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About the Author

In my circle of friends, if someone does something silly, you’ll usually hear, “why are you the way you are?”  Here is my answer.

The Beginnings

I grew up just outside of a tiny town in Eastern Maryland.  My family had a lot of land but not a lot of money so that meant there were a lot of tasks to be done.  I grew up watching my dad build decks, sheds, swing sets or anything else we needed.  It took a full day just to mow the acres of grass.

This gave me my confidence to fix anything around the house.  It also gave me my ability to work relentlessly from sun up to sun down.  My dad at 55 years old can still run circles around me and it’s very humbling.

The Reset

At 13, my family left the slow country life for Jacksonville, Florida.  I had a sensory overload.  The closest mall was now 3 miles away instead of an hour drive.  For the first time in my life we had cable TV.  The schools were huge and so many kids seemed to have much nicer toys than me.  I spent the next 9 years of my life trying to acquire more toys because not having the toys made me feel poor…like I actually was.

As I was about to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree, I was walking with my Uncle down the beach.  He was about to move back from Indonesia and I really lost track of what he was doing in the decade he spent there.  I thought he was a total slacker because he told me he was moving back but didn’t have a job lined up.  He wasn’t even interested in looking for a job and was planning on being jobless for 6 months or so.  This blew my mind.  I was planning on working every day for the rest of my life because we work hard in my family.  But now this long-lost uncle is telling me that he doesn’t need to “work” if he doesn’t want to.  And that if he did “work” it certainly wouldn’t be at a typical job.  That walk on the beach was when I realized that there is a different way to do things.  Six months later when I graduated he gave me a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad.  That book really taught me that my life was supposed to be more than chasing promotions to get raises to get better toys.  It taught me to control my urges for shiny things and focus that energy on creating wealth for my family…so I can actually spend time with my family instead of missing the soccer games and band performances.

The Path

Once my brain got the financial reset, I was about to start graduate school.  I used that time to learn more about money management and to really find my inspiration.  It turns out that Robert Kiyosaki gave me another gem in Retire Young, Retire Rich.  He talks about how he and his wife created a plan to retire in 10 years and they made it happen.  I graduated from graduate school at the age of 23 and I decided that I wanted to be able to retire by 35.  He pulled it off so why can’t I?

The Future

Just about every decision I make is to support that goal.  I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches twice a day for 2 years just to make sure I could put away 50% of my gross income.  I will continue to save as much money as I can, manage my debt, and invest heavily.  Right now I’m buying real estate, precious metals, and stocks and I’m starting small businesses.  Who really knows what will be the thing that makes me wealthy, but you can be sure that I will spend as much time as I can stoking the fires.