342. A Survivor Thrives on Borrowed Time
At 19 he had landed his dream job as a firefighter and EMT. He looked ahead with confidence to a 30-year career of serving others. Two years into the job, a car crash threw him onto the freeway at 80 miles an hour. He was not expected to live.
Cole Hatter is an entrepreneur, investor, author and award-winning speaker. He invests in real estate, start-ups, and several funds exceeding $100 million. He is the founder of Thrive: Make Money Matter, an annual conference designed to teach entrepreneurs how to dominate in business and in life, while making the world a better place. Cole is a husband, father and philanthropist who strives to give back. His greatest passion is providing a platform to educate and empower entrepreneurs to live their lives and run their companies in a way that makes a measurable difference in the world.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“About the time I reached junior high school, I started thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up someday. God put it on my heart to want to help people. I grew up in the church, being dragged along on trips to Mexico or wherever to give back. I knew that was something I wanted to do. I considered careers where I would get paid to make a difference.” He considered medicine, the military and policing. “Where I finally landed was firefighting. I said, if I can get paid to save lives and play with fire, I’m in!”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
With firefighting as his goal, Cole enrolled in courses at junior college while still in high school. “I was able to graduate and start working immediately with the fire department at 19 years old.” Two years into his dream job, everything changed. “I was involved in a car accident, ejected out of the car onto the freeway, going around 80 miles an hour.” He survived but, at 21, he faced a daunting rehabilitation. Recovering at his parents’ home, he met their neighbors, a real estate team. “They were making a lot of money, and I had lots of bills, so I decided to do real estate until I figured out what I want to do.” He found his post-crash footing as an entrepreneur.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“A lot of people look to money as an immediate solution to a long-term problem. For example, they need to pay their rent and bills causes them to take a job because they see it is an immediate solution. I think they need to look at it in exactly the opposite way instead. They should pump the brakes for a minute and be patient long enough to evaluate how they got where they are, then get clear about where they want to be.”
Steps to Success from Cole Hatter
1. Create a list of your own “absolute truths” and let them guide your decisions.
2. Make sure what you’re doing is something your children can be proud of.
3. Value time. Consider that you’re living on borrowed time and make the most of it to live out your absolute truths.
4. Build your business around your life instead of building your life around your business.
On His Bookshelf
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber
Connecting With Cole Hatter
Snapchat: Cole Hatter
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