LPF 3 | Closing The Income Gap

Closing The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor With Gerald Higginbotham

LPF 3 | Closing The Income Gap


An airline pilot for over 30 years, Gerald Higginbotham started his career at Eastern Airlines and Trans World Airlines and is now as a captain at American Airlines. On top of that, he is also the Founder and the President of Captain’s Millionaires, an e-Learning platform that develops people to reach their full potential and close the wealth income gap between the rich and poor. Gerald shares how he grew through his career from the airlines to starting his own business from scratch. Packed within his development training program are his thoughts about the recession, blockchain technology, and the economic system, including some strategies on how we can start living with financial success and freedom. Don’t miss out on this great conversation that will take you to the clouds and beyond.

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Closing The Gap Between The Rich And The Poor With Gerald Higginbotham

I interviewed Gerald Higginbotham. He has been working as an airline pilot for several years now starting his career at Eastern Air Lines and TWA and is now a captain at American Airlines. Join me as he goes through his journey of starting out as a little boy in Watts staring at the sky to now a successful airline pilot and entrepreneur, helping educate the public to help them reach their full potential. To find out more about my aviation related podcasts and blog, please check out www.TheLevelPlaneField.com. If you have any financial questions, consult your attorney, accountant or financial advisor. If you’re interested in how I help airline pilots as a certified financial planner practitioner, please visit www.PACUnited.com.

Gerald Higginbotham, welcome to the Level Plane Field podcast. Thank you for joining me. 

Thank you for having me. I’m awesome and excited about being on your show.

Thank you so much. To introduce you a little bit and correct me if I’m wrong, Gerald Higginbotham is a captain at American Airlines. You’ve been flying for several years now, gone through a few airlines, Eastern Air Lines. You started off that and TWA and moved onto American Airlines through the merger. What’s also interesting too is that you’re the Founder and President of Captain’s Millionaires, which is a company of yours. Your goal is to help develop people to reach their full potential and to close the wealth income gap between the rich and the poor. That’s very interesting. To start us all off, tell us a little bit about who you are. Who is Gerald Higginbotham? 

I’m a Southern California boy and I’m excited because growing up in Southern California, I had the opportunity over in South Central LA Watts area. I witnessed the airplanes going overhead. I used to look up and say, “I see myself up there flying that airplane. I can do that. I’m going to make this happen.” I stand before you as a captain for the largest airliner in the world, American. It has been a journey because I have accomplished the dream and most people don’t accomplish their dreams, but I have. I’m doing some other things here that can begin to bring about the change that we desperately need here in our urban areas and across America.

I’m blessed because I have a Doctor’s degree in Spirituality, Economics, Entrepreneurism, Information Age-ology and understanding the new knowledge-based economy that we’ve shifted to. All of this journey in life, it brings me to where we are. I saw the burning and the deprivation of the community in Watts when I was seven when it burned down. The community burned down again and I made a commitment. I said, “We’ve got to fix this thing when we get older.” I’ve been laser focus on that piece as well. I’ve been doing two things at the same time. I’m helping to create a new bottom-up model that will bring them over to the new knowledge-based economy.

We help them move from poverty, ignorance, dependency and complacency to knowledge, wealth and power but at the same time also living my dream. I’m going to take some about being a pilot. It has helped me because it helped me to ask the right questions. If I go take that jet flight out, I got to know my starting point. Because if I don’t know my starting point, not only am I in trouble, but everybody else who would get on board of jet will have an issue. Where do we want to go? What’s our destination? What’s the vehicle to get us there? What’s the flight plan or the life plan? How long will it take? How much gas you got to have? What are you going to do?

You’ve got to have a team, you’ve got to work with the team and get them going. It’s the whole piece of it that brings us to where we are. I’m using my platform as a tool to begin to close the income gap between the rich and the poor. Begin to develop the people to help them have a different mindset so that they can be able to think differently, speak differently and act differently. Also, to understand the economic system. I’m on a mission to raise up one million Captain Millionaires. The Captain’s Millionaires’ principle is purpose, process, precision people, priority, prosperity and philosophy-driven. They’ve got the philosophy that we’re in it to win it. On this planet, we’re going to win, we’re going to accomplish our goals and objectives and we’re going to have the necessary resources to empower. We, the people, are protected in that shield.

It sounds quite the journey and sounds a great thing that you’re doing over there. Take us back a little bit. As a boy growing up in South Central LA, what initially got you into aviation? I’m assuming, you first got your private pilot’s license, how hard was it? You growing up as a boy and let’s say South Central LA to start paying for flying lessons and getting your pilot’s license. What obstacles do you have to overcome in order to get that done?

I’m one of eleven children, that in itself was an obstacle. When you have a mother, bless her heart, she’s crossed back over. I had a mother and a father that they did things to encourage us to move forward and living in South Central LA, the Watts area, Jordan down area. That was an environment that I said, “I want to get out of. I want to make a difference. I want to do something special.” I was inspired by the Watts riot and Dr. King’s death. Also one of the things I have inside of me is that I want to make things happen. The spirit to do things and make a difference, leave a positive legacy. Off the airport on the weekend, I ride my skateboard or my roller-skate. I walk from South Central LA, Main and Colden, all the way over to LAX on the weekend. I’d sit out there and smell the kerosene burning from airplane engines. It was good smell.

I agree with that. It was a good smell.

Let me share this with you. Now that I’m out there in the field and walking around the jets, you don’t want to get the kerosene on you. When it burns, it smells so good. How I got started in aviation, I started young at seven. I made a decision that I wanted to be a pilot. I worked three jobs while going to college. I went to Cal State, Northridge. I have three jobs while going to school to help to fund my flying lessons.

That’s dedication right there.

I was dedicated. I was determined. I worked out at the airport. I put myself in that environment where I used to be a line servicer. I pumped gas into airplanes. I did that at Burbank Airport. It was an organization called Tigerair many years ago. They hired me and I was around the airplane and I met a lot of the Hollywood stars like John Travolta. Steve McQueen used to come do this because it was a business terminal at Burbank. I’ve met a lot of the stars and by being in that environment and telling the people what you want to do, some of the folks began to encourage you as well. One thing, I only got my private license.

Our world is in turmoil, and it's all because of economics. Click To Tweet

I’ll tell this story. I remember taking a friend home over into an area. I had this Datsun Roadster with the top off and I was driving by Whiteman Airport and this 150-airplane flew over the top of the car and landed. I turned the car around and I parked the car and I saw the guys got out with their little bitty lunches and they started eating at one of the lunch benches. I asked the question, “How did you get started?” That guy said to me, “You’ve got to do it, you’ve got to find a place.” This is what happened. When I went home, I went in the phone book, Yellow Pages. They don’t have now, but we had Yellow Pages that day. I went in there, “Eenie meenie miney mo,” and I landed on this thing that said, “SanBelle Pioneer Aviation.”

I made a phone call to one of those flight school at Van Nuys Airport and the lady said, “I’ve got a guy to talk to you.” This guy got on the phone and he said, “Where do you live?” I said, “I live in Panorama City.” He said, “So do I.” I said, “Really?” He said, “We’re heading Panorama City.” I said, “I live at 9010 Tobias.” “So do I.” I said, “I live in apartment number 159.” He said, “I’m in apartment 362.” I knew what the likelihood that you have this type of connection is. I jumped in my little Datsun Roadster, sped over to the Van Nuys Airport and this guy said, “I’ve got one of my flight students, the guy who lives in my apartment building. I’ve got a flight student up in his instructor license with the FAA. I want you to be his first student.”

When this guy came down, I was there waiting an hour and a half. I became his first student and from that point, it was over. I love my flight instructor and a month-and-a-half later, I soloed in the 150. I did whatever I had to do. I took up three part-time jobs to be able to get my aviation fix. One thing led to another. From there, I got my Instrument license and then by working at the airport, I was able to ferry some airplanes from Kansas City for the Cessna dealer. People come into your life that will help you when you make a decision that you want to do it.

How did you get into the airlines? What made you get into the airlines and what was the whole experience like? Talk through all the mergers and growing up through the career.

I probably had ten jobs.

What did you do to build hours by the way?

LPF 3 | Closing The Income Gap


I flew bank note, cancel check, cargo, commuter airline and each job it was a stepping stone. Finally, when I got hired by Wings West Airlines, I flew a Metroliner for them as a first officer. Shortly thereafter, I upgraded to Captain on the Metro. From there, I got hired with Eastern Air Lines. I made it to the major. Working for Eastern Air Lines was so much fun. However, during that timeframe, we had some guys, some corporate raiders like Frank Lorenzo. They were chopping the airline up for their own economic benefits. I left Eastern Air Lines and then went to a company called TWA. TWA had a raider, Carl Icahn who put the airline up and next thing you know, he didn’t want it no more. Then American Airlines came in and bought it and got their routes. I came over that through the back door and then, US Air bought American and it’s where we are now. I upgraded all the way to where I am as a captain.

I love flying the Boeing 737. I’ve flown the Boeing 757 and 767 jet. I’ve flown the Super 80 and all the McDonnell series. I’ve had the opportunity to fly sideways in the Boeing 727 as an engineer. I’ve got almost over 20,000 hours of a flight time. I’ve moved about one million passengers from A to B. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do if you want to fulfill your dream. You can’t let nothing stop you. You have to be so determined. You have to be focused. You have to be willing. In order to go up, you have to give up. I didn’t go out partying very much. I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke. Every dime went to the building of my career to where I am.

Was it pretty tough growing up when you first started at the airlines, as far as your income and expenses were concerned?

When you start out in the airline industry, I thought it was a lot of money, but it wasn’t as I look back on it, because I had such low expenses back then. The extra $1,500 a month that they paid us, I thought that was a lot of money. As I look back now, they took advantage of the pilot. Now, it’s a whole different story because they’re short on pilots. We have a massive shortage on pilots and so they’re going to have to pay. They’re paying right now to train pilots from ground zero. They’re getting good paid from day one. It’s a different environment that we’re in now. I’m so excited in fulfilling and living my dream and I don’t want to wake up. As I’m doing that, I’m also working on the other half of my dream is to close the income gap between the rich and the poor. To move the people from poverty, ignorance, dependency and complacency to knowledge, wealth and power. That’s what the Captain’s Millionaires training is all about.

The airline industry is one of the most successful industries there is. They moved people from A to B. I said it’s the same process to take people from where they are to where they need to be. You’ve got to get them on board the airplane. You’ve got to have a flight plan for them. They’ve got to have a destination. I used that and you’ll see it out there on my Captain’s Millionaires training where I’ve got in life, you can come coach business class or first class. Each one of them have a little different price, but it’s about education and it’s about empowering them.

You were talking about the airline industry, about them being efficient or successful and teamwork. They have a lot of good things down. What aspects of the airline industry were you able to take from there and apply it to help people?

Every nine months, I’ve got to go through recurrent training. I have recurrent training at home. Every quarter, I have to use the internet for training online distantly. I took that process. When I’m down in the classroom, I see how American Airlines is so professional and the slides and how it’s all set up. I’ve taken that process and incorporated a learning experience for the people so that Corporate America can use it for good. I love American Airlines because they are big on training and education. I’ve taken that from them. I used training relevant education that is needed that can help to empower the people. I’m going to tell you something in our school system. It teaches us to work for money, go to school and get you good education so you can get a good paying job. Our school system does not teach us how to make money work for us. We have been programmed to be slaves to a system that does not empower the people.

I’m a financial planner, so I see folks all the time in all different situations. Even going through school myself, I don’t think I ever learned about investments. I didn’t learn how to balance a checkbook. I didn’t know how to pay property taxes.

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Why would they teach us some good stuff like that, stuff that you can use after you leave school? They didn’t teach us how to take a dollar and create 60 words. They taught us how to work for a system. What I’ve learned through my experience, the current school system was set up by the manufacturer, Harvey Firestone. He needed people to work in his factory for the tires. I saw this, it was either Goodyear or Firestone. I was reading. I said, “This is how the school system start. It was not to empower people. It was designed to get you a job and ring a bell and you’d be able to be a factory worker.”

Our school system has not made the paradigm shift to this new knowledge-based economy. I saw it as an opportunity to be able to make that happen using the Captain’s Millionaires Training Program. Those people that come through this process, they’re going to see the new system for what it is. I hope I have to get the opportunity to take you guys inside the Captain’s Millionaires Training. You can see how I setup the TSA. Before you get on board the jet, you are coming through the TSA, otherwise you are not going to fly. I’ve set up a TSA inside my training of my learning center. The TSA stands for Think, Speak and Act because your thought is what controls your life. Whatever you think on, you’re going to speak. Whatever you speak on, you’ve got to act on and it produces the result. We’ve had the wrong information, we’ve had the wrong processes.

The Captain’s Millionaires Training Program is to begin to help them think differently, speak differently, act differently but also too, they’re going to have a millionaire mindset. Where do you go to learn how to become a millionaire? There’s nothing out there that’s teaching our people or our communities or Americans what the A, B, C, D, E, F, G process is to get you to your destination. By the way, I asked people this question, “What is your destination as you walk on the planet? Not as you leave the planet, but as you walked on the planet.” I hear so many people telling me what they want to do and they have not defined their destination. Here’s what I know being a commercial airline captain. You can be 1/10th of degree off course and you’ll never arrive at your destination. It’s not going to happen. We’ve been off course.

This program that we’ve developed, the Captain’s Millionaires leadership and economic piece is designed to help and redefine who they are, get them to where they need to be. We’re going to raise up one million Captain’s Millionaires. It’s going to happen and you can’t stop it because the program was set up and it’s designed. Here’s one of the good news that I’m so excited about. We have shifted from an industrial-based society to the information age. That’s a whole new different paradigm. It’s a whole different ballgame. Anytime you shift in systems, so does the economic system changes.

When we shifted from the agriculture age, from a slave, free-labor society to an industrial age where you got low pay. Now with this new system, it’s a different game. We have to wake up and begin to see it differently and begin to apply these new principles and processes in our lives so we can be successful because people are not experiencing success right now. As I look at the communities, as I travel across the globe, I see one common denominator touching everything. I said, “Unless we address this thing, things are not going to change.” The common denominator is economics. Our world is in turmoil and it’s all because of economics. It’s because we have now shifted from an industrial-based society to now but the new system is still not in place yet. The old leaders are still looking at the old system trying to beef it up but the Industrial Age is on life support. This new information age is going to outdo it. I get excited talking about it because it’s my passion. I see exactly what we have to do and how to get it done. This process is the first way to bring about creating a new civilization from the bottom up.

Right before we talk about the process and the system, you’ve been through pretty much all the good times and aviation and the airline world and all the bad times. You have a great head on your shoulders, a good amount about finances and you’re savvy. What were the recessions like? Let’s say, the recession in 2008 and 2001. To our audience out there who are in the airline world, there might be a recession coming up, who knows when? It might be next year or the year after, but what is your advice?

LPF 3 | Closing The Income Gap


Here’s the one thing I’ll share with your audience about the aviation industry. Wait five minutes and it will change. I used to think that seniority was everything but that’s not necessarily true, especially in my case. Everything is timing because right now the young folks that are coming into the airline industry are going to be over the next few years, 35,000 pilots retiring because they’re limited on the age to age 65. They’re running up against that number. The young folks that come in right now that have prepared themselves to be aviators, they’re going to do well and they’re going to probably be flying in the next 5 to 6 years flying captain on these heavy iron 747, 777 or 787 jets going around the world because of seniority. Seniority, in this particular case, is going to do well for those young folks that have to prove themselves. If you get in on the backend of the system, it’s not good. Me personally, I lost 26 years of seniority with the airline.

When American Airlines bought TWA, they took thirteen years from me, not just me, but also many of the pilots because of the merger. They passed the law, Claire McCaskill for example, because of what American Airlines punished TWA pilots, she passed a law that anytime there’s a merger you cannot do the same basically. When US Air bought American, however they work that situation out, I lost another thirteen years. Here’s the thing, I’m living my dream. I don’t care about that. I did but I’m working on my life. You’ve got to move on. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. It has not stopped me. I’m flying captain on the 737, 800 jet and hopefully I have the MAXjet back in place in the next year, so I got the opportunity to be able to fly on it.

I’m enjoying life and I’m also enjoying what I do away from the job helping empower the people because we are all put on this Earth to serve and to make a difference. I believe that we’ll have to give accountability of our life when we leave here. Whoever I have to stand before and give accountability to, I want them to say, “Well done my faithful and greatest servant. You ran your race, you ran it well. We threw lemons at you and you made lemonade out of it. At the same time, you help to make a positive and significant difference in the lives of the people, not only in your community, but across the nation and the globe.” That’s what we’re here for. I believe with all my heart.

Let’s talk about this a little bit. As a full-time airline pilot, airline captain, you decided you’ll be an entrepreneur. You start up your own business and start helping people and working with people trying to better their lives and close the wealth gap. What was it like starting up a business from scratch while having a full-time airline job?

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I’ve always been an entrepreneur. That’s the thing, I didn’t start when I got the airline job. I remember when I had my paper route. I’ve done a lot. It just didn’t start. I was with the institution called Power Learning System. I will tell you what St. Louis did for me. When I moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis, I saw the poverty in St. Louis in the urban areas. I’d go across the river over to East St. Louis where it was so bad and I said to myself, “This is where I want to try and make a difference here in St. Louis and East St. Louis. I had several businesses. I had three restaurants. I had a community-based on businesses and it’s gotten me to where I am because I tested the models out there in St. Louis. I had a farm. I’ve had educational company. I’ve had electric company. I’ve been into business all my life.

You’ve got a little bit of everything. 

I’ve been testing the model to bring us to where we are. I had a restaurant called Snoodles who stood for soup, salads and noodles. I brought the community together and created a community like cooperative. It was successful. We ran into some issues because I was dealing with grassroot people didn’t understand business. They had a consumer mindset, which brings me to where I am now because what I learned in that process, I’ve now created an upgrade system called the Captain’s Millionaires where people got to come to TSA so they can learn and unlearn. They can have a business entrepreneur mindset. Also, too many of them will become millionaires because one of the things I’ve done, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a thing called cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is the new economic engine for the information age. Anytime you shift in system, the economic system changes too. If you are looking at with you being in finance, you should understand that the banks got some serious issues. Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is kicking serious backside now. It jumped up to $10,000.

That’s definitely been improving.

I have a coin that I’m using called the GoldCoin, which is Bitcoin’s granddaughter. It’s a third-generation coin. Inside the Captain’s Millionaires Training Program, I’ve put up a whole course in there on understanding cryptocurrency. What is it? What is it not? How do you use it? How do you get it? What is behind it? What does the new economy look like? What does blockchain technology means? This brings them across and those who decide that, “I want to try some of the cryptocurrency and buy something.” I’ve set up a website for everybody, but for my students where they’ll get a little discount where they go out and buy some of the GoldCoin because we can use it as our medium of exchange. It’s decentralized. The banks don’t have control over this. We are helping the people to become sovereign in their finances where they are in control. They are the captains of their lives. We’re going to see a major change.

Walk us through the whole training program.

People can get out to the website. It’s CaptainsMillionaires.net. There is a lot of information out here where they can begin to start their journey and they understand that Captain’s Millionaires is an alternative educational program. We’re in the business of developing people so that we can close the income gap, help to empower people to move them to where they need to be. I told you because I work in the airline industry, I used the airline.

Economy class and business class.

You’ve got to have fun. It’s costs $29 to go to the economy class. We’re looking at some information here about the Captain’s Millionaires and get the book that I wrote, This Is Your Captain Speaking. For those that want to learn more, then it comes through the TSA training, Think, Speak and Act. For those who want to go first class, I recommend everybody do. I went to Paris. I was only there for a week and I went first class. There’s nothing like going first class on a Boeing 787 jet. It has your own bed. For nine hours, I was sitting there and they were serving you as if I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. There is nothing like first class. First class costs a little bit more but they get the whole caboodle. They get the bonus course, the key to economic empowerment in the video courses.

This is about training. This is real world training that we need to empower us, to move us from poverty, ignorance, dependency and complacency. By the way out here, income grow with this. It talks about what the learning center is and you can become a part of the community. Poverty is attacking everybody right now and we want to create a community where we are successful, happy, healthy and wealthy. There’s more information out here where people can see me live and click on a website, go be nosy and come on the journey. Let me take you inside right quick. I’m excited about this because this is the key to how we literally get to a new destination.

I haven’t seen that. I’m excited to see more of this and to learn about this.

This is what we’ve got to do and where we’ve got to go. We’re going to have fun doing it. I’m on a mission to get the people to the wealthy place because right now they’re headed to a poverty place. I’m so glad that you and I are connected because we’re going to do some awesome things together with the investment because this piece has to come first. People got to learn how to unlearn and relearn. In here, there is information where they can click on. They can learn about the training center. It depends on what people purchase out there, the first class or business class. For example, whether they click on the Captain’s Millionaires process, what they paid for will be the different modules that opened up. Out here is the cryptocurrency modules and lessons. Basically, Captain’s Millionaires is about thinking, speaking and acting. I talk about if you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ve got to come through TSA. People can go through this piece and read it once the inside. I’ll give you a little bit of the Captain’s Millionaires and I’ve got videos out here.

“I’m the Founder and the President of the Captain’s Millionaires, Inc. I want to say welcome to the Captain’s Millionaires Program. You’ve got to fasten your seat belt because life is going to be changing for you. As you apply these principles, you’ve got to become happy, healthy, prosperous, successful and wealthy. We’re going to talk about the big picture. We’ll talk about laser focus. We’re going to talk about movement. We’ll talk about having a great team because you are the part of the team now that you are joining the program. When there are 2 or 3 more, it becomes a team and now that you’re part of us, you will learn more about teamwork. Most importantly, you’re going to learn about proper ovation because you stepped out to be a part of this. Everything begins with a flight plan. Before I go find the jet, I’ve got a destination in mind, I’ve got a flight plan and my flight plan has all the goals and all the important information that’s needed to make the journey. Life is governed by laws. The quality of life that we will live on this Earth is based on the quality of the decisions that we make. We have to have the right information. I’m so honored that you have decided to come on the journey. You better fasten your seatbelt because we’re about to go drop off and take off. We’ll be right back to talk about being laser-focused.”

These different modules over here, they’ve got to come through all of them. We had the wrong information. Life is governed by laws and the quality of life that we will live on this Earth is based on the quality decisions that we make. These are 21 different principles. You become unstoppable when you have this information. They have hidden the information from us or maybe the information has been in front of us but we didn’t recognize it. I’ve taken it and packaged it in a way so that people can use it. I don’t care who you are, it has nothing to do with white, black, green, pink or purple, race or culture. It has to do with having the right information. As you apply this information into your life, it’s going to catapult. I’ve got the cryptocurrency piece in here. Why? Because we’re in a new economic system. I have another short video. This talks about the cryptocurrencies.

The quality of life that we will live on this earth is based on the quality decisions that we make. Click To Tweet

“I’m back to talk about cryptocurrency. There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is nothing but another form of a medium of exchange. There is no middleman when we use cryptocurrency. It’s based upon a mathematical calculation. It’s based on time. It’s based on the blockchain technology. It’s a new form of currency that is evolved. We shifted from an industrial based society to information, so as the different paradigm now we’re going. Any time you shift in system, so does the economics has been checked. Cryptocurrency is the new form of currency. Your captain here has a favorite currency. It’s called the GoldCoin. It’s similar to Bitcoin except it’s much faster. It’s much cleaner. You can be able to hold the coins in your wallet when you have a wallet on your phone or on your computer. I put that information in your flight kit that you can learn about the GoldCoin opportunity. Check it out, do it today. It is the key to financial freedom for the 21st century. It is your term. It’s your time. Do it today. This is your captain speaking.”

It’s a lot of information out there. It’s a learning platform for the 21st century that will literally help move the people from where they are to where they need to be. I’m so excited about it. Folks that are going through the process is changing their lives right there. It’s what we’ve got to have. People want to make an impact in this new knowledge-based economy that we’ve shifted to.

There’s great information out there. You can have great information, but if it doesn’t get implemented, basically it’s practically useless. Is there something that you’re able to do for the people that go through the process to help them stay on course, be disciplined and implement it?

I am so glad that you asked because in this first phase here, this TSA, this is like accounting them to come through the process. We are watching you. There are three levels: dependency, independent and interdependency. We’ve always been dependent. We’ve got to help the people go to the next level. You’ve got to give them opportunities to learn on their own. You have to do that. You can’t violate the law process. If they have questions, we answer them. Also too because we have training. This is the first phase of about four phases. This is TSA. Before you get on board the airplane, you’ve got to come through TSA. You’ve got to come through security. Once you get on board, then we can begin to show you the other side of the information. This is only the first phase of the process because there are whole other phases that are going to be coming right behind it. We first got to get you moving and get you going. We show you how to do it. It’s one thing to have the information, but here’s the how-to, how we make it happen.

That’s great especially working clients, it’s human nature to take in information but then to procrastinate, “I’ll do it tomorrow or I’ll do it later.” Sooner or later it’s five years and nothing’s done.

We screen them and train them, “Here’s where we are, here’s where we’re going to go.” We have also sessions online where people can be able to come through. I’m so excited. The Los Angeles South Chamber of Commerce endorsed the Captain’s Millionaires Training Program. I’m going to put it in all the five cities, South Central LA, Compton and Inglewood because this is home. I’m back home. A few years ago I said, “We’re going to make an impact in the Los Angeles area. We’re going to fix this thing.” I’ve come home to help fix my community. Being a home boy, “This Is Your Captain Speaking,” they’re listening and they’re excited about what we’re doing.

LPF 3 | Closing The Income Gap
This Is Your Captain Speaking… Life Lessons I Learned At 35,000 Feet

Over the next few years, what’s the plan then with Captain’s Millionaires? What’s next for the company and what’s next for you, Gerald Higginbotham?

One of the things that I’m working on right now in addition to this piece here, I’m working with a market that has been deprived of the economic system. I sent you over article about how do you begin to close the income gap between the rich and poor? I’m hands on in the community, hands on showing them, “Here’s the A, B, C, D, E, F, G process to get you to your new destination.” I see it over the next 36 to 92 months, we will have raised up one million Captain Millionaires and we will have instituted our new bottom-up community model.

What’s that model? 

I told you in St. Louis I was testing the model off there and I had a frontend piece that was missing, which was the Captain’s Millionaire. I have a model that will create community-based co-op businesses that the community owns. It will keep the dollar in the community. There are 31 type of businesses that you’ll see in any community. It might be 500 in this community or 1,000 in this one. I’m going to put up down the road here over 21 different businesses where the household spend its dollar at the retail center so we can keep the profit in the community. It will create jobs. Also because of the new organizational system structure that we have for the information age, people will be involved politically, socially. For example, if you owned a restaurant, would you eat there?

If I owned that restaurant, I would eat there.

So are these 300 or 400 people that comes around through this model in a community will eat there too. Now, you’ve got 336 customers, we have 336 quality control experts and 36 sales people. I’m getting ahead of that piece that I didn’t want to introduce just yet. This is the first way that people have to come through to change their lives to begin to think differently, speak differently and act differently. This part is simple but a comprehensive model. If you get my book, I have a book call Collaboration, Teamwork and Networking: a Case Study for Systematically Working Together to Achieve Successful Living where it’s documented. It’s already been tested and done but this is the first way that we’re bringing people through.

Where can we get that book?

It’s out on Amazon. It’s also out here at my website.

Change only comes when one is willing to embrace truth. Click To Tweet

I was reading through the article and it was talking about the racial wealth gap and a couple of stats actually stood out to me. One was they said African-Americans are 73% more likely to actually lack a credit score. This is a society that we’re in. Obviously, in order to do anything, you have to have a credit score. This community of people is 73% more likely to lack a credit score. That’s huge. That’s a disadvantage.

I was reading in another article that in 2030, that culture will be broke, wealth-stricken. For me, I said, “That’s a market between 21 million to 30 million people that are going to be broke.” That’s a market. That’s the special thing that I’m doing on the side is working in the community to help that culture but I’m doing this for everybody. In America, you’ve got to have a good market. I said, “That’s a good market to start training healthy people.”

It really is and you’re helping people and you’re trying to bridge this gap and lessen this gap, which is important, I would say.

This is out at the Captain’s Millionaires shop captain. You can order my book on Amazon, Collaboration, Teamwork and Networking: A Case Study for Systematically Working Together to Achieve Successful Living because it speaks to the new paradigm, the 21st century. It talks about the new social process, the whole new economic model and what the new political process looks like. We’re moving from a representative-type democracy to be more of a participatory. We’re moving from a local economy now to a global economy. This helps people make the paradigm shift. All this stuff is done and this is my book out here, This Is Your Captain Speaking. You can get it out there.

In the shop, you can get the shirt, “This Is Your Captain Speaking.” You can get all this stuff out here and help to support the Captain’s Millionaires movement. I hope your audience take advantage of this because it’s for everybody. I’m American. I’m not African-American. I’m American. I was born in South Central LA and we have to be responsible for each other. I know when I fly that jet, I got all nations and nationalities on it. I don’t care about that. Everybody wants to go to the same destination. If you go onboard and you want to go to the Los Angeles or Dallas or anywhere we’re going, I don’t care. Let’s go. It’s the same thing about this process.

LPF 3 | Closing The Income Gap
Collaboration, Teamwork, and Networking: A Case for Working Together Systematically to Achieve Successful Living

I’m on a mission to close the income gap between the rich and the poor. We’re going to take the people to the wealthy place. I’d be real with people, this is your captain speaking, if you don’t want to be wealthy, you don’t want to talk to me. I have broken the code to how to become wealthy and how would you begin to fix the community to bring about change. The books are out here. They can go out there and get the books. They can go to Amazon and get them and I hope they do get it because I want them to get the information so that they can be empowered for life. If I want to be known as, “He democratized the economic system for the masses, he democratized abundant life for the masses.” That’s what I want to be known as.

That’s real change.

Change only comes when one is willing to embrace truth. No truth made free, no lie remained in bondage. It’s time to help get the folks out of bondage mentally because that’s where it started first, with our thinking, speaking and then acting. We have to get the folks here. It begins with having relevant information, the right knowledge and it will bring about the change. Let me tell you why it caused me to change. You’ve got to be the change that you want to see. You have to have the mindset. If it is to be, it’s up to me.

That’s a good information. Hopefully, some of these audience will check that out.

It will be a blessing to them and it will help set them on a new course for future generations. It will begin to leave a positive legacy. They’ll see it differently. You’re going to have a higher level of thinking. You’re not going to be stuck here in this ground mode. You come off the ground and you’re thinking you get elevated and you see it differently. You’re like, “We’ve been played the school systems and our politicians. We’ve had bad information given to us. I’ve been making decisions based upon that bad information and this has been the result. It hasn’t gotten me to where I need to be.”

Let’s go through some fun questions. Through your career you’ve flown the 150, you’ve flown the 76 the 75, 80 and 73 now. Out of all of those aircraft, what is your one favorite and why?

I liked the Boeing 757. If you see it out at the airport, it sits there sexy-looking, long and sleek. On takeoff, you do full part takeoff. It throws you back in the seat and the next thing you know, you’re climbing through 10,000 feet, accelerating up to 300 knots. Don’t get me wrong, I like the 767, 300 airplanes because you can throw this about anything at her. The 75 is one of my favorites. I like the 73 now. The only thing about the 73 and you’re going to get this from a lot of guys, but especially from me because I’m big. I’m no short guy. I’m 6’2″. You’ve got to put it all. You’ve got to wear it. It fits like a glove. Once you get in, it feels so good. It’s getting in and getting out because I bumped my head all the time. I try not to bump my head. We have the hood and it’s like this close to your head. It’s a great flying airplane. The 73 takes off fast and it lands fast. I like the 73 but I do like the 75. I’m happy with it right now. I’m going to retire on it. I don’t want to go fly the 777. I don’t want to fly the 787 I’ve had my jollies. I’ve flown international. All those big airplanes, 787, 777, 76, you’re away from home a long time.

What’s that schedule like? What is it like half the month that you’re pretty much away from home? 

On a 73, anywhere from 12 to 16 days you’re out flying. Let me share this with you how the days are structured. It’s almost like having a vacation. Every month, I get a vacation. Please don’t share this with American Airlines. I would do this for free. I love it so much. I’m living the dream. When you’re doing something that you love to do, you are not working. This is like a vacation. I look forward to putting on my uniform and straighten it and then walk up to the terminal and they say, “Welcome aboard, Captain.” You get in and do what you do and push back off the gate. The next thing you know, you’re in heaven. You’re climbing out 5,000, 6,000 feet a minute.

If you can make money work for you, you stop working so hard. Click To Tweet

Do you have an interesting or funny aviation-related story that you’d like to share with us? That would be fun.

I have so many of them, but this one and for some reason I always pop up. I have my uniform on going through St. Louis walking down the terminal. This lady said to me, “Hey, boy.” I was a Boy Scout, she’s an older lady and I respect her. “I need help with my luggage.” I said, “No problem.” I helped carry her luggage to the gate. I turned around, went back downstairs to operations underneath the terminal. I went downstairs. I got the paperwork and I came up on the jet bridge so they didn’t see me come back to the table. I don’t want her seeing me. I said, “I’ll get her good.” I came up upstairs on the jet bridge and then I stood at the door and I greeted everybody, “Welcome aboard. How you are you? Where’s your destination?” I connect with the passengers.

This lady got on board and saw me and she said, “You fly the airplane too?” I said, “Yes, ma’am. I’m here to serve you to get you to your destination.” She said, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean.” I said, “No, it’s all good.” I said, “You didn’t know but we’re here. I was a Boy Scout. We’re always here to serve and add value. Welcome aboard. I hope you enjoy the flight.” The flight attendants were laughing after they found out what happened. They said, “You are having too much fun.” I said, “Life is short. We’re only on the planet for a short period of time and while we’re down here, we’ve got to live life to the fullest. Every second, we’ve got to ping the fun meter and have a good time.”

There’s enough seriousness in the world. We have to have fun.

That’s my motto. One of my principles, “The problems are serious, but we’re going to have a fun time fixing them.” That’s what it’s all about being. It’s about us serving people while we’re here. To know that when you leave here, people say, “I’m so glad that he came to my life. He truly added value to me.”

Let’s say you’re flying along, you have the first officer. The first officer comes to you and says, “What is your one best financial advice for me?” What would it be?

I’ll him to learn how to make money work for you when you stop working for money. You said one, but I have three. One of our other principles is invest only where you control. That’s a nugget. A rich person taught me a principle. He said, “Own nothing, control everything.” I said, “That’s good.” I only invest my money where I can influence and make a difference in the process. This third principle I’ll leave with you because I’ve got many of them, but this third one is only, “Spend only where you’re going to make a profit.” That’s a nugget. That’s why if you’re not making a profit, don’t invest your money in it. Spend only where you’re going to make a profit. Last but not the least, make money work for you and you stop working so hard for money.

Gerald Higginbotham, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for coming on the Level Plane Field. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and all the exciting things that you’re doing out there.

Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for being who you are, Dave, because you are making a different out there with your show and then bringing information to the people so that they can go to another level. It takes teamwork to make the dream work happen. I see us as a team. I see us doing some great things here as we move forward. This is your fly guy, Captain Dr. G. We’re out of here.

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About Gerald Higginbotham

LPF 3 | Closing The Income GapGerald Higginbotham has been an airline pilot for over 30 years, starting his career at Wings West Airlines, moving on to Eastern Air Lines, TWA, and is now a Captain at American Airlines.

In addition to being an airline pilot, Gerald is the Founder and President of Captains Millionaires, Inc. His goal is to help develop people to reach their full potential and to close the wealth income gap between the rich and the poor.

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