If anyone is qualified to speak on the perils of good fortune, it’s Kent Clothier. He was running a multi-million dollar business in high school and a multi-billion dollar business after that. He would have been set for life, had he not fallen prey to the perils of that success. The fall from glory was brutal, and Kent Clothier was faced with challenges greater than he’d ever imagined he’d face.
Smoke and screams filled the cabin as passengers and crew realized they were probably going to die. Kent Clothier couldn’t see any flames but, like everyone else on board the plane, he knew there was a fire and the situation was serious.
“Daddy!” he heard his young daughter scream as he turned to find her. Seated six rows back with his wife, Kent’s daughter screamed for him. Even through the smoke, he could see the sheer terror on her face. His eyes locked with his wife’s, silently acknowledging they were about to die. What started as a sweet surprise when they showed up during his business trip had turned into a nightmare he was powerless to change.
The helplessness was agonizing. He may be a force to reckon with in business but on the plane that day he was just another terrified passenger. He thought of his teenage son at home, “If I’m going to die I want my son to have something. I want him to know I love him.” Hoping his phone would survive the crash, Kent recorded a goodbye video to his son – a last message of love and assurance.
“Brace for Impact!” came over the speakers as the plane rolled into a gut-dropping nosedive. This, Kent later learned, is standard procedure for piloting a flame-filled plane; a Hail Mary effort to douse the flames. The nosedive worked, the plane landed safely, and everyone lived to see another day.
For Kent Clothier, every day since has been different.
“Few things in life truly matter,” he realized. “The rest is self-imposed crap.” He’d believed he’d already learned that lesson in life but understood now that his past, though rich with hard-learned lessons, had only glanced at the true meaning of success.
“Good isn’t good when great is expected,” Kent was taught. So while his friends partied and enjoyed being teenagers, Kent worked long hours in his father’s wholesale grocery business. As his friends traded high school adventures for fraternities and college degrees, Kent stayed behind in Memphis, revolutionizing his family business with an innovative idea.
Business had been good when their company bought available items and sold them at wholesale prices to clients, but business exploded when they decided to start asking their customers what they wanted, instead of trying to sell what they had. Tapping into what their customers needed, and then filling that need, changed everything, “We were shopping instead of selling.
Thousands of orders came in, launching their business into the million-dollar club. When many of his friends struggled to find work after college, Kent became their boss.
At twenty-three years old Kent Clothier was running a 50 million dollar-a-year business.
By the time he was 30, that business was pulling in 1.8 billion dollars annually. Yes, billion – with a “B.” He’d made it to the top. But what he’d achieved came at a price that does not have a dollar amount.
“Being so full of crap and so young, I decided it was time for me to walk out.” Seduced by money and success, Kent had lost humility and much of his focus on what was truly valuable in life. He was certain the company’s success was largely due to him, and he could do even better on his own, so set about doing just that. Closer and closer to the sun he flew, until his wings melted and he crashed back to earth.
Kent Clothier lost everything in just two years.
Family and friends – gone. Life savings – gone. Pride, respect, self-confidence, credit, house, cars, vacations, business – gone. He was, “financially and morally bankrupt.”
He hadn’t just burned bridges, he’d blown them up. There was no one in his life he had not hurt or disappointed, and he considered ending his pain with terrible finality. Perhaps he would have done just that were it not for his young son.
Love for his child, Kent says, is why he stayed. Once he thought it through and realized he could never leave his son, Kent knew he had to figure out a way to recover as much as he could of what he’d lost.
Dark times and challenges are rarely as inescapable as they appear. Climbing out of these times is possible, but only if one is able to recognize the steps necessary and then take each one of those steps, no matter how painful. With his back against the wall, Kent Clothier took his first step, and then the next.
The time is now. You have to do things that really scare you if you expect to make things happen in life. – Kent Clothier
His courage was rewarded with second chances. He found new love in a person who’d never lost faith in him, after all, and started a new family even as he held on to his relationship with his son. Down to his last $2,000.00, he invested ¼ of that into what he knew would be his path to rebuilding his financial empire. He matched his financial investment with 100% of his personal investment and made a new fortune in the real estate investment business.
He’d made it, victory was his. He’d gone through enormous challenges, been knocked down and beaten up, and emerged intact. He was older, wiser, and happier than before, certain he’d figured out what is important in life – until that day on the plane.
The flight that almost ended his life changed his life.
He was a new man– he had clarity now that outshone every belief he’d ever had about what success truly means. Until that near-death experience, he’d believed his full circle in business -from startup to billion-dollar business, to financial decimation, and now back on top in business -was paramount to a successful life.
Now, he finally understood, he’d had it all backward. Family is his sole priority. Time is his greatest commodity, the most precious possession on earth, for once spent it can never be replaced, and there is a finite supply. Time is what he needs to maximize, so he can spend more of it with the people he loves.
This new clarity and focus is why Kent Clothier is so passionate about his company, and why he knows it is such a good fit for so many people. Not only does Real Estate Worldwide (REWW) offer an intense, streamlined real estate investing learning system, it helps students and clients win back the most precious commodity of time.
Kent Clothier takes great pride and comfort in helping people find the same clarity he did – without having to strap in to a fireball in the sky.
Having experienced so many painful and terrifying wake-up calls in his own life, Kent is on a mission to make it easier for others to realize success without making the same mistakes he did. Kent Clothier’s company helps people with the desire to be their own timekeepers maximize each moment.
In a world full of noise, with people selling their sure-fire get-rich-quick schemes from every dark corner of the internet, his voice remains strong and steady, ready to help people create freedom in their own lives. While other companies promise success, he promises nothing without effort. “Success is never promised,” he explains, “but neither is failure.”
Kent Clothier wasted no more time doing things he either was not fond of or the most effective at. He fired himself from each of those tasks and delegated them to others, so he could spend his own time doing the things he does best or enjoys the most.
“Put that flag in the ground and walk backward,” he says. “What is my ultimate perfect day, what is the quickest way to achieve that, and which unnecessary steps can I fire myself from along the way? “
He’s finally got it all figured out and is determined to help as many people as he can do the same.
“I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who believe they have time on their hands,” Kent Clothier says.
It’s a dangerous perception to hold, for as he learned the day he narrowly avoided tragedy, time is the only thing that matters.