A Story on how one man changed his life from being a drug dealing addicted felon to a masters degree college graduate and business owner

There are things in our life that may happen , that rock us to the core of our existence. It can be something traumatic like losing someone you love, addiction, abandonment, fake friends and etc.  However, through those traumatic circumstances we are given a choice of how we will react and receive what has happened to us. Will we use it to succumb to negativity or as a force to push us into a deeper greatness.

Today’s someone’s story comes from a place of darkness but has a beautiful ending into the light.

Please enjoy, share, and comment on his story below.




Hi Everyone,


I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Brandon Painter, and I want to tell you a bit about me. Some find my story interesting, I find it rather ordinary. We all struggle to find ourselves, so everyone has an interesting story to me :). It makes us who we are as a person, but it doesn’t define where we are going (lucky for us!). Where we are going and where we should be going isn’t always aligned. However, when we find our true path or calling, nothing could be more meaningful. At this current stage of my life, I believe I have found my calling for the rest of my life. Let me tell you, it didn’t magically appear, and it was hard work to get to this here. I’m not where I want to go, but I’m glad I’m not where I was! I am truly blessed with the life I am living and excited to see where it will go. But, I haven’t always felt like that. It had taken a few life-altering moments to change my perception on this thing we call life.

I will start by telling you I have seen a lot in my life. Two different occasions have given me a different perspective on life. The first one was when I got arrested for three felonies. The second one was when one of my best friends was tragically murdered while I was living with him probably over a drug deal gone wrong. These two life-altering moments that have truly shaken me to my core and I will never be the same. Today, I’ll only speak on one.


When I was in high school, my parents had gotten divorced, and at the same time, I was introduced to the world of alcohol and drugs. I believe I coped with the problems I was feeling by using every day. This using got extremely bad during the end of my high school years, and I ended up dropping out. We never had much money, so I found I could support my habit as well as make some extra cash to on the side to pay my bills by selling the drugs I wanted to use. This ultimately led down the path of using harder drugs and selling them as well. Once I started using the harder stuff, I literally was the verge of death by using even though I never had so much money in my life. As most unfortunately know, using the harder drugs also lead to a whirlwind of troubles. I had been beaten up multiple times, had my house kicked in with people in masks with guns numerous times, got my family hurt in the process, had money stolen from “good” friends, and put all those who I was around in jeopardy. Once these people held guns to my head and my girlfriend’s at the time, as well as the other six people in my room. These individuals stole each guys’ wallet, each girls’ purse, and all of our cell phones. I also lost around four thousand in the whole ordeal, just so they would leave. Money isn’t worth my or anyone’s life…

Fast forward a few months, I move in with the wrong person, and the police came into my house on a search warrant. I got arrested for three felonies in that incident due to the drugs that were found in my room and not listening because a flash bang was thrown in my face. In the police car after being beaten up and tazed by the police, I had my first life-altering epiphany where I decided to change my life. I told the Columbia police officer that this could be the blessing in disguise that I needed to change my life. He said to me that he hears that all the time and he told me to prove it to myself by my actions and not my words.


The next day after I was arrested, I went to see a lawyer named Dan. Dan said that I had a good chance of getting probation since it was my first time in trouble if I took his advice. He told me to get into rehab, get a job, and go to school as soon as possible. I did all of the above immediately!! It was probably the best advice I ever received because going to school changed my life. I always knew I wanted to help others and run my own business.

After ten years of hard work in school, I finally just graduated with my second master’s degree. I received one that is formed around helping others strategically plan their business while helping to improve the leadership skills of themselves or employees. Doing both is designed to help them create the ideal business they have envisioned in their minds. My second master’s degree was based on internet marketing. I help organizational owners with defining their perfect audiences and messages through market research and their desires. After we do that, the organization and I will create and implement our co-designed strategic action plan into their branding, marketing, and advertising on the organization’s website, social media pages, and what people see on search engines.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Brandon Painter, people smiling, people standing, tree, hat and outdoorImage may contain: Brandon Painter, smiling, outdoor

Currently, I am in the process of building out two businesses that are based on both degrees. One will be based on business coaching (BP Business Coaching), and the other is based on online marketing consulting (BP Online Marketing Consulting). Together, they will allow me to live out my goals. My goal is to live out my passion for helping others while running my own business for the rest of my life.


Image may contain: Brandon Painter, eyeglasses and closeupImage may contain: stripes


What Life lessons do I have for others to learn from?


Oh man, what a question!


  1. The trouble you have been in does not define who you are as a person today.
  2. Selling drugs has a lot of unforeseen consequences decades after stopping.
  3. Relationships (friends or significant others) that drain you are a waste of time, energy, and emotions.
  4. Knowledge creates stability.
  5. Perseverance through rough times are truly how we grow.
  6. Do not be afraid to fail.
  7. Do not allow anyone to make you feel inadequate.
  8. You have to give up a lot and work hard to succeed in this life.
  9. This life is a gift, seize each day you get to bless this Earth with your kindness, strengths, weaknesses, and talents.
  10. Most importantly, put your trust and faith in God, and He’ll do the rest!


What are some of the best things that have helped me along the way?

  1. Finding a truly personal relationship with God and reading the bible.
  2. Knowing God has my back no matter what trials and tribulations I’m going through.
  3. Emotional support from family, dog, and friends.
  4. Working on my education to overcome the stigma of the label being a felon.
  5. Working on my training to start my own business around my passion.
  6. Changing the group of friends I hang out with.
  7. Knowing when to say, “No!” even when you are bored.
  8. Working out and other various forms of physical fitness.
  9. The desire to strive to achieve my own definition of greatness.
  10. Not wanting ever to be put back into a cell.



Image may contain: Brandon Painter, dog, outdoor, nature and waterImage may contain: one or more people and people standingImage may contain: 13 people, including Brandon Painter, people smiling, people sitting and child



Don’t forget to check out other stories in our someone’s story section.



If you have a story that you would like to tell please send me an email via the contact page on the home page.





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