Those of you that know me also know that I’m an EXTREMELY private person. I’ve had the same pic on Facebook since 2010 and I don’t have an IG account. You’re probably wondering what makes me qualified to teach anybody anything about money.
- I’m not a financial professional.
- I did not go to school to learn finance.
- I’m still in the learning process.
I Grew Up Learning Real Estate
My grandfather invested in real estate because he didn’t understand the stock market. He was born in 1916 and dropped out of school in the 6th grade to help feed his family. He owned several rental properties, a church, and a gas station, but with all of that, he lived like he didn’t have any wealth at all.
When I hit my teens, my grandfather taught me about owning property and how important it was to be an owner and not a renter. I would often ride with him to collect rent, which is how I learned about Section 8 rentals. I wanted to be an owner, but I thought it took tons of money to do so. That was the one thing we never talked about in our family… money.
- We didn’t discuss how to make money without a job.
- We didn’t discuss money management.
- We didn’t discuss residual income.
In fact, the only thing my grandparents taught me about money was to save, save, save.
I Got My First Job At 16
My first job was drive thru cashier at Jack In The Box. I made $5.80 per hour and I worked part time after school. I also sold small quantities of weed as my main income because it brought in more than my paycheck. This was my first experience in being able to compare hourly income vs. side hustle money.
- I could make on the side in one day what my paycheck was after two weeks.
- I understood that hourly pay would NEVER ever be enough money.
I was super excited about my job and then super disappointed when I got that first check. After taxes, it was well under $200. Had I not been selling weed at the time, I may not have stumbled upon this revelation at such an early point in life. I didn’t know what to do with it and becoming a drug kingpin wasn’t something I wanted to pursue.
I Learned About Residual Income At 17
During my senior year in high school I met a bar owner named John. John was a white guy that was also a representative of Excel Communications, which went out of business just before ACN came around. Excel was the typical MLM, but based around the telecommunications industry (cell phones, 2 way pagers, internet, and landlines). They paid representatives based on a residual income model. It was around this time that I first heard of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Rich Dad Poor Dad and Carlton Sheets
At some point between age 17 and 18, I got my hands on a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad. At the same time, Carlton Sheets had an infomercial that I watched almost daily for inspiration. Rich Dad Poor Dad inspired me to start working towards building wealth, and after that I quickly read The Cashflow Quadrant.
- I started reading 2 books per week.
- I still try to read daily, even if it’s a blog post or two.
I Bought My First Condo At 19
With the mentality to save, save, save… I’d saved just over $2,000 and was ready to move into my first apartment with my best friend as a roommate. I told my grandfather about the idea and he told me not to leave his house until I called three real estate agents. Only one of them called me back. We set up a meeting and I met with him before going to look at apartments.
He introduced me to a broker named William. William told me, “I can’t get you a lot of money. Only $70,000.” He couldn’t have been serious. I was 19 so $70,000 sounded like a lot of money to me. It was enough to buy my first 2 bedroom 1 bath condo. It cost me $66,000 to buy it. My mortgage was $525 / month and my best friend rented out the 2nd bedroom for $300 / month.
I Bought My Second Condo At 20
A year into owning my first condo, I called William to find out if he could get me any money. I went back in, and this time he told me he could get me $90,000. This time I was less interested in a place to live and searching for a good deal with a high ROI. I found a foreclosure on the HUD website listed for $65,000. It was appraised at $70,000 but had been on the list for 3 years. We put in an offer for $55,000 and they accepted.
- My mortgage was $424 / month.
- I had $15,000 equity built into the property.
- I rented it out for $750 / month.
I Started A Business At 23
It was a very spur of the moment idea. My best friend was selling bootleg DVDs in the parking lot of the swap meet. I asked why he didn’t have a shop, and so we opened one. We started selling men’s knock off Nike’s. Then we got some legit contracts with lesser known brands that high school kids loved, and we started making $1,000 per day average.
Once you get a taste for a thousand dollars a day, it’s hard to be content with an hourly wage. One thing I’m the most proud of is that we NEVER lost a dime on the business. We started it and made a huge profit and when the owner of the swap meet let it go down hill and money slowed to $50 a day, we sold EVERYTHING including the cabinets, and walked away with a profit. This taught me two things about business:
- It’s possible to get started WITHOUT a loan.
- I need to control my own property so I can control the upkeep.
I Published My First Book At 26
I published my first book, Religion and Relationship just before my 27 birthday in 2009. This book turned out to be both my biggest accomplishment and my biggest failure in publishing. I don’t think it’s sold 100 copies in 10 years. In all honesty, I wrote it for myself to prove I could do it, but I just can’t find it’s target market. I learned a few things about publishing from this experience.
- Write for a specific audience.
- Writing for everyone is the same as writing for no one.
- Writing the book is the EASIEST part of the journey.
I Published A Bestselling Book At 27
Upon the failure of my first book, I was faced with the choice to quit or keep going… so I doubled down and wrote As The Days of Noah Were. This time I knocked it out of the park and made #1 on the Amazon Bestseller’s list in three categories.
I Invested In A Local Radio Station At 36
A month and a half before my 37th birthday, I invested in a black owned local internet radio station. This was something that I wanted to do for years, but didn’t really have the extra people available to help run it. It was during my time at the swap meet when I was 23 that I met one of my current business partners. He actually had me meet him at the radio station for a completely separate meeting that had nothing to do with the station.
A week later, I got a call asking me if I was interested in coming on board because one of the previous owners wanted out. We had a meeting, they showed me the numbers, and I brought them the check the next day.
|Disclaimer: I'm not a financial expert. Actual results may vary. Investing has risks, and investments are not guaranteed. Any information found on this site is for educational purposes only.