David Brim on business, marketing & life.

My Journey to Living my Dream (Guest Post from my wife)

Contributor: David Brim October 3, 2015

The following is a guest post written by my wife Lindsay. Earlier this year she co-founded Crossroads Corral, a Central Florida based nonprofit, with the mission of improving lives through horses. The progress that Crossroads Corral has made in such a short time is truly remarkable and due to the passion, commitment and drive of Lindsay, her fellow co-founder Julie, and the wonderful herd of supporters, volunteers and donors they have developed. This is her journey to making her dream a reality.

My Journey to Living my Dream

One of my favorite quotes states, “If you cant figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”- Bishop T.D. Jakes. For me, I have always been passionate about helping people and I’ve had a love for horses since I was a little girl. I always dreamed that one day I would be able to use horses to help people and that dream is coming true.

Lindsay Crossroads Corral

Let me take you back to the beginning.

Lindsay and Freedom

Lindsay and Freedom

I got my first pony, “Freedom” when I was eight years old. My parents were smart and made me “work” for that pony. I cleaned stalls and learned how to care for horses so that I could see the amount of responsibility it takes to have your own horse. When you are a horse lover I truly believe it is in your blood and you are born to own horses. YES, they are a lot of work, YES they are expensive to care for and YES they ARE worth it. I quickly developed a love for competing and showing and got heavily involved in 4-H. I learned so many important life skills and made so many wonderful friends through the 4-H program. I am forever grateful for my parents who nurtured and supported my love for horses.

Lindsay and Roxy

Lindsay and Roxy

Throughout my life I have owned some incredible horses, each one different and each one has challenged me and brought out the best in me. In high school I saved up money and was been able to rescue and train a 6 month old wild filly, “Roxy” who we raised until she was 5 years old and then we sold her to a forever home. I won a state Championship with my horse “Toby” who I still proudly own today. I have had some heartache with horses too. My beloved horse “Mac” who I got as a 13th surprise birthday gift passed away of colic when I was 16 and I was devastated. My sweet “gentle giant” Jiggy has a Neurological disease that we constantly battle every day. Horses are not a “hobby”, it is a life long love affair. Today, my husband and I own 4 horses (3 quarter horses and a miniature horse).


Left image: Lindsay with her father Gary & Mac. Right Image: Lindsay & Toby

When I went to college I wasn’t completely sure as to what career path I was going to travel down. I knew I wanted to work with people and work in the medical field helping others in some way. I was in a car accident in high school and I received Physical Therapy. I realized that this was the perfect path for me. I would be able to use my 2 hands and my big heart for helping others to help people heal and improve their lives. After I graduated from College, I moved to Florida with my boyfriend (now husband) and I got a job with Brookdale Senior Living doing Home Health and Outpatient Physical Therapy as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Fast forward a few years, ok….. 8 years.

Last November, my good friend and fellow horse enthusiast, Julie and I were sitting in our barn after a trail ride talking about life. We discussed what would be our perfect “job”. Both of us agreed that if we could use our horses to help people in our community that would be our calling. We did some research, gained the proper certification (www.okcorralseries.com), applied and received our 501 ©(3) and co-founded Crossroads Corral.

Crossroads Corral Banner

The founders of Crossroads Corral: Julie Hester & Lindsay Brim

This all happened very fast, because I believe it was truly meant to be. At Crossroads Corral we conduct Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy activities. We use our horses and work with at-risk youth as well as Veterans and their families transitioning home from deployment. Many people ask us about the term “at risk youth”. We define this group of youth as kids who are at risk of falling behind in society. Maybe they have a learning disability, maybe they are in the foster care system being bounced between homes, maybe they may have medical needs that cause developmental delays, etc. We are not a therapeutic riding facility. Our 7 horses get to “work” and give back to people in need, which they enjoy because horses also need a purpose and job. It was very interesting to me to learn a little bit more about myself during this whole process. I have always been interested in physical health but I have quickly developed a passion for mental health. At Crossroads Corral we have partnered with a Licensed Mental Health Counselor to begin Equine Assisted Psychotherapy work and I could not be more excited.


Lindsay and David Brim with Toby

I am very lucky to have a supportive husband (David). He is an entrepreneur and owns his own
Marketing Agency. His Agency, Brand Advance and his wonderful team also donated and designed our logo, website, marketing material, etc. which was huge for us. David understands first hand about the fire that develops within a person when they start something. He is also extremely supportive because I have left my full time, good paying job to be a full time “volunteer” Executive Director of Crossroads Corral. As Executive Director, my daily duties are caring for our 7 program horses, business development, volunteer management, event planning, fundraising, building community partners/relationships, client session facilitation, etc. Luckily my “other half” as I call her, Julie also manages our herd of horses, does daily barn care, works with clients and more. Another favorite quote of mine is, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear”. This was a scary leap of faith for us when I decided to leave my full time job but we know that this is part of the road I have to walk down. Many people have a hard time understanding non-profits. What I have learned from many educated people in the Non-Profit space, including professors at Rollins University is that if you do not run it like a business you will fail. Did you know that most non-profits and businesses fail because they charge too little? No, we do not have any paid staff members or have any sort of profit but yes we do charge for our services. We have to or else we would not have the finances to manage our herd of horses and then we would not be helping one single soul. Our goal is to have enough funding to cover our horses expense/year (which is about $56,000.00) so that we can provide all services free of charge.

Angel, Buddy and Connie

Jiggy, Moose, Retta and Toby

We also have a goal to one-day rescue horses from kill pens and then our clients and horses can work together to heal each other.

At Crossroads Corral we have been so blessed to have incredible volunteers who are passionate about what we do and help us in so many ways. We have a supportive board of directors, a beautiful farm to call our “other home” and patient, happy and loving horses. I can truly say that I am living my dream.

Crossroads Corral Saddle up Saturday

Crossroads Corral: Saddle Up Saturday in September 2015

I challenge you to find your calling if you have not already. Your life will be forever changed. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined.”- unknown


Build a better future by examining the past

Contributor: David Brim February 12, 2015

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of MassMutual for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Life is a journey that we are all fortunate enough to travel. The roads we walk have been paved by the vision, hard work and perseverance of those dreamers who have come before us.

Today we have the opportunity to build upon the legacy of those who came before us and establish a better path for future generations. Nobody said it was easy. Often times meaningful growth and rewards come along with risks and challenges. On this bumpy road full of ups and downs it helps to travel with someone who has the back of you and your family. MassMutual is here to help people protect those that matter most in their life.

I’m excited to join MassMutual in celebrating Black History month and sharing my 

#JourneyOfYou story.

For those of you who do not know I have a fairly diverse ethnicity. Not only am I African American on my father’s side, but I am Polish and Ukrainian from my mom’s side of the family. I recently heard an emotional story about a bi-racial girl who didn’t feel like she fit in with the black crowd because she was not “black enough” and was made fun of by her white acquaintances because she was too ghetto. She felt as if she lost her sense of self by constantly trying to adapt and be something that she was not. Though I experienced discrimination at times, I never lost my sense of value and self.

My parents instilled many characteristics in me that I hope to instill in my children as well:

  • The value and satisfaction of hard work as well as the results it brings
  • The ability to delay gratification and invest in a better future
  • The power of hope and a clear vision
  • The importance of taking time to “smell the roses” and enjoy life.
  • The appreciation of wisdom and joy of learning new things
  • The power of reflection and learning from your mistakes
  • The ability to be articulate and conduct yourself in a professional manner
  • The importance of having integrity and being kind to yourself as well as others.
  • To not ignore problems that arise in the hopes that they will go away. Small ones can turn into big ones if they are ignored.
  • Take accountability for what you have the power to change and work to change it for the better – Continually strive to improve yourself and your world.
  • The importance of being there for your family when they need you

These are characteristics that I truly value. I am thankful that my parents have passed these great gifts on to me. All of the lessons they learned throughout their life and instilled in me have helped me to become who I am today. I look forward to building upon my family legacy and passing on lessons such as these to my children one day.

Regardless of your ethnicity we can all learn from the great trials and tribulations that African Americans have been through. I appreciate all those that have come before us, the challenges they have faced and the lessons they have taught us. Their wisdom, inspiration and foundation gives us the ability to create a better tomorrow.

Lindsay and David Brim

What about you?

Remember, you can build your future by discovering your past. Visit Building a Financial Legacy to learn more. I also encourage you to share you own story in the comments below or with MassMutual on Facebook or  MassMutual on Twitter using #JourneyOfYou.

Visit Sponsors Site

My Reflection on Recent Racial Protests, Economics and More Fruitful Ways to Invest Time

Contributor: David Brim December 14, 2014

I almost always stay away from contributing my thoughts on racial topics, but I can’t stay silent anymore. I may offend some people who read this, but oh well. Not that it gives me a pass, but I am half black and half white so I am not coming from a bias racial perspective.

Orlando Sentinel - March and Economic Racial ArticlesThe Orlando Sentinel published two articles on the same page in today’s paper. The first discussed a history making movement of thousands, primarily African Americans, banning together to rally across many US cities to march against police brutality that has claimed the lives of black men.

On that same page…an article about the wealth gap and the fact that the economic recovery is improving for whites, but not blacks with stats to prove it. It indicates that the average white person has $13 for every $1 held by a black person.

Crime, poverty, lack of high paying jobs and poor education are much more common in depressed economic communities regardless of race.

When police officers are dealing with people from depressed economic areas they will be more on guard, fearful and on edge. Society, the media and likely their experiences in these areas have reinforced that. (Excessive force and brutality is not ok, but will likely be more common when someone has a “perceived justification” for that force. Even if there is no true justification for it.)

The history of mistreatment and intentional repression of African Americans put Blacks in a deep hole in this country. Many African Americans grew up and live in these depressed communities.

Based on the stats of the bottom article, African Americans are far more economically depressed than other races.

Many of these issues (crime in black communities, poor education, charged police encounters, wealth gap, etc.) are symptoms of a much bigger problem. Economic impoverishment.

The energy and time spent by so many marching could and should be spent on creating value and improving the economic circumstances and environment. That will have a much greater impact than emotional releases with no true outcome.

Most who meet me don’t know I am half white. They just see African American. I have experienced racial descrimination, but make a conscious decision that the person expressing it has the problem not me. It may at times make things a bit harder, but I wont allow it to hold me back. I have been able to grow a company organically to over $1M in sales with no investment or loans. It is possible.

There will always be people across any profession or community with integrity and others who lack it. Each will act as such.

A much greater improvement will manifest if more people focus investing their time into learning, growing and seeking to truly add economic value rather than coordinated efforts driven by emotion addressing a system bigger than they can influence in that way.

Living the Duplex Dream

Contributor: David Brim November 29, 2010

My fiance Lindsay and I recently made a big move in more ways than one…We are now first time homeowners and first time landlords. I think that our route is definitely the road less traveled, but I wanted to share our story and experience with my readers. There were lots of ups and downs to get us to this point, but I firmly believe that this was a great financial move and one that others may want to pursue as well.

I thought I’d share the video and back story, both can be seen below…

Last January my girlfriend of five years, Lindsay, and I got engaged. At the time we were living in a prestigious and highly desirable area in Orlando called Baldwin Park. Though this was a fantastic area that we thoroughly enjoyed for over two years, we wanted to begin building a solid financial foundation together and throwing away $1,350 each month in rent wasn’t the best move in the long term for us.

This being the case I thought to myself how can we minimize our expenses, save for a wedding and still become home owners and have our monthly living expenses go towards building wealth not losing it…

Then I had an idea…

Why not find a duplex…Live in one side and rent the other out.

I spent the next 6 hours or so looking at properties and finally found one that I liked. I also noticed that the property was a foreclosure that was drastically reduced. It was also in walking distance to a fantastic shopping area equipped with a 24 hour fitness center, tons of restaurants and a frozen yogurt shop (one of Lindsay’s favorites).

I shared the idea with Lindsay and at first she said “No Way”…I said hear me out and explained to her the goal and what this would mean for us.

I also showed her pictures of the property that I found…She loved it

We had no real estate agent, but both wanted to see the property. I decided to go seek one out…I walked outside of our apartment talked to two or three people and a neighbor directed me to a friend’s mom who was a real estate agent. I met with her that day and the next day Lindsay and I saw the property.

We were very pleased with it…It more than lived up to the pictures that we had seen online. This was in mid August.

We put an offer in on the property and it was soon accepted….Smooth process right?

Not so fast

The property had $75,000 in tax liens and violations from the previous owner. There was also some code enforcement issues and it didn’t help that the bank we were in contract with sold the property to another bank while in contract.

What was supposed to be a done deal in early September turned into October then into November…Our lease for our apartment in Baldwin Park ran out in October and was immediately rented out to another family forcing us to move out…We were now homeless.

We moved in with a friend, who was gracious enough to have Lindsay and I as house guests…after dealing with lots of back and forth over the next month we finally closed on our property the day after thanksgiving.

Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Lindsay and I are very happy with our decision and plan on renting the property over the next couple weeks. This will really help us subsidize our monthly expenses and help our marriage get started in the right direction financially.  After all who wouldn’t want to have to pay their own mortgage payment?  Even if 50%-70% is covered it’s still a win, especially in the long run.

We are now settled into our new place. I’ll post pictures of the place fully furnished once all of our boxes are put away, but you can see the video above that I took several months back of the property.

What do you think about this plan?

Is this something you would consider doing as well? If you know of anyone looking to rent a place in Orlando…pass them my way 😉

I’ll make sure you get a referral bonus if they end up signing a lease.

Invention to Venture Presentation

Contributor: David Brim November 2, 2010

This past week I had an educational session on branding, marketing strategy, SEO and social media at the Excellence in Entrepreneurship course for start up CEO’s and executives.  This Friday I will be speaking at the Invention to Venture boot camp about the same topic.

I finished up revising my presentation earlier this week and decided to share it here for all of you.

Let me know what you think!

All the best,



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