Father and business coach Quentin McCain, of Scottsdale, possesses the kind of charisma and warm smile that easily wins over clients. But if you had told him 10 years ago that he’d turn out to be successful entrepreneur with a long track record of helping others, he would have laughed in your face.
An Intensely Challenging Environment
Growing up in Phoenix, down the street from wealthier children exposed to countless personal-enrichment opportunities, Quentin spent his days mired in an intensely challenging environment. His father was never around, and his single mother worked around the clock, leaving him to fend for himself much of the time.
Almost by default, Quentin found him surrounded by peers who preferred fighting over books. While he was close to the single mother who raised him, his best friends were the kind of guys who were regularly spending nights in jail. As a result, he simply assumed his life path was set in stone because he didn’t grow up with money or privilege.
“I was into fighting because I really wanted to appear as tough, like I didn’t care,” Quentin recalls. “It was just the mindset of wanting to be seen, to be known as ‘this guy who won’t let you talk crazy.’ I always had it in the back of my head that this wasn’t going to be the life for me, but I didn’t know anything else.”
Over the years, petty crimes turned into life-threatening scenarios, such as getting robbed at gunpoint. The streak would have continued, except for a couple of life-changing events: first, a near-fatal car accident when Quentin, then 18, fell asleep at the wheel, followed by the birth of his daughter a few years later.
The Wake-Up Call
“I crashed into a light pole and broke my right femur and broke three ribs, and the ribs punctured my lungs,” he recalls. “That was a wakeup call. Then, my daughter was born, and my mind really started shifting.”
To help pay childcare expenses, Quentin hobbled together a resume and landed a decent-paying job working in the Arizona Burn Center ICU.
“That’s where I started really talking to people, asking ‘how’s it going?’ and trying to give them advice as I helped make splints and assist them,” says Quentin. “I saw that talking to them helped them a ton. And then I realized, ‘man, I could really help people by talking to them.’”
This realization sat with him as he continued working, sometimes struggling to balance fatherhood with professional development. He enrolled in several college courses to beef up his skills. But it wasn’t until 2009 when a friend of Quentin’s handed him a CD by Jim Rohn that everything clicked. The CD provided the final push he needed to seal his commitment to a new life path. Armed with Rohn’s motivational guidance, Quentin channeled all of his efforts into building his client base, in the process authoring an Amazon #1 Bestseller with his mother, Think on These Things.
“The main thing I got from the CD was that any two years of your life can be drastically different from the last two years with a changed mindset,” says Quentin. “I was inspired to write a book with my mom because I wanted people to feel how I now felt after reading and immersing myself in personal development. I knew it could change lives and I could be a conduit for change as well.
A Successful Coaching Practice
Today, his coaching practice is centered on unlocking innovation and building “outrageous confidence.” He utilizes his personal experiences and the proven principles of neuro-linguistic programming taught by business masters including Tony Robbins.
“In studying neuro-linguistic programming and cognitive behavioral therapy, I learned powerful techniques for shifting emotional states, destroying limiting beliefs that halt success and extreme goal setting to eliminate procrastination and boost productivity in life and business,” he adds.
In shifting his mindset around his self worth, Quentin simultaneously changed his mindset around money, too, and is now well on his way to achieving Financial Freedom.
Quentin McCain’s Five Tips
For individuals who want some of what Quentin has, here are his five best tips:
- Be aware of your environment. “Look at the people you’re hanging out with,” says Quentin. “What have they accomplished? You’ll see you’re probably right around where they are.”
- Pay attention to signs. “I had multiple chances to make a shift in my life, but it took awhile for me to get it,” says Quentin. “By quieting your mind, and paying attention to your gut instinct, you’ll be able to avoid many wrong turns.”
- Read as much as possible. While writing is cathartic, reading gives us the essential knowledge we need to make wise decisions. Quentin suggests reading as many inspiring personal stories of entrepreneurs as possible—especially ones who broke out of poverty. “That really changed my mindset a lot.”
- Ditch the ‘broke’ mindset. Money problems didn’t leave Quentin the minute he earned his first paycheck from coaching, because he had to spend much of his earnings on fixing his car. But by adopting the belief that financial abundance was possible for anyone, regardless of education or upbringing, he was able to start earning what he was worth and open up savings accounts. “I realized that my thoughts around money were poverty mentality,” says Quentin. “But once I got out of that mentality, I realized I could take money management courses to improve my finances.” His first tip for getting out of debt and working toward Financial Freedom is simple: Write down everything you are earning (e.g., use a spreadsheet), so you can see what’s coming in and what’s going out. Doing this helped him start a plan for building wealth.
Perhaps the most important lesson he has to impart to others starting their own businesses—or trying to get out of a rut—is to let go of all negative thoughts. Recently, one of Quentin’s favorite clients (an older man who came to him with the desire to build his confidence after a series of unfortunate circumstances) had little luck in changing his life until Quentin finally persuaded him to let go of the “I can’t” mentality.
“We all have those moments when we need a coach,” says Quentin. “Having the tools to get out and stay out of that funk is where the power is.”
Marisa Torrieri is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer specializing in personal finance, business, healthcare and technology. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and resides in Fairfield, CT. Her work has appeared in dozens of media outlets, including LearnVest, Forbes, The Washington Post, Business Insider, TIME and Health.com.