Larry Weidel: I’m here with a legend in two countries and the financial services world.
Very few people are that well-known coast to coast but, if you do something great and have insane success, it reverberates.
Frank Dillion: Firstly, I want to thank you for being one of my mentors.
In my first experience going to a big hotel, I remember catching the vision that it’s not what about what you have right now, it’s about what you can have.
When I came to this country from Ecuador, I was just an immigrant looking for a job because in my country there weren’t any. My mother wanted to send me to a law school, but we didn’t have the money. I planned on coming here and going back as a lawyer in Ecuador, but I fell in love with America.
I found that there are beautiful people in this country that really care for others.
LW: How old were you when you came to this country?
FD: Let’s say it’s going on about 43 years. I am 70 now but I still feel like I’m in my 40s. I still have inspiration and I’m still running my business, but the important thing is that you always believe in God.
I would be pushing a cart during the snow time and I would remind myself, “This is not going to be it. There is going to be something better for me.”
One of the things that I learned about myself and other people is that you should never get stuck thinking that this is it. I always told myself this was temporary. When I started cleaning toilets and doing floors, I knew that wasn’t what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life.
When I went to work at a factory in Manhattan, I started going to school. I would work during the day and go to school during the night and on weekends. At that time, we started bilingual programs in the United States. I traveled on public buses from Manhattan to New Jersey to walk two miles through the snow when it was winter to get to my classes.
I tell my kids that life is not always easy in the beginning. But I took that as an experience and training that God put me through to be strong with my mind. Most people in that situation look at it to be negative and they feel sorry for themselves, but I didn’t feel sorry for myself.
God gave me the strength to go through all of that. I felt that it was an experience for me to become tough and to get a strong mind to get what I want in life. I graduated from Rutgers University with a master’s degree and then got my Ph.D.
When I was working for the medical school as a clinical director I got recruited for an opportunity by financial services. Two years before I was set to retire from the medical school, I realized that this opportunity was amazing. So, I quit my job and put all my heart into financial services.
After the first year, I recovered the income that I was making at the medical school.
LW: At just 2 years away from retirement, you walked away from it.
That’s a big step, well either a big step or a stupid step.
FD: When you have faith in the Lord and believe that God is good to you, anything is possible.
Always understand that whatever is in front of you is an experience and that when you feel down is when God is with you, and that’s when you need Him to be by you.
The first year I recall making $250,000. I left the opportunity to make $215,000 by leaving the medical school and I recovered that and then some, all within that first year. That was the biggest achievement for me to see that I can do the same with a degree as without a degree.
39 months after becoming vice president, with the help of mentorship, I was able to make my first million dollars at the company.
LW: You had your income-driven up and had your business in a place that was generating a million dollars a year in cash to you which is a record that’s never been beaten in the company.
So many people are in jobs for a long time and in the beginning, they have a lot of inspiration and a lot of energy but after a while, it kills their inspiration and drive. You had things to change and to make it better but you had to get permission.
A lot of times it’s not that the people were bad, they just didn’t have the resources or maybe didn’t have the authority to turn you loose. You probably could have revolutionized the healthcare arena that you were operating in had you been given the freedom.
FD: Oh yes. But it’s impossible to be beating the system because it is just so structured. You cannot be promoted because everybody had their group that was very hard to break through.
I loved working to help people but I did get tired. I was in New Jersey and New York which have a lot of drugs, abuse, and violence. While there, I learned that people come back for mental health because they have no money.
I realized that they not only need money but they help with their money, and they need to know there is somebody there to help them with it. Then I got recruited into financial services and I was invited to an investment seminar. I thought, “I know nothing about investment let me go see what this is all about.”
I was currently with a patient at the time and the guy told me the meeting was at 12, but it was 10 and I knew I wouldn’t make it. So, he asked when I could and I told him 2 o’clock, and he told me that was perfect because their next meeting was at 2.
I showed up and that was when I realized that this opportunity was not accidental. It was a directed plan by God. I was the only one in the meeting. In the middle of the presentation, I realized that this was the opportunity for me. I asked the guy, “Where can I sign? What do I need to do to be part of this company?” And the guy kept telling me about the presentation. Again I said, “Where can I sign? What do I need to do?”
But he just kept telling me about the opportunity. I thought maybe it was a joke or something, but when God selects you to be part of something big, like this company, you have to see that it is something big.
I fell in love with the crusade and training people because I enjoyed developing leaders and helping people to become self-sufficient independent trainers. At the same time, I was able to build a relationship with them and they believed in me with what I saw in my vision.
LW: Everybody has different motivations and things that they’re excited about. Whatever you’re doing, you have got to find your thing. Only you know you, so what others tell you may be helpful, but they may also be completely wrong.
You need to be aggressive. There’s a lot of people that are bored out of their mind. They don’t enjoy what they’re doing. If you stay in a situation that is uninspiring for you, that’s on you because you’re in charge of your own life.What good is freedom if you don't exercise it? Click To Tweet
That’s like a match going off inside of you because you’ve got to get on fire to be super successful. You’ve got to do more than most people do.
And you’re only going to do that in something that you love more than most people love because it’s your thing. Frank, you found your thing and went on. You got so successful in the company and the word got out.
What was happening back in your home country?
FD: During the time I was in America, my country of Ecuador’s economy had gone down and my family was reaching the level of poverty. My brothers and sisters were professionals, but they could not find a job. The political arena there is very unstable. So, basically, all the people suffer there.
I had some money saved so that I could go back and help my family. When I went back, I helped all of my brothers and sisters, and I bought a house for my mom. Usually, we don’t have a compelling reason to do something great in life. Being successful and having the ability to help my family was my reason.
I remember many years ago you said, “To do this business, you need to have a very strong reason so you can inspire yourself and inspire other people.” That stuck in my mind for years. It helped me to give myself compelling reasons why I wanted to do this business. And that’s what helped me to develop through the big-level competition.
I helped change the numbers in the company. Several people were behind this, but you guys let me run the show. That was the very important thing that we need to learn in this business.
You have to have a coach, a mentor, and you have to follow somebody that can give you something that you don’t have, which is division and to inspire, and to find something you like.
FD: I was interviewed in Ecuador by seven TV channels. They wanted to know why this Ecuadorian guy was being mentioned in the papers. One of the largest papers there dedicated one whole page about me.
Then I got noticed by the government. I got the congressional medal for success outside of the United States. I got a big recognition, a big celebration, and I was able also to give a couple of conferences to different professionals, to inspire them to get into our field.
I got a chance to be exposed to television, newspapers, different conferences, and the professional medal. The Congressional Medal actually was a big experience for me. I didn’t expect to get that. So, that’s what came from that.
LW: I’ve heard you say that everyone came to meet you at the plane. You see that happen on television, but now you were the guy getting off the plane that everyone is wanting to see.
FD: It was a blessing. The glory belongs to God. Believe and don’t lose your faith in becoming somebody. No matter where you are, or what you doing right now, doesn’t mean that you have to stay there.
Passion doesn’t show up unless you really start doing something.
Passion comes out of your mind and your heart after you start doing things.
LW: The ability to win is something you learn.
You can learn from someone else but only if you’re willing to work and apply what they tell you.
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