Hi, I’m James Gordon.
Entrepreneur | Mental Health Advocate | Travel Enthusiast | Cannabis Activist
My whole mindset is based on growth, entrepreneurialism & change. I’m big on creating and starting projects from scratch and helping them grow into something greater. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 13 years where I have grown businesses from beginning to end. However, my life hasn’t always been as positive and light as it is now.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York in the late 80s and 90s. Like a lot of my peers at the time, I found myself getting into trouble and getting lost in the world of selling drugs and getting into drug-related activities. Society was pushing me to believe that this is all my life would be, and that’s what ended up landing me in prison.
I was in federal prison for a 3.5-4 years stay. Honestly, in my most ignorant mindset, I would always say to myself “I could do that time standing on my head”, like it was nothing. Originally, I was set on just doing my time and probably getting myself back in the same activities I was doing beforehand. However, what changed not only my mindset but probably my whole life was when my mom and pop came to see me.
They came to visit me after I had been in prison for about 6 months into that 3.5-4 year prison sentence. When I saw them, I immediately noticed that my pops was 40 pounds or so lighter than when I had last seen him. That’s when they told me that my pops was dying of cancer. Hearing that for the first time and on top of that hearing that in prison where you can’t even give a long, standing hug or even give that affection, it was hard on my psyche. I was hearing something that’s so devastating and I just had to deal with it because there was nothing I could do.
What my pops said to me that day is what changed everything. I remember, he grabbed my hand before he left and said, “Listen, you’ve been going around in circles in the same mindset, same problems, same issues. Why don’t you change? Please change.” Him saying that really stuck with me, and about 2 weeks after that visit he passed away. That was what really gave me the push I needed to even want to become something different, want to change myself and want to get rid of the old James.
When I finally got out of prison, I didn’t look back. I was laser-focused and continued to do everything I could to move myself up and do everything I needed to do to never get back to when I was at my lowest. I made moves to go back to school and surround myself with people who were doing more than me so that I could learn from them.
I got out of prison in 2007 and I’m happy to say I have never gone back. In that time, I’ve successfully raised 4 different companies from the ground up, travelled the world, and have discovered myself from a mindfulness perspective.
I think that’s where the grit comes from, the desire to have the Grit Maker as my marker. It takes a lot of grit to go from a 4 year federal prison sentence to where I am now. To go from a mindset that was so ignorant and so set on guns, drugs, and fast living and to be able to switch that into seeing myself and becoming a business developer. I know I’m here to grow things.
To be able to change that whole mindset, it took a lot — a lot of grit. Now, I want to be able to share my experience and the things I’ve learned along the way with as many people as possible.