Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Welcome to the Born for Greatness podcast. I am so glad you have joined me today. I have a very special guest, Kyle Chiappone with me. Kyle, thank you for joining me. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure and an honor. Awesome. Now, Kyle and I just met through a mutual friend, Travis, who I've had on the podcast, who is an awesome, awesome person. And, Kyle, I only know the 20,000 foot view of your story, but you have a pretty incredible story.
So if you want to just kind of start, tell us just a little bit about you, and then we'll get into it as we go. Man. A little bit about me, right? Where do I start? Right. You always think about when somebody asks you about your backstory, about your history, how far back do you go? Right? And I just want to give Travis Richie a shout out. I love that guy. He's awesome. So I appreciate him for plugging us in and also for him having me on his Convicted Mindset podcast. So shout out to Travis Richie. But, yeah. So, my back story I'm from St. Petersburg, Florida, born and raised, raised in a good household, two amazing parents. My parents are awesome. They love me to death, and they were always there supporting me, rooting for me through the ups and downs, the good times and the bad. My mom and dad were two people that I could always rely on. I got two brothers, ultimately, through the stages of my life, we ended up, like, having a lot of foster kids, so I got a so called adopted little brother.
That's awesome. I love yeah, that's my guy. But, yeah, just through the life, through the experiences of life. Fast forward a little bit. I was heavily into sports when I was young, played just about every sport that I possibly could football, baseball, basketball, hockey. You name it, I was a part of it. As I got a little bit older, I started kind of hanging around with a crowd that wasn't up to all of the expectations that possibly were set and established for my life by my parents. Right. Even though I was in a decent neighborhood, even though I was raised with good parents, even though the majority of my friends had good parents, two parents in their household. But we just kind of all got went the wrong way a little bit. I got into some trouble as a youth, and now here we sit.
Yeah. But you've got a pretty awesome testimony out of it. Everything gets used for a purpose, and I think that's pretty incredible. So, tell me a little bit about the last five years of your life and kind of the shift and what's brought you to where you are today. Yeah, absolutely. So I'd have to go back further than five years, which I didn't want to dig too deep just in the first intro of it. But being as though your podcast is born for greatness, for me, what I'll say is that I don't know if I necessarily thought as a youth, as growing up as a teenager, that I was born for anything. Right. I was good in sports, but that was really about it. I was kind of a troublemaker in school. I didn't get good grades, didn't feel like I had a direction, didn't feel like I was smart. I got labeled odd add ADHD. As a young kid, I was in SLD classes. And I don't know, I can't really blame that as much as just saying I had real no direction. And I started to attempt to live out an identity or ego that God did not destin me for, right? And because of that, I embraced that path and that destiny for my life wholeheartedly.
Due to that, I became incarcerated at the age of 21. I did have a ten year mandatory sentence, so I did ten years day for day in Department of Correction and State of Florida. But that is actually my superpower, right? That was my godsend, that was my moment that God slowed everything down for me so that I could have an opportunity to reanalyze redirect, get introspective, and understand that the life that I was living up to that point was not the life that I was called to live. So as I stated earlier initially, I didn't really ever feel like I was born for anything, right? I had no purpose. I was not great. I felt like I was the least of these, but God calls the least of these, right? In 2009 in the Department of Corrections cell in the state of Florida, I ultimately received Christ, and that is my day that I would say I was reborn for greatness. That's awesome. So I just want to touch on that really quick. So when you were young and you said you had a good upbringing, your parents were good parents, you had a pretty steady home life, what made you think that you didn't have a purpose, that you weren't born for greatness? Was there anything that contributed to those feelings? I really couldn't put a finger on it, to just be frank. I really don't know. I don't know if it was society standards, maybe the type. I was never good in school, and maybe it was just because I didn't have a passion or desire for it. I was always excellent in the sports arenas, on the field, in my athletic activity. But I got away from that at a pretty early age. I stopped playing sports, like probably around 14. And that's what I would say, is when I probably really lost direction and I didn't feel like I had a purpose, I didn't feel like I had a meaning. The street life, selling drugs, doing the negative thing, that is what gave me a new alignment and a new purpose. And I guess because I lost my way with the athletics, with the schooling, and with the direction there. I found my new purpose in saying, well, if I can't be good, then I'm going to be bad, right? And then I drove head first into that and I'll hit on that a little bit. Is there's a lot of people out there, there's a lot of individuals in their life that they're serving the wrong thing, right? And they're serving the wrong thing wholeheartedly because they don't understand or they don't realize that they actually have a purpose, that they do have greatness within them to serve the right thing.
But it's only because they don't have the direction, they don't have the understanding, they haven't done the introspection, they haven't done the internal work to understand that negative mindset, that negative lifestyle that they're actually serving wholeheartedly, that is not their purpose, but they can't see it at the time. And I'll say that's how I was ultimately when I was younger and I didn't understand that I had a purpose or a reason for being born for greatness. I started to serve those negative attributes, those negative behavior patterns, those negative habits, and I fed wholeheartedly into that. And there's a lot of people right now who, whether they're into street life, whether into gang activity, whether they're into a negative relationship or a job and employment, that doesn't serve them, they're serving that thing every single day and they're doing it wholeheartedly as though that's providing them on purpose without them even realizing it. But it's not. And there's opportunity outside of those negative behavior patterns, those negative attributes, those relationships, that you don't belong in that employment, in that environment that doesn't serve you. There's opportunity. So what would you say to someone who feels like there isn't hope and that there is no way out? I feel like we come across that a lot, right? I want to bring hope to the hopeless because you can be in periods of your life in which you feel like, I'm stuck for myself. I'm stuck. There's no way out. There's not going to be anything better. These are the consequences of my actions and therefore I am not going to live a life of purpose or joy. So trust me when I tell you that exact statement hit home so deeply with me. I mean, just imagine this, right? Imagine knowing that you were performing in a behavior pattern and sets of activities that didn't serve you, that didn't belong to your purpose, that didn't belong to the identity that God created you for. And it caused you to be in a situation to where you received a ten year mandatory sentence followed by a five year sentence in the Department of Corrections. And you're sitting in a confinement cell and you're saying, having to accept the reality to say, it's my activity, it's my actions, nobody else's, that got me here. And that can leave you exactly in that position where you're saying completely, entirely hopeless.
But God provides hope to the hopeless, and he provides purpose to the individuals who feel like they have no purpose. And what I can say is that I've been leaning in the word hope lately. And hope is not just wishing for some alternate circumstance that you just dream of. Hope is truly understanding and receiving that there is a destiny for you outside of your current circumstance. And that's what I had to grasp on to in the midst of that prison cell, is to say, I have hope and I have purpose. And it doesn't matter what my current circumstance says. It doesn't matter what my actions have allowed me to receive. It doesn't matter of the circumstance and the situation I'm currently in. I have hope today of a new future and a new purpose and a new destiny. And you have to lean into that. If you're sitting in a position right now today that you feel like you have no hope, you can have hope. And my hope is in an eternal kingdom, in a risen savior and a God who loves each and every one of us individually, especially in the midst of our negative and difficult circumstances in life. He came to deliver us. And if that isn't your hope, that's okay too. That's okay too. But you have to understand that there is a reason for you. There is a purpose for you. There is a destiny before you beyond what your current circumstance looks like. And you have to grasp on to that hope, understanding that your current circumstance does not determine the individual that you are, but today your work does. So you can plan and prepare and act today to present a future that does not look like your current circumstance presents. It's crazy that you just hit on that question, because that literally envelopes and encases my entire ethos. How I represent and live in my life today is based on action, right?
Faith without works is dead. Yes, I believe in faith. I believe in a risen savior. If I didn't speak about my Christ, if I didn't speak about the redemption story of my life, I wouldn't be telling you the truth of my story. But at the same time, there's a lot of people who claim on faith but then don't put in the work, and then they want to complain about the situation that currently resides within their life. Man, we have to put in work. We have to accept responsibility for our actions. We have to accept the responsibility of our current circumstances, and then we have to do the work today, once we realize that we're in a situation that we don't like, we're in a circumstance that we don't like, you better believe that when I looked around that prison cell, I didn't blame anybody else. I accepted responsibility for my actions. I'm not trying to get a pity party out of this podcast today. I did what I did and received the repercussions of the circumstances that I've created in my life. But it was activity that I didn't really realize of the negative attributes that was being applied. So once I received the consequences and I realized that I didn't like them, I said, now what? Now what? Are you going to accept it and just wallow in the pity of the self disgust within yourself? Or are you going to accept the responsibility, say, I caused this situation in my life. But the good thing about that is since I caused it, I can do something to change it. And that's what I did and that's what I do every single day of my life. I wake up every single day and say, I have to change my future situation by the activity that I conduct myself in today. What you just said, I think is incredibly powerful. Accepting what you have done, the consequences that you have, and knowing that you brought them upon yourself and therefore you have power to change. And I think a lot of people feel powerless along with feeling hopeless. But there is a beauty in brokenness, and we have to be broken in order to be rebuilt and amen. People miss that piece of it so many times. So I love that your story is a reflection of the beauty that comes out of being broken and being humbled and getting to that place. And I'll touch on that just a little bit, right. My circumstances and the situation in my life was caused by me.
So I don't want to point the finger at anybody else and say, hey, maybe their parents abused them. Maybe they had a relationship that was not their fault. Maybe negative circumstances arise in their life that they had absolutely no control over. So I don't want to point my finger at that. But what I want to say to that is even if you haven't even if it wasn't necessarily your activity that caused the circumstance in your life, you still have the power you do. You still have the power today to change it. Whether that be in the relationship of somebody abusing you, whether it be in your internal negative behavior patterns because of a situation that occurred in your youth, whether it be abusive parents that didn't take care of you, didn't console you, didn't support you. You don't have to keep carrying that. You can choose to let it go. You can choose to make a choice to live something different. Absolutely. And that's such a good point. As somebody who's walked through an abusive relationship and then taken that upon myself and said, well, it must be my fault, right? Because that kind of belief system is pounded into your head while I'm this way because of you and you feel like there's no other choice or option. I mean, you're right. You do have to come to a point in your life where you say, no, I'm going to take the power back and I am going to do something about it. Because you do have that ability. A lot of it is that mindset shift of realizing that you were born for greatness and you weren't meant to be trampled on and you weren't meant to live a life that is not fulfilling that purpose. We are meant to fill a life that brings joy and brings happiness to others and it's hope for the hopeless. I think that's something that sometimes we struggle with. At least I know for me because I feel like Christ is the ultimate hope dealer and sometimes we forget that piece and yes, life is hard, but he did also come to bring us a life and a life in abundance. Amen to all those individuals. I've never been in an abusive relationship, so I can't tell you how you felt. But what I do know is that hurt people hurt people? Yeah, it's a common saying. People say it all the time, but it's the truth. What I had to realize when I was incarcerated and the guards would come in and they would be extremely difficult on the inmates. We're all already serving these massive sentence like I was in a maximum security penitentiary. My cases was a serious one. I wasn't in a day camp. And all of us are serving a lot of time due to the circumstances and situations that we've created in our lives. And there would be guards that would come in and they would just take out their frustrations and angers on us. And I've had conversations with my mother when she would come and see me and she said, kyle, if those people are actually taking their situations out on you, that's what they're doing. They're taking their environment at home out on you and the worst situation in your life is their life every single day.
So just think about that, right? It's true. That allowed me to look at the situation differently and say, my mom's right. I'm looking at an opportunity in a situation when I get released from this place. And this is literally the life that they chose every single day. So even though they're not incarcerated, even though they haven't received the sentences and they get to go home every day, they have to come into that negative environment with that negative energy and deal with that every single day of their life. That's what they chose as a career path. So when my mom painted that picture for me, it made me realize that these guards are actually coming in and they have a lot of problems and situations at home that they're dealing with. And a lot of us in there had more opportunity and more hope upon our release than they did with their daily lives. And I just had to accept the fact and say, hey, these individuals are taking theirs. It's not me. I said, yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, ma'am, no, ma'am. You all day. But if you got this negative mindset, if you got this negative characteristic, if your internal well being isn't right, that's on you. But now, if we're in the midst of that situation that we're choosing now to be released from those people, that's on us. Absolutely. And I think it's a good point. People do say hurt people, hurt people, but people don't stop and actually, like, think about what that means. So if somebody is upset with you or treats you unfairly, it helps to look at it in a perspective of this person is also hurting, and it's not necessarily me or who I am. It is something that they're going through. And just changing the way you think about that at least allows me to give grace to people who others might not think deserve it, but none of us deserve grace. Right. That's the whole meaning and point of grace. Amen. Amen. Yeah. Your story is so powerful and so incredible. What have you done and what are you doing now? I think it's pretty cool since you've been out of prison. Yeah. So ultimately, people always ask about what's occurred since I was released, but the major work happened when I was inside. Right? Yeah. And it's like I received Christ ultimately. From that day forward, I knew it was my responsibility not to continue to live the lifestyle and the negative behavior mindsets and the attitudes that I was embracing up until that point. And what I received in there was that I had an opportunity to understand that even in the worst situation of my life, even with one pair of shoes that were sewed up, one pair of blues, a little box that I was living in a cop that was on a metal frame. A thin little mattress that I slept on. I was still at peace after receiving Christ. I was able to have peace. I was able to have joy. I was able to have satisfaction. I was able to have happiness.
I was able to laugh and smile. And when there would be people coming to see me who would be hurting on the outside and I was able to actually supply them with joy, I was actually able to supply them with grace. I was actually able to supply them with laughter. And that did something to me. It literally changed me internally to where you have a lot of people out here who are succeeding financially but are internally broken, and they're serving within their own sets of penitentiaries, and they are in their own prisons, and they are locking themselves up in their own sets of jail time. And what I understand and what I know is that before I ever was incarcerated, I built a false image of myself that trapped me within a prison that I created in my own life, even when I was not inside those fences. And because I built this false image, I'm the type of person that doesn't do anything halfway, right? So I built this false image, and I dove into it 1000%. And I would even go to the extreme to prove that false image, not to the world, but to myself. And ultimately, that got me in the situation that I was in. But internally, I was not the individual who I presented externally. Right? And after receiving Christ, now every single day, I wake up as the individual I am internally as the individual that is presented externally. And I know that there's a lot of people it doesn't matter how much financial prowess you have. It doesn't matter how many relationships you build. It doesn't matter how many connections you have. It doesn't matter how many cars you've bought, how many pieces of real estate you've sold. None of that stuff matters. How many Louis bags we got, how much jewelry we possess to the men's out there, how many Rolexes you have. It doesn't matter if your internal well being is not correct. So the biggest thing that I can say I have accomplished, yes, I've come out. I am now an entrepreneur. I own a car dealership. We're growing every single day. In the last two years, we've grown 300%. I'm a member of the RTE syndicate. I got my shirt on. I built a lot of connections and relationships with people travis Richie, who connected us onto this podcast. I'm starting a podcast of my own called The Value Race. It's me and a friend of mine named Chesco, and we're doing it together. And I got married. I bought houses. I've done a lot of things financially and within my relationships. But the biggest attribute, the biggest thing that I have been able to accomplish is to understand that none of those things, no matter how much material possessions I produce, no matter how many relationships I build, no matter how many of my goals I achieve.
I remember back to those days in the midst of that incarceration, sitting on that cot full of joy. And I say none of I understand truly that none of this stuff creates the individual that Kyle Chapone is. It's the internal man that creates the individual who I am. And that's what adds value into my life. That's what allows me to build the connections. That's what allows me to build the relationships. That's what allows me to build the business. That's what allows me to build my team. That's what allowed me to secure my spouse, my wife. It's who I am internally. It never mattered what I possessed. When I met my wife, she was producing financially probably three or four times what I was. But she saw who I was internally. And now, due to the work that's been put forward, now I have surpassed her. But it doesn't matter because the financial prowess does not accomplish anything. It's not what it is. It's who we are inside. So all of those possessions, all of those accomplishments, all of the goals that have been achieved, I appreciate you asking about them, and you best believe I'm goal oriented. Now, I'm chasing every single day, but I'm chasing because I truly believe that if God called me out of that darkness, out of that extreme darkness, he did not call me to be put inside a closet or to be put up under the nightstand. He called me to be placed upon the mountaintop. And that's why I'm on this podcast today. It's a declare to anyone, no matter what situation your life is facing, no matter what position that you're in, whether you're well off financially or you're not doing too great financially, it doesn't matter. It's about your internal well being. It's what God called you to. It's what your purpose and your destiny for your life is. It's what matters. And we are all destined for greatness. We're all born for greatness, even if you can't see it right now, as I once couldn't. But I was reborn for greatness. And that's why I'm on here telling you guys today that I know for a fact that God has called each and every one of you to do great things.
Go you. That's awesome. I love it. That's such an amazing story. And I just want to touch on before we close. The fact that you took your situation and I visualize it as your incarceration was your cocoon. You went in one way and you came out this amazing, beautiful butterfly. And I think that is just such a key point, because we can use those dark moments and those things in our lives that we believe can't be used for good, that there's no hope in those moments, but they can be used for something so beautiful. And I just commend you for that if we got 2 minutes. So what she just said, not only those situations that you see no hope in, can they be used, but they should be leaned into, because those are the situations. It's those moments and times in our lives that we see absolutely no ability to see light at the end of the tunnel that are preparing us and developing us into the individuals that we're intended to be. And we cannot see the hope at the end. We cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. We feel like our lives are being destroyed. But ultimately, you said it earlier, that was my cocoon. And you said it earlier about you have to be broken down to be built back up. And God used that prison as my furnace to refine me as gold through the fire so that I could come out purified. And that's what God is doing in each and every one of your lives. All those turbulent situations that you're facing, all of those difficult scenarios, all of those times in your life, that you cannot see the light. Those are the times that are actually serving you. Lean into them. Feel that pain. Embrace that pain. We want to try to rush out of the pain as fast as possible. That pain is what's creating us and to the individuals we're intended to be so that we can produce the lives that God has called us to. Awesome. I love it. Thank you for joining me. I feel like we could go on forever, but I will have you back at some point. Thank you again for sharing your story and being such an inspiration and hope to others and, yeah, this has been great. Thank you, Rebecca. It was a pleasure and honor. Absolutely. And please join me again on the next episode.