Long before I was “The Bachelor,” I was just a normal kid raised by two loving parents in Irving, Texas. This Dallas suburb was full of hard-working middle-class families like mine. We weren’t rich, but we fared better than most: my dad had done well as an insurance agent, which gave him the ability to take family vacations and scoot out of the office early to watch me at football practice.

I always appreciated the time he dedicated to our family and knew I wanted a job that would allow the same freedom. But sitting behind a desk all day didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to work toward something really big. I wanted to build something of my own.

After graduating college, I knew I wanted to tackle my entrepreneurial endeavors, but I didn’t exactly have a game plan. I pursued all kinds of jobs. In my 20s, I was a personal trainer (a fun way to make money while devising a real plan), flipped a house (loved every minute of it but the market crashed shortly after I sold it), sold oil and gas investments (learned real quick how much boiler rooms suck), helped two friends start their own oil and gas company (the oil market crashed shortly thereafter), created and sold a discount coupon book for golf courses (not a bad little venture), bought and sold toxic mortgage debt for a startup (helped me better understand mortgages), started my own financial services company which serviced debt (that went down in flames due to FTC regulations), and begrudgingly worked as an insurance agent (hated every second of it).

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I’m sure I looked like a kid drifting from job to job without any plans for his future. But each of those jobs, successful or not, taught me valuable lessons in business and none of them swayed me from my dreams. In fact, each experience only strengthened my desire to make it as an entrepreneur.

After the collapse of the financial services company I had started, I found myself sitting behind a desk selling insurance like I swore I’d never do. In my mind, it was an interim job until I could regroup and figure out what would come next.

 

One day, I received an unexpected call from a casting director in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to me, my sister had signed me up for ABC’s The Bachelorette. After considerable back and forth, I decided to throw my hat in the ring to be on this silly TV show. It meant free travel, after all.

I was cast for the show and, after being dumped on national TV, was asked to be on The Bachelor.

As soon as the first episode aired, I was thrust into fame. Each week, millions of people tuned in to see if I’d find the love of my life. I did in fact find love with a beautiful girl named Catherine. We’ve been married two years now and are expecting our first child this summer.

 

When the show ended, I realized the financial potential of that whole wacky experience. I was asked to take part in Dancing with the Stars, which came with a nice paycheck. I was introduced to the world of Hollywood promotional parties where sponsors pay you just for showing up. I wrote a New York Times best seller, got paid to tweet about various products and was asked to take part in numerous meet-and-greets for a nice sum.

Fame pays, but, I knew it’d be short-lived. If I could save every penny, I could parlay it into long-lasting success back home in Dallas.

Fast-forward to the present, and that money I saved is being spent developing real estate projects in Dallas with my good friend and realtor, Rogers Healy. Together, we’ve developed close to $10 million worth of residential and multi-family real estate. We’ve built and sold speculative projects so far, but we anticipate building multi-family rentals and mixed-use commercial buildings in the near future that will hopefully generate residual income and safeguard us from a downturn in the housing market.

I guess I owe most of my entrepreneurial success to The Bachelor. I never imagined signing up for a reality show about love would have led me to the realization of my dreams (and my wife!).