From the ground up … yeah

From the ground up … as a failure, that’s really the “best” way to become a success. I had it rough coming up as a kid but managed to graduate in the top 5–10% of my high school class. I went to college and proceeded to spend 4 years burning towards dropping out. Yup. I’m a college dropout, and I have a business degree.

I’ve had to hustle and grind for most of my life, often when I haven’t wanted to. Some of my life experiences have led me down short paths that were or could have been very self-destructive. I went through that portion of my life — I was suicidal, I’ve survived anxiety and depression episodes, a messy, ugly divorce, I’m a former smoker and a recovering alcoholic (8.5 years and counting).

I had career goals when I was in high school — my parents wanted me to be a chemical engineer and work at the local adhesive manufacturing factory. Make “big money” (for a Midwest small town, “big money” is a relative comparison) … and be under their thumb and miserable for the rest of my life.

I rebelled and hit bottom … I went to art college to rebel. I dropped out of art college to manage a CD store. I struggled for a few years and “lost” my store. I have started and stopped by career a few times (retail to collections to loan processing to underwriting to insurance processing) before I found something I enjoyed doing — now in my 40’s.

That is the most important part. Enjoy what you do.

However, because I’m from the ground up, I’m able to chart my own path and started to dictate terms. I have my “paycheck” job, and I have my local side hustle, and I have this little outlet … all working towards my 8 income streams. And I enjoy doing each of them, not to mention the work I do with/for my wife for her business hustles.

And through all of that I’m still standing. I’ve wanted to give up, but I couldn’t and didn’t. If it weren’t for all of that struggle and difficulty, I wouldn’t be here sharing with you today. And I will continue to share — I’ve been successful, and I want others to succeed as well.

Get your grind on, friends. A new year is on the horizon, there’s no time like now to make your hustle happen!

Sunrise in the middle of “nowhere” (courtesy of the author)

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