Continuing to dig a hole after you’ve reached bottom. In How do you get so broke? Part I and Part II, I took you through the steps needed to bury yourself in STUDENT LOAN debt. When all is said and done, you will realize that a broke investor can be broke for only so long until they have had ENOUGH.
Reaching rock bottom doesn’t happen overnight. It happens while neglecting little daily tasks that are needed in order to succeed. After 2 successful attempts to become broke, I was in a position in my life where the only thing I wanted to do was at least finish school.
How-To: (not) Get Paid (without goals)
The reality of the situation was even if I did complete the Mathematics degree program, what was I going to do with it? Prior to becoming a math major, I was on the fence of what degree to choose. First I wanted to be an Engineer. I didn’t care what type of engineer, all I knew was engineers get paid well and I wanted to get paid.
Applying and getting accepted into the engineering program was the next hurdle to face. So, after getting accepted to a tier I University that had a variety of engineering programs to choose from, I was met with rejection.
In order to qualify entry to the engineering program, a student must have a 3.0 in science, a 3.0 in writing, and a 3.0 in MATH. Science and writing were in the bag, but my math GPA came out to 2.98!
One of the worst feelings in my life. Rejected because of 0.02 points off. To me, that translated to, “If only you would have given 2% more effort, then you could’ve been accepted.”
Throughout my schooling, I was fairly good at math. I usually ranked in the top 10% of my class. However, in high school, I just stopped caring about grades. So much so it started to affect my character.
Fast forward to getting slapped with rejection, I decided to find another cool title to pursue. Let’s see… I got it, neurosurgeon! It’s only going to take me another 8-12 years after my undergrad and then I’ll be banking.
I know what genes I’m wearing
So I decided to go into biochemistry. I excelled in chemistry, so organic chemistry should be a breeze. Wrong. Although I barely passed, organic chemistry and genetics removed any desire to continue with the program.
The material was SO DRY and after volunteering at my local hospital, I realized the medical field was not for me. My epiphany came after getting to know a patient. This man was easy-going and always had a story to tell.
I showed up one day and saw he was no longer there. I asked if he had been moved. I was told he was no longer with us and to me, that meant he checked out. Nope… May he rest in peace. I didn’t have the thick skin for it.
Talking to Computers is Hard
It was time to decide what program to try to take on next. Since I had experience programming CNC lathe machines, I figured Computer Science. We are in the 21st century and it’s all about MACHINES. Also, software developers have the opportunity to never work again and still be rolling in dough. Biscuits here I come.
The first day of Computer Science 101 I was met with, “This class is for CS Majors and is meant to screen out the rest. If you are not a CS Major I highly recommend dropping.” Dropping? I just decided I wanted to do this for the rest of my life and you’re telling me to drop? Not a chance.
Well, time to bite the bullet. I passed, but not before suffering through it all. What turned me off from CS was the professor’s teaching style, the dreadful theory behind it all, and when asking for help all you’re met with is, “figure it out”. I could do that on my own without committing to an extra three years of this.
So, I started reflecting back to all the courses I took thus far and asked myself, what is the topic that I give the least amount of effort, but manage to pass without a doubt? I got it, MATH. Let’s jump on it and finish this up, I am through with school.
Jump ahead and the last semester to complete a 4-year degree in 6 years was looking impossible to complete. First, I already had 2 student loans. Second, business was slow and marketing wasn’t catching any eyeballs. Third, where was I going to get the $ for my last semester?
You guessed it, another STUDENT LOAN. To put a cherry on top, in March 2016, I acquired a home that was meant to go to someone else. If it wasn’t for the owner of the house to take a chance on me, I would still be at an apartment complex.
The actual cost of ownership started to present itself. I had two credit cards for the past two years and always paid on time. That all changed with the home. In part because I purchased things that I didn’t need and also because some bills were getting paid with the cards.
What’s a Broke Investor to do?
Now it’s about to be a year since I’ve moved with 2 maxed out credit cards and 3 student loans that start gaining interest in June. What’s a broke investor to do? I’ll tell you. Start providing value to others.
It’s time to get out of the shadows and prove to myself I have what it takes. If people are known for starting a project and getting funded within the first hour, what is stopping me from reaching my goals? PERSISTENCE! It’s time to be persistent.
Keep growing, keep investing.