Special Guest Expert - AJ Vassar

Special Guest Expert - AJ Vassar: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

Special Guest Expert - AJ Vassar: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Here's the big question. How is it that most entrepreneurs hustle and are always busy and struggle to take just one step forward, only to fall two steps back they are dedicated, determined and driven, but only a few finally break through and win. This show uncovers those quantum leap patterns of highly successful people so you can simply model what they do and apply to your future success. That's the question. And the answers are right here. My name is Brigitta Hoeferle and this is The Success Patterns Show. Happy Tuesday, everyone. As we are here every Tuesday, same time, same place. My name is Brigitta Hoeferle. I am the CEO and of the center of NLP located here in Atlanta, Georgia. I am the founder of The Success Patterns Movement and it is Tuesday and it is time to put the do and learn, do teach. And that's what we're all about, because the quality of your success starts with your attitude towards it. Success is an interesting thing. I know you all think it. It's shaped by each individual success seeker and it's not limited to one thing, it's not limited to business and it's not limited to personal. It's not limited to only having success in one area. Success is modeled. It's modeled in patterns and strategies and behaviors. And with this these patterns and strategies and behaviors, we can then decipher it. We can decode the patterns that led to success of our guest experts, which we have great experts every week. So you at home or wherever you're watching from can encode it into your life for your own success today. The definition of pattern is an example for others to follow. That's what we mean by one of the laws of success. The NLP laws of success is success is modeled. We are looking for expert modeling. Who can we? Who can we mirror? Who can we follow? Are they doing? Are they not just talking the talk, but are they actually doing the work? Today I have a phenomenal guest expert that. Before the show started, I said, So AJ how long has it been that we've actually known each other? So we met the first time in 2015.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
It's been a few years. You know, he's going to share lessons, what he's learned from sleeping in his car and now being in a position to give five cars or more away. He lives in Colombia, South America and help others achieve their dreams. Wait till you hear his story. He's an incredible speaker. And I know that not just because I read his bio. I know that because I've been in rooms with him. He's an international financial and business coach who, like I said, went from sleeping in his car, being homeless to giving over five cars away. He's not helping people become their own vehicles to achieve their life, the life that they want. And he currently lives in Medellin, Colombia, where he brings people, groups down to show them how to achieve what he calls the vacation lifestyle. So, ladies and gentlemen, help me welcome. Aj Vasseur is here with me today. Aj, so good to have you.

AJ Vassar:
How are you?

Brigitta Hoeferle:
I am well. For everyone that has been watching us on a weekly basis, yes, my voice is a little raspy today, so forgive my raspy ness, but you're not going to hear a whole lot of me talking. You're going to hear a whole lot of AJ talking. Aj When we met, you still lived in Atlanta?

AJ Vassar:
I did. I did. We actually met a year after I was sleeping in my car. After I went through that whole ordeal, we met. We met in Atlanta, and I was going through the whole process of just changing my life and like you say, following success patterns and figuring out what works for me. And, you know, I think for me, before I even set a pattern that I wanted to follow, I had to realize what success was for me.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So you had to define success for you?

AJ Vassar:
Yeah, I had to define it because I think a lot of people leave patterns, they leave clues. Right. We hear that term all the time. Success leaves clues, but it's like, what type of success do I want? And I was I was different. Like, I'm not I'm not into shiny things. I'm not into cars. I'm very low key, you know. So it was like, okay, what pattern do I want to follow? So for me, it was just kind of finding out that pattern first, find it, right, defining success first and then finding that pattern that matched the success that I wanted. So that's how I came up with the vacation lifestyle.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
How so? I want to learn more about. What made you go from being going to call it homeless, living in a car to wanting to find out what you're. Which success are you looking for? What what was the transition there? What made you. There was some kind of we want to use the P word, pivotal moment. Right. Transitional moment. That was a wake up call. I don't know. You tell us.

AJ Vassar:
Well, for me, it was actually a mentor that I had that happened before I even became homeless. And you could you could say me being homeless was kind of not his fault, but his his guidance. It was a it was my mentor in Atlanta. His name is Sam Shepherd. And he he's the number one income earner and African American income earner in America. And he was mentoring me at the time. I was never a part of America, but he just I don't know, he liked me, I guess. And I remember telling him I had a business deal that had went bad. And I told him that I was going to go live with my mother in Texas and to, you know, to get back on my feet. And Sam said, no, you're not. He said he said, no woman wants a man who runs to his mom when times get hard. And he said, You'll learn more from your car than you ever will running from your problems. And then he told me he had a safe park, a safe parking lot I could sleep in.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So whoa. I want you to repeat that, because I think more people need to hear that, that you get to learn more.

AJ Vassar:
You get you will learn more from your car than you ever will running from your problems. And at the time, I was I was almost mad because, like, I knew how much Sam made at the time. Right. So at the time, Sam was making, like $140,000 a month. So when he told me I wasn't going to go to my mom, I thought it was because he was going to loan me some money. Right. I thought he was going to help me out financially. And he said, no. He said, I have a safe parking lot. You can sleep here. And I took him up on the offer because to me, that was that was the pattern I realized I wanted to follow. I wanted to learn on my own. And later on, he told me, he said, the reason I didn't give you money is because if I would have helped you out of your situation, you you would have always depended on me instead of you. Would you do it yourself?

Brigitta Hoeferle:
He would have totally enabled you.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. Yeah. So he taught me. He taught me tough love. Tough love. And I really appreciated.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Wow. So so was Sam. It was the mentorship that brought you to your car. And then what were some of the lessons of the car.

AJ Vassar:
Who the cars were? I got the majority of my lessons. You know, when you're in a car, you have a lot of time to yourself. And it was in my car that I started realizing, you know, you start thinking back like, okay, how did I end up here? What did I do wrong? What mistakes was I making? And then I started realizing like, Yo, my programing is what got me here. There's a, there's a book by James Allen called As a Man Thinketh. And it comes from a biblical verse. You know, as a man thinketh in its heart, so is he. And I started realizing, like, it doesn't matter how much education I get, if I don't change my programing, then my life will never change. So it was in my car that I started realizing, you know, yo, I have to change my program and in order for my life to change. And that's what that's what made the difference.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
That's powerful. The just the mere fact that a person by themselves in their car having a lot of time to kind of think and overthink things. Come comes to that realization. So there must've also been a programing, a pattern that came in from way back when you were a little kid. That. Kind of. Brought more information to that scenario. What was.

AJ Vassar:
It? Oh, so. So I grew. I tell people I was drugged as a child because my mother drugged me to church all the time. I'm like, I was drugged to turn right.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Oh, my gosh.

AJ Vassar:
That's no matter if I liked it or not. So, you know, it was in church where my my programing began because, you know, you hear things like it's easier for a rich man to get I mean, it's easier for a camel to get through an eye of a needle than a rich man. They're getting to heaven. And money is the root of all evil. And, you know, so I didn't realize how much those things were programing me. And I remember one day one one of the nights I was in my car, I it started with jingles and started with jingles, right? So I was thinking like, like a good neighbor and I was like, stay for him is there, you know? And it's like, bah bah bah bah bah bah bah. I'm loving it. Then it was like, How do you know these things write down? It's all jingles. And I was like, nobody, right? And it was nobody had to because you were being programed your entire life by outside forces, right? So then the programing went from that to OC. What's my programing about money? So then it came, right? It takes money to make right. Money doesn't grow on right race. All right. All rich people, all of the right. So all of those. And I'm like, yo, I know all of these verbatim. And I started realizing if my programing tells me that all rich people are going to hell, and I believe that then I've been sabotaging all the riches that I have because I don't want to go to hell. And it was then that I started I started really like attacking all of my programs. I started questioning everything, everything because I had to start attacking my programing. And I think the first step to attacking your programing is to ask yourself, How am I program? And be honest about it, right?

Brigitta Hoeferle:
And you know what? There's really good news in that because when you are becoming aware of dah dah dah dah, dah dah and all of the jingles, then you can also replace them with something that is more beneficial to you. So to every programing there's a deprogramming or a counterprogramming.

AJ Vassar:
And that's exactly what I did. I just started using counterprogramming to to change how I wanted to think about life. I wanted to think about myself and. And what I wanted from life. And, you know. I realize that I'm not. Like I said, I'm just a normal dude. I didn't. It was certain things I didn't want to do. And the success patterns that I had seen show me that success was only this way. And I was like, Oh, I don't. My life doesn't have to be like that. I'm a laid back guy. I want to stay this way. And I remember I took a I had a speaking engagement in Trinidad and Tobago, and that's what changed my life. So I go to Trinidad and Tobago, I speak of course, I'm staying in the resorts, but I always get a local to take me to the like the regular areas like where normal people live. And I remember going and I was thinking like, yo, I thought I grew up in poverty and I did, right? I saw poverty. But what struck me was, is that they were happier than all the people that I knew with Benzes and BMW cars and multi dollar houses. And I said, That's what I want. That's successful. It's freedom.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
It's was was that the time that you already lived in Colombia or were you still in Atlanta?

AJ Vassar:
I'm still in Atlanta.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
It was that another transformational moment for you to take the leap to go to Colombia. Tell us more about what took you to Colombia.

AJ Vassar:
So I was I was living in the States. I had went through my homeless process and for the next, what, two years. So I was homeless in 2014, 2016. I decided, you know what, when I was homeless and I didn't think I had anything, I still had a car. So if a Christmas I want to give away a car, right? Like I want to give away what I had. And, you know, it just so happened I was pretty good at saving to where I was able to give away two cars for Christmas. So I was like, Oh, this is cool. So I'm going through that process. And from there I was I was just asked to come speak in Trinidad and Tobago. I hadn't decided to leave yet. I was just like, Oh, okay, cool, I'll go speak. This is, you know, just a cool experience. And when I went down there and I seen how happy they were and how how they didn't have any, you know, like I won't say I didn't have anything, but they had very little. They have very little, but they were so happy. And I said, That's what I want in life. I want the happiness right over the things. And then I realized I wanted to teach people how to use their lives as a vehicle to get to their freedom.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So at that moment when you were starting to think about moving away, was it immediately Colombia? Of course I'm moving to Colombia or so.

AJ Vassar:
So this is the crazy part. People, people, they still think I'm crazy. So I had visited ten countries before I chose Medellin, Colombia, Medellin. Colombia wasn't even a country I'd ever visit like it wasn't. I'd never visited Colombia before I moved. Never. I learned one of my friends knew that I was looking at countries and she said, Hey, I think you would like this country. And I was like, Really? She said, Yeah, watch this video. And I watched the video and I was like, Yo, that's like, that seems dope. And my whole thought process was, If I don't like it, I'll move in six months.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
You're not a tree. You can move.

AJ Vassar:
If I don't like it, I'll move. So I had never visited. I didn't know anything. Everything was done off research. And I've been here for years.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Four years? You've already been there?

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. And one of the things, one of the reasons why I tell people I think you should face your demons. Because my boogieman was homelessness, right? I when I finished college, I immediately opened up my first business, which was a barbershop, and one of my uncles told me that I was going to be homeless because I wasn't using my degree. Right. So that's.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Always. Hello? That was a program.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. Yeah. So but that was that was always my boogeyman in the back of my mind. I'm going to be homeless. I'm going to be homeless. And every time I came close to being homeless, I would move a roommate in or I would write. I would do something to make sure that I wasn't homeless. And this time, when I faced that situation in Atlanta, instead of going, you know, like I told you, instead of going to my mother saying, told me he had a safe parking lot, I could sleep here. And I was like, Cool, I'll figure it out in my car. And I did.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
And you did?

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. So when people ask me about moving to Medellin, it wasn't scary for me because homelessness was my boogeyman.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yeah, there was there was nothing for you to be afraid of because it was already stepping into an unknown known right, if you will. Now, were there in your family, because we often look at family first where ah, what are we what are we watching? Who are we modeling? Who's who's kind of the trailblazer? So was it very known in your family just to pack your bags and travel all around the world and see country after country after country?

AJ Vassar:
No, nobody in my family does that. I'm the only one.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
You're the only one.

AJ Vassar:
The only one. Yep. And because of that and this is something that I teach people because of that, during my time of transitioning from my programing from my family, I had to use what I call limited association.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Tell me more about that.

AJ Vassar:
So if anybody knows me, they know my mother is my heart. That is that is like my mother, my my heart. I will do anything for my mother, right? For my. And to show you how close we are for my 37th birthday, I actually bought my mother a car.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yes, I remember that.

AJ Vassar:
That's how close we are. But during my transition of changing my programing, I stopped talking to my mother as much because my programing came from my mother. So I had to limit my association so that I could change my mindset, so that I could change my life. And because I did that, my mother is now reaping the benefits of me doing that. Right. So but it was tough because a lot of us. Right, we we don't realize that our environment has shaped us more than than almost anything that that we've ever been a part of. There's a saying more as caught than is taught.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yep. Right. Or as Buckminster Fuller says, environment is stronger than willpower.

AJ Vassar:
It is. It is.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So you have you have siblings, right?

AJ Vassar:
I'm the oldest of eight children by my mother.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Eight?

AJ Vassar:
Yep.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So there. There are a few nieces and nephews in the family.

AJ Vassar:
A bunch.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Of them. I would imagine so. Just if everyone just had one right. That that that that's already a handful, more than two handfuls. Do you think that they look up to their uncle A.J. and that you have. Totally. Blown the glass ceiling and expanded their awareness.

AJ Vassar:
100% of its. The way they brag to their friends about, oh, my uncle lived in South America. Right? It's like they haven't even been here. And they but that's the that's their bragging thing. Like I got an uncle that live in South America. Right. So just to know that they can now write and I tell them all, hey, you can come visit me anytime you want. Most of them are still young. I have two that are graduating next year, so I'm sure that the trips will start with them coming to visit me. But I do believe that just from seeing just the exposure, I think just the exposure of knowing that you can. Yeah. Just changes everything.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yeah. That, that not just hearing you talk about it, but you they actually seeing that you're doing it. That you're doing it daily.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. Yeah.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
And it's making an impact.

AJ Vassar:
But most people think. Right, because a lot of times you think, oh, I have to be a millionaire and I have to, you know, do it. And I'm like, No, it doesn't take that right. And then they can actually talk to somebody who's done it. And they called me and asked me questions from time to time. And, you know, all everyone that I talk to is like, I want to come visit you. And I'm like, know, like go get your passport first.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
And that would be one thing that they would need.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Oh, my gosh. So there's there's so many more questions I have around this. Well, first of all, we have some comments from Chiquita. Do you remember Chiquita? Right. She was she must have been in the same room when we met. I was the I was the assistant trainer for Ha Vectors Secrets of a Millionaire Mind here in Atlanta. I met Mikita there. Yeah, that's where we met. Exactly. It's just interesting that Chiquita is here and she's sharing with us here in the chat. And you're here and she's sharing with us some some of the gratitude that she has of people really modeling, looking out for them and looking out for someone. Aj. Is not monetary because that would be enabling. That's what I heard you say.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. Yeah. And that's that's that's one of the biggest reasons why I stop giving cars away. And it wasn't for the fact that I don't want to give I'm a giver by heart, right? I mean, I've been giving six cars away. It's just that I realized once I gave them a car, I didn't teach them the vehicle that allowed me to get the car. And to me, that's the most important part is. Right. I don't. Just. Just how Sam did me. I want to do that for other people. I want to show them that you're your hero. I don't. I'm not the hero. Right? I'm not the hero in your story. You are. So let me let me show you just the training that you need to become the hero that you always knew you were.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yeah, because that's even more powerful.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. That's the that's the win for me is when you can do it for yourself.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Well, that's the whole that's the whole strategy and pattern of. Don't give a man fish. Teach a men how to fish.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
That's it. That's the whole that's the whole strategy. Now, you've been in Colombia for four years now. Clearly, you've gone through the pandemic like we have. How did you keep saying. Through or certain through this uncertain times.

AJ Vassar:
I think one of my one of my best gifts is that I'm overly optimistic. Anything bad that happens to me, I always tell myself, this is just going to make a good story. Right. I look at my life like a movie and I'm like, Yo, this is going to make an excellent part of my story, so you can't have a great story without having great trials. Oh. There has never.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Been a period where we can stop right here because you have heard it all now, you guys. Period.

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. So. So that's how I look at everything. I want a great story, so I know I'm going to have to endure a great trials. So that's how I dealt with it. I was like, Oh, this is going to make a great part of my story, right? And I let myself go through the motions. I don't hide them. Yo, this sucks. I don't like it, right?

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Yeah. Yeah. So hold on. So what you're saying is accepting, but not. Needing to like it.

AJ Vassar:
No, no. I love being honest and saying I don't like stuff. Mm hmm. Because that to me, that's real. That's how I that's how I'm authentic with myself. I try I do my best not to lie to me. And I don't I don't positive think me. I'm like not it's sir, right? But just because it sucks doesn't mean we're not going to get through it. It just sucks. So now. Okay, cool. So how can we get through it knowing that it's like this and it's like, hey, everybody's going through it as well. Cool. Right. Or when I was when I was homeless, it was like, yo, you're not the first person to be homeless. You won't be the last. Cool. Right. So it's. I'm always. I'm always. Trying to ask myself better questions to to get better outcomes. I do believe the quality of your life is dependent on the quality of the questions that you ask yourself.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Hey, man, I'm getting ready for a coaching certification that I'm teaching for the next three days and that that's my opener. That is absolutely what you just said is my opener. And you're dead on, right?

AJ Vassar:
Yeah. So once I'm honest with myself, then I'll just start asking myself better questions.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Mm hmm. Yeah, but Pequena Paqueta has some great aha moments. I love it. Poquito. Thanks. Thanks a lot, Tanya, for watching you guys and sharing such beautiful comments. Looking back, looking back at little age, growing up in Texas.

AJ Vassar:
I grew up in Alton, Illinois, a little town no one has probably heard.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Of. Oc Illinois. All right, even better. Little AJ growing up with eight siblings, what would you say was an ongoing ritual or habit that have let you to where you are today? Could be something from when? From those imprint phases, when you were little or something that you learned from the car or anywhere in between.

AJ Vassar:
You know what? It's something that I actually hated and it was something that we used to do on Thanksgiving and we didn't do it every Thanksgiving. I think we only because we started doing I started getting older, but my mother would actually make us go feed the homeless on Thanksgiving. And I did not like it because Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday because I am a bigger guy and I love to eat and I was ready to eat. I didn't want to feed them, I wanted to feed myself. And I remember the first time we did it, it changed my life just because I realized how much I had, even though we didn't grow up with much. And because of that, that's how I became a giver. So even when I own my barbershop on Thanksgiving, I would actually open up my barbershop and cut people's hair for free. Whoever wanted a haircut, I would cut their hair for free because that's the foundation that my mother made because she let us know, even though we don't have a lot, we you know, when you serve people to have less than you, it makes you very grateful for the small things that you do have. And then you learn how to take pride in them and out of multiple out of them. And it was that it was my mother showing me that the little things the little things make a difference.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
So your mother dragged you not just to church but to soup kitchen and all of that?

AJ Vassar:
Mother told me everyone. Yes.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Thank you, Mama. Okay, big shout out to to Mrs. Vasseur. And thank you for for. Pouring in such greatness into one person. Aj You've written not just one book. How many?

AJ Vassar:
I've written. I've written two books. I'm working on a third now. So, yeah, I'm. I think writing is my thing. I just haven't embraced it.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Okay. Okay. Well, it's time to embrace that, I think and I think you brought a gift for our for our viewers and listeners as well. What's the.

AJ Vassar:
Gift? So I have a my gift is a book called Root and Rise The Scary Growth Process to Success. And I wrote this book because once we reach success, I think a lot of people think that it's supposed to go a certain way and it's not. So I actually take them through like the what it's really like to be successful, what that process is like going through it. I think one of my favorite quotes in the book is the scariest part about being planted is that it's the same process as being buried. And I think a lot of us, we, we abort our mission of being planted because it does feel like we're being buried.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Oh, that's powerful. Yeah, that is absolutely powerful. So people get your book now message. Aj On Facebook. Here is AJ's Facebook. Facebook.com slash. Aj Vassar. Freedom. Aj Vassar. Vassar. Freedom. All one word. Follow them on Facebook. Send him a quick message and say, Hey, AJ, love the show. Would love to have your book. Aj is a giver if AJ can help you. I know that you can find that out through a message on Facebook as well. Get with AJ, you're not going to regret it. I know that for a fact. You're going to absolutely love it and get so much out of it, so get your book. Aj Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here today. Be my guest from here in Atlanta, Georgia, the old home over to the new home in Columbia.

AJ Vassar:
I appreciate it. It is a pleasure.

Brigitta Hoeferle:
Thank you, guys. Tune in again next week, same time, same place for The Success Patterns Show, Tuesday, 130 Pacific Time, 430 Eastern Time. Until then. Ciao and bye for now. Thank you for tuning in to The Success Patterns Show at www.TheSuccessPatternsShow.com My name is Brigitta Hoeferle.

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AJ Vassar

AJ Vassar is an international financial and business coach who has went from sleeping in his car to giving over 5 cars away. He is now helping people become their own vehicles to achieve the life they want. He currently lives in Medellin Colombia where he brings people groups down to show them how to achieve what he calls a Vacation Lifestyle.

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