Elena Cardone’s All American Success Story
Today she is Elena Cardone, one-half of one of America’s mightiest power couples. At first blush it may appear she leads a charmed life, unattainable for the average American and easily come by for her.
But before she was Elena Cardone, she was Elena Lyons, and she is not an overnight success story. Rather, she is an example of resilience and grit. Underneath the platinum exterior, she’s still the big-hearted small-town girl who loves her country and is committed to helping others achieve their own American Dream.
Elena Lyons was 13 years old when her life was derailed by tragedy.
She vividly remembers her father, a WWII veteran, shaking her awake at 4 a.m. At first his words bounced off the protective wall of sleep and still unbroken innocence. Then came the piercing phrase that snapped her out of bed and catapulted her outside;
“Elena, Goldie’s house is on fire, and Goldie and her mother are still inside.”
Where just moments ago she’d been wrapped in sweet dreams, Elena was now gripped in a real-life nightmare. Goldie was her best friend. They lived across the street from each other and nothing bad was ever supposed to happen to her. Through her terror and shock, Elena and her father joined the neighbors’ futile efforts to douse the flames with buckets and garden hoses.
Valiant as their efforts were, they were no match for the fierce flames. Helplessly, Elena watched those flames consume her best friend’s home. Her father held her when emergency crews arrived, trying to coax her away from the scene before Goldie’s and her mom’s bodies were recovered. But that was Elena’s best friend, and she was not about to leave. So she waited, and then collapsed under buckled knees as she saw Goldie carried out.
The grief and trauma that followed that night were “unconfrontable” to young Elena. She and her sister were raised in a loving but emotionally guarded family. Crying and other open displays of grief were not something she was comfortable doing. Instead she soldiered on, stoically going about her life on the outside as she crumbled on the inside.
By all outward appearances, Elena never skipped a beat after that night. She’d gone to school the following day and every day after. At just 17 years old, she left home to pursue a modeling and acting career. She became one of Maxim’s top models and achieved success as a working actor. She was young, beautiful, and successful. She partied with friends and never had to chase after men. It should have been perfect, but it was all a façade, Elena says.
“Underneath that was a lot of pain that I should have just dealt with and then actually moved on.”
It took a lot of strength to move forward in life when she was carrying such pain. It required discipline to succeed as a model and actor. Perhaps she would have managed to resist the lure of drugs and alcohol that came with that lifestyle, if she’d had any strength to spare. But Elena had been carrying her grief and pain from the night of the fire for so long, those flames were now consuming her as well. In a futile effort to douse the burning of those memories and that pain, she poured alcohol and drugs into her body.
If she could reach back through time to offer herself some advice, she would have told herself to stop trying to impress other people and focus on her own well-being instead. She would have pointed out to herself that the very people surrounding her were not true friends, but were actually working against her. She would have eliminated drugs and alcohol entirely.
She can’t undo her past, but she’s learned how to use it as a reminder to herself and a lesson to others.
Today, Elena Cardone is everything Elena Lyons worked so hard to become.
She and her husband have built an empire, and they work tirelessly to rein over that empire together – she as Queen and he as King. They are fiercely protective of each other and all they have built together. They also have fun with it.
She is in a loving, dynamic marriage with a man who knew before she did that they were meant to be. “I wasn’t going to go out with this short, annoying man,” Elena joked during a powerful talk she gave for a packed house at a recent event.
Her husband, Grant Cardone, had been on that same stage the day before, addressing real estate investors and aspiring entrepreneurs at Kent Clothier’s Find and Flip Summit. He’d thrown some good natured jokes about his wife her way then, and when it was her turn, he laughed the loudest and commented right back at her. The audience ate it up, as it reinforced Elena’s message of the power and potential that exist when two people commit to loving each other and working together on common goals.
Many relationships break under the strain of everyday life. Many couples falter just when they should be achieving their greatest success. Elena is passionate about reaching out to couples to help them realize they can either be their own greatest asset or worst enemies. Elena Cardone will soon publish her first book on building an empire and growing as a couple in the process.Every little aspect of your life – you’re either creating your empire or destroying it. – Elena CardoneClick To Tweet
Elena and Grant Cardone have both overcome tragedies and setbacks.
Elena will always grieve for her best friend. Grant will always grapple with the pain of losing his father when he himself was just a child. They both first numbed their pain, and then fought back against it, and they both clawed their way to the top of the mountain they now sit upon.
They could choose to sit back, gaze out over their empire, and go no further in life. They could choose to battle each other for dominance in that world, and they could choose to forget where they came from, or why they have the opportunities they have. Instead they do exactly the opposite.
The Cardones are committed to giving back to the country that has given so much to them.
They are both profoundly grateful to those who serve and fully aware of the debt owed to those men and women. Their patriotism is evident in their offices, where flags line the way, and in their eagerness to offer their own support to our military.
One way they do so is through offering free training for veterans and active duty military. Grant Cardone’s Sales Training University for Veterans gives troops the tools and resources they need for every day life. Tools that will bring massive success, achievement, and the confidence to handle any situation and any challenge.
Elena and Grant have raised over 100 million dollars for various charities. Now they are launching their own foundation in order to narrow their focus and enhance their impact.
Elena Cardone, who saw the way her own father still lived with memories of serving in combat, has always felt a strong patriotic pull. For her, supporting the military allows her to feed her patriotism.
The American Dream is attainable for everyone, she believes, and she credits our military with protecting this country, so that we may all achieve it.
“The American Dream is there. You can create it…. Let us help you, show you how. Let’s do it together. Let’s unify, make it happen, build each other up.”
The small-town girl has grown up into a worldly woman flush with success and happiness. She is a mother, a wife, and a proud American. She believes in the importance of coming together to achieve our fullest potential as a country and in our own lives. She admits people may find that “hokey,” but says, “That’s what’s in my heart. It’s what I believe. It’s my flag.