Rags to Riches with Jerry Brazie

Today’s episode is about how to overcome a poverty mindset after living in poverty. I am talking with Jerry Brazie, who grew up being the 7th child coming from a family of 9 brothers and sisters. We will talk about how many of us are taught we can’t achieve; we are not worth anything and hold on to the little we have afraid to let go and make more. Jerry is here to share his journey, a modern American Rags to Riches story, be sure to listen to the audio interview to hear the whole story. 


The most difficult part of your journey

When Jerry was 13 years old, his oldest sister died from an infection in her heart. She was only 21 and in many ways, a lot like his Mother. Shortly after, Jerry lost his vision in his right eye and nearly lost it in his left eye. As he turned 15, he had an epiphany after being beaten up and receiving a broken nose. Walking home somewhere along the two-mile journey, while holding his nose closed, (no medical insurance), he realized that no one was coming. He realized that he was going to be responsible for his future from then on.

Jerry avoided many of the pitfalls that children coming from poverty experience because of the responsibility he had. He witnessed others become pregnant, drink, and get into fights while he worked from a young age. The discipline and respect his Mother instilled in him saved him from nearly ending someone’s life in a street fight. He went from being a young male out of control to a successful entrepreneur, 100% in control of his emotions.

The moment in time, you experienced an incredible turnaround:

Jerry took his first job when he was 11 years old. He cashed his first check and took it out in all $1 bills, just like the men in the movies. Jerry used it to buy food and eat out, and from a young age, Jerry linked working with eating. He took a job in a courier company where he was responsible for over 30 people. He has bought a house without understanding how it worked as he had only street sense.

He experienced a second epiphany, “shut up and listen.” He realized if he didn’t listen, he would be in the same place at 50 years old that he was at the age of 28. He began to leave his drinking friends behind and started reading personal growth books. His education began, as he brought 3 million dollars of revenue into the company he was running. They ended up firing him as we know, every action has an equal reaction. This set Jerry into motion, where he worked out deals with banks that were customers of his and had them prepay him to start his business. They went from 3 million in revenue after the first year to 14 million a year in revenue over the years.

What about you changed the most?

Jerry learned that he had a lot to learn. He was told that you don’t know anything until you are 40. It took him a while to come around and see the truth to it. He went from a pre-teen operating on his own to maturing and possessing wisdom that came into play, dwarfing the success he had prior to being 40. In the next decade of his life, he experienced a whole new level of success.

One personal Habit you gained:

  • Goes to the gym each morning
  • Emotional control; take care of one problem at a time and follow your intuition. Staying 100% calm and being able to keep everyone else calm.


Is there anything I didn’t ask you I should have?

“We are limited by other people; the government, the banks and other things we can blame. I came from abject poverty, living on the streets at 17 years old. His message is, it is not easy; it is not simple, it takes decades, but hard work pays off. It is not guaranteed, but it is possible.




Jerry Braize, who comes from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, with Jerry being child number 7. He grew up a poor kid from Portland, Oregon with no education, training or advantages in life. Stealing food to eat until getting his first job at 11, living on the streets at 17, violence was a way of life for him. Determined to make it out of his surroundings, Jerry worked more than 20 jobs before starting his first business at 28. Over the last 20 years his companies have generated over $450m in revenue, and a lifetime of experience.