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In 1995, after having survived a traumatic near-death experience, I was told to give up my professional German genealogy research business. Look at me now. #1 on Google, Bing, Yahoo & YouTube for “German Genealogist”

If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.
Here are some other successful souls who–just like me–were initially given the most negative of feedback & mis-judgement & had other failings & setbacks:

1968: Inspired by many wonderful musicians on the radio & TV, I announced to my father: “I want to learn to play guitar & sing.” He laughed at me.” But after I learned on a neighbor’s guitar & performed something for him, guess who paid for half of my 1st guitar? (Thanks, Dad. Rest In Peace. But I know you’re not resting. Way Too Busy.) And half for my Framus 12-string guitar? I bought it myself in M√ľnchen, Germany, with earnings from having played gigs in a rock-n-roll band.

1969-70: While only a high school sophomore, thanks to Coach Glenn Miller, I became the Best Man on the trampoline for the gymnastics team. I could consistently & competitively do a back-flip with a double twist, immediately followed by a front flip with 1 & 1/2 twist, followed by 8 lesser moves. In my very 1st year, I placed in the top ten at regionals! Master Sergeant Dad got orders for Turkey. It was as close as we’d ever get stationed to Germany. After much emotional wrangling, I chose to give up gymnastics & walk away from it. This, so as to be with my family in Izmir, Turkey, where there was no gymnastics team. Like Garth Brooks sang: “It looks like God knows what he’s doin’ after all.”

1970-72: My Izmir high school best friend & drummer let me use his 6-string electric & bass guitars & fed me; 30 years later, he sold me a Fender electric & a bass guitar for a very low price. Thanks, Hunter Brown, my friend forever. You always rocked my Life, both Then & Now.

1974-75: I played bass & sang high harmony vocals in a pop, jazz, rock-n-soul music band that would later serve as the warm-up band at concerts for Styx, REO Speedwagon, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show & Rare Earth!

1975: I was sent Temporary Duty (TDY) out of my USAF Missile Communications Maintenance Shop to play instead bass guitar for the Base Recreation Center’s soul music band. Although we worked all day long practicing, upon return to my maintenance shop, because I did not have to go out in the field to the Minuteman Missile sites, I was treated like a piss-ant (which is not a protected category{;>). Having been slipped, at the last moment, an “Honorable Discharge under general conditions” was a slap in the face. I appealed to the Squadron Commander, an alleged Christian, that I was departing to serve a mission for the Savior. His response: “Well, if Jesus wants you to get an Honorable Discharge, then I’ll guess he’ll have to give you one.”

1976-77: Walked away from the glory & the lights. Learned to speak German & served an honorable, highly successful mission for the Savior. While there, I obtained my Honorable Discharge from the USAF, whose Manpower Team agreed with me & declared that the board had determined that my squadron commander had no right to pull what he did.

1985: Became a USAFR Intelligence Officer. There, I got more negative judgment because, for East German ancestry of my German genealogy clients, I would travel behind the Iron Curtain. But, this would be after my 2-week Reserve Duty tour. The commander there, a Major, tried to recruit me to do something illegal behind the Iron Curtain. I respectfully refused, knowing that his request was against the principles of Intelligence Oversight.

It would jeopardize my civilian profession as a genealogist who, then, specialized in traveling behind the Iron Curtain for clients’ genealogy research. It would have also jeopardized the microfilming projects of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And finally, his request was downright foolish.

Long story short: He pencil-whipped me & wrote me a bad performance report; this caused my commander back home to be “forced” to write me a bad Officer Effectiveness Report (OER), which caused my Top Secret/SCI clearance to be non-renewed. No clearance; no officer position. I was given an honorable discharge, but I was heartbroken that I’d only made it to a 1st Lieutenant (O-2). Oh well, prior to my commission, I did make it to a Staff Sergeant (E-5).

1995: After a near-death experience, & after a 30-day rehab, I was told by several professional folks to give up my professional German genealogy research business. Like Michael Jordan, after having been cut from his high school basketball team, I went home, locked myself in a room; cried.

Look at me now: Search Engine Optimized (SEO’d, i.e. ranked) #1, Top Man on Google, Bing, Yahoo & YouTube (& many more) for the keyword “German Genealogist.”

Just from ONE client–in less than ONE YEAR, I have received about $15,000 to CONTINUE the successful German Genealogy work Lynell & I are doing for him, his father & their descendants across the globe (& ancestors on the Other Side)!

In just the 1st Quarter 2011, we have found THOUSANDS of digital data, documents & images! This ALREADY beats the milestone we set just last year in 2010 for another client!

On Linkedin.com, I now have 60+ endearing endorsements from people who absolutely love us & what we do for them!

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