Matt's Story

Have you ever hit a crossroads in your life? One pivotal moment where the next decision you had to make would change your life forever?

I remember sitting yoga style on the floor of my cold, dark bedroom, one night eleven years ago. I was alone, my head buried in my hands, sobbing uncontrollably. I remember saying to myself, This is it.

That’s when I was faced with my moment. 

I was going through a difficult divorce. My son’s future was in danger because I didn’t have full custody. I had filed bankruptcy. I had lost my house, which was being auctioned off the next day. And, on top of it all, I was dealing with non-stop harassment.

As I sat there, I contemplated for the first time in my life what it would be like if I just gave up, if I gave in, if I shut down my business and decided to just bag groceries for the rest of my life – if I discarded my vision and dreams. With everything going on, things were just too hard. What if I took the easy way out? 

That was my moment. But these thoughts were at war with everything my family stood for & even more importantly, everything I stood for in my life.

In my family, quitting was never an option. You didn’t quit – ever.

As I sat there struggling, I thought about my dad and his struggles. How he escaped Hungary back in 1956 in the middle of the night when he was just seven years old; how he and his family boarded a train to Luxembourg and from there were taken by horse and buggy along the long river that separated Hungary and Austria. 

They were in dire trouble. To survive, it was imperative that they cross one of the bridges and reach the other side of the river. They approached the bridges one by one, but the Russian army was always there before them. Each bridge they approached was blown up before them.

Only the last bridge was still intact. My dad’s family, along with some other families they were traveling with, asked a Hungarian soldier with an army truck if he would take them over it. They paid him all the money they could. The families hid in the back of the truck bed so they wouldn’t be seen.

At the last Russian checkpoint before the bridge, the driver was pulled over. The Russian soldiers ordered him to get out the truck. They decided to check the back.

The soldiers ordered the driver to shut off the vehicle first. He got back in the truck to kill the engine. Then he saved them all – he threw the truck in drive. 

The Russian guards immediately began firing their weapons at the Hungarian. If they’d shot out the truck’s tires, it would all have been over. But they failed! The families made it to the last bridge before it was blown up and were able to cross into Austria to safety.

The rest is history. My dad came to America. He couldn’t speak English, so he had to learn another language, and he worked his ass off. He served in the army in the Vietnam War for eighteen months and built two welding businesses. He has been married to my mom for forty-three years, brought up four children, and now has eight grandchildren. My dad could have given up at so many points, but he didn’t, even though the odds were stacked up against him. In the beginning, he had no money, no English to communicate, nothing!

He taught me in my life the importance of going after your dreams, working hard, taking action, the importance of health & fitness, protecting yourself & your family, leading by example and above all else doing whats right!

After everything he went through, how could I not fight?

Then I began thinking about my own life, I never quit before when the odds were stacked against me, I sure wasn’t about to start in this moment, hell, I remembered after graduating high school when I was supposed to go to St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire and then mid-summer, literally in July, my gut told me NO, so what did I do, I called them and politely said that I would not be attending their school in September. 

Instead, I applied to the University of Wyoming which was 2600 miles from my little home town in Massachusetts and the rest is, well, the rest is ME! 

It made no logical sense and more than a few people thought I was crazy. I actually didn’t know too much about the school except that my uncle Rich had graduated from there – I just knew I had to go. Heck, I didn’t even know how I would get to Laramie, where the University was. I ended up flying out to Colorado by myself, having never flown alone before. And back then wasn’t like today. I had no cell phone, no Internet… If you moved far away from home, you truly felt it. With no family anywhere nearby, it was an odd choice to make to say the least but it was the best choice I could have made.

That decision catapulted me to where I am right now at this moment!  I do the things I do because my Heart and Intuition tell me so! It might not seem realistic to others but that is the secret, being realistic is the norm just like conventional wisdom is always wrong. I like being unrealistic and marching to the beat of my own drum.

Everything seemed to be going against me, but, now, when I look back, it was all going perfectly. It was going the way it needed to go to get me where I am right now.

Soon after making the decision to keep fighting, I met my soul mate. Over the next two years, I fought for and won sole physical and legal custody of my son. In the past twelve years with my wife, we have had two more beautiful children, built two successful companies, and have authored three books. 

In that moment while sitting in that cold darkness in the middle of the night, I decided that there was something bigger at stake. It was my son’s safety. It was our future. It was my vision of making a positive impact in the world and providing not only for my son at that moment but the future family I envisioned down the road. 

Everything seemed to be going against me, but, now, when I look back, it was all going perfectly. It was going the way it needed to go to get me where I am right now.  Just like everything previously in my life when I was younger.

If I had chosen the easier path, the path of least resistance, nothing in my present life would be here. My family wouldn’t exist, nor would anything that we have accomplished.  

Alpha Vezeto doesn’t exist if I don’t listen to that voice deep in my gut, that burning desire to cause a movement and change the world while making a positive impact for generations to come. 

Do you want to make a difference in this world? Do you want to make your dreams your reality?  Do you want the support from a brotherhood that can help you along every step to achieve everything you ever wanted?

I am here to tell you that YOU CAN!  You just have to take appropriate action right now in this moment!

I learned a valuable lesson that cold, dark night, sobbing alone in the house I was about to lose. Even in the darkest of times, you can look within yourself and find a spark – a reason to prevail, to achieve everything you deserve, everything you envision.

Decisions can be driven by desperation or inspiration. But regardless of what has gone before, success starts with a decision and one simple thought coupled with appropriate action.

What was your moment? The moment you realized everything rested on your next decision? Is this it?

 

Defining what success means to me 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “success” is: The attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. When most people judge whether someone is successful or not, they look at their position, their income and their material possessions: Are they someone’s boss? Is their salary six figures? Do they have a big house? Do they have a flashy car? Being successful is often equated to vast amounts of riches, hitting the top of a corporate ladder, or standing at the head of an entrepreneurial empire.

It’s important to recognize, though, that someone’s idea of success is highly personal. In reality, success means different things to different people. It really doesn’t matter what position you’ve reached or what possessions you have – what matters is that you have achieved happiness, fulfillment, abundance, whatever those terms mean to you.

To me, success is in living my dreams – even those that might seem impossible to other people. In my role as a personal safety instructor, it is in teaching someone the tools and tactics they need to prevail against violence – tools that can save their life.

As an entrepreneur, it’s in building a far-reaching business and creating a paradigm shift in my industry, connecting a network of like-minded souls and helping millions of men.

As a husband and father, it’s in nurturing my family and, in partnership with my wife, providing my children with a loving home where they can learn how to shape their own dreams.

As a strength & conditioning coach it’s about having Health & Fitness as my #1 value because I know that if I am not healthy I can’t help the people around me, So, working out, eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle truly is the basis for everything in life.

Overall, it’s about being inspired to work towards something bigger than myself and creating an environment as well as habits to thrive.  Motivation fades over time. Being inspired is a flame deep down inside your core being that will never burn out. 

Things may be different for you. We likely have different dreams. What’s important is that, in order to go on to achieve the life you want, you define what success means to you. Maybe it does have a dollar amount – that’s fine. Maybe it is reaching a certain position, or being able to live in a certain location, obtaining the freedom to create art, or having the time to appreciate it. 

Whatever it is, no dream is impossible. Everything is possible. Forget about looking at everyone else, judging how successful they are, and assessing how successful you are in relation to them. Everyone can be successful. Success is not a finite resource. Life holds infinite possibilities.

So why, if everything is possible, doesn’t everyone have exactly what they want? Why do people say, I can’t, or Not me…?

Often, people remain stuck in a state of inertia rather than taking the appropriate action to get them where they want to be. They exist in a state of homeostasis. Their dreams are only wishes; they don’t believe in them, so they have no power.

People resist leaving the comfort zone because they don’t like to take risks. But risk is a matter of perception – isn’t the greater risk that you miss out on achieving everything you ever wanted?

The simple fact of the matter is that we are conditioned to think we don’t like change. Generally, we only look to get a new job when we lose the old one or when we stop enjoying it; we only look to work on weight loss, fitness and nutrition once we become overweight, unfit and have health problems; we often only decide to consider our personal safety once something has already happened to us or someone close to home. 

To make a change is to make an effort. The path of least resistance, of least stress and discomfort, is to do nothing – to remain in suspended animation. The problem with this, though, is that you don’t get anywhere.

If you want things to be different – to be better – you have to make a decision. The question is, what drives someone to make a decision? As I’ve mentioned, it can be desperation or inspiration – but you get to choose. If you want more, if you want to grasp that elusive essence of success, then it’s time to choose something bigger. 

All it takes is a decision threaded with action – a decision to be at cause rather than effect. Wake up in the morning and, rather than face your reality, create it yourself. When you approach life this way, it is just as easy to be successful as it is to be unsuccessful.

It doesn’t matter what background you have – where you come from, where your family came from. It doesn’t matter what level of education you’ve had. Some of the most successful people in the world have reached the heights they have without having had an advanced, formal education.

I remember about 4yrs ago during the summer of 2015, I had hit my breaking point, I needed a change! Life was more than getting up at 3am, leaving my house at 3:45am and not getting home until 7-8pm at night! I came home and told my wife one night that I was resigning from my business, I had enough.  We got into a huge fight because we had no other source of income coming in at that time, a few days later I came to my logical senses and told her I would cut down to twice per week training, in addition I wrote down 3 goals on a piece of paper that I wanted to attain in 6-months.  When I read one of them Krissy thought I was crazy and I took it personally, from that moment I changed and started on a path of personal development that would change our lives forever! 

Christmas, I bought Krissy a diamond key necklace. The key is such a powerful symbol. Things were really taking off in her business that she started a few months prior and I could see how incredible things were, and wanted to give her something that represented it all – the key to success.

Then something truly amazing happened to me while I was at the jewelry store. I looked in my wallet when it was time to pay for the necklace and found a piece of paper with a list of things written on it that I had envisioned for us six months before. I’d written them down and then let them go, turning my attention to taking appropriate action and trusting that life would meet us half way and we’d find ourselves where we wanted to be – I’d forgotten all about the piece of paper.

When I read what I had written, I cried. As of the day before, we had hit every single thing I’d put down on paper! Instead of a Christmas card, along with the necklace, I gave Krissy the old, scribbled note.

Nothing could show more clearly that we are the creators of our destiny. The actions we take every day make our dreams and visions come true.

We create our own reality and the universe delivers! When you believe in something down to your core and take action, it will happen for you. It simply has to happen. Your body can’t exist in a world that it wasn’t meant for; the universe will open its doors for you. Life is truly amazing!

Too many people focus on the negatives instead of focusing on the positives. My default program is now one of positive thinking, and I want it to be yours as well. When your inner world is filled to the brim with positive thoughts and intentions, they can’t help but overflow into your external reality. Like attracts like. You get what you ask for – that’s what you deserve.

Have you ever decided to make a change and had five different people tell you five different ways to do it the “right” way?

They look at whatever steps you’re taking to improve your life on your terms, and criticize them. They judge your efforts, your lifestyle, and your appearance. If you’re eating a certain way, they tell you why it’s wrong and what you should be eating – like them. If you’re doing one form of exercise, they tell you they think you should be doing another – theirs. It’s their way or the highway.

There are lots of people out there, often on the latest and greatest bandwagon, who have this kind of narrow focus and closed mind.

In fact, I can relate to this personally. When I was younger, around twelve, my dad taught me about weight lifting and working out. I got into Arnold Schwarzenegger and of course the documentary, “Pumping Iron”. And my world, at that time, was what my dad did. My dad trained like a body builder and body-building became my basis. I didn’t have any education on how to train for performance.

At the age of twelve, I got my first weight-lifting belt. It wasn’t until I went to college that I learned such a belt was a waste of time unless you were doing one rep max on a squat, for example. But my dad wore it for everything…LOL. That’s just what people did back in the day. They wore it for curls, for bench-pressing, for everything! We know now that you don’t need a weight-lifting belt because you want your core to actually engage. The belt hinders you; it’s a crutch. But it’s what I was originally taught; and it’s what my dad was taught. And it’s easy to take what you’re first taught as the be all and end all.

Fast forward to college and the beginning of my career in strength and conditioning, the first thing I did was go and ask if I could learn from the head strength and conditioning coach at Wyoming which then lead to a multitude of other coaches and mentors throughout the years in addition to reading and studying every book and course I could get my hands on. Add 18yrs of being a strength coach in the trenches applying everything I learned, and I now had a system for success.

It was in doing, applying the knowledge that I started to experience other ways of training; ways that were different from my dad’s bodybuilding way. It was the place I learned to focus on performance, rather than just hypertrophy and getting bigger. This was the first step towards realizing the value of a mixed martial arts approach to health and fitness, where you combine different techniques. You can mix it up and come out stronger than if you get caught up just focusing on a sole discipline and doing the same thing every day with a narrow mindset.

This holistic approach is now the way I tackle my entire life, every single day. And every single day, the first thing I pay attention to is my health – in body and mind. My health is everything – nothing is possible without it.

Alpha Vezeto is about doing the right thing for your body, including your mind. and soul. If you do the right thing for your body, your whole being will thank you.

Whatever you think your main goal is – to become successful, to become wealthy, to become influential, to impact the world– to live a successful, high-performance life, you need your health. Your health is everything. Without it, you have nothing.

It’s been a journey getting to where I am now, embracing a multi-disciplinary and principle-driven approach to mindset, leadership, fitness, nutrition and personal safety to live a high-performance life. I’ve spent 100’s of thousands on degree’s, coaching programs, coaches, mentors, masterminds, books, failures, etc. 

Now, I’m not saying it’s my way or the highway. People have a lot of polarity towards one thing or another thing, but I think it’s best to be balanced. I don’t think any one system is the best – I think it takes variety to achieve this balanced approach. It took a long path and a lot of teachers to bring me to this point in my life.

What I have found in the course of my work along the way is that the word self-protection has come to mean much more to me than the ability to prevail against physical violence – and that’s where Alpha Vezeto has come from! Protecting your Self isn’t only about fending off violent forces – it’s about achieving your full potential, physically, mentally and emotionally. Taking charge and leading through action to attain results! These aspects are all tied together in being a true Alpha Vezeto!

There are five pillars that I base my life around as of today: Mindset/Soulset, Leadership, Health & Fitness, Personal Safety and Nutrition.

I’ve been leading from the trenches for the last 20 years, coaching strength and conditioning, personal development, leadership and personal safety. And every day, I’ve been practicing these 5 Pillars creating my own system for success. I’ve been putting into action everything I coach into my own life as well as others closest to me.

Let me be clear. I am no different from you. We are truly all one; we are all connected. But I am not here to push my views, especially my view of the world, onto you. I am just here to let you know the tools, tactics and strategies that have helped me in my own life because I know that they can help you in yours.

This is the knowledge and support system of brothers that I wish I’d been a part of when I was younger – it’s a community to help you Evolve, Inspire and Impact! 

I’ve put together everything I have learned that has got me where I am today. Though I don’t regret the journey it’s taken me to get here – and it’s served its purpose teaching me everything I know – I want to help you achieve your visions and live your dreams right now!

All I can promise you is that you can change your life and achieve your wildest dreams as Alpha Vezeto!