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When Forest Hamilton was born into his father’s hands in a small house in the mountains of Washington, no one could have guessed the impact he would have on the world around him.
As Assistant Director of Universal Coin and Bullion, Ltd. in Beaumont, Texas, Hamilton has been awarded numerous honors for sales, teamwork, and customer service and has helped propel his organization from a five million dollar a year business into a multi-national, award winning, 60 million dollar a year industry leader.
His successes are all the more impressive due to the circumstances of his humble beginnings. Born in the rural town of Duvall, Washington, Hamilton came into the world with great fear and uncertainty when his father David Hamilton, a Vietnam veteran, was forced to unwrap the umbilical cord from around Forest’s neck during his son’s emergency delivery.
Raised without running water or electricity into his teens, Hamilton was taught from an early age to persevere. His father trained him to work harder and be more dedicated than everyone around him. However, the early social interactions he experienced were even more influential than the circumstances of his upbringing.
“I remember getting on the school bus at six years old after feeding the animals and no one would sit near me. I was too young to understand that it was the smell of the farm that made them shy away. I grew up thinking they just didn’t like me.”
Hamilton was forced to build a strong sense of character and work hard at sports and in school to make friends. “I was blessed with a difficult upbringing because I learned that being a good person had nothing to do with what I owned and everything to do with my actions and my character,” explained Hamilton.
By High School his work ethic and strong moral compass began to pay off in both athletics and academics. As a child, Forest visited his family in Texas every summer. “My uncle, Lester Henderson, was a true inspiration to me. He taught me that everything in life has a process. If you follow a failure process you will consistently get failure. If you follow a success process you will consistently have success. The only question is, how big can you dream?”
In 1999, Henderson was diagnosed with terminal cancer and asked his nephew to move in with the family and work at his company, Universal Coin and Bullion. The company has since become one of the world’s largest gold, silver, and rare coin firms, winning the coveted NLG Investment Book of the Year award an unprecedented four times. UCB specializes in United States investment grade gold coins and also deals in the other precious metals groups while leading the field in consumer protection advocacy. They are the Official Bullion and Rare Coin Dealer for the National Rifle Association. “Our goal is to help people protect, diversify and grow their assets using our proven and award winning strategies,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton recalled how he fell in love with Universal Coin from the very beginning, “Everything just clicked from day one. I loved working in sales and found that if it is done the right way, both the sales associate and the client can truly benefit while enjoying the process.”
Within a year Hamilton was the top sales associate at the firm and went on to become a manager within three years. He holds nearly every monthly and yearly sales record spanning almost a 20-year time frame. In the past 13 years, he has become an integral part of nearly every department while assisting in the management of over 180,000 happy customers. He is now a sought-after speaker and co-author of the best-selling book “Pushing To The Front” with Brian Tracy. He was recently awarded the 2011 Thought Leader of the Year Award by the National Academy of Best-Selling Authors in Hollywood, California. Hamilton attributes his success to his passion for serving his clients more than anything else. “I love my work because I love my clients and I believe in what I do,” explained Hamilton.
With so much success at such an early age, many wonder what makes Hamilton so successful. His strategy? “Our approach is simple: We want the clients to feel they can connect with us on a personal level. By taking the extra steps to show our clients we truly care about their wants and needs, they continue coming back and sending us their friends and family. We are one of the only major companies in the world where you can call our Customer Service hotline and actually speak to the President of the company. We are truly client oriented.”
Hamilton has trained and mentored well over a hundred salesmen, customer service representatives, and managers in his career with Universal Coin. He considers sales, communication, and coaching to be the three greatest arts in human nature. Hamilton teaches what he calls ‘relationship sales.’ The key to this approach is putting customers’ comfort and happiness ahead of the company’s sales quotas.
“We are not just about sales today, we want a lifetime of sales where clients keep coming back because we have a relationship. Most importantly, we want to see our customers benefit from a product and a service that we truly believe in.”
Two years ago Hamilton stumbled upon the power of public speaking to spread his message and strategy. “I was attending a major financial seminar and 30 minutes before Mike Fuljenz, the President of Universal Coin and Keynote Speaker, was supposed to go on stage he called me and told me he was too sick to speak. This was a standing room only auditorium and I had never spoken publicly before. All of my social anxiety came back from when I was a kid,” said Hamilton.
After some coaxing from Fuljenz, Hamilton took the stage and never looked back. As a self-proclaimed ‘constant learner’ Hamilton has voraciously consumed literature to improve his speaking and developed a unique stage presence and presentation. Hamilton explained his approach, “I am very real with my audiences and my goal is to continue to speak to local schools and give applicable steps to young people, not just those interested in investing.”
Hamilton is also a co-author of the best-selling book “Pushing To The Front”. His chapter, entitled “The Gold Standard of Life” teaches readers how they can push themselves to succeed regardless of circumstances through five different life lessons. Working on the book as well as speaking to audiences has helped Hamilton realize his lifelong passion of being a “life coach” to people all over the world.
As a mentor, Hamilton teaches teenagers, other brokers and audiences to step towards their dreams, not away from them. “There is no award or amount of money that it is better than mentoring another person. One of the greatest feelings I have ever had is when someone truly starts to believe in themselves and stops settling for mediocrity,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton takes the same approach with his family. At the bottom of Hamilton’s website, Foresthamilton.com, there is a “Taylin Tag Quote of the Day” section which lists some of his eldest daughter’s sweet pearls of wisdom like, “Daddy, did you know you are a good man AND a good daddy?” With two young daughters and another baby girl on the way, Hamilton and his wife, Stormy, believe in teaching their children the importance of building a strong character and constantly striving for their dreams.
Forest is also a partner and co-founder of his father’s winery, David Hamilton Winery, LLP in Mt. Vernon, Oregon. Hamilton assists in the acquisition, production, distribution, marketing and, of course, enjoyment of their unique wines that specialize in organic fruits of the Northwest. What started as a family hobby has now grown into a thriving business, winning a number of awards at wine festivals in the Pacific Northwest as a premium organic, sulfite free wine.
It seems that no matter what Hamilton does he brings a contagious positive energy. In fact, he is known to many as the “Perpetual Positive Emotion Machine” because one of his goals is to help others realize that happiness and success are direct results of choices, not chances.
No one knows the importance of positive thinking more than Hamilton. One of his biggest challenges has been overcoming generational poverty. “I used to think that because my dad or grandfather only made a certain amount of money, then who was I to make more? I had a mental block to success because I felt guilty to do better. However, listening to my uncle, reading books and studying the Bible really helped me put together the inner pieces for success. I realized along the way that success and failure are due to the choices that we make, not the circumstances we are born into,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton is now working to build a balanced life between the love for his family and the love for his work. He is well on the way to his goal of building Universal Coin and Bullion into a billion dollar a year international industry leader. Hamilton says, “Most importantly, I want to help other people get what they want. I have learned to take the focus away from serving myself and put it into serving others, because only then will I be truly fulfilled. You can’t keep what you don’t give away.”