SEVEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY AT TURNING POINT USA
Last week was our seven-year anniversary at Turning Point USA. I realized when the anniversary hit, I was in such a rush and transit I didn’t properly reflect and commemorate this incredible milestone
Seven years ago, on June 5th of 2012, I picked up the phone to call Bill Montgomery and told him I had the name of the organization – Turning Point USA – that I believed would recapture the spirit and future of our country
He immediately responded with, “How can I help? I believe in YOU!” This was so rare.
Outside of my parents, and a few other local friends, belief in me was a hard thing to find.Many people know the above story, few know this story:
For the days leading up to June 5th 2012, Bill Montgomery spent hours, yes, hours on the phone with me building me, coaching me, and believing in me.
I was a high school senior who just got rejected from West Point. What on earth did he see in me? He saw me speak just once before at a Tea Party rally in Lisle, Illinois. In fact, HERE is the link if you want to watch it.
I was hardly the dynamic speaker I am today, but Bill saw something in me. Something unique and saw the potential.
I will never forget those hour phone calls that led up to me calling him with the name of the organization. Not only did Bill Montgomery advise, mentor, and coach me up to that moment, he went ALL IN after.
The summer of 2012 was a tough one for me. When most of my peers were going away to college, I was left zig-zagging the midwest in 98 degree heat with Bill going from Tea Party to Tea Party event asking for $50 donations and searching for a big donor.
We fed off a dream. We were inspired by the imagination of what “could be possible.” There were moments when I wanted to give up. It’s so easy to try and portray that you always had it within yourself to keep going. I didn’t, I needed Bill, the ultimate optimist to keep pushing me.
I remember in August of 2012, I was low on energy, money, and positivity. Bill, however, convinced me we should go to the RNC in Tampa 2012.
Many of you know the now famous meeting where Foster Friess pledged us the $10,000 contribution. Few people know what led up to that moment.
As I was trying to gain access to the RNC, Bill was relentless in pouring energy into me. Every time I wanted to put my head down, every time I wanted to give up, he said “Cmon Charlie, you can do it, keep going!”
And I did, thanks to him.
Everyone reading this knows how easy it is to give up. It is hard to keep going, and it is foolish to think you can do it by yourself.
I reflect back on the praise we’ve been getting the last few days, and I feel very incomplete. I feel as if I am getting the praise for something I only played a part in doing. A fraction, a team member.
The truth is, if Bill didn’t have my back, if Bill didn’t keep pushing me, this experiment would have failed, and with it the millions of lives we have impacted along the way.
There are endless stories I can tell about the last seven years.
I would have never thought I would meet a sitting US President.
I would have never thought I would be on national TV
I would have never thought Rush Limbaugh would mention me on his show.
I would have never thought I would have visited the oval office.
I would have never thought I would ride on Air Force One.
I would have never thought any of those things.
But Bill did.
Bill saw what no one else did. There are many, countless people who have been helpful, very few – and only one – who can say he was there on day one
Through the ebbs and tides, Bill was there.
I feel this is a critical post because we get so caught up into how things are and we forget how they used to be, and we are too quick to remember who got us there.
To anyone who has been impacted by my videos, podcast, TPUSA, our chapters, literature, events, conferences, field programs, or any speeches I have given, you have Bill Montgomery to thank for investing in an 18-year-old with a vision – when everyone else thought it was impossible, foolish, and deemed for failure.
He saw it, believed, and America is better for it.
Bill, thank you, for taking that risk. We are all in your debt.