What Makes You Tick? - Episode 51
Oscar: I need to speak louder?
Melina: There you go. There you are.
Oscar: I feel like I'm yelling. Now?
Melina: That sounds better.
Oscar: Yeah, well that's what I'm saying. I feel like I'm really loud.
Melina: Oh, that sounds better.
Oscar: Down here, is it better?
Melina: Welcome to "Flippin' Off," a purpose driven podcast about flipping houses and making a difference.
Melina: Hello, hello, hello, everybody. Melina Boswell here, Co-founder of New Wealth Advisors Club. A great day here. Today, with me, I have some really good friends, which is exciting for me. So I have Tim Wilkinson.
Melina: And Oscar Solares.
Oscar: Good morning.
Melina: Or afternoon, or evening, you don't even know when they're listening. It is morning for us.
Oscar: It is, yeah.
Melina: Good day.
Oscar: Good day. Good day, mate.
Melina: And today we have a very good friend. A personal friend of mine, and a personal friend, and a great asset of the club, Mr. Mike Young.
Mike: Hello, everybody.
Melina: Hello. So many of you, if you've been listening to us for any length of time, you know that New Wealth Advisors Club is a group of people committed to empower and encourage all people to realize their core purpose in life. And with this realization, we believe everyone can live an inspired life full of enthusiasm as they, in turn, inspire others.
Tim: That's pretty much it.
Melina: So that is actually our mission statement. And as I was thinking about this podcast today, it's one that I've been wanting to do. It's been on my agenda, my mental agenda for a long time. Because I think it's really important for everybody to hear from Mike Young. And it relates directly to, I was just thinking, as I said that out loud, and by the way, I had no intention of reading or saying, I guess, our mission statement. But as I was thinking through why we're doing this, and why this has been so big on my agenda, it's because it is in direct correlation to our mission statement and that is the story of Mike Young. So welcome.
Mike: Thank you.
Melina: So Mike, why don't you just kinda share with everybody, if you would. You have a very, very special story. It's one that I know has personally impacted me in my life, in a really, really powerful way. And so, I thought it was important for you to share that with our listeners. So would you share a little bit, just like, you know, you were born with...I was going to make a joke, but I'm not going to. So would you just share a little bit about your health journey? Because I think this is a unique story, and that it's really about your personal health and your personal journey and where that's taken you to, today.
Mike: Well, I wasn't born with a cardiomyopathy. They found it when I was about one years old. And I was able...
Tim: Excuse me. What is cardiomy...? What'd you say?
Tim: What is that?
Mike: ...is a large heart.
Mike: And I had mild cardiomyopathy. That's what I was diagnosed with for until when I was about 14. And around 14, I just started getting real sick. I started going to the doctors, ERs, and it took about a month, two months to find out what I had. And cardiomyopathy means an enlarged heart. So around 14, I really stretched out, and my heart wasn't able to support my body anymore. So I started, you know, deteriorating real fast, and I got put on the transplant list.
Melina: At 14 years old.
Mike: At 14 years old. And I was at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. And that's where I was on the transplant list. I was in the hospital for about three months until they decided to try out putting me on an LVAD. At the time...and LVAD stands for left ventricular assist device. So the LVADs were only for adults at that time, but since I was really tall, they were able to put it on me, inside of me. And I was the first patient at Children's Hospital to have an LVAD. At the time, I was the youngest person in the world to have an LVAD. And I was able to survive because an LVAD is a bridge to transplant, so I was able to survive the journey to wait for a transplant. I had an LVAD for, I think, about two and a half, three months and then I was able to get a transplant.
Melina: And so, were you in the hospital for that whole time? You were in the hospital while the LVAD was in, when you were waiting for the transplant?
Mike: Yeah, I couldn't leave. I was in the hospital for about seven months, while waiting and then about two months or two weeks after, I was able to leave.
Tim: Two weeks after the transplant, not after the LVAD?
Mike: No. So the LVAD actually messed up on me a couple of times. It twice, it detached, one of the stitches came loose that were connected to the heart. So I started internally bleeding, and then they had to rush me into emergency surgery. And then the second time it happened again, and they had to rush me up to fix it. But it was such a new device at the time that things would happen. So they were able to fix it.
Melina: They guinea pigged you.
Mike: Yeah, luckily, I mean, because I wouldn't have made it without it, yeah.
Melina: Wow, that's incredible. So then, a donor was found.
Mike: A donor was found, and I had the surgery about two weeks after the last time they fixed the LVAD. And I've been very...pretty much good since then.
Melina: So can you talk to us a little bit about when you had the transplant, and then you were in the hospital for two weeks, and you were 14 years old.
Melina: And you then come home. So here you are in, I guess, high school, right?
Mike: Yeah, I was in ninth grade.
Melina: In ninth grade. And a freshman in high school, I can't imagine, because that's not difficult enough, right?
Melina: Like, that's not a funky enough time in your life. And now, you've got somebody else's heart in your body, keeping you alive.
Mike: Yeah, so after I got home, I was homeschooled until the rest of the year and summer. And then, I started going to the high school that was... Well, actually, my parents were able to buy a house. My grandma was very, she was very proactive. So during the time when we were younger, my parents always rented. And my grandma was very proactive, and she would write letters...she actually wrote letters to Hillary Clinton.
And Hillary Clinton, I guess, wrote back to somebody at The City of Los Angeles, and they were able to get some kind of loan for my parents to buy their first house. And that house was...that they found, was a couple of blocks away from where I grew up. It was about a block away from my high school, that I ended up going to, Eagle Rock High School.
Melina: Eagle Rock.
Mike: Eagle Rock High School.
Melina: That's awesome. Yeah, I knew that your grandmother was really politically active. And we've talked about this before, so that's an interesting...I forgot about that until you just now said it.
Mike: Yeah, so during the time, it was good, I mean, my grandma because me, and my sister are really close. She's also a club member. And we always shared her bedroom. We're only 11 months apart. And my grandma really wanted, like, myself to have my own room growing up. And after everything, being so sick, that she was just proactive. And, you know, kept writing letters and she got a response, and it helped my family out tremendously.
Tim: That's awesome.
Oscar: Yeah, it's pretty cool
Melina: That was totally awesome. So then what? So you're recovering, and now you've started 10th grade, I guess at Eagle Rock High School.
Mike: Yeah, I started 10th grade and then... Well, I grew up going to a Catholic school. And I was going to a Catholic private school for high school, but when I got sick, I just went to the public school close by because I just wasn't...I didn't think it was important, high school at the time. I just was wanting to just live life and enjoy it with like the time that I thought I had left.
Melina: So can you talk about that and like you believed that...? Yeah.
Mike: Well, at the time, it was so long ago. I had my transplant 22 years ago. They were fairly new, so the life expectancy wasn't very long and that had to do with...a lot of the transplant patients prior were very old, so they were passing away, but not due to complications with the transplant. They were passing away from cancer or whatever else that was wrong with them. So they really didn't like...at the time, I now was kinda told, was about 5, 10 years, if I was lucky. So I really...
Melina: And that was just based on data they had?
Mike: That was just based on the data at the time, yeah.
Tim: So for the age group, they had no data.
Mike: There wasn't really, to my knowledge, there wasn't really data. My surgeon was one of the top surgeons in the U.S. And he really, from what I understand, he really started doing the baby transplants because it was so hard because everything's so small.
Melina: Sure, wow. So that's interesting, you know, you really didn't...at 14 years old, you didn't...it was difficult for you to really see any future because for you, the future was by getting through high school, you wanted to have fun.
Tim: Yeah, at 20 years old.
Mike: Yeah, I didn't really expect to be, you know, 21.
Melina: Wow, so you were gonna live it up until then.
Mike: I did live it up.
Melina: That's great. So then, you make it through high school, and then you do make it to your 21st birthday.
Mike: Right. I started working for The City of Los Angeles. And I started coaching. I started coaching a lot of sports, but mainly, I started coaching girls softball. And I think I really found a knack for it. I started getting really good players and that was kind of my passion, just coaching and enjoying life, working, you're in there for some money.
Melina: Okay. So you felt like coaching gave you intention?
Mike: Yeah, coaching for me was giving back. I grew up playing baseball. And I really...like, my father coached me, my uncles coached me. And I thought I got so much out of that. And you learn discipline, you learn teamwork. You know, and some of those people I played baseball with are still good friends with me to this day.
Melina: And you were coaching a very specific or a pretty unique group of girls, really?
Mike: Yeah, I coached...
Melina: Could you share about that?
Mike: Well, I didn't coach in the best areas. So there's a lot of, just different challenges that they had, a lot of gangs, a lot of drugs, you know, absentee parents and stuff. So one of the things I really intentionally did was make sure that they knew that I was committed to coaching and I'll be there. I wasn't the best coach at first, but I got better through the years.
And I started coaching in a couple of high schools. And the last years coaching, I coached at Lincoln High School. And we, you know, we started getting a lot of girls to college and it just...it was amazing. It was an amazing journey to help with those girls. One of the girls is graduating, I think, from UCLA this week or next week. And, you know...
Melina: That's a big deal. That's life-changing. It's completely life-changing for them.
Mike: Yeah, it's awesome that they were able to take, you know, what we gave them and, you know, use it in their life and, you know, play sports and get a free education, yeah.
Melina: Right. So then, at some point, you decided you wanted to be a real estate investor.
Mike: Yeah, I actually wanted to do real estate since I was like right out of high school. Me and my cousin, we actually would go to the bookstores and hang out. And we ended up buying, you know, two real estate books. He bought one, I bought one. We were supposed to switch them off, but we never did.
Melina: Did you buy, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad?"
Mike: I did buy, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad."
Melina: Of course, the best one.
Mike: Yeah, and he actually bought...I think Trump's, "The Art Of The Deal."
Mike: Yeah, and dad [SP] wanted me to get into real estate. I bought a couple of other "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" books. And, but I didn't know where to go from there, you know, there was no, really, support system. Not like today, with the Internet and everything.
Melina: And so, at some point, you found yourself at the club, you and your sister?
Mike: Yeah, me, and my sister were going to other seminars and trainings. And then we, you know, by chance happened to find the club, and we joined. We went to the introduction. My sister was totally not wanting to go because we'd just spent quite a bit of money at another program. And I was like, "Oh, let's go. You know, what, what can we lose?" You know, I'd never been in Riverside before. I'm an LA person.
Mike: Yeah, it was like...
Melina: In the sticks.
Tim: "All the way out there in Riverside. No way."
Oscar: "I'll go check it out."
Mike: Yeah. So, you know, we came out and within, I think 5,10 minutes of listening to Dave speak, we were like, "All right, which one of us are paying for this?" And yeah, that was, basically, we've never looked back since then.
Melina: Yeah, so and what year was that?
Mike: I think it was...was it 2013?
Melina: I think so.
Mike: Because 2013...
Melina: I was thinking 2013, or something like that.
Mike: It was 2013. September 2013, I think. It was RPP.
Melina: Okay. Good, so now through the years we've become friends.
Mike: Yeah, we're very close friends.
Melina: We are very close friends. And so, I know for me personally. Well, so why don't you talk about what happened to you? It was in 2015 when you...? Yeah, 2015.
Mike: Yeah, in 2015, I got in a little accident at work. And a little bit after that I started feeling sick again. And they ended up finding a leak in my heart. So right after that, they told me that I needed to get my tricuspid valve replaced.
Melina: I don't know what that means, except for there's a valve that's leaking, right? That's really what it means. There's a valve that's leaking in your...
Mike: In my heart. Yeah, so when like the valve opens and closes, so, you know, there's no backflow and it, you know, that's the proper way that the heart's supposed to function. Basically, the door wouldn't close all the way. So there was backflow.
Melina: Got it.
Interviewee: And that was causing the leak. That was the leak, was one of the, basically, one of the doors wasn't shutting all the way. So they had to come in and fix it, yeah.
Melina: So you had that surgery in 2015?
Mike: Yes, I had that on April 24th, 2015.
Melina: Okay. And so, from there, I just remember having a conversation, I was sharing with you earlier. I remember that you and I had a conversation, and I believe it was right after, I think it was in 2016, so it was probably maybe six or eight months after the second surgery. And why don't you talk about what they did with that surgery? You said that you had surgery, but what did they do?
Mike: Yeah, so that was actually my fifth open heart surgery because they had the LVAD, then they had to replace...they had to fix...the LVAD was my first one. They had to fix the LVAD twice. Then I had the heart transplant, and then I had the tricuspid valve, so that was my fifth. Yeah, I remember that night. I worked nights for 10 years at Warner Brothers.
And we were talking on the phone that day about our journeys. I think you just had your surgery. And I think I started telling you about, you know, what I really...at this point in my life, I don't see a cap to where I could go or how long I could live? So I was, you know, I started thinking about being more outspoken about organ donation and about, you know, really telling my story, which isn't always easy, but I, you know, I go out and do it.
I talked to a lot of patients that are waiting in the hospital for the transplant. So I'm really close with my transplant coordinator, and the team at Children's Hospital where I had my surgery, LA. And I'm close with my cardiologist at USC Keck, where, you know, I speak with patients both there and at Children's Hospital.
And I really wanna write a book one day. I want to start a nonprofit to really...that's kind of where I'm stuck because I don't know, exactly, the total direction I wanna go with that. I feel I want to really help children that are having to go into transplant more than adults. But I think it's just everybody.
And, you know, really seeing how people take to me telling my story and really sharing the stuff I do, it's really opened my eyes to kind of where it could go, and what else I could do to help. Just be more of an advocate for organ donation.
Melina: Yeah, because we were talking about this and I, you know, like I said, I read our mission statement, and if you listen to the mission statement, it is about helping people find their core purpose in life. And so, the conversation we were having was very much about that, like, "What does that look like?" And you really taking ownership of your story, and how powerful it is, and how unique you are, and how special you are.
And your heart has always been, Oscar made the comment earlier, that who you are as a person is you're always paying it forward. You always want to serve people, that you've never made your story about you. One of the things that you really don't want is to be painted as a victim.
Mike: Yeah, that's probably one of the reasons why I didn't tell people that I had a transplant. I mean, I knew people for, I mean, probably the year after I had my transplant, and they had no idea I had a transplant. Yeah, people that were around me at the time, they know, but it's not something you bring up to people.
Melina: No, right.
Mike: But social media, I'm able to share it, I guess, more freely.
Melina: Yeah, the mask of social media.
Melina: And, you know, I was thinking about this, we talked earlier, and you were saying that mentorship with Dave changed things for you. It helped you to...
Mike: Yeah, the mentorship with Dave was amazing. We had a really great group of people that were in the mentorship with me. And I was really glad I didn't take it with my sister because, at that time, Dave actually had two classes going at the same time. And we made it very intentional that Sonia [SP] will take one, I'll take the other. And, you know, I was able to share with the group that I did have a transplant and stuff, and what my goals were.
And about, I think, a few months or a month or two after we finished the mentorship, that's when I first got sick again. And one of the things that Dave had us doing, and we kept with, was being our gratitude journal. And it got to a point where I wasn't really...I couldn't say what I was grateful for without saying what was happening in my life.
So I remember I called Dave and I was...I know Dave was always busy. And, you know, he called me right back, which was awesome. And we talked for like 20 minutes on the phone about like, I was scared to have my surgery, but I wasn't scared. I never thought I was gonna die, with having my first surgery. I know how close I was to passing away because I was so sick. But I just never thought I would pass away. I grew up, I'm Catholic, and I really have a faith in God that He's gonna help me through everything.
And I had faith again that I was going to be fine and I was. And just having faith, you know, in the Lord that everything will be fine. But I do understand how bad everything is. You know, well, not bad, but how difficult, you know, and how many people don't get a transplant, how many people, you know, pass away while waiting for a transplant, how many people could pass away for rejection. That's like the main thing, like after you've had the surgery that they watch out for, the transplant teams, are rejection.
Because your body is...it's a foreign object, and your body's trying to fight anything that's not yours. So like, I have a low immune system that with medication that they lower it, keep it low. And just a lot of testing, and, you know, I'm at the hospital a lot.
Melina: Right. Exactly, and your health is really important. And so, I think, you know, Tim made this statement earlier as we were talking about, you know, your "why?" Like, why you're doing... One of the things that's really important to me in the culture of the club, is for people to utilize real estate as a vehicle for nothing more than to fulfill their ultimate core purpose in life. And I know that your core purpose...you know what your core purpose is, right?
We know it's definitely centered around transplant advocacy and the details of that are still being unfolded as we speak right now. And so, that's why I really wanted to highlight your story and your passion because I know it's a very important and a very powerful one. And Tim, made a statement earlier, about that. So, Tim, would you share a little bit about like what you were hearing as we were talking earlier with Mike? Could you just share that because I think it's really powerful?
Tim: Yeah, I mean, it really touches me just to have that conversation. I mean, I think it's huge. But, the thing that I kept hearing was just, you know, I think you've inspired me to look at things and get my name on a donors list, because I see you and the things that you're doing. And you know, you're talking to these kids who are scared for their life and helping them to get through that scary, scary, scary time, adults as well.
You're helping people there. You're spending your life coaching and getting these inner-city kids through college. And the way that it hit me is that you really gave meaning to the person who gave you their heart. Like, you didn't waste it, you know, I'm sure you took some time and lived it up a little bit like you said. But the way that I am hearing you is that I would be proud if my heart was living on.
Mike: Yeah, I mean it's very...you can't really explain to people. You know, being alive because somebody else has passed away. And, you know, I didn't know how to take it, you know, when I was younger. But I just knew I wanted to give back, I wanted to make an impact. And, you know, for many years I just thought I was gonna be coaching.
And then it got to a point where I want it to be bigger than coaching, you know, so I really wanted to start a business. You know, I found the club and so many great people at the club that are doing amazing things. And, you know, really being mentored by Melina, Dave and, you know, Oscar, you know, Tim. I think we got a lot closer with the masterminds. And, you know, I just want to make it bigger, you know, whatever I can give back.
Oscar: You know, so a lot of this I didn't know, right? Number one. So it's awesome that I'm sitting here listening to this. But what's also clear for me now is, because I always try to understand what makes people tick, right? No pun intended, but what makes them tick, right? And what makes them, how they show up, I guess is the best way to put it.
And I couldn't quite put my finger on you as to how you show up. Meaning, I saw how you showed up, but what drove you to be that way? Right, because I would see how you interact with different people and I'd also see a little bit of frustration in you sometimes, with certain people, right?
Oscar: And now I get it that the way you're driven isn't how other people are driven. And you see their potential, you see what they're capable of, you see the skillsets that they possess, and they're not taking advantage of those gifts, right? Versus your life. And so, now, it's like, "Oh, got it." And so, I appreciate the fact that I'm sitting here listening to all this because I think I can help you now, get those other people on board.
Melina: Yeah, It's, you know, the one thing about Mike is this, it's like you can't really complain or give a bunch of excuses about why you're doing anything or why you're not doing anything, to Mike.
Melina: That's what you're...yeah.
Oscar: That's exactly what I'm talking about.
Melina: He's like, "Are you kidding me? Really? You're tired?" Yeah.
Tim: No excuse. Like, truly, no excuse.
Melina: Yeah, exactly.
Oscar: And I think that's also what has allowed you to catapult those girls to do what they do, right? Because they see the passion in you. So now, for me, it's like people hearing your story, right? I want to work with you more because now I know what you can do and how committed you're going to be to do certain things, right? I mean it's kind of...
Melina: It's an interesting thing, Mike. Because what you aren't, is you can hear...everybody can hear how you're, you know, you're really pretty quiet. You're a man of few words. And, but you think very deeply, and you feel very deeply. And a lot of people don't really know that about you because you don't automatically share it. We can all now completely understand why. And so, for me personally, it was very important to highlight that and to... Well, this is part of my mentorship with you, is pushing you...
Mike: Thank you.
Melina: ...to just get out here in podcasting. And for those of you that are listening, you can just imagine what it feels like to be sitting here in this studio. It's a brand-new place that you've never been in. Let's face it, it's funky and funky awesome. But it's, one of my most favorite places is in this studio because of what I believe that it allows, it allows for a place to be really creative and vulnerable and that's important. And so, for people to get that you walk in here and we're like, "Hey, have a seat." With this microphone in your face, and these things on your ears, and cameras, and recording, and all.
You know, there's so much happening, and people don't really understand that. And so, I know that when I had you come here, I know I'm putting you like in the pressure cooker, in a huge way. But that was intentional because I love you. And this is how you grow, is from the heat being turned up, right? And here's what I know about you, you're the guy who's gonna show up. Always, always the guy who shows up. Like if I were to, I think Oscar made a good point, trying to understand you and how we see you, and how you show up, not everybody really gets it, but I one hundred percent get it. Like, every single time I see you standing in the room, at a training or in a mastermind, I always feel this sense of confidence, security, and inspiration.
Mike: Well thank you and thank you for pushing me, yeah.
Melina: He's like, "Thank you, I think."
Mike: No, I'm definitely thankful. I know I trust you. So, you know, when you asked me, and you guys asked me to come to the podcast, I hundred percent will be here. And, you know, I know you guys did it for a reason. So, and I trust you guys.
Melina: Did you know what it was for? Did you think it was gonna be all about you?
Mike: No, not really, but yeah.
Melina: Yeah, it is.
Tim: Melina threw out a couple of terms about who you are. And one of the terms that I feel like she left out was, like the things that I see when I look, and I see you in the back of the room or wherever, you know, there is that quiet confidence. And, but I think humility, you know. I know how difficult it is for you just to be in this room, but when we were kinda talking about it before, right, earlier this morning, talking about what is that we want to talk about on this podcast, I remember not once did you make that whole...everything you talked about was these girls that you're impacting and putting through college. And everything you talked about was about other people. You never once said, "I" or "me" in your...like, I don't think those words came out of your mouth at all. It was all about somebody else. And that's who I see when I see you around the club, is somebody who's there not for you, really.
Melina: Yeah, you know what? It's really funny that you say that. Because let me...I want to clarify something. When I said, confidence, what I meant was, you give me confidence. That's what I meant.
Mike: Thank you. Yeah, it's hard to me like, I never thought anything special about me. I just thought I'd survived, you know, something. And I'm somebody who could take a lot. You know, I wouldn't wish what I went through on anybody. You know, like my sister gets scared when she goes to the dentist. And to imagine her...
Mike: You know, to imagine her having to go through what I went through and, you know, it's difficult. You know, you get tested a lot. And, but it's amazing, You know, it's something that, you know, I like history, and I think about it like, if I was born in any other time, I'd be dead.
Interviewee: You know, and I think everything just kind of happened the way it should have. And, you know, I was lucky to have my family and, you know, some close friends and, you know, a strong support system and, yeah.
Oscar: Very cool.
Melina: Okay. Well, thank you so much for being here today, for sharing your passion with us. I feel like this is your launch pad to your nonprofit. That's my belief, that is my hope and my desire for you.
Mike: Thank you.
Melina: That now you have no choice but to launch.
Oscar: Oh, oh.
Melina: Yeah, oh, oh. All right, so everybody, have a great, great, great day, evening, morning, whenever you're listening to this. But this is NWAC, we are "Flippin Off."