About Kevin Sandridge
Who the Heck is that Kevin Sandridge Guy, Anyway?
I was born in Belgium in 1973, where my Dad was stationed at SHAPE HQ as a Chief Warrant Officer. We moved back to the states when I was two, settling first in Winston Salem, NC and then Auburndale, FL after I turned three years old. I’ve lived here in Central Florida most of my life, and currently live in Winter Haven, Florida with my girlfriend of many years and our two dogs, Buddy and Charlie.
I’ve always been musically inclined. A full fledged “Band Geek,” I started playing trumpet in 6th grade, moving on to baritone and trombone as I left high school to attend the Harrison Performing Arts Center. I fell in love with Jazz and Blues music at this time, and have since added Blues Harmonica to my little bag of musical tricks.
I attended Florida Southern College right out of high school, and not to sound corny – but those were some of the best years of my life. I learned a lot about what it means to be accountable for myself and others – largely as a result of my membership in the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. A mixed bag, members of my class went on to become Doctors, Dentists, career military folks, musicians, teachers, ministers, major television news anchors, and businessmen. If you want to see my face light up, ask me about my time in Lambda Chi.
Academically, I focused on the arts, which have always been my main area of interest. I started as a music major, playing in various ensembles (Jazz, Symphonic Band, etc). I even joined chorus my freshman year – led by Dr. Larry Sledge. He was great, but the free trip to New Orleans is what sealed that deal.
I eventually settled in to a Humanities major, where I focused on language classes (Spanish, French, and German), history classes (Modern France, Russia), and art history courses. After living with my brother and his family in Stuttgart, Germany for six months post graduation, I attended Florida State, where I earned a Master of Arts in the History and Criticism of Art. This was a great opportunity for me to travel, as part of my Art History study program took me to London, Tunisia, and all points in between.
Kevin Sandridge and Corporate America
My Life as a Marketing Professional
After my coursework at Florida State was done, I spent some time up in Champaign-Urbana. I temped at several places, finally scoring a full time job in the marketing department of a health insurance company. I eventually made my way up to Chicago, where I worked as a marketing analyst for a disease management company. My last job in the Chicago area was as a business writer for a large call center company. Chicago is still my favorite city in the world. The mixture of sports teams, culture, and food is just outstanding.
Life Was Great! Then the Layoffs Began…
I was in my second year at the call center company when the 2001 downturn and the onset of off shore outsourcing in the industry led to my being laid off. It was my first experience with unemployment. I managed to find a similar marketing job down at a call center and fulfillment firm here in Orlando months later, but their business was hit by similar circumstances. Can you guess what happened? Yes. Layoff number two!
Wow. At this point I had to come to terms with the facts. The main one was that though I loved it, life as a marketing professional while working at a J-O-B means that when the purse strings of a company draw tighter, the marketing budget is one of the first to be cut. I vowed to find a career path that would provide me with personal satisfaction as well as a more steady timeline of employment. This is where my career as an educator began.
Finding Out I Really Love to Teach… and Am Really Good at It!
I come from a family of educators. In fact, my Mother and two of her sisters were teachers. My Dad had several instructional roles during his Army career as well. This history in education led me to look into a career as a teacher. My first thought was that as a competent male educator willing to teach in any environment, I’d have a pretty solid shot at not getting laid off! Clearly, I had had enough of that! So, I called around and found out what I had to do to get my teaching credentials and landed a job teaching Math at a middle school that many might equate with the movie Stand and Deliver.
Yes folks, it’s true. There were frequent arrests on campus, reoccurring fights, and I was given the task of bringing our lower level eighth grade math students up to grade level. And I loved it!
Technology Education and Some Very Inspiring Students
The challenge of getting to know, understand, and growing to really care about my students continues to be my favorite part of teaching. Middle school aged kids have one foot in childhood and two arms, their head, and the other leg in adult hood. They’re all trying to find themselves – some with more success than others – and I value and cherish each day I get to be a part of leading them to a successful place in their lives.
I’ve since moved on to teaching Technology courses at the same school, as well as picking up classes at a local college teaching Humanities courses. What’s most rewarding is seeing some of my former middle school students sitting in my college classes and knowing all they’ve overcome in their personal and social lives in order to be sitting in front of me there. Saying I’m proud of these young men and women would doesn’t begin to describe the feelings I get when I see this happen.
My Journey Towards Online Marketing Began From Necessity
It Started with the Florida Mortgage Blogger
I found that though I loved teaching a great deal, I liked the pay I was receiving for teaching well… a bit less. Shocking but true. Our nation pays teachers on a scale that’s pretty darned shameful. So, as is often the case with educators, I got another job.
In 2005 I began working as a Florida mortgage loan originator. Having to drum up my own business leads from scratch (I didn’t have money to purchase leads) led me to the Internet. I started a Florida mortgage blog, began doing serious homework on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and was soon ranking on the first page in Google for several Florida area mortgage terms. I’m proud to say that every client I have ever written a mortgage for found me through my blogging efforts. I did not buy one single lead!
Let’s just say that I got pretty darned good at ranking for whatever keywords I target. By the way … if you’re so inclined and want help in this area, I can help you, too!
I still help people find financing for their homes. The extra money from writing mortgages is great. But what I love most about my work is helping others make their dreams of home ownership come true. It’s the act of guiding them through the various hoops and occasional hurdles that is most rewarding.
Recently, Justine and I were invited down to Ana Maria Island, FL to celebrate the purchase of a 2nd home by one of my clients. That was a fun day, and we remain close with the client and his wife still.
Are you catching on to a theme here? When I do business with people – it’s personal! Money comes and goes – but treating people well and establishing lasting relationships is what it’s all about for me.
Like I said, I’m an educator at heart! But, Face to Face Discussions About Life Took Practice
Putting myself out there as a qualified professional and talking with folks from all walks of life about their financial histories, personal goals, and their dreams did not come naturally to me. I mean this stuff is personal! Kids I could handle, but adults? That was a different ball game – especially since I was asking them to open up to me with complete candor about issues including their credit, their jobs, and their taxes.
The good news is that after fumbling around and coming across as “less than polished” in my interactions with folks, I began to gain confidence by basically failing forward! I now am very good about talking to people about their financial goals, their dreams, and their hopes for themselves and their families.
This was great training for my future in Network Marketing.
My Career as a Network Marketer
First, I want to be completely up front. I grew up with my folks selling Shaklee and Amway. My Dad then ventured into both Melaleuca and Excel Communications.
What I saw through those opportunities was a whole lot of what I did NOT want to be a part of! There were all of these Rah Rah Rah conventions, a few select folks making tons of money with the rest of those involved – my parents among them – scraping by and sometimes even losing money.
Trips to the “pick up center” where we had to get orders and bring them home were less than fun. Our garage was constantly filled with kits, samples, and inventory – and I saw the effect doing Network Marketing “the old school way” had on my parents, their friends, and our family. NO WAY JOSE! I like my friends… and I want them to keep liking me! So for me at that time, there was ZERO change of me joining a MLM company.
Then wouldn’t you know it… I Joined a MLM Company
Hey, I believe it was Walt Whitman who said…”Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes!”
A friend of mine introduced me to a health and nutritional product he’d lost a ton of weight on. I was carrying around a good 30 lbs more than I should at the time, so I gave it a try. Not even thinking of the business side of things.
Then, I saw that same friend and his wife achieving success in their business and I thought, OK. With my internet marketing skills, my ability to build and maintain large online lead and referral lists, I can make a go of this.
Not 30 days after joining my first MLM I had reached the first major reward level. A new car. I proudly traded in my 1997 Honda Civic with 200K miles on it and my girlfriend and I went car shopping. I can tell you that my BMW X3 drives a whole lot better than the Honda did!
S0, Let’s Connect!
Whether you’re in a network marketing company or are just looking, I do hope you’ll connect with me. I’m always open to broadening my business relationships!
Phone: (863) 604-3019