The name Frank McKinney may ring a bell.
Perhaps you’ve seen him on TV showcasing one of the jaw-dropping oceanfront mansions he’s constructed, or maybe you’ve seen him around town in rocker clothing and long blonde tresses flowing in the wind and wondered, “Who is that?”
Most onlookers will be surprised to know this self-proclaimed “real estate artist,” who is known for his mega manors, opulent parties and dare-devil stunts, has developed a heart for God and a passion for giving.
The best-selling author of motivational real estate success books has recently released a new book called “The Tap.” This book shows readers how to recognize “tap moments” – those times when God taps on their shoulders and gives them spiritual nudges. McKinney challenges readers to not only be sensitive to the tap, but he emboldens them to respond to it.
One of McKinney’s first memorable “tap moments” came early in his career. On the cusp of selling one of the most expensive estates built on speculation in South Florida, McKinney was to be the subject of a local Newspaper article. He anxiously waited to see the piece and hoped his picture would look good.
“When the paper came out, I flipped the pages to find my picture,” he says. “Just opposite my photo was a picture of a homeless guy under a bridge being fed by a volunteer from The Caring Kitchen. The guy looked like me,” McKinney recalls with wide eyes. “I felt a rush of emotion and realized that if I didn’t comb my hair for a few days and didn’t shower, I would look exactly like that homeless man.”
McKinney had felt God’s “tap,” and he immediately called The Caring Kitchen and started serving meals to the homeless out of a van – a step that would utterly alter his life’s path.
Uncommon path to success
Without recognizing “tap moments,” McKinney may have landed on the streets himself. He certainly wasn’t voted most likely to succeed in high school; in fact he attended four different Indiana schools in four years, where he maintained an acutely low GPA. At age 18, with no aspiration of going to college, he came to Florida with $50 in his pocket. Plans for his future looked grimly dim in the bright Florida sun. McKinney’s reckless need for speed landed him behind bars.
“I ended up in jail at age 19 after racketing up speeding tickets by the pocketful,” McKinney writes in “The Tap.”
One day, McKinney says he “looked up and saw Donald Trump on TV. I didn’t know much about him then, yet I thought, ‘I’ve got a lot more in common with that guy than with the people in this jail.’ I clearly saw my two paths and decided to stop using the U.S. highway system as my personal race track,” he confesses.
McKinney realized at that moment he was at a fork in the road. “These decisions are presented to each of us in the form of ‘tap moments,’ offering us the opportunity to head in the new direction God makes for us, the direction that leads us to greater things or to stay on the road we know,” he explains.
These profound “tap moments” led McKinney to develop The Caring House Project Foundation. The organization provides homes to the most desperately poor and homeless around the world. Entire communities are created to include homes, clinics, orphanages, schools and churches.
These practical, life-giving buildings are quite a dichotomy from the opulent castles in the sand McKinney creates like Acqua Liana, his latest $29 million dollar eco-friendly Tahitian utopia available to the ultra wealthy in Manalapan, Palm Beach.
Time to give
But despite his riches, McKinney feels strongly that we become more successful as we give more away. His book “The Tap” is based on his favorite Bible verse.
“From everyone who has been given much, much more will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked,” he recites from Luke Chapter 12.
“We all pray for more,” McKinney says. “We all want more money, more love, more health. I thought about this and wondered why some people’s prayers were being answered and others weren’t. I looked to people that had a balance of faith, family and business success and realized God rewards responsible stewards,” he explains.
One of those ultra successful and godly mentors McKinney studied is good friend Rich DeVos, founder of Amway, owner of the Orlando Magic and one of the wealthiest men on the planet. McKinney admires DeVos’s long-time marriage, deep faith, entrepreneurial success and generous lifestyle that he says will leave an extraordinary legacy.
“While studying guys like Rich DeVos, I realized those with generational net worth understand the Luke verse,” says McKinney. “God wants us to be responsible stewards, and He blesses us with more love and more success as we give more and take care of what He’s entrusted to us.”
It’s no ‘Secret’
McKinney worries that people are mislead by books and films like “The Secret” when they’re looking for more in their life.
“‘The Secret’ and law of attraction philosophy is missing the two most important things in life – God and taking care of others,” states McKinney.
McKinney says that anyone can start a life of giving simply by looking for small, simple opportunities each day.
“Like when you’re in a hotel, use their free stationary and write the housekeeper a thank you note and leave a tip,” he suggests.
A family affair
McKinney takes his relationship with God seriously along with his commitment to his local church. He also invests deeply in his relationship with his daughter, Laura, and wife of 19 years, Nilsa, an interior designer who fills Frank’s palace creations with stunning d