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The Adversity Advantage

Apr 19, 2021

So many aspects of our daily lives depend on our outlook and mindset. How do you respond to challenges, mistakes and negative situations? Do you view them as problems or opportunities? Do you let your adversities define your life? Do you pass up opportunities out of fear of failing?


My guest on today's episode Glenn Stearns believes you should use failure and adversity as a catalyst for change and not a reason to quit. 


Glenn was born to alcoholic parents, diagnosed dyslexic, and failed 4th grade. He became a father at age 14 and graduated high school in the bottom ten-percent of his class. A major turning point of his life came after finishing  college when he decided to take his destiny in his own hands following another night of partying. Ironically, he made this choice at a local bar that I used to frequent back in the day in Towson, MD. 


He then moved to California in search of opportunities to rise above his humble beginnings.


At 25, after working as a loan officer for 10 months, Glenn formed his own mortgage company, Stearns Lending LLC. By 2010, Stearns Lending LLC reached nearly $1 billion in monthly funded loan volume while experiencing record growth. Stearns not only survived the 2008 mortgage-lending crisis, it emerged as one of the top lenders in the country. Since 2010, Stearns Lending LLC has funded over 30-billion dollars in loans. In 2015, Glenn sold a majority of Stearns Lending to Blackstone and embarked on a hiatus with his family on his yacht. You would think that things would be “smooth sailing” from this point on. However, the tides turned and Glenn faced another major storm, cancer, which he beat twice. This coupled with an innate hunger to reinvent himself again was the inspiration for the show “Undercover Billionaire” in 2019. In the subsequent seasons that followed, Glenn has remained on board as an advisor and executive producer and now has started yet another mortgage company with his wife Mindy which we talk about.


Glenn shares his entrepreneurial journey, how he built one of the most successful mortgage companies in an industry that is highly competitive. He reveals some secrets that can apply to anyone who’s interested in becoming resilient in the thick of uncertainty.  We also talk about his story of cancer survival, why you shouldn’t solely chase money, and why he wasn’t happy when he sold his company.


Topics Discussed


Glenn's life before California


How Glenn was inspired to start his own company and how he did it


Weathering the stormy '2008' financial crisis and how it applies to today's struggles


Glenn's advice to those on the verge of despair and how to build resilience


How Glenn fought cancer twice and the lessons learned from it


How the hit show "Undercover Billionaire" got started


What keeps Glenn inspired and "hungry"


Why you shouldn't solely chase money


Glenn's hacks to building a sustainable business



Success is not overnight. Quit chasing after materialism and focus on building a strong organization and quality leadership. Figure out what your goal is and never be in a haste to get to your destination or put a deadline on your success. Enjoy every moment you have to build and grow. It's not about having your game plan all mapped and then freaking out when it doesn't go as planned because it won't. It's about being a problem solver. That's what you are as an entrepreneur.




When faced with life's challenges, understand that 'This too shall pass.' Nothing stays constant, not even crisis.


If you must build a sustainable business, surround yourself with great people of like interest and passion. Learn to communicate at the verge of despair.


Prioritize family. Make sure they're happy because there's a lot more currency than money. There's happiness currency, health currency and there's joy currency.


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