Reinvent Yourself – Scott Vitali

“If you want things to change, you have to change.

If you want things to get better, you have to get better.

If you want to have more, you must become more.

– Business & Life Philosopher, Jim Rohn

Scott Vitali is a living, breathing example of change, of metamorphosis, of becoming someone he always knew he was, but as too many people unconsciously do, Scott was holding himself in check, refusing to recognize and unleash his inner power.

Every human being possesses this power. Every one. Yes you, reading this story… you have that power too. If Scott can do it, so can you!

And make no mistake, Scott is living his best life, having joined USHEALTH Advisors in the fall of 2019 and since that time issuing more than $8 million in personal production. He was recently promoted to be a Field Sales Leader and is now leading by example and helping his agents to experience the same success he has enjoyed.

It wasn’t always like this, but like so many who come to USHA looking for a second chance, Scott has been able to embrace the fact that a setback is just a setup for a comeback. Fate is what you create. If you dig deep, find your inner strength and have the right people next to you and around you, there is little you can’t accomplish. Scott says he’s been to hell and back and he’s sharing the ride so others can learn what to do and just as importantly what not to do.

“I feel like I had this picture perfect, straight out of a TV show American life,” says Scott, “until I was about 12 years old and my parents got divorced. And then everything kind of went off the rails from there. My parents always tried their best. They always made things the best they could. But as I got older, I kind of went my own way.”

Unfortunately, Scott’s journey “off the rails” led him down a path headed for failure, the crutch too many turn to mask and ignore the pain of life.

“When I was about 16-years-old I started to take pills,” says Scott. “It was a bunch of different pills. I was getting them prescribed by a doctor. I had friends doing it and I was in the wrong friend groups. I definitely took a completely wrong turn. And then while living in New York, I got hooked on heroin pretty quick. It was just rampant where we were in Long Island and I was literally doing heroin for three, or four years. And then there was an intervention. I walked into my living room one day and there were ten of my best friends sitting there waiting for me, friends I haven’t seen in years.”

“I didn’t hang out with my friends anymore. I was just a complete low life at the time. My friends got me into my first rehab and then I went back and forth to rehab centers in Florida and in New York. My mom would put me on planes back and forth, back and forth. But I never gave up. I knew there was something better inside of me. I knew every time I got sober I wanted to stay sober, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t know why I should stay clean. I thought I can keep this life of drugs going forever and just be a regular person.”

But life was far from regular. Addiction was literally robbing Scott of his teen years, caught in the vicious cycle of abuse that affects many more people than just the addict.

“When I was 16, to around age 21 or 22, I didn’t really have family that wanted me to live with them anymore. I burned my bridges with my mother and my grandparents. I was the worst of the worst. I lived on a houseboat for two years, literally on a boat. I remember having no heat in the winter. I survived two winters in New York and would sleep with my jacket and my boots on and a winter hat.”

“I remember bouncing around for years. I would go from hotel to hotel, from motel to motel. I would sleep on friends’ couches, find a little place to rent. I remember I lived in this apartment once where you could sit on the bed and you could touch all four walls. It was like a closet and I’d rent it for like $400 a month and thank God I didn’t die in there. Despite the drug use somehow I was able to earn money. I always had a job. That was one thing that I was good at. Any place where I worked, I sold. I sold vacation rentals, mortgages, mortgage modifications. I sold. I sold cars. I recommended stocks. I would go from place to place, they’d keep me around for six months, then I’d get fired because there would be days I would just not show up, with no reason.”

Despite the drama and the instability, Scott says he always knew there was a reason, that he had a reason, that he had a purpose and finally, after his sixth stint in rehab, and never giving up on himself, Scott knew he had turned a corner. And around that corner were two people who Scott says changed everything for him.

“By age 22, I kind of hit rock bottom,” says Scott. “And that’s when I came down to Florida and stayed for good. My mom sent me here. I had no money, no license, no job, no car. I sat in a 30-day rehab. My sister saved my life.”

“She let me sleep on her couch after I got clean for a couple months. And then I got myself into a halfway house for six months, was six months clean. And then I met my wife.”

We all have defining moments in our lives, a place you can go back to again and again in your mind and heart and know that yes, this was the moment that things changed. Scott says his time came when he met Jena.

Maybe the one thing stronger than any physical or mental addiction, is the most powerful drug in the world… love.

“I was literally at my friend’s house,” says Scott. “He was getting sober too. And he says, “Yeah, this girl, Jena’s coming over. She was the friend of a friend. When I met her I thought, she’s so normal, she wasn’t really accustomed to a guy like me. I was rough around the edges, with a story that could probably knock her boots off. After I met her, she didn’t answer my texts for I’d say two months. But I just kept texting her every so often, and then one time she responded and we made a date. I took her to a dinner one night and I remember I was so broke, I didn’t have any money. I told the restaurant it was her birthday just so we could get a free dessert. But that was the beginning of our love story. We’ve been together seven years, and I’ve been sober for almost eight years now.”

“Ever since I met my wife, she gave me every reason to live in the whole world. I didn’t really know what life was for until I met her. Jena’s the best thing ever. She’s from Maryland, grew up on a 16 acre farm, absolutely the sweetest girl in the world. And everything changed from there. When I met her, I had a full purpose. I had a car in a month after I met her. I had my license. I was a waiter at a restaurant and everything kind of changed from there. It was about six months my permanent move to Florida and I never thought I’d meet someone like this. Now we have two kids. I had my first kid four years ago when I started with USHEALTH Advisors. My son was six months old and I was terrified at the time. I didn’t know if it was going to work, but then being at this company my whole life changed pretty quick.”

Scott says it was also Jena who also inspired him to move back into the sales world, after all, he had already made a really big sale… her.

“I was still working as a waiter and Jena says, “Scott, you got to get into some type of sales.” She would always tell me as a joke, I’ve been selling her through our whole relationship. So I get this job offer from this company where they sold construction material to these large companies and they hired me and I got paid about $16 an hour. I was in phone sales and I’d sit there calling all of the company’s existing clients and upsell them on their job sites. I was the best they’ve ever seen, but I didn’t make any commission on the sale. I was just working like a dog, making very little money. And the guys who ran the company told me they couldn’t afford to pay me any more.”

“Then this guy, Gershom Fernandez, who I met through my sister when they worked at the gym together, is over my house, and he keeps taking phone calls and leaving my living room to go into the garage with his laptop and I don’t know why. After he took his third phone call, I asked him, what are you doing? He says, “I’m selling health insurance.”

“I said, how much money do you think you made today? He says, “If they all get approved, about $3,000.” I said, I’m clearly in the wrong business. I had my wife. I couldn’t afford my six month old kid. We had parents sending us diapers, we had parents sending us formula. We had Jena’s mom paying part of our rent, I mean we had nothing. All we had was we were happy young kids and we were trying so hard. I called my boss the next day, and told him I’ve got to take a chance on something else. I started at USHEALTH Advisors and I mean, it was history from there.”

History in the making. But it doesn’t mean it was all sunshine and roses either. To get to the top, you’ve got to start to climb, one step at a time.

“I remember my first week at USHA,” says Scott. “I had no sales. I was down in the dumps. But it was my wife, the only reason why I stayed at this job was my wife. Every day I woke up, Jena told me, “you’re the best in the world. You’re going to make it happen. Go, go, go.” Which a lot of people in this company, when they start, if you don’t have that other half in there supporting you, you’re dead. There are plenty of guys who come here and their wives are telling them, listen, you need to go get a salary. My wife was the opposite. She’s the only reason why I stayed. Week two came around, I finally made my first sale and it was history from there. In my first 12 months I did $2.4 million in issued business. I ended up finishing number six in the entire company.”

Now, serving as a Field Sales Leader at USHA, it’s all about teaching others to do what Scott has learned in this business… and in his life so far.

“I tell the new people when you start, treat it like a paid internship,” says Scott. “This is a training. Your first month is training. You’re learning the scripts. You’re learning how to speak to people. You’re learning how-to’s about insurance? You learn Insurance 101. What a deductible is, how to handle a rebuttal, the whole nine yards. As a leader, when you contract people if you set the wrong expectation, they’re out the door in three days. They leave the key fob on your desk.”

“And I’ve learned the hard way. So when I let people in right now, I’m a realist. I let them know how it is. I’m only hiring big picture people that are in here and that’ll be here for the long run, that they already know they’re sacrificing that first month. It’s fully learning in that first month. I’ve got a new guy who’s driving 45 minutes to the office. I’m giving him a gas stipend every week. I told him, “I’ll fill your tank up once a week.” So the kid is already like, “Wow, this guy’s looking out for me. He’s going to help me fill up my tank once a week so I can get to and from work.” I mean, I had one of my guys who hit a huge company milestone in his first two months. He couldn’t get to work. I paid for his Ubers all the time. $15 here, $15 there. For me, that’s an investment. And when you do this stuff for these people, they tell their friends. They come in for interviews, they stick around. They know you’re not just here for the money. They know you’re here to help them make their life better. It’s about making everyone’s life better. My sister has joined the company now too!”

And it’s not just his agents, besides his wife and children, Scott also cares for the man he says was the one who taught him how to sell in life.

“I didn’t really go to school as a kid. I didn’t graduate high school, I dropped out,” says Scott. “I had to pay bills when I was in 11th grade. I’ll never forget my dad looking at me and we didn’t really have any money and he was selling stocks at the time. Where do you think I learned how to sell? My dad took me under his arm. My dad was like, listen, “You don’t have a textbook, you don’t ever study for stuff. He said get out of school, I’ll teach you how to sell.” And in my late teens I was recommending stocks for a firm.”

“Unfortunately, at this point in his life, my dad is fully disabled through the state of Florida and so I take care of him. My dad struggled with addiction his whole life, but he kept it together, raised a beautiful family and did everything great. It’s an honor to care for him.”

Love, serve and gratitude. Three words that Scott has learned are the keys to success. It’s a life philosophy Scott says he wants to share.

“Truly, I knew my whole life that I was meant for something greater, but I didn’t know what it was. And now I take care of my family. I take care of my father, I take care of everybody around me, and I look in the mirror and can now see I never gave up. I knew something was there. And sometimes you’ll never know what you’re here for until you just keep going. And the next thing you know, the door opens and you walk through and everything changes from there. So I think the message is never give up on yourself. Never doubt yourself, never limit yourself. If I limited myself from my past and doubted myself from all my mistakes in the past, how would I get to the point I’m at now?”

“I broke every generational curse in my family. Nobody on both sides of my family in the history of the bloodline has done what I’ve done in the past five years, what I’ve built for my family. If I doubted myself and I didn’t believe in myself, none of this would’ve happened. So I feel like even if you don’t know what it is yet, you have a reason, you have a purpose. So while you’re finding yourself just never give up, never quit and live in gratitude. Gratitude is everything. I mean, if you’re not grateful and giving back to the people that helped you get to where you are now, you’re being selfish.”

“You can tell the people who are working in gratitude, in a healthy way where everything they do is moving forward. I don’t have bad days. If I’m sick, I’m not having a bad day. If something happens, I’m not having a bad day, I’m having a character building day. When something really bad happens and someone’s in the hospital, or something crazy is going on, it happens, it’s life. But when you’re working from a place of gratitude and you’re fueled by gratitude, everything else is just kind of silenced.”

“Nothing else is that serious, especially when you’ve already been through a lot. So I feel like those few things, gratitude, never giving up, and what I’ve been able to do here at USHEALTH Advisors…which is to reinvent myself. Those are the things that matter.”

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Your Storyteller,

Mark Brodinsky

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