We arrive at Alex Morton’s apartment in Tempe, Arizona, ready to learn more about the boy wonder who will be making over a quarter of a million dollars this year with Vemma.* It’s eleven o’clock in the morning, and while the rest of the world is already a few hours into the day, Alex is still in bed, sleeping with the covers over his head.
But before you jump to conclusions, as we nearly did, you need to visualize what we heard first — it was a podcast of sorts, given by an impassioned individual over a speaker somewhere inside his bedroom. It was difficult to make out who the presenter was exactly, but adjectives like “empowered,” “successful” and “belief” were just a few of the hundred or so words we listened to while he began to stir in his sleep. According to his roommates (who had been up for only an hour or so themselves), this is Alex’s regiment every morning; listening to speeches of successful career makers before he even becomes conscious that the sun has risen over the horizon.
Of course, one might wonder just how effective listening to something of that sort is while deep in the realms of REM sleep, but when you meet Alex after he wakes up, it’s evident that it’s had an effect. An immediate effect, in fact. Much like the podcast he had just been listening to, it only takes a minute or two until Alex himself is waxing lyrical with thoughts of the future, hope, and how he will achieve his unbelievably epic list of impressive goals. He sips on a Verve while throwing you an amiable smile, just before delving again into the latest philosophy of what it takes to achieve what you want out of life. And as you listen, you begin to wonder if this is how he’s always been, or if, by some impossible mechanism, he’s changed himself to become this way over time.
So we ask about his upbringing, testing the waters to see what’s in his DNA. And only a few moments later, we come to find that success is woven in like a tapestry, with his mother having graduated from Pepperdine University and his father, an impressively successful businessman. But just when you think these two individuals have simply imbued their son with the genetics of success, you quickly find that their prowess has often been an uncomfortable topic for Alex in his past.
You see, even though Alex drives a brand-new BMW, lives in a lavish high-rise apartment building, and walks around in strictly designer shoes, he was not always this way.* In fact, by his own estimation, he speaks of a time when he felt he was little more than a failure; getting kicked out of the dorms at Arizona State University while landing himself on academic probation. Take into context that while he is relating this to us, the former success of his mother and father easily come into sharp focus. It’s not difficult to see how a meandering youth of this sort could undoubtedly come to find his parents’ success more than threatening.
But as the story goes on, he begins to describe parents who are nothing but kind and patient. They help him get back on his feet and graduate from ASU within four years. But even though he’s grateful for the help, he still finds the college mold unfitting, like a suit that not only needs to be tailored, but one which needs to change color as well. And so he asks his parents for a little more help in the form of money so he can give a try at real estate school. But after taking the test, “I think about ten times before I passed,” he is still left without any passion, wondering just how his parents had accomplished so much in the legacy of their lives.
But then, as we listen to his story, watching him take another sip of Verve, the narrative begins to shift. He begins to describe a time when a good friend introduced him to a company called Vemma, which he finds a little hard to initially understand. The friend speaks of opportunity outside the traditional mold, wherein you “simply tell your friends about it, and you have a chance to make some money.” A bit apprehensive about the “opportunity” being too good, he asks for proof, and surprisingly finds plenty. He tries a few products, learning quickly how good they taste. He asks about compensation, and then he asks how to get started, which is the moment his life takes a sharp turn for the better.
“I was scared of my parents’ success,” he describes. “They had done so much, and I felt like I was just trying to pick myself up over and over again. But then I found something I could really be passionate about — a business idea that actually made me excited.”
At first, he begins to relate how freeing it was to have an actual income — to be able to buy the things he always wanted without having to check price tags first.* But over time, an even larger change begins to occur, as he describes it, when he realizes that Vemma is much more than an “opportunity,” but rather, a chance to help change people’s lives.
“This business is not about selling energy drinks — this business is making somebody else’s goals in life become a reality.”
And what of Alex’s goals? Initially, it seemed to be one of matching up to the standard his parents had given him, if only by their profound example. But now that he is finding the same sort of success at the young age of only 23, he has other things in mind, which he is quick to tell you about. He wants to write books, give speeches — in essence, become the kind of person he listens to every morning. He communicates a future ripe with possibility, and how one can overcome their fears with the right tools in place. He talks about breaking molds, about a different way of thinking, and as we glance at our watches, we realize the day is already a few hours into the afternoon, making us wonder what we can accomplish with the remainder of time we have left. But after learning a lesson at the feet of Alex Morton, we know we will accomplish even more than we initially set out to do.
*Results not typical. You may not do as well.