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Ninety-nine percent of you who know Joe have only the media perception and misconceptions.

I know the soul of the man I begin working for him as a teenager just getting out of high school. Then at the time, my friend Joe Weider, was on a mission to elevate bodybuilding from a rejected oddity, to a world wide following of respect and acceptance .At the time I started working for Joe, his business was housed in a very modest two story gray painted building in Jersey City New Jersey, with Joe struggling to get his magazine and products off the ground. I was just hoping Joe would survive. And overcome the obstacles in his path.

I really want to convey to you the uniqueness of this man. To this very day many more years than I want to remember, I look back at my special relationship, with my mentor Joe Weider and I ask myself why? He went out of his way to help pave the road for a young man who thought he had, well almost all the answers, Leroy Colbert. Young dumb and full of you know what, I was so happy working for the future of bodybuilding, Joe Weider. His magazine and health products were beginning to thrive, so much so, that he built a huge new building in Union city N.J., Jersey city to Union city we were on a roll I felt set for life. My future was with Weider Enterprises full speed a head.

Then one day Joe told me he was moving his operation to the west coast. He asked me did I want to come with him to California? Absolutely not,'Iam a New Yorker. Move to California You have to be kidding me. Why are you moving there? I was born and raised in New York what could be better. New Yorkers are the epitome of the cats meow so to speak.California.that's the home of the kooks. I am not going there. While I was emphatically making my displeasure known to Joe, inside me there was panic. Okay wise guy, now what? You need a job you have a wife and son,. From panic to melancholy. I was in a dilemma I just can't move to Los Angeles. Now Itís all over my structure has been torn down. I am in deep-deep do- do. I was so comfortable working for Joe, perhaps too comfortable. I felt so close to Joe, he is my friend. He is leaving me now to fend for my big mouth know it all self. That's not the Joe Weider I was so comfortable with. Whatís the matter monster that was Joes affectionate name for me. He delighted in calling me the monster. In the early fifties, compared to most of the bodybuilders of the era, I guess you could creditably call me monster.

My arms measured a solid 20 inches then and I had no competition in that arena Besides I felt quite proud of my nickname. Now I am seething with conflicting emotions my pride was wounded my support pull out from under me I was ashamed that I put my future in the hands of someone else, regardless of the circumstances. I was jumping to conclusions I should have known that's not Joe Weider I am sitting in the lunchroom of the office with a woe is me look. Joe walked in I had my head down I knew it was him but I didn't look up because I was angry I said to myself what does he want now, more bad news. Leave me alone and go to California. Itís easy to see only your own agenda Joe was moving ahead. I couldnít see it then I was thinking about Leroy and his future. And to my surprise Joe was also thinking about me. Raise your head look at me we got work to do. Yeah help you move to California. . As soon as those words left my mouth I was ashamed I uttered them.

Joe could have told me then, to go to hell. Instead he said you finish your tirade? Now lets work on tomorrow. A class acts if I ever saw one. Lets get to work and find an alternative so you can make a living. Again I misunderstood what Joe meant. I was angry when he first made that statement I was tempted to choke him. All I know was working for you Joe, there is no other bodybuilding magazine I could work for. I know that, here is what we do. I Noticed Joe said we Again I am saying to my self go ahead come up with something to placate me until you can get out of town. Okay Joe I am listening You open a store selling my products weider supplements and you can make a living .I looked at Joe with astonishment, open a store, come on Joe I Donít know a damn thing about running a store .Joe said don't worry I will help you No disrespect Joe you never did retailing either, for God sakes I don't know were to start.

First we find a place. step one. Meet me at the office Monday morning at 9:A.M. and we scout locations. You are going to drive around with me to find good locations. I thought with all the important work you have to do, come on Joe, you are messing with my head and its already spinning like a top. I don't want any negativity from you Leroy, be there and lets get to work. Joe drove up to 125 st, in New York City the heart of Harlem, which was 90 percent black, and he said Leroy I think we can find a place for rent on this busy street. Here I am I don't have any money, .I don't know what the hell is going to happen but my instincts tell me I don't want to marginalize myself opening up in an all black neighborhood. I want to serve everybody and there is more money on the lower Westside. Here I go again don't have any money don't know a thing about retailing and I am telling Joe were I want to locate. Joe was annonoyed at me, which he frequently was; to this day I am happy Joe saw past my stubbornness. Okay Leroy lets drive down Broadway and see if there is any for rent signs, lo and behold on 84 st, and Broadway one avenue east of Riverside drive one of the most prestigious avenue in Manhattan there was a store for rent. . Hey Joe what about that .I don't know we will check it out .Its getting late I have to get back to the office. Check out the store find out the rent and let him know. .The next day I went to the real estate office to inquire about leasing the store. The realtor looked at me as if I was from Mars .You want to what? I said I want to rent the store on Broadway and 84th street. The Realtor kept staring at me are you serious,? it was like he couldn't believe a young black man had the nerve to want to open a store in that area. Where are your credentials? What credentials do you want I asked? Okay I need your Dunn and Bradstreet ratings bank statements profit and loss records, the type of store you want to open etc.etc.etc. I said to myself what he is really saying is there is no way in hell I am going to lease this store to you. I was crushed I really like that store on the corner about 600sq.ft. Just. Right, I called Joe and told him the bad news they wont lease it to me. Leroy I have faith in you it a big move I admire your tenacity but you must use the business tips you picked up from me at the office, apply them to the store roll up your sleeves and lets go to work and remember failure is not an option you only goal is success and I will have your back as always. Joeís powerful words gave me a rocket boost. I needed that. Lets face it going into a business cold without any experience is quite challenging. With Joeís assurance and support my attitude was bring it on I am ready.

I am still going to ask you .are you willing give your all in this endeavor. you really don't have to answer .I will get the store and we will get started on building you a business. Joe set it up and he said now you go ahead and build it. I am with you all the way. I thought I was a big boy But I Couldn't hold back the tears my shirt was wet from the tears I didn't in my wildest dreams believe this could happen I almost squeeze the life out of Joe with joy what a gamble he is taking with me. I am not religious but by God I wonít let him down. That store will grow and thrive or I will die trying. The first store was so successful my wife Jackie and I build 4 more stores things were going beyond my wildest dreams or comprehension. I thought back to my encounter with the Realtor, when I first attempted to lease the store on 84 street and Broadway and his reaction to me. I began to understand that perhaps my impression of this man, being a racist was not fair. To think about it, here I was, no credentials, no money, no experience and the man is a racist because he wonít lease to me. Subsequently because I amass plenty of credentials with the success of my west side store, I had no problems renting stores with rents ten times more then the rent of my first venture. If you donít have a track record, race is not the only criteria you are judged by. When I sought to rent my second store, without hesitation, full of confidence, it must have showed to the Realtor, because he was enthusiastic and willing to lease to me a four thousand square foot two story store, on the prestigious East Side of Manhattan, in New York City. I learned the real power of having credentials. Joe knows I always try to do my level best and thatís all any man can do. I feel you will be disappointed with yourself and your life, if you donít do all you can. My world stopped spinning, when my beautiful wife of 22 years and I broke up, it tore my comfort and family structure apart.

In despair, again I looked to my mentor Joe Weider. I really loved Jackie so dearly the excitement of running 4 stores in N.Y.without here was gone. What shall I do Joe? Now maybe you will rethink California get a fresh start recharge your energy. When you get here, we will get started all over again. Is Joe for real, he is really ready to pitch in again for me just like in the old days? I relocated to California. Hooked up again with my mentor. Today my 15-year journey in California is another story of gratitude to my mentor, Joe Weider.


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Click Here To buy Leroy Colbert Recommended Nutritional Supplements