A dear friend showed me how to buy gas stations with a locksmith business why I love NWA.

So I made this class a few years ago…

Then Anna found it and asked me about it.

So I could just say…

This is in memory of an old friend, Sean.

Sean taught me a lot and there are some great lessons here.

Much Love…

Until we meet again Brother

Today’s WBE Lesson:

Little Things Matter.

First of all, THANK YOU again for making this channel the number one channel for Indiana real estate on YouTube according google analytics and SocialBlade info for BigReia.com.  We’re also building the world’s largest organization of Special Needs Business Owners and Real Estate Investors.

Make sure go digest the ground breaking material at BigReia.com 

We are creating the world’s clearest instructions to empower any human being on the planet can start from zero and create a passive income of at least $30,000 a month.

Our mission is to make lifelong friends helping folks around the world create generational wealth with Indiana real estate and business building.

About our lesson today:

Little Things Matter.

This is something my aunt taught me when I was delivering papers and I’ve never forgotten it.  I’m so THANKFUL for the opportunity to learn this.  A very good friend showed me how far just how far this lesson can take you.

In this class we’ll talk about:

===>  The exact moment that I learned how important little things are, and how you can apply the same thing to your activity and get a lot more compliance from people and build companies at will…

=== >  The story behind one of my first gas stations – if you’re savvy you’ll connect the dots and see how this is the same Model that another student used to buy over 30 gas stations all zero down…

===>  The real difference it makes when you focus on finding brilliance in others

And a bunch of other stuff too like why I still LOVE NWA and what I think about every time that I do.

I hope this helps, one more thing to today’s lesson…

There’s a little more to it… 

… a LOT more…

Here’s the video of the class…

Sean was a very good friend of mine, in fact one of my only real friends.

Growing up, I wasn’t “cool” or good at making friends.  Sean was special.  Much of the work that we’ve done with addiction, substance abuse, drug use awareness, etc. is a result of what I saw happen with Sean.  I know many people prefer not to talk about addiction or look down on people suffering with it.

In the class above, for example, I barely mention it.

I did that because I’ve had many conversations with people in denial or with a negative stereotype in their mind about “those kinds” of people who get addicted.  When people are fighting the demons of addiction they often do terrible things that sound even worse when you tell somebody about it.

Addiction (and the demons that come with it) can happen to anybody.

Addiction is addiction.  It may something like a mild facebook, porn or video game addiction, or something more severe like heroin.  The person struggling with it feels like they “can’t stop” and no matter what they do or try it only seems to get worse.

This doesn’t only happen to “weak minded” people or “pu**ies”.

Unfortunately the way things are going with pharmaceuticals (pill makers) and others more and more people will learn the not-fun way that addiction can happen to anybody.  These people need need our love not judgment.  Again this can happen to anybody.

Yes, ANYBODY.

Somebody in your life who you’ve known and loved for decades, somebody with an iron will and a freight train of mental strength… can be reduced to a self harming junkie.  It is scary.  I saw it growing up with my uncle and then later with Sean, and a mission in my life is to help others NEVER have this pain.

The less you understand what I’m describing, the luckier you are.

That luck comes from your environment, upbringing, opportunities, exposure to education, comfortable finances, a loving family unit and/or a thousand other resources that you were privileged to have that few others are fortunate enough to have.

Don’t that let that privilege blind you.

One of the most important things you may ever do for a loved one is have compassion, empathy, understanding, caring and LOVE for somebody with addiction.  No matter how “hopeless” they may seem, that person you love and care about IS STILL THERE.  They need you to help them fight.

You don’t need to have all the answers.

If you or somebody you know is battling with addiction then sometimes asking for help seems like the hardest thing to do in the world.  They often feel extreme levels of shame, the feeling of helplessness the feeling of isolation, loneliness and a total loss of hope.

Deep depression and suicide even.

I know how easy the solution can seem to somebody looking at it from the outside but it is absolutely VITAL that you at least try to see things from their perspective.  They feel out of control and like a passenger helplessly watching a madman control their body.

You need to love on them like never before, get them help no matter how they may treat you, abuse you, lie to you, hurt your feelings, steal from you, argue or yell at you it is NOT them and you need to stay focused on helping them kill this monster… just turn up the LOVE and make it happen.

This can very often be a life and death choice that you make, but you aren’t alone.

There are a lot of places you can turn to for help:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The National Institute of Drug Abuse

Here’s more on addiction from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Of you can give us a call or email us:

Love (at) BigReia (.) com

Just make sure you say this isn’t a “normal” question and it is related to this topic, I promise you that it will get escalated and you have MY WORD that we will do everything in our power to help.  We have many resources and we spend a lot of time on this.

My entire team is up to speed on how we deal with addiction and how we help folks going through this so any of us can help you.  This is also why we started one of the first detox centers in Karachi for alcohol and heroin and many other treatment centers and resources.

We are here to help.

In fact this situation with Sean changed my outlook on how to deal with and help people going through addiction challenges.  So much of the work we do in this space is based on what I saw happen with Sean and others.  So let’s get started…

Notes on how little things matter and can be used to build real estate and other businesses

Any real estate investor can triple their business by focusing on LITTLE things…

That is today’s WBE lesson:

Little Things Matter.

Today is going to be a little different, a lot of people have been axing me to talk about more stuff like this and my personal stories and background and so I thought I’d go in that direction today…

I used to deliver ads to grocery stores.

You know those ads with like weekly specials and stuff that you see when you walk into a supermarket or grocery store?  I used to deliver those ads.  Obviously this was before I became an international celebrity and adult film star.

So I used to deliver those ads and I started working with my aunt, the badass aunt that I’ve talked about many times.  So one night we were at a stop and I took the ads out and threw them into the cart.  I just tossed them in, and it was a pretty unorganized way.

Then I started wheeling them into the store.

My aunt stopped me, she took each bundle of ads and fixed them so that were all in order and facing up so that they would be easier to count.  The cart looked so neat the way that she did it.  Then she said something to me that I never forgot:

“Azam, little things matter.”

After that my aunt taught me how to deliver ads like a nut.  Instead of just dropping off the ads she counted each one, at each stop she got the manager’s signature to make sure they knew exactly what they were getting…

… then we experimented the placement of the ads in the store to find out what worked best.

When one store was having a success we shared it with each of the other managers.  Eventually we tracked foot traffic, sales and were making suggestions to the design team that made the ads and helping them make unique ads for different areas based on the feedback we were getting.

Then we got feedback from managers and experimenting the best placement of the ads, the best products to put on the ads, what each store’s clientele responded to the best, when we had one store doing really well we would share the best results and practices with other stores.

This operation expanded.

Develop better metaphors to put emotion behind ordinary things

Better metaphors create better outcomes.

By taking a deeper view of each activity you’ll do things in a way nobody else will and bring a unique value that will help you to grow companies better.  That’s how we even worked with the newspaper’s design team to help them make better and more specific flyers for different stores and different areas. 

My aunt never thought of herself as a delivery person.

She told me that there are families that are struggling to make ends meet and if they get to hear about the right special or if they just got a single discount, then it could mean an extra meal for a hungry child.  And since I could be a part of that I should take everything that I was doing more seriously…

It was that kind of thinking that drove her obsession and not just with the ads but…

… with everything that she ever did.

If you ever spent time in Indiana than you know about Marsh supermarkets.  They were a famous local grocery store and the owner is a guy named Don Marsh and he has all sorts of local celebrities that they do commercials with.  People like Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Azam Meo, etc.

Well my aunt built that business up so fast and so impressively that she got to invited to a photo shoot with Don Marsh and she got to meet Reggie Miller and Larry Bird… and even Azam Meo.  Then she even got invited to go on a private trip with Don Marsh to Alaska.

My aunt showed me how we could be much more than just the people who delivered ads.

It was because of that obsession to detail, because of making sure that little things mattered, because of that we eventually delivered ads for more and more stores and at one point we handled the ads for nearly every single grocery in the midwest of the United States.

Little things matter.

This delivery business became a serious money maker, and it started from delivering papers and ads.

The core idea that I still remember to this day is that:

Little Things Matter.”  

So just keep that in mind for a second and I want to tell you more about my friend Sean

Like Johnny Rockefeller said a friendship built on business is better than a business built on friendship…

… and I usually follow that rule but in this case I didn’t.

I had a good friend of mine his name was Sean and we loved doing business together.

And that’s today’s WBE Lesson…

Little Things Matter.

Become an artist and obsess over little things

Every great real estate or business person is an artist.

Become an artist with everything you do, no task is meaningless or so insignificant that you should allow for anything other than an obsessive attention to detail.  The ripple effect of what you do, or what you fail to do reaches far beyond our vision. 

Maximize the role that you play in advancing mankind.

Anybody can do things that people think matter, the genius is making whatever you do, matter.

So yes, John Rockefeller did say that a friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship and that’s so true, and our core team, my closest friends are all friends that I made through business and friends that I’m in business with.

So I’ve pretty much always followed that rule but there are a few exceptions.

One exception was very good friend of mine, Sean.  During this time while I was delivering ads and doing this stuff things got so crazy that I brought Sean on to help handle things and grow the business.

One of the first nights we were out he started throwing the ads in the cart just like I used to do and I stopped him and told him exactly what my aunt told me:

“Little Things Matter.”

I went on and explained  that we could play a much larger role…

Sean never threw the ads in the cart again.

In fact, he took this lesson to heart and did it with everything that we ever did.  Any time we did anything in business, he did it with this as his mantra:

Little Things Matter.

Now I need to take a second and tell you a few things about Sean…

… he was a wild, wild kid.

Sean was kind of nut, I love him but I’m not blind to his other side.  Sean was the cool guy, all the guys loved him he always got the girl.  He was much, much “cooler” than I ever was and so much more “popular” or whatever the kids would call it now (“clout“, I think?) and it was a mismatch in that way.

It was kind of weird that we were even friends, let alone such good friends.

Usually social pressure discourages that kind of cross pollinating of cool and uncool people.  So he was that much cooler than me.  Like I said, he had a wild side, from drugs and parties and fistfights and getting arrested all the time…

… The first time I got a gun pulled on me, at least in America, I was with him.

Sean was kind of nuts.  But with with me he was different.  It was weird because he was totally different with me than with anybody else.  Through him I met some interesting people, and we would do our paper routes and work with some of these people.

One night I was doing the route with Sean, his friend Greg and another guy named Kyle.

The four of us were working together and we were listening to NWA.  Sean loved NWA and he would blast that music loud and call it his inspiration, claiming that it taught him how to live life.  He LOVED NWA and credited them for changing his life.

NWA = Ni**as With an Attitude.

NWA was Sean’s inspiration.

NWA can be used for inspiration

If you don’t know of N.W.A. you have not lived life to the fullest.

Stop reading this now and look them up immediately.

Back?  Okay, we can continue.

It’s funny because to this day whenever I see grocery store or ad, I can practically hear Dr. Dre and Ice Cube screaming.  It is like I can still hear them yelling and explaining in great detail their apathy for law enforcement

Anyway, even now when I think back to the four of us out driving and doing the routes I feel euphoric

And I wouldn’t have believed the storm that was coming.

By the end of the year everybody else that was in that car (except me) would be dead or missing.

It’s so sad because Sean had real brilliance in him, he was psychotically driven and so ambitious that he took our delivery business to another level.  In fact, one of the first gas stations that I ever bought, I bought with him.  We bought it together and we financed it with our delivery business.

About this gas station, my goodness, this place was a mess.  The gas hardly worked it got robbed like every other night, our employees were crackheads – they even sold crack while they working, it was more like they working while they were selling crack – the gas station was basically a crackhouse…

A crackhouse with gas and candy.

Sometimes gas I should say, and sometimes candy too, but we could always count on crack.

None of that even mattered though, the way Sean was, we always figured something out.

One day he called me up and he said:

“We are going into the locksmith business.”

I had no idea what he was talking about.  At the time I was just getting started in real estate so I was dealing with a lot of tenant issues and so Sean told me that there is and would be a huge demand for a good locksmith to be on the prowl.

So he got this big goofy machine and he started going around neighborhoods and doing jobs.

Even though he had no idea what he was doing, he was able to figure it out.  The first job he showed up and he was just as clueless as the person who called, just imagine a locksmith shows up and has no idea how to do his job but figures it out on the job.

That was so Sean…

That’s how we did everything at that time.  That’s the mode we were in, we just went out we made people laugh and smile and everything else would work itself out.  So that first day somehow he got  through it and then from talking to people he realized…

How important it was to keep the neighborhoods safe and patrol the neighborhoods.

Then we would keep in touch with the locals and help them stay away from the problems that dead beat tenants caused.  Eventually we started official patrols, DNA testing to settle baby mama drama, we got into private eye work to catch criminals and cheaters…

And from that he and I actually worked with the TV show cheaters and then we were even security guards for a few of their shows.  Sean and I always had a blast, no matter what we did.  So this new business, the new locksmith/baby daddy/neighborhood crime/infidelity watchdog…

This new business got us contracts from local cops too.

Soon it made us more money than the actual gas station.  You get what I’m saying right?  You see how this all works?  You don’t just go out and change their locks, instead you talk to them about what else they’ve got going on, what kind of changes do they want to see in their neighborhoods…

And how they can help people treat other better

We focus on what they want to see happen and how can we work together and make better things happen.  It is simple to do by just following this principle:

Little Things Matter…

that’s how the world’s worst locksmith can change a community.

Explanation of how using small value adds helped us buy gas stations

Creating equity comes from making things worth more money.

So after this side business took off, Sean went to other local gas stations and we added this business model to their current business and we took some of the money and paid it to the gas stations to buy the gas stations. 

In other cases we would buy gas stations knowing we would add value with locksmithing.

Very quickly Sean added a handful of gas stations to our little empire

When I bought that first place a lot of people asked me what the hell I was thinking, but I knew that together me and Sean could do anything.  And what do you know, now we had a chain of little gas stations.  It was really amazing how much he did, living with “his” motto:

Little Things Matter. 

Sean was brilliant, and a very good friend…

… when he wasn’t around me, however, he was around some very not nice people.

I still think I should’ve done more to put a stop to that because one night I got the call that I dreaded, I wasn’t that surprised but I was still heartbroken.  I’ve been downplaying the level of crazy, party and outrageous that Sean lived, that’s why the call I got wasn’t shocking, sad but not a shock…

At the age of 22, Sean died.

Soon after that our other friend Greg died too

Right after that the fourth guy, Kyle, totally disappeared, nobody knew what happened to him.

At Sean’s funeral when I talked about how amazing and brilliant he was, so many people were blown away because they had no idea, but at least one guy did…

The next day I got a call from his parole officer.

We are all going to die, make sure you live

There was a deeper impact Sean had been making.

After learning about all the amazing things Sean was doing, and the fact that Sean’s money wasn’t coming from drugs, the officer had Sean mentor other young people.  After the funeral the parole officer gave me a letter that Sean had written to explain how he was able to turn his life around.

The officer said the letter was to me and that he wanted to make sure I got it.

I won’t read it all to you but I’ll read you part of it from the end. 

You should know that we all had nicknames for each other and for all sorts of other random stuff like whenever I or anybody else would gain weight we would call their gut a FLUGEN -and one name he called me was Blossum.

So here’s what Sean wrote:

It is crazy because I always thought that I was better than all of the stuff I was doing but it wasn’t until I met you that I realized a way that I could be a better person.

 

It’s like you could see a better person in me that nobody else could or wanted to see and it turned me into a different person, a better person, and when people ask me how I’m able to do all this I always say the same thing; we’ve been able to build this thing because now with everything that I do, whenever I do anything I always remember those three words:

 

 “Little Things Matter.”

 

What I’m saying Blossum, is that you were my NWA.

I’ve never looked at NWA the same since.

It is a weird thing reading this and sharing it with you now because I’ve gone over it so many times in my head and it rings in my head:

Little Things Matter.

It is why to this day you will NEVER find a student that I’ve ever worked with or a client that I have ever served – nobody will ever say that I did not do what I said I would – everything from the way I always make myself available walk everybody through every step no matter how many times it takes…

… until they understand exactly what to do and WHY.

No matter what business or student I work with, anything that I get involved with, everybody will agree that same obsession is brought into every minute detail.  Because…

Little Things Matter.

When students embrace the power of this lesson, it changes their lives, here are a few examples…

We had a Hero who was a real estate investor and instead of just telling people that he bought and sold houses whenever he talked to a seller right afterwards he would drive by their house and leave them a handwritten personal account of why he was in real estate.

Imagine you talk to somebody from his team and next thing you know you could a personal, handwritten note from him about about his mission to save families from being homeless like his family was he was growing up. 

Think about that every seller getting a personal visit and a letter like that.

Tthat’s how he was able to work part time and make over $3,000 a week

“Little Things Matter.”

Little things matter examples to grow businesses

Heroes Create Social Mobility.

Another Hero told me that her dream was to play with dogs.  She had a dog walking business but it was struggling.  So instead of just telling people that she could take care of pets she would research your specific breed and your family members and she would give you…

A list of all the best and safest pet toys, food and water nutrients…

The best times to feed, the best ways to raise your pet, the best other dogs or cats to play with, what kind of TV shows and music are best…

You get the idea.

Soon her clients wouldn’t want her to walk the dogs when they were gone they wanted her to get all the best stuff and play with the dogs.  She became more of a caretaker and by setting playdates she could work with several clients at once.

This is how she was able to make over $500/day just playing with dogs. 

Little Things Matter.

Get crazy.

You don’t even have to have a business, even if you have just a regular job you can do the same thing.  That’s what our Heroes Amina and Kelly did, she was a waitress and she saw that the biggest tippers were reading similar magazines and articles so she started preparing reading material for them.

When they came in they would have reading material and information set aside just for them and then she schedule get togethers at the resturant based on their mutual interests.  This is similar how to many on our team have grown restuarants with fantasy football nights and things like that.

Eventually Millie turned this into a Model where they get local authors and journalists

They would come in as guests on topics that their biggest spenders wanted to know about.  It is how they made extra $1,000 a week and worked less than two hours a week.  Millie has made millions with this idea and introducing to restaurants around the country and now with Heroes in Dubai…

Little Things Matter.

There is NOTHING stopping you from doing little, tiny, (seemingly) uselessly trivial things just a LITTLE better.  That voice telling you it won’t matter?  It is just an excuse, and like any excuse it is just a bodyguard for laziness.  MAKE IT MATTER – and it doesn’t even have to be money related at all…

You can CHOOSE to get addicted to the RIGHT things.

Once of the most important steps you can take is to regain (or, probably more accurate gain) control of your mind and what makes you feel good.  All addictions start with something that feels good and is easy to do and SEEMS easy to quit.

Check out our Addiction Curve below:

Graph explaining the Addiction Curve and why quitting is easy when you don't want to

The Addiction Curve Makes Quitting Seem Easy… until you want to.

This is exactly how “They” have programmed us. 

They” = the government, media and corporations. 

It is basically one group for sure, but the demon presents itself in many forms.  They want you giving away your power, playing it small and living a life of distraction.  As long as you play in the shallow waters of your potential and your ambitions stay leashed, they have nothing to worry about.

We do a lot of deals in Silicon Valley, the highest concentration of wealth in any radius ever known to man.  Their power comes from making apps, programs and technology in general – ADDICTIVE.  That is their primary goal – to make it addictive.  To do this they use three levers called…

The G.E.M. Framework

Good Feeling – There has to be a dopamine hit, it doesn’t have to be huge but it MUST feel good.

Easy – It must be easy to get this release and reward on demand, so just a swipe or tap at most.

Momentum – We are most likely to do what we already did, all effort/energy has a force field.

Check out this breakdown of the G.E.M. Framework.

Notes explaining how Silicon Valley makes tech addictive

That is how THEY keep you addicted, can you break this cycle?

Yes breaking out of the matrix is possible.  

There is a GREAT example of this from a Dave Chappelle interview with Stephen Colbert.  Chappelle was always known as incredibly skinny and almost frail, enough so to convincly play a crackhead.  Then all of a sudden he got a great body and Colbert asked him about that.

Chappelle’s answer is a PERFECT example of hacking addiction.

Chappelle said that he worked out a LITTLE to feel better and get healthier and then somebody told him that he was looking good and then, in his words he was:

“Off To The Races.”

What does that mean exactly?

We know that ALL human behavior hinges on three things:

Trigger – what makes you want to do something.

Response – the thing that you do after the trigger.

Reward – you MUST get something out of it in order to continue.

Then this process repeats but every time you get more results.

In Dave’s case:

Trigger: need to feel better.

Response: Dave works out.

Reward: People say he looks good.

The process keeps repeating except everything is more, he works out more and looks even better and then more people tell him that he’s looking better and he gets fueled from that to do it again and the process repeats itself.

If you hack this you can CHOOSE your addiction.

Dave Chappelle teaches us how to use addiction to your advantage

YES you really can choose your addictions.

There are few things – basically nothing – that will determine how you’ll go more than what you train yourself to think feels good.  The reason people to bad behaviors that hurt them is becuase they have attached a good feeling to that behavior.

Several years after Sean’s funeral I heard from a guy who told me that he was one of the people who was being mentored by Sean.  When Sean died he went into deep depression.  Eventually he got his life together and now he’s a drug and substance abuse counselor in Minnesota.

On his desk he has a wooden sign that reads:

“Little Things Matter.”

Bodyguards and the quote that excuses are the bodyguards of laziness
Another exolanation of making things worth more money is the key to passive income

And he always remembered that lesson that he learned from Sean.

And this guy, the counselor…

Guess who it was?

It was Kyle.

Our actions have ripple effects

Little Things Matter.

LITTLE THINGS MATTER.

That’s the point, what you do isn’t determined by what you do it’s HOW you do it.  The role that you play in the world isn’t based on what you do or how somebody else would define your role.  It ALWAYS depends on the role that you choose to play.

It comes down to the way that you choose to look at what you do.

Give your people the gift of obsession

Your CARING.

You can show them just how much…

Little Things Matter.

And finally, remember this…

Most people are so myopic and narrow minded that they will shun any piece of education that challenges their limiting beliefs.  Education closes weak minds and opens strong minds, the same way that the same gust of air suppresses a match but spreads a fire. 

Don’t be a match: 

If you’re ready to get trained APPLY at WeBuildEmpires.com.

Also to good friends Greg and my Brother Sean, I ask you all to please keep them in your prayers.  Sean, wherever you are Brother – if you hear this God Bless

I’m still carrying our torch, our story lives on Godwilling

You were my NWA.

Godspeed. 

Picture of WeBuildEmpires.com Training

As a follow up to this…

Over the years I’ve kept in touch with many of the friends Sean and I had made.  A few of them had gone through addiction challenges.  I’m so THANKFUL that I was in a better position to help and together we’ve been able to make some real progress.

A BIG THANK YOU to Ashley, Martin, Kyle and many others.

We’ve been able to help a lot of people and get them the help they needed for full recoveries.

More recently several family and friends of other addicts have contacted me, so I’ve added to this page.

There was another girl, somebody I had known since elementary school but we weren’t friends until Sean re-introduced us and we had spent a lot of time together.  Somebody I was friends with since we were in 5th grade gym together.

Her name was Lauren.

She was THAT girl at our school, the “hot girl” with everything going for her.  Ever since we first met it was obvious that she was going places.  Her parents had piles of money, she was flawlessly pretty but probably more than all of that:

She was a good person.

She was sweet, caring and always helpful.  She wasn’t the way most “pretty girls” are, she was very approachable and always smiled.  She threw great parties and always made sure everybody was having a good time.

Carmel, Indiana is one of the richest cities in America, often called the Beverly Hills of the Midwest.  Lauren was like Ms. Carmel, but in a good way.  She was wholesome, kind (rich haha) and an overall good person.

She was the LAST person you would think…

Oh how many times I’ve heard that when it comes to addiction.

I was so convinced that Lauren was okay that I didn’t drop everything and try to help the way I did when I heard about our other friends struggling.  Lauren had money, family, friends, resources, etc. why did she need me. right?

I still remember the last time I talked to her:

“So you’re good, right?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Alright, we’ll talk soon…”

We didn’t know it… but both of us were lying.

Maybe I should’ve done more than just left my number, maybe I should’ve called her or stopped by or being a BIT more nosey.  I knew she was in some kind of trouble but I assumed it was just a phase and because of all the resources that she had, everything would be okay.

I often thought to myself:

“Maybe you should’ve fu**ing learned from Sean!”

In December of 2016 it happened.

Lauren is gone.

She left behind a five year old son.

This stuff can happen to ANYBODY.

This is why it is so important that we all do our part in helping the people in our lives who are struggling with the addiction monster.  Help these folks come clean. 

It can save their lives.

These are the last pictures of Lauren. 

Lauren was a great person.

She will be missed, until we meet again Sister… 

… I should also tell you more about Sean.

Sean was beautiful.

Sean came from a poor background.

But his ambition more than made up for whatever shortcomings we had.  We started multiple different companies and he always made them work.  His drive, hustly and charisma made him unstoppable. Sean was loving, caring and funny.

He was smart and NOT lazy in the slightest.  That’s a rare combination but Sean had it.  When it was time to work he was all in.  That’s how we were able to build companies together so fast.  I miss so many of our conversations about taking over the world.

Sean had a rare brilliance.

He knew how to talk to others, his laugh was contagious and genuinely cared about helping people.  He had ambitions and big dreams AND he knew that anybody could do anything.  Above so many other things was the fact that he was NICE, people as “cool” as him were never nice to me, but Sean was.

Here are some words from his Mom, Patty:

From Sean’s Mom, Pat:

Sean was the most caring and compassionate kid we knew. He was always looking after his friends. He would always brighten anybody’s mood when they were down with his great smile and silly sense of humor.  He loved kids, elderly people and his dogs.

Sean had a lot of spirit.  He loved God.

He’d kiss his cross around his neck every day.  He also loved his family. His love and concerns were with us every day.  

We didn’t get to spend much time with him in the last few months and missed him a great deal.  We did get to spend his 22nd birthday with him.

We had so much fun. He also was able to spend a few days with his grandparents.  These wonderful memories of that weekend and hundreds of others very special times will always be remembered and cherished.

We will always love and miss you Sean.

WITH ALL OUR LOVE,

SEAN’S FAMILY.

I might as well turn this page into Mini-Memorial.

I thought about this and…

Pat said that if I ever put a page like this up I should include memories from others.  Others have mentioned that the guest book on Sean’s funeral page was going to possibly expire.  That would delete over 15 years of messages, so I thought that THIS page here could serve as a safe backup.

I can make sure this page stays up at no charge to the family.

Here are the notes from Pat and Sean’s sister Joell:

NOTE from Azam: 

This was from his sister Joell, about three weeks after:

SEAN,

YOU’VE BEEN MY THOUGHTS 24 HOURS A DAY. I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT YOU. YOU’RE EVERYWHERE I LOOK.

I KNOW THE PAIN YOU FELT IN LIFE AND LOVE. I ALWAYS WANTED YOU TO REALIZE THAT I LOVED YOU AND UNDERSTOOD ALL THE FRUSTRATIONS IN YOUR LIFE, I WANTED MORE THAN ANYTHING TO HELP YOU FIND THE RIGHT PATH AND FIND COMPLETE HAPPINESS.

I NOW BELIEVE YOU’VE FOUND IT…ETERNAL HAPPINESS.

YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE A VERY SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART SEAN AND I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE FUN AND LAUGHTER WE HAD TOGETHER. I MISS YOU!!

YOUR BIG SIS

NOTE from Azam: 

This was about three months later:

Sean,
It’s almost another Friday. Each Friday each week is really hard to face. It’s always a reminder of another week gone by without you. I wish you knew how much we all miss you. I hope your with us in spirit and will look after everyone. I love you Sean.

To all that have participated in Sean’s memorial book:
Thank you so much. Each one has touched me so much.

NOTE from Azam: 

This was about two years later:

I can’t believe it’s been 2 years to this date, April 23, 2001. You’ve been on our minds and in our hearts all day. I planted a rose 2 years ago in your memory and was hoping it would bloom today.

It didn’t but I know when it does it will bring a warm spot in my heart. We miss you so much. Especially your silly things you say and do. I was thinking today about a day I went up to Carmel and brought you a sandwich (we laugh at the bean sprouts, “you said, are you giving me a grass sandwich!).

On my way out you gave me a big hug. I can still feel it right now. You didn’t give me hugs very often. They were all special to me, but THAT one was very special to me.

It was our last one.

I’m sure we’ll meet and hug again. I love you little brother and won’t ever forget your smiles and laughter (especially when you were young). Send Grampa, Billy, Tom, and of course Ziggy my love. 

See you in my dreams….your big sis

NOTE from Azam: 

This was about two years after the above:

Sean, 

You are always in my thoughts but are very very much in the past few days. I have lost another brother so close in my heart and find it so unfair to lose Brandon too.

I hope you are near me in spirit and help me get thru this. I hope that it really is wonderful where you and Brandon are and can’t wait to reunite. I miss you so much. 

Love, 
your big sista

NOTE from Azam: 

This was a while after the previous:

It’s been a long time since I signed the guestbook. 8 years have gone by already since your death. You’d be 30 years old this year. It’s hard to believe. I think about what you would be doing with your life.

I imagine you’d have a kid. I bet you’d be driving Mom’s Camaro that she’d probably end up giving you. You’d probably have a healthy beer belly by now , 5 more tatoos and maybe a big hoop in your nose. I think you would have found that many people adored you. I think you would have found a job skill that you enjoyed too.

I really miss hanging out with you. There’s not a day that has passed when I didn’t think about you. We would be having so much fun at this time of our lives. I regret being so caught up in my life while I had you here. I really wish we would have spent more time together in those last couple years.

I love you.

Your sis

NOTE from Azam: 

Below is a picture of Joelle on Pat’s right, then below that are the messages Pat sent to Sent This was a while after the previous:

NOTE from Azam: 

This was the first message his Mom left it was the first December after Sean:

SEANIE,

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT I’VE WRITTEN YOU.

IT’S HARD TO FIND THE WORDS WHEN I START TO WRITE YOU SOMETHING.
THE WORDS JUST COME AT THE MOMENT THAT I AM THINKING OF YOU
AND THAT’S QUITE OFTEN, ESPECIALLY AT WORK WHEN I LOOK AT
YOUR PICTURES IN FRONT OF ME OR AT JOELL’S WHEN I’M AT HOME
LOOKING AT YOUR PICTURES IN THE FAMILY ROOM, THE FRIDGE DOOR,
MY BEDROOM, THE LIVING ROOM.

NEXT THING YOU KNOW I’LL HAVE A POSTER SIZE PICTURE LIKE THAT ONE I HAD OF TOM SELLECK ON THE BATHROOM DOOR IN N.Y. REMEMBER THAT?

ANYWAY…. YOU ARE IN MY THOUGHTS SO MUCH AND I MISS YOU SO BAD. I EVEN KNOW HOW MUCH YOU HATE FOR ME TO BE SAYING ALL THIS STUFF
NOW, CAUSE IT PISSED YOU OFF WHEN I GOT ALL SAD FOR YOUR DAD
AND YOU ARE PROBABLY SAYING TO YOUR DAD RIGHT NOW “THERE SHE
GOES AGAIN, THINKING ABOUT YOU”.

YAH, I GUESS WHEN I THINKOF ONE, I CANNOT HELP THINKING OF THE OTHER. IT HAS BEEN THAT WAY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME WITH US. ALL I KNOW IS I FEEL A GREAT COMFORT THAT YOU ARE WITH YOUR DAD AND TOMMY AND WHOEVER ELSE IS AROUND YOU THESE DAYS.

I HOPE YOU ARE WATCHING OVER ALL OF US HERE AND TIME WILL PASS QUICKLY WHEN I CAN SEE YOU AGAIN.

I LOVE YOU SEANIE.

NOTE from Azam:

Then this was about a week later:

IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS EVE AND I FEEL SO WIERD WITHOUT YOU.

IT DOES NOT EVEN FEEL LIKE CHRISTMAS. I TRY NOT TO THINK A LOT ABOUT IT, BUT YOU ARE ON MY MIND A LOT.  I LOOK AT ALL YOUR PICTURES THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE AND THE ONES ON MY DESK AT WORK AND JUST WISH I COULD BE WITH YOU AGAIN THIS YEAR.

I HOPE YOU WILL BE RIGHT THERE

BESIDE ME WHEN WE OPEN OUR PRESENTS AND GIVE ME A PLEASANT DREAM FOR MY X-MAS GIFT.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SEAN AND WILL ALWAYS.

SAY HELLO TO EVERYONE I KNOW WITH YOU, ESPECIALLY YOUR DAD.

I MISS HIM VERY MUCH TOO. UNTIL THEN

NOTE from Azam:

Then this was some time later, about a year before Pat herself passed:

Well here it is 15 yrs since you’ve been taken from my world. I miss u so much. Now you have Grandpa, Grandma & Aunt Theresa & Uncle David with you too. I wonder what it’s like in your world. Just stay close & watch over your old Mom.

Love you!!!

NOTE from Azam:

Then about four years later a family friend Angela said:

Just wanna say hay.. miss u.. hope ur w ur mom lookin down on us.. love n miss u ..alot!

===

Unfortunately Sean’s mother, Pat, passed on November 14th, 2015.

To be clear, Pat passed from natural causes not addiction or anything like that.

Something about that last message from Angela always gets me, like you can watch the whole process of mourning all the way to joining.  I trust they are all doing well.   To Sean, Greg and Lauren (and anybody else in the struggle) you can make it.

The cost of addiction

Over the years I’ve heard from more and more people who’ve been helped and some we’ve lost. 

Some of other friends have passed too and in some ways this page is the only memorial that they’ll ever have.  I’ve been surprised by how many people have asked me about this page.  I’ll include words from family.

In 2011 we lost Ryan.

I met Ryan when we lived in the same apartment complex and he was a maniac about working out and lifting weights.  Ryan was by FAR the most ripped kid at our school, and I was the opposite so he taught me some of my first lessons about weightlifting.  He kept his incredible physical shape until the end.

Ryan served as a reserve firefighter and EMT the local fire department.  Ryan was was dedicated, caring and while he hated smiling for pictures he was a teddy bear.  I’ll always remember lifting weights with you and hoping my biceps looked like yours one day, you were kind to me when few others were…

You are missed Brother.

We lost Bryan in 2019, days before his birthday.

Bryan and I lived on the same street in early junior high and we hung all the time, in high school we used to go snowboarding together.  Bryan always did well with girls, he was very good looking, charismatic and very nice.  We used to sneak out every night in the summer and prowl the “mean streets” of Carmel.

One night we were all playing spin the bottle.  A boy and girl would get “randomly” picked and then go in the closet for 5 minutes alone, presumably to make out, grope, etc.  Nothing hard core guys, get your head out of the gutter.  So I got paired with a girl and she said “ewww” and everybody laughed, I left.

Bryan got paired with his crush (for years) who was the “hottest” girl in school.

I was already gone and walking down the street, I looked back and there was Bryan coming after me.  He said if I wasn’t staying neither was he and “fu** her” to that other girl for being mean to me.  All these years later I still remember that feeling, he ditched the dream girl he’d been crushing on – for me.

I remember the exact street and even the exact street lamp we were standing at there in Foster Grove, I felt a Brotherhood I knew would last for life.  A few years before he passed he sent me a text exchange he had with a mutual friend.  Turns out that girl who was grossed out about kissing me got married.

The marriage fell apart after her “husband” transitioned into a woman and sued her for abuse.

Bryan sent me screenshots of that conversation with one word: “Ewww“.

It touched me that he still remembered how it had hurt me and how much I remembered it, it felt like he was still with me like he was that night.  Since this, I’ve always thought that sometimes painful things happen so that you can learn the pleasure of having real friends. 

Thank you for that – I’ll always remember you Bryan.

His friends all knew him as “D”, “D-Double” or one of the many other nicknames he took on, but to his family he was always “Bryan”. Whatever he went by, he never knew a stranger. His signature smile and a handshake was all it took. He had such a charming personality and was fun to be around.

People gravitated toward him.

 

Bryan was always ready for his next adventure. He enjoyed snowboarding in the Rockies, surfing the west coast, wake boarding in the nearest lake, and kayaking the nearest river or stream. He ran, rode a bike, and even did yoga. While out and about, when he came across street art, he always stopped. He had an appreciation for this less traditional form of expression. Often he would snap a photo to share on Instagram or send to a friend he thought might enjoy it.

 

Bryan was a kind, caring person. He had a good heart. He considered himself blessed for the life he lived and the chances he was given. Although he was taken too soon, those who have been left behind feel blessed to have known him.

Victor passed during Covid.

I used to HATE Vic, he beat me up and was THE MAIN reason I started boxing, wrestling and MMA stuff.  Later, after high school we became good friends.  I used to hate him, but that all changed we loved each other.  Victor was a nut, a wild kid like Sean but he was caring, hard working and HILARIOUS.  

Victor worked in construction all his life but his true passion was his family.  He will always be remembered for how he cherished time spent with family and friends and also his love of music.

Blessings – Thoughts and – Prayers to you all…

I’m here to help, we all are…

… Until we meet again…

Godspeed.

– Azam

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Make the Universe Smile.

~ Indy Anna
Love (at) BigReia.com
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