Hey, I’m Martin. I’m the Author, Speaker, Coach and CSO (Chief Soaring Officer) at When PIGGS Fly, and I help people live “impossible” lives filled with passion and purpose regardless of their age, past pain or current circumstances. For fun I fly airplanes, lift weights and occasionally wear a speedo on stage.
HOW I CAME TO KNOW THAT ANYTHING REALLY IS POSSIBLE
Life was hard as a kid with the last name Pigg, until mom told me how police in the 60’s took the derogatory use of the word, Pig, and created an acronym which stood for pride, integrity and guts. She told me that I also had pride, integrity and guts, and that because I had an extra G in my name, it meant that I had twice as many guts as any other kid in school. Mom’s story was my introduction to the idea that anything was possible for me.
Growing up, I heard folks use the phrase “when pigs fly” whenever they wanted you to believe that something was impossible to achieve. But with my last name and mom’s story of my invincibility, I used the phrase as fuel to prove the doubters wrong. And then many years later when I earned my pilot’s license, I was sure that if this Pigg could fly, then anything really was possible.
My belief that anything is possible has been the foundation for achieving every goal that has ever mattered to me, including making the varsity tennis team as a high school freshman, becoming a six handicap golfer and the only American prison guard (that I’m aware of) to start a successful business selling pipeline equipment to Russian oil companies, as well as earning my private pilot and commercial pilot licenses, getting a literary agent as a first-time author, establishing a successful coaching practice and competing as a bodybuilder at 54, which I’m continuing to do at 59.
What I’ve learned from five decades of observation, thousands of hours of personal development work, my coaching practice and my own personal experience, is that every one of us is capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.
I’ve made it my mission in life to help as many people as possible to create and live the life they really want to live, rather than the life they’re expected to live. And I know from personal experience that the truest path to an authentic life is through the intentional pursuit of our greatest passion.
At the core of an Anything-is-Possible Life are, what I call, The Four Pillars of Purpose: Passion, Intention, Gratitude and Grace (PIGG), and together they form the foundation of The PIGG Principle, which states:
When you pursue your Passion with Intention and Gratitude, your passion will either become your purpose or lead you to it. And when you live with Grace, you help other people find and live their purpose.
While each of the Four Pillars has specific characteristics as they relate to finding and living our purpose in life, the fact is that when our Passion, Intention, Gratitude and Grace take off, anything really is possible. And I’m incredibly grateful to mom for giving me the runway for my dreams to take flight.
10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT ME
MOM TAUGHT ME TO SMOKE WHEN I WAS 10
Well actually, she taught me how not to smoke, even though she had never smoked a day in her life. Walking home from school one afternoon, I spotted a half-smoked cigar on the road and told mom that I wanted to smoke it. She told me to put it in my mouth as she lit it and told me to take the biggest breath possible. It was the first and only time I ever smoked and convinced me that my dad’s two pack a day habit wasn’t as fun or as cool as it looked.
I WENT TO PRISON AFTER COLLEGE
As an employee and not as a resident. After graduation I spent four years working in Texas penitentiaries and I speak from experience when I say that nothing could ever do more to convince you of the value of freedom and the notion that there had to be a better way to make a living than the first time you experience tear gas without a mask during a riot.
MY FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL
Most people dieting for bodybuilding competitions choose food that is really a guilty pleasure, like pizza and hamburgers. Not me! Give me a place to eat great sushi and nigiri and I’m in culinary heaven.
I WASN’T EXPECTING TO BE KIDNAPPED
Fortunately, the family in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia that hatched the plan to force me to marry their daughter wasn’t very good at carrying it out.
GYMS ARE MY SANCTUARY
It had been 28 years since I picked up a weight. But something clicked when Mom gave me a gym membership for my 48th birthday. I threw myself into working out and in 2018 I entered a competition. Training for the competition taught me valuable lessons I could use in other areas of my life. And now I’m hooked on competing.
MY GUILTY PLEASURE
I would almost rather run a red light than stop my car at any corner where there’s a Popeye’s, because their biscuits and my competition diets don’t go well together. If you’ve ever had one (or three) of that mouth watering deliciousness, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’VE FLOWN VOLUNTEER MISSIONS FOR PILOT’S N PAWS
Pilots n Paws is a non profit organization that works with volunteer pilots to fly dogs and cats rescued from high kill shelters to their new forever homes.
I’M LIKELY THE ONLY FORMER AMERICAN PRISON GUARD TO START A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS SELLING OILFIELD EQUIPMENT TO RUSSIAN OIL COMPANIES
It’s a crazy story and one where the business was stolen from me by another former prison guard. But much of what I learned about myself and my ability to succeed comes from the struggles and sacrifices that went into making that venture successful.
YOU MAY KNOW HER FROM DANCING WITH THE STARS
But I know her as the friend who comforted me on the worst day of my life. Carrie Ann was the person I reached out to as paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Mom. And her call with me that night gave me a small island of peace in an ocean of sadness.
COMEDY HELPED ME HEAL
Taking improv classes at SAK Comedy Lab in Orlando helped restore my creativity and was a big part of healing from the death of my mom.