I remember going out with my friends to a Subway sandwich restaurant. Every Monday we would go to the Subway and hang out. Everyone but me would buy a foot long sub with chips and a drink. I sat with them eating nothing.
I had the money to buy a sub from working part time after school and doing odd jobs, but I didn’t want to spend it. I had a vision and I needed to preserve every dollar I could.
People thought I was rich when I started dressing well in High School. I was just saving my money until I could buy nice clothes that made me look good. More than half of the clothes I bought were from the thrift store anyway. Anyone could do the same but they didn’t have the same vision that I did.
I enrolled in college full time while working three jobs. I also was helping my parents run their newly founded store that began on money I saved in High School. I started treating myself to $1 baby sized coffees from the cafe during breaks from class. I would lend people (other than my parents) money and have a hard time getting it back.
I had a girlfriend for 4 years that said started saying I don’t give her enough time. I told her that I have a vision, and if you wait just a little bit longer, I will have lots of free time we can enjoy. She slowly fell out of love and left me. My vision no longer included her.
I started lifting weights and I loved it. It gave me the same attention as I got in High School when I started dressing well. I got some steroid jokes, but they weren’t there when I was alone online reading hours a day about nutrients and lifting weights. They weren’t at the gym with me 5-7 days a week. Every time I pushed a weight I felt like I was pushing back at all the challenges the world gave me.
When other people continued college, I dropped out and bought a house. People wondered how I could afford a house, and I wondered how they could afford to waste their time fooling around in college when they didn’t have a plan. They said I’d be tied down as a young man, but I had a vision beyond owning a home.
Some said “Doesn’t it feel great being a home owner?” I laughed because the bank owns it, I just “bought” it so I could make money for my vision charging rent. They gave me horror stories of bad tenants. I remembered how many people owe me money and I made the second unit an Air-Bnb. My tenants are now friendly middle-class/ rich travelers instead of the deadbeat poor dirtbags that fester in my city.
No one questions me anymore when I say I’m creating a studio in the apartment for musicians to record in. I have a track record now. But if I told them my vision, they would laugh and doubt me. Always keep your vision to yourself. Just tell people the next small step, and they will believe you after you make a track record of success.
I remember my mom crying over bills. I never wanted to stress over bills when I grew up. I never wanted to see my mom cry ever again. I wanted to have money so I would never stress over bills and never see my mom cry over something that I could help her with once I grew up.
Now that I’m grown up and have the money to help her, she was diagnosed with cancer. Every moment spent with her is much more precious than if she was not ill, because it could be the last moment we spend together. Now money can’t help, but love and support will.
If I were stressed by bills working overtime, I would not be able to be in the present when spending time with her. I would be worried about this and that and I wouldn’t be able to give her love and support properly. If I did not start working hard since I was 16 to have something, I would be starting from scratch at a very bad time to be working hard and not giving my free time for love and support.
I couldn’t tell my mom to “just wait” like I did before because tomorrow my mother might be gone.
In the long term scheme of my vision, I’m still at the bottom. But when I look around at my acquaintances and friends my age that are lost and confused with nothing to their name but debt and a degree, I can say that I started from the bottom and now I’m here.