Weldon Long knows firsthand that Maui is nicer than prison.
After 13 years separated from society by concrete walls and razor wire, he emerged from prison during 2003 a transformed man. Breaking a 20-year cycle of prison, poverty and addiction, he has since built a multi-million dollar business — Wright Indoor Total Comfort — which he purchased during 2004.
The company generated $7 million in sales during 2007 and $5.5 million last year. Last year, Long started ITSUP2U Media.
His book, “The Upside of FEAR,” which describes his descent into a life as a high school dropout and criminal, is garnering international attention and five-star reviews. The memoir was inspired by Dr. Stephen Covey, whose book motivated Long to rebuild his life.
Long recently took time to tell CSBJ about himself and his organization.
Organization: ITSUP2U Media
Hometown: Military brat — grew up in south Louisiana
How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: 22 years
Education: Bachelors degree in law; master’s of business administration in management
A few words about your company: ITSUP2U Media inspires and motivates individuals and organizations to create happiness, wealth and peace of mind.
We demonstrate how to find freedom from fear in life and business by using a successful formula I developed several years ago. The primary vehicle for delivering this message of hope is my book, “The Upside of FEAR,” along with professional speaking events.
FEAR stands for focus, emotional commitment, action and responsibility. These four things, if followed daily, will change your life and allow you achieve your goals.
It’s not about what curves life throws at us, but how we react to them that ultimately matters. Learning how to handle those curveballs while staying focused to the task, no matter what it might be, is what we are able to teach people.
I know it works, because I was able to change my life in a big way.
Recent accomplishments: “The Upside of FEAR” was selected as “2009 Best Autobiography” at the New York Book Festival and first runner-up at the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival.
The memoir chronicles my road from prison to redemption, as a successful business owner and family man.
Additionally, my Colorado Springs heating and cooling company, Wright Total Indoor Comfort, just made the 2009 Inc. 5000 list of the “Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America.”
Biggest career break/accomplishment: Reached a multi-million dollar sales training agreement with one of the world’s largest heating and air-conditioning manufacturers. ITSUP2U Media will provide sales and marketing training to its national dealers.
The toughest part of your job: Waiting. Since I am a little hyper, I have a hard time waiting around. Most of my day is spent trying to make something (anything) happen.
Someone you admire: Stephen R. Covey — he is one of the most influential leaders of our time and his work will impact organizations and families for generations to come.
I read his books while I was in prison, and he had such a profound effect on me. The fact that he now endorses my book is an incredible honor.
About your family: I’ve been married for five years to Janet Cole. We have two sons, Hunter, 16, and Hunter, 26. My wife and I met at Single Parents of Hunters Anonymous. It’s a “long” story.
Something else you’d like to accomplish: I’m currently working on a CD set, “The Upside of FEAR: A Simple Plan to Create Happiness, Wealth and Peace of Mind in Life and Business.”
I am also working on a personal development book.
How your business will change during the next decade: We are experimenting with online broadcast technology which will allow us to deliver personal development and sales training programs via the Internet (more time for the beach and less time traveling).
What book are you currently reading? “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker.
What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? We really need a new public golf course on the west side.