When Jay Payso joined WorldVentures, his mentor Julio "June" Acosta asked him what he hoped to accomplish with his new endeavor. When Jay replied, "I want to make a lot of money," June promptly placed "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki before him and urged him to read it from cover to cover.
"I was like, 'Dude, I don't read. The first book I ever read was 'Green Eggs and Ham,' and that was it for me," he muses. "But I read the book, and I fell in love with it … it blew my mind. Maybe I wasn't reading before because I didn't find the things I really wanted to read."
Besides, the concept of financial literacy wasn't part of the curriculum at his school. If it had been, he quips, "Maybe I would have graduated."
Jay grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, colloquially known as Bed-Stuy, a Brooklyn borough reviled for its high crime yet revered for its artistry and eclectic blend of African, Latino and Caribbean cultures. Native son, Notorious B.I.G., famously branded the community "Do or Die Bed-Stuy" in his '90s rap lyrics. But today, through gentrification, the neighborhood is emerging from a drug haven to a hipster hotspot.
And just as his old neighborhood is evolving, so is Jay. After securing a steady blue-collar gig, he engaged in a series of missteps that landed him in lockup. While there, he got into boxing and even went pro in 2007. But misfortune continued to dog Jay, and he found himself without direction still seeking his purpose.
Today, as a newly minted International Marketing Director, Jay is coming into his own spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially and intellectually. In short, he's becoming what WorldVentures Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer Wayne Nugent calls a "Master in the Art of Living."
"A master in the art of living leaves little distinction between his work and his play," Wayne explains. "Jay is that kind of guy. He reminds me so much of myself … got a lot of fight in him."
It's been said that everybody comes across the opportunity of a lifetime three times. The average person doesn't even see it once; and by the time they're 22, it's already passed them twice. Jay joined WorldVentures at age 25.
That was close.
Jay's journey here began when he became acquainted with June through mutual friends and followers on Facebook and Instagram. Even before they met, Jay was intrigued by June's online presence and felt a kinship with him given similarities in their backstory. Both were raised in tough New York neighborhoods, and both had nurturing mothers. So when the two men were finally introduced, their communication was effortless and their rapport instant.
"I felt like he was put in my life at the right time," Jay says of June. "I was hoping for something to change. I was working at FedEx and working as a professional boxer. There's nothing wrong with FedEx, but I never saw myself working for anybody. Push came to shove and I ended up being around the wrong kind of people. I was partying a lot, in the clubs like crazy. It may have seemed that I was making money, but I knew that it was falling apart. I ended up getting into fast money."
When he shared this with June, he got a wakeup call that still resonates today. "He said, 'If boxing doesn't go right for you, are you going to hustle forever, or are you going to work forever?'"
The answer for Jay was neither.
Claiming His Destiny
"I knew I was put on this Earth to do something great," he says. "I just didn't know how, what, where or when." But he certainly knew why.
Jay wanted to achieve greatness so he could positively impact the lives of those he cared for most—his mother, father and little brother, Ryan.
"My father was always a hard worker. He may not have been there in person, but he was there financially. My father was hard on me when I was a little kid. Now that I'm a grown man, I appreciate the hardship. He may not have even known that he was teaching me. He taught me how to work hard, and that how you do anything is how you do everything. My mom … I'd do anything for that lady … she's one of the strongest people I know. They did everything they could to support and protect me. When my little brother was born, I wanted to be a role model for him."
And he has become just that. At only 18 years old, Ryan seeks to follow in Jay's footsteps, and he's starting by reading the same personal development books that helped his brother tap into his potential.
"I left him with 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' before this interview. So that I knew he was actually reading it, I said write a page on it for me. I know he's not learning this kind of stuff in school. You have to grow mentally, before the money comes," he says, indirectly referencing Wayne's mantra and Sir Francis Bacon's famous quote, "Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man."
Eventually, Jay hopes to introduce Ryan to other books that changed his life, including "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind" by T. Harv Eker; "The Dream Giver" by Bruce Wilkinson, David Kopp and Heather Kopp; "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill; and "Raising a Giant" by Bob Crisp.
As he merges truth with opportunity, he says he finds there are striking parallels between training to box and building a business—staying focused, being consistent, putting in the work and having a vision for the future. Building upon these principles, Jay has excelled in WorldVentures with his ego in check and his feet firmly on the ground. He's humbled by the fact that WorldVentures offered him a clear path to success with no pedigree or resume required, just grit and determination.
Compared to other jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, Jay says, WorldVentures is "changing the way people think and taking them out of that 98 percenter brain and putting them into the 2 percenter world. That's what it did for me and a bunch my friends and family. I really enjoy building the business and giving people hope. That, to me, is fun. Seeing my friends grow as people and leaders—knowing where they came from. That's pretty cool. My mom looks at me like I have three heads on my shoulders. I'm not the same person that I was three years ago. So much personal development; I'm actually finishing something."
He continues. "Everything happens for a reason. Maybe I was not meant to [box professionally]. Who knows, maybe I'll get back into it. Maybe I was meant to learn certain lessons that the boxing world gave me to bring into WorldVentures. It taught me how to be consistent, how to work hard, how to treat people, how to think bigger. The little vision that I had expanded. My network got bigger."
The network he references includes friends and acquaintances across the globe, from Texas to Zimbabwe. He's been on 18 vacations in the past two years, affording him cultural experiences and travel adventures he only imagined as a kid in Bed-Stuy. He glances down at his WorldVentures equivalent to the Super Bowl ring and says:
"I see this as a championship belt, only for my finger. It's not about the money I made to get this ring; it's about the person I became. That's what the trainings are doing, making us better people and having more fun in life. It's not the fun that we used to have … hanging out on the block, going to the lounges and the clubs … it's not that kind of fun anymore. Most of us don't even like that anymore. I would never go back to anything that I was doing, not only because of the money I'm making, but the freedom I'm having. In fact, forget about the money. The person I am today is priceless."