The ideals and possibilities of the American Dream are important for Glenn to share, as he believes that adversities are an ideal foundation for success. Growing up in a low-income suburb of Washington, DC, he attributes hope, hard work and mentors as the influences that helped him break free from hardship, overcome numerous challenges, and dare to live his wildest dreams.
Glenn was born to alcoholic parents, diagnosed dyslexic, and failed 4th grade. He fathered a child at the age of 14 and graduated high school in the bottom ten-percent of his class. While some of his friends lost their lives to drugs and alcohol, and others spent time in prison, Glenn's path intersected with mentors who gave him motivating examples of how to not meet the fate of his friends and instead take control his destiny. He took that life-changing encouragement and ran with it. Glenn became the first person in his family to attend college and graduated with a degree in economics from Towson University. Inspired by stories of people who took risks and achieved their grandest ambitions, he then moved to California where he slept on the kitchen floor of a one-bedroom apartment that he shared with five other recent grads. While waiting tables, Glenn continued to search for new opportunities to rise above his humble beginnings.
"At one point in my teens, I felt like I let the world down and my life was over. It wasn't until I was an adult and learned that often times the best things in life come to you wrapped in packages that appear to be full of failure and disappointment. It's the silver linings that make for the best success and best stories of our lives.”
At 25, after working as a loan officer for 10 months, Glenn formed his own mortgage company Stearns Lending LLC. In 2002, Glenn's business acumen was honored with Ernst & Young's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award. By 2010, Stearns Lending LLC reached nearly $1 billion a month in funding while experiencing record growth. Stearns not only survived the 2007 mortgage-lending crisis, it emerged as one of the top lenders in the country. Glenn attributes his resilience to putting “people before profit” and having transparent integrity in lending standards. Since 2010, Stearns Lending LLC has funded over 30-billion dollars in loans, making the corporation America’s #1 Wholesale Lender in 2013.
But Glenn's life course has not been all about exceeding expectations and building a successful business. His unusual climb to the top has also lead him to profound experiences and life lessons outside of the board room. Many have compared his journey to the fictional character Forrest Gump. Glenn's adventures range from being in the courtroom the day of the OJ Simpson murder case closing arguments ("If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."); traveling with astronauts and Vice Presidents; competing and winning the reality TV show "Gilligan's Island"; to owning a Montana ranch with John Elway and a private Caribbean island with Sir Richard Branson.
"Once I let go of fear, I truly felt freedom and boosted by confidence that my aspirations could absolutely come to fruition. So I began fighting for my desires: digging deep, communicating, and giving my vision all that I had. While most were negatively looking backwards and believing failure was imminent, I was looking forward and found the rewards were waiting right there all along - deeper and greater than I could've dreamed.”
In 2011, Glenn was the youngest Member ever inducted into The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The Award is given to select Americans, many historical and global change makers, in recognition of personal and professional success despite challenging starts in life. Members must have also made giving back to others an imperative cornerstone of their success. Horatio Alger Members personally fund and award $9 million dollars annually in college scholarships to thousands of young students who demonstrate strength in the face of adversity, using their extreme hardships as motivators for achievement. In 2013, Glenn became the youngest Member elected to the Association's prestigious Board of Directors.
In his free time, Glenn travels the country mentoring youth and business professionals to dig into their own stories and discover the brilliance from setbacks as key to experiencing abundance and accomplishments. Among the other platitudes and attitudes he shares, is the observation that by forging ahead with resilience one discovers a whole-hearted life with passion and purpose.
Today, the father to six children, and grandfather of two, Glenn and his wife Mindy are both active mentors to young people with adversities. The Stearns have been honored for their dedication to community service and philanthropy with Starkey Hearing Foundation's "American Couple of the Year Award," Orange County's "Giving Is Living Award,” and the 2014 Athlete's First - Orangewood Children's Foundation's "Golden Heart Award" for leadership and impact on youth.
Glenn speaking at Genshai Lifemastery Retreat 2014 on Visioning & Manifesting - from the Bench to Billions.
In October of 2003, Glenn appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show with his new bride Mindy. Mindy's life story is as fascinating as Glenn's. Her journey also illustrates the power of holding a big vision, seizing opportunities, and having faith in living your wildest dreams. Take a look at this memorable Oprah episode below.