Everything takes more time than you think: marketing, writing copy, even something as basic as shipping. You think you can just knock it out in a few minutes but take the time to do it right the first time, and you’ll be glad you did.
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rick Ornelas.
Rick Ornelas, is an author and Positive Change Expertwho teaches men and women to unlock their amazing potential to create an incredible future and change the world around them. He’s the author of 12 Hours of Heaven; Lessons for a Better World and founder of I Spark Change, a global movement and online community of those who seek to make the world a better place one act at a time.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My childhood was full of stories and memories. I was a typical middle-class kid in the ’70s and ’80s in a very disciplined and loving family. It was a lot like you see on TV…only better! This was because I was the youngest of five, which might sound bad at first, except that I had four older sisters who loved me to death. They always made sure I was up to date on the latest trends and introduced me to all of their female friends. Plus, my wife likes to say they “broke me in” for her. I was further broken in by my father, who taught me all sorts of lessons on the importance of hard work and family. Throw that all in with various sports and activities, and I was a pretty involved kid with a great childhood.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” This is something I’ve frequently had to learn the hard way. Early in my career, I always got by through intelligence, grit, and determination. If things didn’t go well I was able to “just wing it”. It wasn’t until recently that I realized if I just planned things out a little better it could lead to phenomenal results. I continue to work on this every day as old habits die hard. Fortunately, I have three daughters that have heard this too many times thinking it was for their benefit. The older I get the more I need to remind myself.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Openness, Determination, & Positivity
Openness manifests itself in different ways for me that always end up leading to opportunity. Most often it is knowing that I still have a lot to learn and can grow each and every day.
Determination is what has pushed me through a variety of obstacles such as getting laid off, to my income cut by 75%, to having business endeavors end badly. In all examples I didn’t let what was happening stop me from success.
Positivity is a quality that has been a part of my life from day one. It allows me to look for opportunity in any situation even when things aren’t going well.
In 2020 when the pandemic hit I relied on all three qualities to continue to evolve and improve.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
Most of my career was spent in leadership of healthcare. Initially with large Fortune 500 companies in marketing, training, and corporate development. Later, with smaller companies focusing on growth and improvement. Prior to last year I was a business coach in the medical sector, working with doctors of all types on the growth of their practices.
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?
I realized that what had been missing from my life was working for a higher purpose and social good. Last year I decided to finally write the book that had been in my head for almost twenty years, 12 Hours of Heaven; Lessons for a Better World. In my writing journey, I realized I could have a much greater impact reaching far beyond my immediate surroundings with the creation of I Spark Change
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
Mid-way thorough the writing of my book I became very spiritually connected and felt I was receiving divine inspiration. During this time my writing flourished. I went from writing 750 words per day to over 2000 in a couple of hours. I also had dreams and visions of an incredible future. The path was laid out before me and I knew it was time to make a change.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?
I looked at the pandemic and extra time I was given as an opportunity. I also took the wise advise I learned from Dory in Finding Nemo to “Just keep writing.” OK, I know her version is slightly different but you get the picture. The more I wrote, the more I honed my craft. I took a course called Five Minutes to Famous on how to guest contribute articles for various publications. After getting the hang of pitching editors, I began to submitting articles to as many publications as I could. My pieces all contained a similar element in that they taught lessons and were related to stories from life.
How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.
In a word, phenomenal. I feel that I am truly blessed to work on this new endeavor. I’m not saying that it’s not a lot of work because the work is never ending. I am saying that when I focus on the opportunity it provides myself and others it’s hard not to feel special. The biggest reward is in the lives that have been impacted and inspired. My favorite story is about a young single mother who was very depressed and contemplating taking her own life. She was listening to the radio while nursing her young infant daughter one Saturday morning. She came across an interview of mine from an international radio broadcast. I was speaking about I Spark Change and the creation of our global “Angel Network”. She was so inspired and moved to tears that she messaged the radio station to share her story and tell them how I had given her hope. I thank God for her hope and story as it inspires me to continue on each day.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My family has been very supportive throughout the whole process. First, my wife and daughters have assisted with marketing and expanding the message through social media. My wife is always there when I need to share a win or a story from what I am working on. Out of all my family members my mom has been the strongest pillar of support. She is constantly sharing the I Spark Change mission with everyone from her Dr. to telemarketer’s on the phone. She always shares my posts on social media and sends me messages of support.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
The mission of I Spark Change is to connect people from all over the world who want to spread positive change. Since I started I have been connecting with a vast array of individuals from across the globe. The interesting thing is that many others have had similar stories of inspiration and hope that have led them to realize their dreams. I feel that the pandemic has led to a great awakening across humanity. Many know that life can be better and are taking the steps necessary to improve it.
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
Not too often but it does creep in slightly. I feel I always have strong belief in myself. The way it creeps in is in my belief about what I can do when it comes to my massive goals. Sometimes I find myself working on day to day tasks that are not important to achieving the big goals. When this happens I try to focus on the big picture to keep working.
In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
I’m a big believer in support as well. During the initial phases of my endeavor I kept everything private as I felt it was too personal to share. My spiritual connection seemed private so I kept it that way until I completed my book. Once it was finished I felt this incredible urge to share my story. Sharing my story resulted in a barrage of support from people far and wide. Soon after I created an I Spark Change Facebook community. Since then it has grown at a rate of over 800%. I’d call that a good support system.
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
Getting out of your comfort zone is where growth happens so I’m all for it. There are many areas of my latest chapter that are outside my comfort zone. The biggest area that comes to mind is social media. It’s an area that I have participated in but only on a personal level. Using social media to help grow a business takes a lot of putting yourself out there, talk about uncomfortable. I’ve made a fool of myself in dozens of silly videos to this point and it’s no big deal now.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
Starting a new endeavor is challenging no matter who you are. One of the best things you can do is reflect daily on how to improve. This is different from wishing you had done things differently or having regrets. Still, It can sometimes help to have some tips in advance. Here are the five that resonated with me.
1. Everything takes more time than you think: marketing, writing copy, even something as basic as shipping. You think you can just knock it out in a few minutes but take the time to do it right the first time, and you’ll be glad you did.
2. Learn from those who have done it before. There are plenty of resources available from books, courses, videos, and a lot of them are free. I have been learning and developing as much as possible in my weaker areas. This is helping us grow quicker.
3. Have a good story to tell, and don’t be afraid to share it. When I initially had the idea for I Spark Change, I kept it private, thinking It needed to be completely “ready” before it was worthwhile. Once I realized the time was right, I made a short video and shared it with the world. The response was incredibly positive and supportive. Boy, I could have used this support a lot sooner had I been open.
4. Rely on your inner circle for support…but only so much. People want to help, and they usually will but only on the simpler things and not to the level you think. It’s your dream and no one else’s. Don’t expect them to be as driven and passionate as you are. You are the only one who will chase your dream.
5. It will be difficult, and there’s always more work to do. Trust me; it’s an uphill climb every day. You can ease the burden by setting some milestones and goals along the way. Once you accomplish them, celebrate these small wins, but only briefly. Set new goals and keep working on your mission.
The bottom line is if you follow your heart and pursue your dream, you won’t go wrong.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
My current movement, I Spark Change. This movement is devoted to positively changing the world one bit, one person at a time. We are building a community of those who want to spread positive change in the world. This is setting the foundation for the world’s first social media platform 100% geared towards connecting all those interested in positive change throughout the world.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂
Tristan Harris- the president and a co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology and creator of The Social Dilemma.
I have been trying to connect with individuals like him since 2009, when I began working on a social media platform focused entirely on doing social good called Puzzme. It’s soon to be the world’s first social platform 100% geared towards connecting individuals, groups, and organizations in a global Angel network to spread positive change through actions large and small. I know Tristan will understand the mission and want to help in some way. If you’re reading this, I’d love to speak with you! @tristanharris
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Sign up to join I Spark Change at www.isparkchange.com. We won’t spam you, I promised. You will be notified about our community’s growth, new blog articles, events, and future books.
Join our growing Facebook community https://www.facebook.com/isparkchange. More and more people who want to spread positive change join each day!
Follow us on Instagram @i_spark_change for immediate spirituality, inspiration, and motivation. You’ll be glad you did.
Puzzme- the future social media site http://puzzme.com/. You’ll be one of the first members when the site goes live.
YouTube for greater insight into the driving forces behind I Spark Change.
https://12hoursofheaven.com/ to find out about upcoming books and information on the release of 12 Hours of Heaven; Time on Earth.
Amazon- to order a copy of 12 Hours of Heaven: Lessons for a Better World https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KP8NDT4
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!