Cole Hatter turned two tragic accidents into a lifelong mission to help entrepreneurs thrive.
Cole Hatter is a millionaire entrepreneur and founder of Thrive. Thrive teaches entrepreneurs to dominate in business, use their influence and resources to generate a positive impact. The concept of ‘Thrive’ was derived from tough life lessons.
First Season Of Life
Hatter began his career as a firefighter until two tragic accidents altered his destiny. The accidents occurred sixty four days apart, where Hatter lost his two best friends.
In 2004, Hatter and his two friends were riding dirt bikes in the Mojave Desert one afternoon. Only two of them returned home. Hatter came very close to following the same fate as his friend who fell into a mine shaft.
Devastatingly, the second accident occurred when Hatter and his friends were in a car that was traveling at 80 miles an hour. Hatter was thrown from the car and was the sole survivor. After the car accident, he found himself in a different world overnight.
A New World
Hatter was reeling from the grief of losing his two best friends. Overnight, he went from walking to a wheelchair spending a year in rehab, suffering a brain and spinal injury, and unable to see in one eye for six months.
To escape the pain and guilt of surviving, Hatter went into self-destructive mode. He took a handful of pills at a time before washing it down with hard liquor. Knocking him out from 4 pm until 11 am the next day. Hatter suggests he did not have a death wish. He simply wanted to be ‘alive less‘.
December, 18 is clearly etched in his mind as it was a very dark moment where he was angry at himself for throwing his life away. He decided that his friends lives would not mean nothing so he stopped feeling sorry for himself and decided to start living life once again to make every moment count.
He made the mindset shift from victim to victor, using the circumstances to create a new stronger, version of himself.
In 2005, Hatter entered the real estate market at the perfect time for it was booming. He was inundated with golden opportunities every where he turned and the income to match. He lived the high life, having loads of fun and driving fancy cars.
A few years later his world came crashing down. In 2008, the economy and real estate market crashed, with no income Hatter sold everything he owned.
Reflecting back on his short lived success, Hatter couldn’t believe he had absolutely nothing to show for it. All his stuff was gone in an instant and it was like nothing ever happened. He remembered feeling like he had done nothing meaningful with his time and money, nothing that truly mattered and made a difference to his life or those around him.
The Turning Point
Feeling depressed yet determined to move in a new direction. Hatter did what anyone would want to do, he ran away. He turned off his cell phone to immerse himself in a new adventure away from everyone and everything he knew.
A move to Mexico gave him a much needed wake-up call, witnessing extreme poverty daily. Hatter helped the local community by building houses for the homeless and later, founded an orphanage.
He was amazed by the profound impact a small amount of money could make in a country like Mexico. With $40, he could feed 21 children for a month. Helping others and immersing himself in the beauty of life, surfing every day, living near the beach and watching the sunset was the serenity needed to soothe Hatter’s soul, ease his pain and piece his heart back together.
After seven months, Hatter was still broke, yet massively inspired by his incredible experience and returned home. Within twenty months, Hatter was a millionaire. He was living life in a meaningful way and making his money matter.
How To Thrive
In 2011, as the economy improved, Hatter invested in mentorship and coaching with Than Merrill.
The biggest shift that moved Hatter from broke to millionaire was finding a millionaire and following their every move. He became obsessed with successful people and used exactly the same strategies they did.
1. Scale Your Business
Hatter began as a solo entrepreneur before learning how to scale his business. To scale a business involves creating systems to teach others i.e.. To complete 2,000 direct mail letters can take four days.
Take the day-to-day grind and create a process of what each task looks like from start to finish. Next, build a team using the 4-step process to teach them the task.
- Complete together
2. The Mindset Shift
Success does not come from thinking small and playing safe. Learn to play at the top.
Hatter was playing small and afraid to take risks by purchasing $400k property instead of $1million dollar property. He soon realized the properties require just as much work, there are simply more zeros involved.
3. Specific Focus vs Wandering Generality
Direct all your focus and energy on one business. When it is evolves into a self-sufficient business where you are basically the decision maker and problem solver. Then, you can restart the adventure into something that is complimentary to your existing business.
The lesson for entrepreneurs is if you want to live out your wildest dreams find a millionaire entrepreneur and follow their every move. Make the decision that every moment of your life matters, use your income to create a meaningful business by swimming in the ocean of life with all of its beauty and abundance.
This article was originally published on Inc.com