Developing a Million-Dollar Mindset

How Mario Arrizon learned work ethic from selling teddy bears.
Mario Arrizon and family

If you haven’t already, go read Part 1 of Mario Arrizon’s humbling life story and find out what keeps him driving for success every day!

Larry Weidel: How did you, at a young age, turn to God? Which by the way folks, don’t toss that away. When you get in your biggest hour of need, don’t you turn to God? Why not turn to God before you get to your worst moment, you know what I am saying?

Our good friend, Omar Oropesa, said the same thing when he was a young child. He had a problem with stuttering. It was like God was punishing him, but he figured it out. He got the answer from God, that I am making you stutter to make you tough for what I’ve got planned for your future. He went through this at 8 years old.

I tell you that about Omar because I know you two are big buddies. But he went through the same thing as a child as what you did . . . as a child, you just do as you are told.

You go to school and you do other stuff—but there are times in between that you are dependent on your mother, and you have to do what you are told to do.

Cat turning into a lion

You still can put in extra . . . you still have the latitude. You still have the gaps in the system when you are not supervised, where you can either be a goof-off and screw around and make friends with the wrong kind of people and get involved in things that would tear you down—or you can do things that are positive. You can let yourself get interested in topics and learn about different things.

What was going on in between in your formative years? What was driving you? Was it curiosity about different things? Was there curiosity about certain aspects of life? In between from a day-to-day thing? What were the impulses beating inside of you driving you forward?

Mario Arrizon: You know the same thing was supposed to break me, made me. You know, it’s your perspective in life. You see a lot of that, unfortunately.

I am not mentioning names, but there’s someone that grew up with the same parents, same neighborhood, same circumstances—and you know what they are looking back at?

You can ask him or her, “Hey, why did you turn out this way?”

And you know what they responded?

“Well, look at my life. I was forced to work as a child. I didn’t have a normal childhood . . . we grew up this and that. Of course, when I turned 18, I just went crazy.”

You know what I said? I said the opposite, “Well, look at my life.”

LW: Right.

MA: I was taught work ethic since I was a little kid, Larry. I would sell teddy bears and flowers on the street corners when there was a holiday to help my mother.

Everyone wants a million-dollar lifestyle but has a minimum wage mindset. Click To Tweet

On the weekends, I used to work at the flea market. When kids were sleeping in on the weekends, I would have to wake up early, Larry.

I was taught work ethic. I was taught that weekends—when most people take off, on holidays when most people take off—that’s when the greats make money—and that’s how to separate yourself. Those little things right there prepared me for that.

What motivated me, Larry? I didn’t want to be broke. Is it all about money? No!

I was tired of seeing my mom struggle. I was tired of living the life that I can afford. You know, giving my kids and wife and my mother a life that I can afford instead of the life they deserve—and this was my shot.

I knew if I put it on my back and worked my tail off . . . Larry, people work overtime for a job—for someone else’s last name, but they won’t do it for their own last name. They won’t even clock in 8 hours of work, but they expect to make a million dollars a year.

Everyone wants a million-dollar lifestyle but has a minimum wage mindset. It doesn’t click. You have to make sure that for a period of time you give it everything you’ve got—that’s what drives me on the days that I doubted . . . the days I feared that I wasn’t good enough—I always remember why I started.

I want to make my parents proud. I want to be the go-to person in the family. I want to have an unbelievable life, and I knew if I do what most people won’t, I would have that life.

And I did it!

celebrating life

LW: And the thing is that basically you were given a gift through all of this of having to go out and make your own money.

At some point, I would like to put out a book that is about great parents. Great parents do different things with their kids . . . it’s not like they just fall out of bed and their kids are great.

Sometimes that happens—but usually, there are little things they did. No one has them all, but somehow an idea came to them, and they did this with their kids and had this result.

And one thing I heard from one of those people that had success with their kids is that you can’t overemphasize the importance of letting a child earn their own money early in their life and get that satisfaction of being out there.

Like a friend in the business said his son came home he said, “You know I feel awkward in school, dad. You know, cause I am like the rich kid. They see my life and this where I live . . .” The dad said, “You aren’t rich. I am rich. You got nothing. So, you’ve got nothing to be feel bad about. “

MA: I love that.

LW: So, talk about how that transforms you.

MA: I am so grateful. No one has perfect parents, but man, my parents come close to that—both of them.

I got my dad back in my life. It was an ugly divorce—that’s why I didn’t see my dad for a long time, but I got my father back in my life.

He was the one actually made me get into financial services. He didn’t even give me choice. He’s like Mario, I think you will be great at this, and he signed me up and helped me pay for my license before I knew what it was.

Both of my parents taught me work ethic at a very young age. They didn’t just hand it to me. I would say, “Hey I want these shoes.” And they’d say, “So what are you gonna do about it?”

What motivated me, Larry? I didn't want to be broke. Click To Tweet

I said, “Well can you give it to me like other kids?” And they would say, “No, you gotta earn it—let’s go to Los Angeles. This is what we’re gonna do.”

Back in the day, there was this thing called “pods”—it was the hottest thing with the kids. So they would lend me $100, and I had to pay it back to them.

So with the money, I would buy pods and I would sell them at school. And there were Pokémon cards, and I would turn my money and give my parents their investment back. I would get Pokémon cards and sell those at school.

Then it was lasers. One-time, Larry, it was the 4th of July, and I found out I could get fireworks, and I started selling fireworks—I got in trouble for that, and I even got suspended from school.

I was always an entrepreneur! Everybody in school knew—if you wanted candy, if you needed things—I was the plug.

I had my backpack full of stuff. I always selling things, always moving, because I was tired of being broke.

And before you knew it, I even started building a team, Larry. I built a team of my friends.

Trees full of life

And I told them, “You’re going to get this percent, and I am going to get this percent because I am doing the investment.” I had a team of people selling pens, pods, candy—people were coming to me and we started building a team.

So I’ve always had that entrepreneur mindset since I was a kid because I didn’t have the privilege of just asking my parents. And it changed everything for me.

LW: Mario, thanks so much for the opening up and sharing—this is really, really deep. I never knew these things about you—it just shows so many things. We’ll let people take their own lessons away from that, but I can’t thank you enough, Mario. Fantastic!

MA: My pleasure, Larry. Thank you for giving me the honor to be on, and I look forward to sharing more.

Comment below your takeaway from Mario’s story and how you will change your mindset to change your life.


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