And sure it costs you money, but I've got insurance for that. My biggest fear is the concrete in the toilet trick (laughs). But you know as long as you prepare, like you have your resources available for worst case scenarios like that, you're okay.

A lot of people get stung once by the bee and jump out of it. It's not like they had a whole hive take them out. You have to stick with it. A lot of people get hit and then they give up and are like, I am out of the rental game."

On true freedom 
"A long time ago I used to have road rage issues, now I don't care. No one speeds up on the highway until you pass them. It's an ego thing, pretty sure. But now it's just like. True freedom is just you know being at peace with yourself and not having to be angry at someone because you're really just angry at yourself." 
From Tarpon Springs, FL
Lives in Waco, TX

*other stories to consider

Back to Top