Telling You Anything But The Complicated Story Is A Disservice.
Hi, my name is Edward (aka “The Champ”) Munoz and welcome to my official website!
As your coach, you may be interested in the experiences contributing to who I am today. Some of the below is relevant, and some of which may serve as “trivia”. In either case, I invite you closer into my world.
I am an expert at helping people become UNSTOPPABLE in their businesses, careers and personal lives. My message to people is to “Unleash Your Inner Champion” and when people work with me, they elevate their mindset and performance to produce breakthrough results in their lives. As author, speaker, and personal development coach, I am extremely passionate about empowering people to live life to the fullest.
In my blog, I will cover topics such as entrepreneurship, personal growth, wealth creation, and many more. More importantly, you will gain access to a wide variety of strategies to empower you in life and inspire you to design your destiny, based on what YOU want and what is important to YOU.
I was raised in a Dominican household in Brooklyn, New York with four siblings. Even though I grew up in an environment of gang-infested streets, I relied on my parents to provide a foundation for my lessons of life. My mom, who worked two jobs to support her family, always preached to me: “Edward, responsible and powerful people always honor their word, work really hard and never lie.” My dad, who came to the United States from Dominican Republic, was known as a strict disciplinarian. He only had an eighth grade education but retired with a healthy six-figure net worth. For him, it was important to work hard, save and invest money. He taught us: “If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.”
At age 14, I took my first job. On foot, I delivered supermarket coupon newsletters to neighborhoods in Queens, New York on weekends, between 6am and 2pm. During the frigid, cold winter months, I layered my clothes with two of everything (pants, sweaters, socks) — followed by a plastic covering to avoid snow getting through them. Working outdoors in the summer was not any easier, as it meant I would sweat profusely. After my route, I would go back to the supermarket and pack grocery bags for customers, an experience that paid minimum wage plus tips.
Coming of age in the Marine Corps
At age 18, I entered into the Marine Corps looking for a change and an opportunity to grow. After 6 months, the Gulf War broke out and I had no choice but to be deployed overseas. It was a bittersweet experience, as I learned another life lesson — discipline.
I was not comfortable taking orders from authority. I hated doing night watch during training exercises in the field, which meant sleep interruption in the middle of the night for 1-2 hour shifts. Every week, our rooms in the barracks needed to be “squeaky clean.” Sometimes after several hours of cleaning, we failed the inspection and everything had to be cleaned again to meet the satisfaction of both the Sergeant and Lieutenant. Throughout my experience in the Marine Corps, I learned that discipline meant being organized, willing to take orders and exceeding the expectations of leadership.
Getting “Stuck” — a downward spiral
In 1994, I returned to New York, thinking I finally left the war behind me, only to find myself entering into another war – poverty. With little money, I was forced to move back in my parents’ home to live in the basement. I slept in a frigid cold room during the winter months, as cold air seeped through the plastic that attempted to block the draft entering the windows. Cold showers were the norm, because of the overworked water heater. My salvation was a small electrical heater and a tried-and-true Marine Corps sleeping bag.
In the fall the following year, I registered for Communication Arts classes at NY Institute of Technology. Going to college was a better option than hanging out in the streets and getting into trouble with my friends. However, I was broke and had to hop turnstiles instead of paying the subway fare just to go to school. To make ends meet, I took different jobs. I worked as a part-time customer service representative for a television radio repair company, which ended up not paying well and left me starving. Even though I was working, sometimes I could only afford to buy a banana, a plain hot dog or a quarter juice for lunch. So, I pursued being a taxi driver and drove customers to some of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn (often putting my own life at risk). I was determined to finish school, so I continued studying full-time while working full-time. My future looked bleak and I felt like a slave to my circumstances. I was often tired and sleepy. I was frustrated and embarrassed with what my life had become.
Just when I thought things could not get worse, they did. My engine blew and I needed it replaced, so I took it to the auto shop. While waiting for the repairs, I walked to the local hall to play pool. I had never been there, and the place had a reputation as being a drug spot. Knowing this, I still went. As luck would have it, within 15 minutes of playing pool, cops raided the place and everyone was handcuffed, including me. Fortunately, after a lengthy interrogation, they found the guy in question and I was released. I dashed out of the scene and never returned.
Several months later I took some of my hard earned savings and I started an ice cream route. The business was promising, until I let a kid drive the truck and supervise the assistant. I drove by during busy hours to check on him, only to witness him chasing young ladies instead of focusing on work. I resisted the urge to fire him and continued to give him second chances. That summer I lost all my money and accumulated enormous debt, forcing me to sell my taxicab and pay back the person who rented the ice cream truck to me. My next mode of transportation was a “jalopy” – one of the cheapest, oldest taxi cars on the market — which often left me stranded with passengers in the middle of highways in undesirable locations.
Breakdown after breakdown, I became lazy, depressed and overwhelmed. I slept long hours and ate several times throughout the day, only to become a more negative person. I questioned my life and my past actions. I felt like a victim and hated my life.
This period of my life was very frustrating. I felt like I was spinning my wheels all the time, and never getting anywhere. I’m sure you can relate to my story. It seemed like the harder I tried, the more debt I accumulated. I tried to go five steps forward, and ended up going 10 steps back. I knew I had hit rock bottom when the money I had borrowed from my mother to start my ice cream business was lost. The trucks were still out there, but they simply were not producing.
I had no choice but to work an 80-hour week as a taxi driver. I practically slept in my car because I had to make enough just to survive and pay my four workers. My network marketing business failed and my girlfriend even left me. To make matters worse, I had to sneak into the private house where I lived to avoid seeing the landlord because I did not have rent I owed her. I fell so far behind, it became embarrassing just to go home. She lived on the first floor and I lived in the attic, so she usually caught me even though I tried to sneak quietly past her door.
After each disappointment or roadblock, I became more depressed and overwhelmed. I slept long hours and ate several times throughout the day as a way to escape my problems. I questioned my life and my past actions. I felt like a victim and hated my life.
When I got home from work I would lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling, wondering what had happened to my life. Here I was, broke, sad, and desperate. My desire to become a millionaire dissipated with all my problems. Rather than thinking about becoming successful, I became consumed by my problems.
I was so broke, I spent the summer without an air conditioner. You can imagine how hot it was in my 400-square-foot, 2-room attic apartment. Then, when winter arrived and things cooled off, I had to go to a thrift shop to buy a used coat because I couldn’t afford a new one.
Months passed by and things only got worse. I felt stuck in my circumstances and problems, and began to feel there was no way out. Not caring about anything anymore, I didn’t pay parking tickets. The consequence of ignoring the tickets was that my car was towed five times in a single year. When I went to see my father, he would say, “Are you here to ask me for more money, because I don’t have any more for you.” The word “embarrassed” is certainly an understatement.
To avoid all this shame from my family, friends, and peers I decided to avoid them by working, eating, and sleeping whenever I was home. Then, one night while working the night shift at my taxi base, I ran into a woman who was a well-known drug addict. Keep in mind my taxi base was in East New York right in the heart of Brooklyn—one of New York’s highest crime neighborhoods—in the late 90s during the pre-Giuliani days. This lady would come around selling things she had stolen so she could buy more crack cocaine.
Anyway “Nicky” approached me to sell a used radio. I just gave her a look that said, “You know I don’t buy stolen merchandise.” She hung her head and said she just wanted to see if I could give her a few bucks because she was hungry.
Well, I didn’t say a word. I just turned my pockets inside out and showed her I had no money at all. It was the first time in two years as a taxi driver that I did not have a penny to my name. That’s how bad things were. Maybe you can relate.
Nicky couldn’t believe her eyes. “You always have money!” she said. Then she calmed down a little and asked if I was hungry.
I didn’t really want to answer, but before I even could, she pulled a handful of coins out of her pocket and passed them to me. “Have some dinner on me,” she said. When I started to give it back, she wouldn’t take it. “How many nights did I get a meal because of you, and now I want to pay back that favor,” she said.
I couldn’t believe what was happening. Here was a crack lady that had come to me for help, and I was the one who needed her assistance. Wow. It hit me like a ton of bricks. That’s when I knew I had hit rock bottom and started to realize how bad things really were.
Nicky proceeded to tell me that I should be more positive even though she knew things were tough at the moment. When I told her I had pretty much given up considering my circumstances, she let me have it.
“Look here, young man. I know I am not the best person to give advice, but if you want to be rich and successful it isn’t going to happen by hanging around these broke taxi drivers. You need to meet and associate with successful people.”
When I asked her where I was supposed to find successful people, she laughed. “You’re asking me?” Then she became serious again. “Look, I don’t know where you find them, but I know where you don’t find them—here in your car in this neighborhood waiting for a call from the dispatcher.”
Whether she knew it or not, Nicky had hit the nail on the head. I had somehow developed a negative mindset. It was no wonder my business choices weren’t going well. I realized that I had a more negative attitude than she did, and I decided right there and then that I was going to do everything in my power to become an “Unstoppable Champion.”
In 1996, a friend invited me to a network marketing convention in New York. I was desperate, so I accepted the invitation. Within moments, a man by the name of Pablo Zabala mesmerized me. He was the speaker on stage who had a graceful, inspiring and powerful presence. His message was “the power of personal growth.” It was the first time I heard this concept. He explained: “the more you grow, the happier you will be, and the more money you will make.” The entire audience was captivated and engaged. For the first time in a long time, I could see a bright new future. I was anxious and excited to embark upon a new chapter in my life.
I had the courage to approach him on the break. I asked him to recommend a list of good reading books. He recommended only one book to start. It was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I immediately bought the book and read it cover to cover, beginning my endless journey and lifetime investment in self-discovery. I read more books on leadership, marketing, motivation and sales. I attended more seminars, such as Tony Robbins Master University, Landmark Education, Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Tom Hopkins and many others. I was on a quest to “Unleash MY Inner Champion.”
I read once that most successful entrepreneurs and CEOs started out by selling a product or service. This shocked me. With this as inspiration, I joined a network marketing company focused on wellness. I liked the model of network marketing because I could be in business for myself, but not by myself. With training and support, I learned how to sell. I mastered overcoming objections, conducting effective presentations, asking for referrals, and closing the sale. I also mastered empowering people, such as recruiting and building teams and developing leaders. Within a few years, my nationwide team averaged $3.5 million in annual sales.
Shortly thereafter, the network marketing company restructured and changed the commission plan, which rewarded sales but penalized team building and from creating long term residuals. The residual plan was modified to benefit mostly top income earners. Even though I was in the top bracket, I did not agree with the change and certainly did not like how this affected the financial future of other hard-working and ambitious people on my team. I had nothing against Network Marketing, as a matter of fact I loved it and was very grateful for all of the invaluable lessons I had learned, but I decided to move on and follow one of my other passions.
Nothing and no one was going to stop me. Real Estate called to me – but it meant I needed to start all over again. As an entrepreneur, I became accustomed to starting from scratch. So, I created a plan and stuck to it.
I conducted buyer workshops and attended networking events. I was so relentless that I knocked on 3000 doors, regardless of rain and snow, to introduce myself to potential clients in the neighborhood. Soon enough, I built a small group of loyal buyers and sellers. Through long hours of hard work and dedication, I became the agency’s top salesperson within two years and was also offered a partnership position. In the following years, I built a small but powerful sales team that sold over $100 million worth of real estate.
My life turned a new direction. I had the experience of feeling “unstoppable” in life. Regardless of my circumstances, I knew that they were just circumstances.
I started to recognize that my story of shifting from “stuck” to “unstoppable” would somehow inspire and influence others to do the same. Friends and family started to ask me to coach them. Universities invited me to speak to their students. Corporations asked me to deliver keynote speeches to their employees. So, in 2007, I launched my speaking and coaching business.
People often ask why I am so passionate about helping them. My response is that I have a unique ability to empower people to shift from “STUCK” to “UNSTOPPABLE” in all areas of their life. The bottom line is that I am committed to helping people pursue their dreams, focus on their passion and create financial freedom.
If you subscribe to my blog and stay tuned to my messages, I promise that you will gain the tools, tips and resources to empower you in your journey.
Edward R. Munoz
Empowering people to “Unleash Their Inner Champion”
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Hanging out with the CEO & founder of Famous Daves
Spending some time with the Mayor of NY Mike Bloomberg
Hanging out with Jay Kinder (#2 Coldwell Banker Agent in the world) and my wife.
James Malinchak is one of the best Motivational Speakers I know besides me lol…
Ex-President of the Dominican Republic Hipolito Mejia
About to cycle in the NY City 5 borough tour.