What is success? Dictionary.com says that success is the accomplishment of one’s goals, but this definition leaves a large gray area. People have such widely varying goals, that anything from getting out of bed in the morning to owning a multi-billion dollar corporation could be considered success.
It’s easy to see how the latter seems like a greater success than the former, but the road to accomplishing larger goals is paved with these smaller successes.
To get a better understanding of success, we can look at the history of one America’s fastest rising entrepreneurs, Johnwick Nathan.
Nathan certainly came from humble beginnings, born in a small town in Haiti, but now he’s the owner of a multi-million dollar company that supports local communities in America.
In a recent interview, Nathan unearthed his past and shared some key principles that he believes can help other people see the same success he has seen.
Nathan was born in Bombardopolis, Haiti to Miliana Joseph and Leprince Nathan. Like many in Bombardopolis, Leprince worked as a farmer while his wife Miliana cared for their seven children. Adversity struck early on, when Leprince left Haiti for the US, leaving Miliana behind to care for their children alone.
Shortly after, one of their kids tragically passed away, and in the face of this tragedy, Miliana moved her family from Bombardopolis to Village De Dieu – another small village near Port au Prince. They stayed there up until September of 1997, when Miliana packed up her family once more, and finally moved to the US. Johnwick Nathan was just three years old at the time.
They settled down in Hudson, New York, where Johnwick attended his first school. He spent many of the formative years of his life in Hudson, attending school and getting involved with his community.
In Hudson he got involved with Operation Unite New York, specifically with their Cultural and Arts Center for Drum and Drill. Through Operation Unite, Johnwick joined a drumline, playing the tenor and snare. He did Kuumba dance and he took piano lessons. These experiences sparked his passion for music, a flame that would be stoked throughout his life.
At the age of ten, Johnwick was playing keyboard for the Hatian Rock de Roche church, located in Hudson. This early success developed some of the passions that would fuel his businesses in the future – his love for music, his love for his religion, and his love of connecting with his community. Operation Unite also became Johnwick’s first professional job, where he worked in the office staff.
In 2009, after celebrating his fourteenth birthday, Johnwick moved to Connecticut to live with his sister Wildine. They lived in a tiny studio apartment together where there was barely room to breathe. “Our shower was so small If you bent over your butt would pop out of the shower and hit the wall. For us it was just life. That’s just what we had to deal with,” said Johnwick, recalling the experience.
During this time, he kept playing in church, eventually becoming the head musician at Pentecostal church of Greater Hartford. After graduating in 2012, he moved to Indianapolis to study the Bible and continue playing music at the Indiana Bible College. Unfortunately, adversity struck again, and Johnwick had to move back to Connecticut due to financial difficulties. Back in Connecticut, Johnwick and Wildine founded a gospel music group called Arise. Another early success, they founded a record label and released two EPs as Arise.
Following the Path
Johnwick moved to Arizona to attend CRAS Music Recording school, following his dream to become a renowned keyboardist. A major shift in his life took place in Arizona. He started working as a behavioral health technician at a group home, where he discovered the path that he would dedicate his life to.Working one on one with clients to help them out of the darkest times in their lives was an incredibly fulfilling feeling to Johnwick.
“To be able to see a person change; that’s like watching a child be raised. When you have a child and he or she grows up and you’re like ‘man, I really did a great job,’” said Johnwick.
With this dedication, Johnwick knew what he wanted to do with his life more than anything else. “Doing that, it changed my life. And at that moment I said ‘you know what? I think this is what I want to do.’” He wanted to start his own business, but that would not come easy. After graduating with his degree in music engineering, Johnwick faced challenge after challenge – from evictions to car repossessions, but in 2017, he finally opened his own group home.
All of the trials and tribulations, the smaller successes, all led to this moment – his greatest success yet. His residential recovery program still exists to this day, and has expanded to six group homes. That wasn’t it for Johnwick, however, he kept striving for more. In 2020, he launched Harbor Health Integrated Care, an outpatient mental health and counseling clinic that helps struggling Arizonians get back on track. Johnwick’s businesses largely serve the Native American population in Arizona – a fact he takes great pride in.
The Secret to Success
The fact is, Johnwick Nathan couldn’t have gotten where he is today without following the path he followed. With all of the failures and challenges, without the smaller successes, he couldn’t have made the same achievements that he’s made.
Now he wants to share the secrets to his success in a new book. He plans to set out twelve principles to achieve what he calls “soulful success.” For example, first on the list is the Mindset Principle: that if you believe in what you can achieve, you can believe what you achieve.
Each of these principles has guided Johnwick on his journey, especially the final and primary principle: the principle of love. Love as an intention, rather than an emotion. Johnwick believes that this driving love, which establishes value, infuses relationships and promotes healing has ultimately led to his success.
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