"Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree, and I'll spend the first 4 sharpening my ax"....... Abraham Lincoln
By far this is my favorite quote. I find myself spending more time studying, practicing, and researching before I play the game. My Grandmother always told me, "Charity starts at home". When I was young, that saying had absolutely no meaning to me. As I got older, I started to understand that if you do not put in the work, if you do not practice, and if you do not put in the time, then one should not expect much. More specifically, she was referring to is giving. If you are not charitable at a young age, especially before leaving home, it is going to be challenging to be a giver when you embark into the real world.
When I was 17:
I had my first child. The most joyful moment in my life, but little did I know I was in for a long ride.
When I was 21:
I graduated from ECPI University with my Associates Degree in Computer Engineering. Just a year later, I found myself working a dead end job, which I had considered my dream job.
After receiving my income taxes, I made an unwise decision to customize (tinted windows, audio system, customized wheels) my 1994 Honda Accord. I spent an unreasonable amount (close to $4,000) of money to "fit in" with the rest of society. HOW STUPID. I was young and had no financial training. As I look back on the decision that I made to spend money on non-essentials in life, I am forever grateful. It allowed me to become financial aware of my frivolous spending habits and gain an understanding of saving and investing.
When I was 24:
I managed to turn an $800 investment into a $3,000 return over the course of six months. Big difference from when I was 21 right? As I stated before, I thought I was working my dream job, but a year after working, I got laid off due to budget cuts, and I was still dependent upon my Grandmother for financial assistance. Though I worked numerous jobs here and there, my grandmother provided my me with financial stability. When I needed someone to help, I knew that I could call on my grandmother for any financial assistance. Then another roadblock hit. My grandmother became ill and the family sought best that we put her in an Assisted Living Facility. In doing so, we had to deplete all of her assets worth any cash value. I fell into a deep sense of urgency. Who would I turn to when I needed help? How would I pay my bills if I came up short? What was I going to do? It was time for me to wake up and face reality. At this point I quickly focused all of my energy on business activities, financial courses, and entrepreneurial type events. I quickly went from stressing over acquiring consumer goods to stressing over acquiring assets that generated positive cash flow.
When I was 26:
I made a decision to help prevent others from making the same mistakes I did. It is so easy to fall in the trap because it is normally the ones we hang around most that set it up.