I truly lived each day like it was my last – and these are the results

***Note***I’m writing this from a hotel room in Denver with a tumor in my brain. I don’t feel too good and am having surgery on it in a few days. For all I know this very well could be the last post I ever write. I only have two more days before my life changes forever. My intent with this post is to show you the road that led to me being where I’m at and also something my kids can read one of these days to learn the same…

Back when I was young and dumb, I thought and was told that I should go to college, get a degree and then I’d get a good high paying job with a company. Boy was this information wrong!

I was a great football player in high school and pretty damn fast. So I thought I’d try my hand at college football. I had scholarship offers from some Ivy League schools and other random ones, but the Ivy League sucks at football! Anyhow, I went to a division II school and I didn’t quite get a scholarship, but the coaches kept dangling that carrot in front of my head (hey Compton keep up the hard work you may get a scholarship)…Anyhow, a few weeks into practice (I was an 18 year old freshman) and I found out what beer and partying meant.

Staying out all night, drinking, partying, yelling obscenities, and acting like an all around heckler caught my fancy. So much so that football not to mention class to a backseat to my newfound love. Did I mention I was the fastest guy on the team at age 18?

I quickly began to skip practice and skip classes. I quit the football team and was put on alcohol probation. I probably still hold the record for amount of times a person was put on alcohol probation but remained in school, at 5 or 6.

College classes came and went. I experienced the ups and downs of dating young and immature girls yada yada yada. I learned a lot.

And yet everyone I knew told me that they were so disappointed in me. Disappointed because they literally saw me throw my talents away. All my friends from high school, all the people in the city where I grew up literally watched a super fast football player, throw a free college education in the trash. I too saw and realized this. It pained me to my very core.

The only lesson you ever need –  Don’t ever live your life with regrets

Then real life began – I got a you guessed it, bank teller job, and had dreams of moving up the big totem pole to VP! Ahhhh how stupid. And please forgive me if this post has bad words, sayings etc. I’m chalking it up to I have a tumor in my head:-).

So here I am working as a bank teller and my sister calls me from Peru, telling me it was the greatest experience she had ever had, and how I needed to travel so I could see what the world was like.. The first and second time she called telling me this I blew it off. But it was about the sixth time when I began to seriously consider what she was saying.

I began to research countries in South America and decided to go to Venezuela . At this time I spoke little Spanish (I’ve always been fluent in Spanish cuss words) and arrived shortly thereafter in Caracas. I stayed in a hotel sitting above the main mall in Caracas and I’ll never forget landing at the airport. The only machine guns I’d ever seen were on TV. But here in the airport in Caracas there were military guys everywhere carrying AK 47’s! Kinda scary. Anyhow upon landing I quickly went to work trying to exchange dollars for Bolivares on the black market. Luckily enough the guy who picked my luggage up understood, picked up his phone, and called one of his buddies who showed up shortly thereafter and exchanged my money.

Venezuela was great. I stayed for about a week, made a lot of friends, and has the greatest time in my life (up to this point). But duty called, and my job  vacation was over. I had to go back to work.

Upon arriving back in the USA, I became depressed. Something inside of my kept telling me that I had to do something else. Was it really time for me to settle down at a 9-5? The more days that passed the more depressed I got. Then finally I decided it was either now or never (1) I could pack up and move to another country while I was young, and travel the world to my hearts desire, or (2) I could do it when I retire.

I chose the former. I didn’t have a lot of money so I sold my SUV. My parents were on board with the whole thing as long as I moved to Brasil and not Caracas. They told me it was due to them knowing a missionary family living in Rio de Janeiro. Quick side story – about a year into my stay in Brasil, I had no passport so I couldn’t fly in the country, so I took a bus back to Rio to look for my lost passport. I didn’t have a place to stay and so the missionary family living in Rio said that I could stay with them until I got things sorted out. The only catch was that to get their home I had to walk through o Cidade de Deus (City of God) following a map some guy drew for me on the bus that showed subway lines etc.. I found the family in their church just outside the City of God. Back to the story.

I bought a one way ticket, not knowing any Portuguese, and took off for Rio De Janeiro. Oh, and I didn’t take any shots.

I arrived in Brasil and had all the crazy tourist stories happen to me: robbed, taken advantage of, shortchanged constantly, losing passports, becoming stranded, sleeping outside in grass because I had no where else to go etc…..But guess what? I not only survived this but flourished! I became fluent in Portuguese, had a nice 3 bedroom house with banana trees in the front yard, and life was peachy. I cruised around in shorts and flip flops everyday. I was in paradise.

Then one day about a year and a half later, I woke up paralyzed in excruciating pain. A couple of buddies carried me to a hospital and two armed guards walked out to greet us. They asked what was wrong to which my friends replied “we think he has dengue fever”. The guards responded “he can’t come in. If a Brazilian was in the United States they wouldn’t let him in the hospital, so we’re not letting him in”. It was then that I realized I needed to get the heck out of Brazil.

A couple of days later, I was back in the United States looking like a shrunken skeleton of a man who my mom didn’t even recognized. I had lost about 50 pounds and a lot of hair. When I went to see my general doctor in Amarillo and told him what I had he said verbatim “shit man, I’ve only read about that in a textbook!”

Time passed and I got better. I began working again in some random bank job (funny, I never liked working at banks) and then one nice Fourth of July day, I went to a friends house for a 4th of July BBQ. I remember it like it was yesterday, I was standing in the kitchen, drinking a beer, and admiring a really hot girl when I turned my head the other way and a sharp spike landed on my flip flopped foot! Ouch!!!! Guess who it was? The hot girl dancing who I was previously admiring. She claims it was an accident but always with a wink in her eye. That high heel sure did hurt! Well the rest is history. This hot girl, Clarivel and I were married shortly thereafter. She has been great and also blessed me with two sons and a a daughter.

This was the beginning. At this point in time I lived in a really small shack like house. It was disgusting. But I kept keeping on keeping on and found myself in some sales jobs. These jobs were great and I made good money, but the boss always ended up having problems with me because I sold too much! So I decided I needed a career rather than a sales job. I quit sales and got a job at a energy company, calling people trying to collect bad debts. My mindset at this point in time was to be the best bad bill collector the company had every seen. At the same time though, I wanted to make more money, so I began applying for internal positions within the company. 75 job applications later, a job in Denver Colorado opened up and I was asked to fill it. Guess what? My wife was in the hospital going into labor when I told her, “Hey baby, we’re moving to Denver!” She was all on board.

We moved to Denver, and had the time of our life. Still to this day, it’s like a beautiful dream you never want to forget. I never will. I had I think three jobs in Denver and learned a lot. This was also ground zero of me becoming an entrepreneur. I opened up an online E-Store and began selling tea as a weight loss supplement, acne cure all, and detox. This little venture proved profitable but more importantly opened my eyes about the millions of ways to make money.

Still at this point, I thought moving up the corporate ladder was where it was at. I thought an MBA sounds good. So I began B-School. I quickly saw that these courses were even easier than undergrad, so I dropped out. Next I thought “ok law school sounds like a good idea” so I enrolled in law school. I did great and was top 10% each year. But I had ulterior motives in going to law school. It was never to become a lawyer. Nope. It was so that I could make my own mind up about things without having to consult lawyers or ask them what to do. Going to law school did help me in quite a few ways, however, I would recommend that most people don’t go.

Denver was fun. We lived in a couple of apartments and we watched our oldest son grow up. I still remember sitting on the couch in our last apartment watching him climb up the shelves in the cupboard in his diapers. I thought, “heck this kid is going to be something else”. I would also lay on my stomach on the floor and snore, acting like I was sleeping and he’d come over and hit me and scream and bother me trying to wake me up…Those were the good ol’ days. And I know these are the things that will be running through my mind in a couple of days when I’m having surgery.

Housing prices in Denver at this point were skyrocketing and we were also getting squeezed with rent. Each year rent increases and the price we were paying in rent was becoming astronomical. Something had to give. We began discussing options. One option was to ask for a raise (I did). Another was to see if I could work remotely from Texas (they said no), the other was to look for a job back in Amarillo. We did look for houses in Denver, but when we saw what $250k would get us and in what neighborhood’s, we quickly turned our gaze back towards Texas.

To our luck Xcel Amarillo was hiring! Yay! I got the job and without going into too much detail ( I do thaht in previous posts) and 6 or 8 months later I quit. I quit because I was tired of working 110 hours per week for no reason. It was flat out the most stupid experience I ever had. Oh well, life’s too short to squawk about that. Anyhow, I started two companies, one of which is still running strong two years later. I used what I had learned from starting the tea company and improved on it and thus the companies had a good shot at being successful.

We bought a house in Amarillo, and my wife gave birth to another son and exactly what she wanted, a girl! We also got a dog (Roxie). After I started these two companies I began to experiment with making money with drones, marketing companies, carpet cleaning, recycling, etc. I learned a TON starting these companies and figuring out the ins and outs of them.

Then came one of the best times of my life – 8 months of nothing but reading and writing. Each day I would lay on the living room couch and read all day into the night. I would talk to my wife and joke with her, eat her good food and play with the kids. And I learned so so so very much. Not trying to brag – but I’ve read more books than 99% of folks will in their lifetime. You should see my library!

At this time I also became a famous writer. In fact, the first thing I ever wrote made me famous. I wrote a piece on Quora about drones that immediately went viral and ratcheted up hundreds of thousands of view in just a couple of days. It was writings like this that enabled me to work for a Silicon Valley drone tech startup and writing content for famous author James Altucher.

Now that I’m staring death in the face I realize that the time I spent laying on my couch reading and being with my wife was one of the best and happiest moments in my entire life! I will cherish those times forever.

One day after about 8 months had passed one of my Denver Xcel colleagues called me and asked what the hell I had been up to? I responded  “nothing, just reading and enjoying life”. He said “man you aren’t going to level up in life or take it to the next level like that, you got to either sell your company or start a new one”. I kind of laughed it off, but what he said stuck in my head. He was right. I was too young to be coasting when I had all the energy in the world to create any company I pleased.

I had been kicking the idea of a food delivery service around for a year prior. I already knew how it worked, the strategy I would use, etc. and so within 3 weeks I launched Yellow City Delivery. All companies talk about  growth curves and the fleeting “hockey stick”. I watched Yellow City Delivery hockey stick at about 4 weeks in. There probably hasn’t been another company in Amarillo ever do that, ever. Anyhow, my work days looked like this, wake up at 7 am go to bed at 1 or 2 am. The doctors said that this did not help my condition any and probably worsened due to weakening my immune system. Word to the wise – work isn’t everything. In fact if I could go back and start over, I’d go straight back to laying on my couch reading, enjoying my wife.

Take it from me – here I am, a successful businessman and writer staring death in the face telling you that working like a rat is not worth it, not on your dime or your company’s dime. There are more important things. You know what fills my head now? Thoughts of my young kids who may not ever get to know who their daddy was, or how he was, or how he questioned assumptions. I’m thinking about my oldest Dylan and how I love him more than anything in this world. Every time I look at his beautiful face or hear is voice I tear up. I don’t understand why this is happening to me, I’m only 32 and I have so many more things that I want to do.

You know one thing that makes me sad? There are so many more books that I want to read!

I’m sad because I’m going to leave my family here on earth without a husband and without a dad. I’m sad because I only have two more days before my life changes forever. It’s like I’m trying to burn everything I see and hear into my memory so I’ll never forget. It’s also why I’m trying to create things on Facebook and my website that can remain forever and save my voice and personality for my kids and family.

I can truly truly say that I lived every day like it was my last. It took me having the one regret I have in my life (not finishing out football and quitting) to teach me the greatest lesson – LIVE EACH DAY WITH NO REGRETS. When making a decision ask yourself, “will I regret this if I choose the other option?” If the answer to this question is yes, then you my friend need to reconsider. You don’t want to be an old person lying on their deathbed regretting not having done something. You freaking do it and quit worrying.

One other important must learn lesson is this – don’t care what other people think about you! Who gives a damn if someone doesn’t like you, thinks  your weird, or whatever. Who are they? Nobody. Another way to put it is this – you can’t please everyone and if you try to do this, then you’re always going to be disappointed. Don’t do it. Ever. Be yourself. Write and talk in your own voice and good things will happen.

I’m gonna end what may be my last post I ever write with a list of things I accomplished in a span of 6 years:

  1. Became fluent in Portuguese
  2. Became fluent in Spanish
  3. Built a marketing company
  4. Built a maid company
  5. Built a drone company
  6. Made some viral youtube videos which by my estimation will rack up around 100k views by August 2017.
  7. Became a famous writer on Quora and personal blog. My stats on Quora reflect 1.9 million answer views but in reality its closer to 4 or 5 million, but since Quora removed my most popular answers, I’m left with 1.9 million. Quora is a highly left leaning website and just a word to the wise – if you write and expose the truth on Quora, they will kick or ban you. Trust me, they did it to me like clockwork.james-compton.quora
  8. Wrote a book
  9. Created an online course
  10. Worked with some drone startup companies in Silicon Valley
  11. Worked and wrote content with James Altucher. First piece premiering March 1, 2017. The day before my birthday 🙂
  12. Quit the worst corporate job in my life at Xcel Energy Amarillo (company is lucky I didn’t sue them for millions).
  13. Built a food delivery service
  14. Last and most important, I married the woman I love with all my heard, and have three of the most beautiful kids you’ll ever see
    1. Dylan James Compton – 4.5 years old
    2. Maverick Gregory Compton – 1.5
    3. Isabella Claire Compton – 4 months
  15. Read more books than 99% of folks will read in their life. Note to sons – I’ve selected the books that changed my life and influenced me the most and placed them in a container. When you want to know how your dad was or how he thought or what intrigued him, pick up one of these books and read it. Then you’ll begin to get a flavor of how your dad thought.

 

Note for my kids —You have no idea how much I love you. I loved you each from the moment I laid eyes on you. You three and your mom are my world. And I will always always always love you and be thinking about you, even if I’m looking down on your from heaven. Everything I did, I did for you three. I could have worked 150 hours a week for you guys. But in hindsight, I’d rather have just worked a minimum wage job, spending every second of my free time with you. I love you more than you’ll ever know. And Dylan – you’re always going to be my little flex daddy and my little Bubbus. You were the best thing to ever happen to me and I’ll be thinking about all the fun times we had in Denver playing in the parks, laughing, and running around. You are without a doubt, my best buddy. And even if I’m not here on Earth when you go to your first day of school, make your first touchdown, or first kiss, or first disappointment, know that I am there with you, right by your side, loving you and crying and celebrating with you each step of the way.

Note for my wife –I never knew what love was until I met you. You saved me from a life of pain. My whole life I knew that there were special things inside of me, but I never had a reason to let them out for the world to see. You gave me that reason. Without you, I would have been dead a long time ago. I owe everything to you and would have accomplished nothing without you. Thank you for your love and for loving me even when it was hard. Now that I’m facing death, I’m comforted knowing that I can always choose to die at our home, in our bed, looking at your beautiful face. I’ll love you forever and ever, and I will be watching over you and our kids always.

 

P.S. I had to write this post because I do not know what the outcome of surgery, tests, etc will be. My hope is that I come out of this fine while learning a lot of lessons. Lessons that I can share with you all and that we can learn from. I truly hope that a month or two from now I’m publishing a new post. I love you all! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

19 thoughts on “I truly lived each day like it was my last – and these are the results

  1. This post really touched my heart, thank you for inspiring me to take more action.

    A tumour is no match for a man with your spirit and energy.. I wish you a speedy recovery – and look forward to reading your next post 🙂

  2. Dammit James… isso é foda! I’m sure you understand my Portuguese…
    We never spoke, I didn’t agree with everything you say or think, but I really respect you for what you achieve in life and how you transmit your believes… and now this… porra.
    I really hope you get over this situation with nothing but a story to tell, you deserve to live with your family for many years, and they surely deserves you with them.
    I have no idea what you’re passing right now, but try to think positive, fill your chest and stand still, you will fight for your rights like you always did, taking shit from no one, much less from a piece of tissue that thinks it can decide if you live or die?? fuck it, fuck everyone and everything that tries to stand between you and your family, that will just not happen, you are in control of your life, so YOU decide when the show is over, and the show is just starting!
    I really wish you to be brave, I’m sure you’ll win this battle, like you won all the previous ones.
    Piece brother, my thoughts will be with you, fighting that s.o.b..
    I’ll be waiting for your next post, whenever you’re ready.

  3. Now we’re getting real. My family is genuinely praying for God’s awesome will over you and your family. All the best to you James.

  4. Bro, knowing u fur a minute now, from school and all, don’t really know wat u ever really thought about me or anything, but i always thought of u a a really cool guy just the lull i knew of u, ya know, i really wasn’t up there in everybody’s lets kik it wit that guy group, i kinds just mostly kept to myself really , but still i thought u was pretty cool Bro, kinda wish we had had the chance then, to kick it more, any way bro, i just wanted to tell u man, Im guna be praying for u man, i got a feeling, ull be back out doing yo thing before u know it, but ya man, i definitely be praying for u my friend, and hell, u ever get back over here to Lvt any time, who know maybe we get that chance sum time to get to kik it more out sum thing, any way bro, i hope u have a fast recovery Or wat ever, and I’m keeping u in my prayers bro, , ha hit me up u ever make it back over to the ole Lvt bro,

  5. Wish you the best man. Hope you pull through.

    Found you on Quora a couple months ago and loved your style.

    Stay strong brotha.

  6. You are now and forever will be an inspiration. All the best with your surgery but if you don’t make… I simply want to say I’ve enjoyed reading everything you’ve wrote. I’ve enjoyed the journey you’ve shared with us. Most of I appreciate always being so upfront and candid.

    Wishing you the best, but always remember if you leave an impression even just on one person then your legacy will not be forgotten and your life was worth something…

    Good luck!

  7. Wow James what a beautiful story, but do not write your ending, write another chapter. God is good. Prayers to u and your family. You are an amazing young man.

  8. Love you Guerro flaco I’m proud to hear you are doing good. Say hi to Jenna and remember you have friends that pray for you in LVT NM May Our God Heal You and give you strength to conquer all illness and to bless you and your family.

  9. James, your words truly touched me and made me feel. I love you and will take your words as lessons to continue to grow and learn. This is not the end. Thank you for being a star on Earth and will look forward to more of your posts and updates. Thank you.

  10. Man, you’ve got my prayers. Looking forward to reading your blog posts in some weeks 🙂

    P.S. If you need any advice on recovery, I’ll be able to get you in contact with my dad/translate the e-mails, he’s got 30+ years of experience at it.

    Get well!

  11. I’ve read this post so may times. Nice to see the new stuff as well. After reading this a few times I went out and got a passport (I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get one haha) l don’t know where I’m going yet, but I’ve already taken the days off. You’ve definitely inspired me to do a lot more traveling. Hope you’re doing well!

  12. James, thank you for that. You’re an inspiration. I pray for a full recovery my friend. You and I have a lot in common. I’m also an entrepreneur. I’ve had businesses, online and off. About 9 years ago, I gave up entrepreneurship, went back to school, got a business degree, became a CPA, and I now work a 9-5 job working as an auditor. It’s a great job, but I realized about a year ago that 9-5 is not where it’s at for me. I needed to go back and follow my passion for business and being an entrepreneur and having the freedom to travel. That’s when I discovered my passion for flying drones. I’m obsessed with it, and that has caused my wife and I to go out to the great outdoors, hiking, and flying. It’s great, and I’m loving it. I was a photographer many years ago and I still do photography for fun. But now, drones have rekindled my passion not only for photography but also videography using drones. But I’m also interested in building a drone business in inspections in energy and other industries. That’s what lead me to you. I’m interested in not only making money, but where you and I also are similar is that about a year ago, something spiritual happened to me where I believe our Lord God wants me to deliver a message to the world and especially to my fellow Christians and Americans in general. I’ve been writing a book on that experience but I’ve also been exploring YouTube and other social media to deliver my message. I need your advice and insights into the drone business but also blogging, YouTube, etc. to deliver God’s message. Thanks again for that inspiring post. I’m praying for you and your wonderful family. Btw, I have a family too that I often think about someday losing when God decides to call me. And it makes me sad to think of that time. I have 3 grown children and 6 beautiful grand kids with another on the way. Be strong my brother. Have faith, and you will pull through this, and you will continue to be an inspiration to the world.

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