A Broke Investor: Story #3

Les Brown: “The ‘Educable Mentally Retarded’ twin”

“Someone’s opinion of you does NOT have to become your reality.”

Learn how this broke investor overcame his life’s setbacks to reach towards greatness.

Mr. Leslie Calvin “Les” Brown was born in Miami, Florida in an area called Liberty City, in an abandoned building with his twin brother. By the time Les was 6 weeks old, his mother gave them up to their adopted mother.

In 5th grade, Les Brown was labeled as “EMR”, educable mentally retarded, which resulted in him being put back into the 4th grade. He remained being labeled as “EMR” until he got out of high school.

Create your own reality

One day, Mr. Leroy Washington, a high school teacher, saw Les Brown waiting for his friend to get out of class. Mr. Washington asked him to go to the board and write something down. Les Brown stated he couldn’t because he wasn’t one of his students.

Mr. Washington did not care if he was a student of his or not and asked him to follow his directions. Les Brown reiterated that he couldn’t. Mr. Washington asked him why not? Les Brown finally confesses, “Because I’m educable mentally retarded.”

Mr. Washington then came around his desk, looked and pointed at Mr. Les Brown and stated, “Don’t EVER say that again! Someone’s opinion of you does NOT have to become your reality.” From then on, Mr. Washington started to plant seeds in Les Brown’s mind that enabled him to work towards his dreams.

At the end of one school year, Les Brown found out he had failed History and English and would have to attend summer school. Like any broke investor, he felt like a failure and was negative. Mr. Leroy Washington was giving a speech to the graduating seniors and fortunately, Les Brown attended. Les Brown realizes that the speech Mr. Washington was giving was for him.


“As graduating seniors of Booker T. Washington high school, I want you all to know that you are blessed and highly favored. As you go towards the future, begin to realize that you have greatness within you. If just one of you capture the essence of what that means and the responsibility to manifest that greatness, you can make your parents proud, you can make your school proud, you can touch millions of lives, and the world will never be the same again because you came this way. “

Anything is possible

After the speech, Les Brown caught up to Mr. Washington in the parking lot and admits that he has big dreams. “I like talking to people, I love talking to people. I want to work with people and I have this dream of buying my mama a home. Could I do that Mr. Washington?”

Mr. Washington confirms, “It’s possible Mr. Brown.” As he walks away, Les Brown calls to him again and states, “Mr. Washington, I’m the one, sir. You remember me, I’m the one.”

After some time, Les Brown gets the opportunity to start his own business, however, he struggled at first. While Les Brown was operating his business in Detroit, he fell on hard times. He ended up staying and sleeping in his office for quite some time.

Finally, security asked to speak with him and gave him a letter from management that had to be read right there. In the letter it stated, “This is an office tower. It’s not a hotel. Please, do not sleep in your office.”

Les Brown admitted that he was working long hours in creating his business and that he’s an entrepreneur. “Right now, things are bad for me, but it’s not going to be this way always.” He requested to continue operating as he had been.


Keep running towards your dreams

During this time, it was very hard for Les Brown to continue. In the office tower lobby, people would laugh and point and say, “That’s the guy who’s talking about being successful. Look at him, he’s bathing in the bathroom upstairs on the 21st floor. He sleeps on the floor. Him and two other dreamers up there. Look at them!”

While facing financial difficulties in his own life, behind on his bills and dreams, he was telling others, “You can live your dreams!” Throughout all of this time, he did NOT give up on his dream and KEPT running towards it.

As the story goes, Mr. Les Brown becomes one of the MOST INSPIRING motivational speakers in America. Fortunately, Mr. Les Brown’s story is still being written today.

The Broke Investor truly believes if anyone was to ask Les Brown if it is possible to reach their dreams, he would say, “It’s possible to live your dream.”

As always, 
Keep growing, keep investing.

p.s.: If you know of a broke investor who made it big, leave a comment below and they will be considered for the next story. Thank you to all broke investor fans.

Check out other broke investor stories here.

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