The Path of Positive


Keith Doyle: An Irresistible Positive Force

By Kurt Inderbitzin

I never, ever let anything get me down," says Keith Doyle, discussing his philosophy on getting ahead in life.

Such a definitive, absolute statement coming from anyone else might sound...well, a bit less than sincere. After all, everybody has up and down days, right? But when you take a close look at Keith's life, the incredible adversity he's faced and the position he's achieved today as a master networker, it's easy to concede that in this case, such a bold pronouncement may be more than lip service.

 

A Long Slide Down

Keith started out in life at the very threshold of living his childhood dream of playing big-time professional sports. He had a tryout to play defensive back with the Philadelphia Eagles...when disaster struck.

"Before I got my chance to play," Keith recalls, "I blew out my knee." After multiple operations failed to repair the damage, it was clear: his football career was over before it ever really got started. Keith could understandably have taken a few months (or years) to pull his life back together. Isn't that what anyone who has his lifelong passion stripped away would be likely to do?

Not Keith.

"Either you're moving forward, or you're moving backward," he says, in his characteristically matter-of-fact way. Still recovering from his last knee surgery, and with no money, Keith decided to start a roofing business from scratch.

"It was going pretty well," Keith says. "I owned a small house, had a good business." Then, when Keith was 27 years old, disaster struck yet again. Working on a roof in September, two stories up, Keith fell off the building.

"I broke my elbow, shattered my wrist, broke four ribs on one side, and was in a cast for eight months," he reports.

Bad as his physical injuries were, Keith soon faced an even worse prospect: homelessness.

"The roofing company was my business," says Keith, "and I had no way to keep it alive while recovering from my injuries, so it--and I--went bankrupt." Keith lost his money, his house, and, because he was too proud to show up at his parents' doorstep, he soon ended up living on the streets in Pennsylvania in the dead of winter, with temperatures dropping to near zero Fahrenheit.

"I knew I was going to freeze to death if I didn't do something," says Keith. "The only solution I could come up with was to break back into my old house, which was now boarded up because of my bankruptcy, to escape the cold."

At this point, one might assume that Keith was feeling, well, down on his luck. Disenfranchised. Hopeless, even. But this is the guy who said, "I never, ever let anything get me down." Now broke, living illegally in a boarded-up, unheated house and without any real prospects for building a future for himself, Keith's belief in himself and in his future never wavered.

"What can I say, I'm an eternal optimist," says Keith. "Even then, I felt there were new opportunities out there for me."

That positive attitude must have been what kept him from scurrying out the back door when a real estate agent unexpectedly entered Keith's foreclosed house to evaluate it for potential resale. Keith knew that if he were caught living there, the man could have easily called the police and had Keith arrested for breaking and entering.

"But my instinct was not to run away," Keith says. "The man said he wanted to talk, and my first thought was, maybe something good could come from this. So I stayed."

 

The Climb Back Up

The man spent the next 30 minutes interviewing Keith. Asking him where he was from, what he had done in his life and how he'd ended up living as a squatter in a boarded-up house. Keith told him his story, and in the telling, Keith's eternal optimism must have shown through--because the man became convinced that Keith had the right kind of upbeat attitude required for successfully selling real estate.

"On the spot, he offered to lend me the money to start in the real estate business," Keith explains. This put Keith on a roll. Within a month, he began what would become a successful career--and he soon also met a woman named Kim, who would become his wife. Kim immediately sensed in Keith the sheer willpower that was destined to lead him to bigger and better things.

"She barely knew me," Keith remembers, "and her parents, of course, hated me! I mean, I didn't have a job, a car, or a place to live. But she believed in me; she lent me the money to get an apartment and co-signed a loan for me to get a car. She was my rock--and still is today."

With a new place to live, a decent car in which he could meet clients and the financial backing to open an office, Keith started building an extremely successful real estate career.

"I took to real estate immediately. From day one, I was in the top five in sales out of 700 agents in York, Pennsylvania."

Over the years that followed, Keith married Kim; had two children, Zack and Zoey; and built a powerhouse Re/Max real estate company.

"I was making a lot of money," says Keith, "but I was also working 70- and 80-hour weeks, never really seeing my wife and kids. I loved real estate, but the stress and pressure eventually started to get to me and my family."

 

From Humoring a Friend

One day, a close friend of Keith's who was an investment advisor stopped by the office to help set up a college fund for Keith's daughter.

"I hadn't seen him in months," Keith recalls, "and I noticed he had lost a lot of weight."

Keith thought he could stand to lose a few pounds himself, and he was intrigued.

"I asked him what he was doing; he introduced me to a product that took 40 pounds off me without my even dieting."

After Keith had lost the weight, the friend asked Keith if he'd entertain a business proposition involving various weight-loss and nutritional products. Keith wasn't interested; the friend persisted.

"He kept bugging me to take a look," Keith recalls. "Finally he said, 'As my friend, you're going to sit down and listen.'" So Keith sat down and feigned attention for an hour while his friend explained the ins and outs of the business. Keith still wasn't interested, but he felt a certain obligation to his friend. In his spare time, he set up a few appointments to see if he could help his friend out.

"Three weeks into the program, I earned a $300 check, a week later another $300, two weeks later a $900 check." This finally got Keith's attention. "I called my friend and said, 'Okay, what are you doing?' That's when I started working the business."

Keith's income from his "side business" soon exceeded his real estate income--and in half the hours.

"One year after starting to market nutritional products, I sold my real estate business. Kim and I have been full-time in network marketing ever since."

The switch from real estate created a significant improvement in the quality of Keith's life. He had less stress and pressure, and because he worked fewer hours, he finally had time to spend with his family.

"I was spending more quality time with my children in a week than most people spend with theirs in a year."

 

The Secret

There was only one hitch in Keith's life at that point: he was coming to feel that his upward potential in his new venture was limited.

"I was doing well, but I hadn't really broken through the way I wanted to." That's when he got some advice that opened up the flood gates to real success and wealth.

"One of my partners in the business said to me, 'Keith, you've got to take your eyes off of you and put them on other people. Forget all about conventional, competitive business tactics.'"

The advice took a while to sink in--and when it did, everything in Keith's business changed.

"I started helping other people get what they wanted from this business, whether it was $300 extra a week or $3000 extra a week. I began to realize that if I could get enough people making whatever their dreams or goals were, it would give me what I wanted."

Keith's newfound devotion to others in his business, along with his never-get-down attitude, inspired a lot of people to achieve their dreams, and all their successes in pursuing their goals came back to help Keith.

"What I've given to others in this business has come back to me ten-fold," Keith says.

 

The Path of the Positive

Keith's learned some important lessons on the road to becoming a master networker, lessons he incorporates into his daily life and that he encourages others to incorporate as well.

"You have to remember where you come from," he states emphatically. Keith comes from a very poor family, and points out that always keeping this firmly in mind precludes the possibility of success ever getting to his head.

"I worked from the age of eight on," says Keith; "I'm used to hard work, and to not taking for granted any of the success that comes from that work."

Keith's second lesson is to respect everyone, no matter where they are from or what they've achieved.

"I never look at anybody as working 'underneath' me, and I will never look at anybody who has more in life than I do as superior to me, either. I look at everyone as special, whether they come from Yale or jail."

Keith's third lesson is to allow yourself to have dreams and the courage to pursue them.

"I remember in the first few months I was with Kim, when I was broke and homeless, her parents said to me, 'You're nothing but a dreamer.' And I said, 'Man, thanks!--that's the greatest compliment you could ever give me!'"

All three principles have at their core Keith's relentlessly positive energy, his refusal to look backwards even in the face of seemingly overwhelming adversity and his utter belief that the future will always bring good things to him.

"I choose to be creatively positive about everything I do," says Keith. "Most people do what I call 'negative creativity.' You lose your job, and right away you're thinking, 'I should sell the house....' That's negative creativity. Why not think creatively in a positive way? Why not get off the couch and go find something you can do to create the income that will allow you to keep your home?!"

What are Keith's dreams now, after already achieving so much?

"I want to be my company's number one income earner," he replies without hesitation, "and I want to help hundreds more people achieve what they want in life." It's a safe bet that he'll achieve both.

 

 

KURT INDERBITZIN

is a contributing writer to Networking Times.