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March 2012

Les Gold, Game Changer

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Written by Rosalie Kakos

I recently had the opportunity of meeting Les Gold. If you don’t already know, he’s the owner of American Jewelry And Loan, a pawnshop located in Detroit, Michigan. And, it doesn’t hurt that he has his own hit television show, “Hardcore Pawn,” on truTV.

I was at the annual Marketing & Sales Executives of Detroit (MSED) event at the Townsend Hotel. It was an incredible feeling to be surrounded by other individuals who work hard and build business here in Detroit. When it came time to be seated, I was excited. I heard that “someone who has a TV show and owns a pawnshop” would be speaking. I always love it when there’s a speaker – especially someone who has seen everything. Allow me to explain.

When Les was introduced by local Fox 2 News anchor, Lee Thomas, he walked up there and commanded the room. He was still humble, though. That right there is not the easiest thing to pull off – especially in the media industries. So you’d probably think he was going to cover his business, his pawn shop, right? Well, not quite.

Les spoke about life in the rawest form. He talked about anxiety and fear and how you have to overcome them if you ever want a shot at making it. Detroit isn’t easy. It’s tough. He’s seen every kind of person out there dealing with life and hard facts. Dealing with unemployment, no food, no rent money, no family. He’s seen these people, he knows these people. He told the truth and it hurt – but you were happy he said it. That’s how I felt. The truth is, sometimes we’re so afraid of doing what we truly want, that we cover it up, distract ourselves, or pretend it’s not there. And that’s when we get into trouble. But like Les said, “I believe.” It’s the only way to live.

Here’s what I learned. You may have heard these before but sometimes, it takes a new voice for it to really hit you:

1. Overcome your fears before they overcome you.

2. Believe – in yourself, your family, your goals.

3. Family is the number one most important thing in life. But sometimes, you have to walk away, and that’s okay.

Les is the kind of person who should definitely think about becoming a Life Coach. He has changed not only the image of the pawnshop, but the people who frequent them.