For those of you that have read our about page or our first blog post, you know the purpose of our store and blog but something I didn’t really talk about there was why I personally made this website. As much as I’d like to say I made it for others, I really made it for me. Besides posting motivational content and things of this nature, I am also going to be journalism my own personal experience of trying to become a builder. So a lot of the times when I write, and it seems like I am talking to others, I am truly trying to reach my self.
Now I wish I could say thinks are all hunky-dory and that I am a full fledged builder, but this just wouldn’t be true. I am no beggar either, but I am somewhere in between.
I am currently at a point in my life where there are so many big changes coming along that it has been very hard to cope with. And unfortunately all of these changes are pushing me towards becoming a beggar. I am 23 years old, married, have a baby coming in less than 30 days, am trying to finish college, and have been trying to get my digital marketing business off the ground for the last 8 months.
And as of lately, it seems as if nothing is going the way I had hoped. Although, I am getting ready to finish school and am having a son soon, which are both great things, they are both overshadowed by all the hardships to come and the true reality of my current financial, social, and mental situation. I take my last final May 18th, 2017 and my wife is getting induced on the 19th, giving me less than 24 hours to really enjoy having the responsibility of school off my back before I have the nearly crippling responsibility of being a father and providing the love, attention and resource every new child deserves.
As this responsibility approaches, it seems everyday it seems the harsh reality of where I am gets harder and harder each day.
The best way I can describe how I feel is to compare myself to the sullen inside the firth circle of hell of Dante’s Inferno. I am standing in water that is up to my mouth, causing me to gargle to avoid drowning but never seeming to find any relief.
The Harsh Realities of My Financial Situation
As I mentioned, I have been trying to get my own digital marketing business off the ground for 8 months now and have had lackluster success to say the least. During this whole time I have only been able to close 2 clients out of the 100s of people I have tried to close.
There are times where the water levels seem to subside but then life turns around and raises them again. For example, my bigger client had recently discussed about having me take care of a decently large web-design and app development project that would increase my yearly income by about 50%. The waters seemed to be lowering.
Unfortunately, since discussing the project and agreeing to do it, the client has been giving the run around for months now on why they haven’t paid their bills to start the projects, and on top of that, they have 4 months of unpaid invoices that they have not paid either. This has effectively reduced my income by basically 66%. Not a great thing to happen when you have a baby coming in less than 30 days.
It’s seems everyday there is a new reason the invoices have gone unpaid. Either they forgot to do it, or they need to pay down the credit card before they can pay my invoices, or whatever bullshit they feed me. I have a feeling they are never going to pay these invoices and the water levels have returned to put in my constant state of gargling. Only this time they are higher as I am on the brink of losing my biggest client.
There was another situation that happened early this month that seemed to make the water level subside only to return even higher, yet again. I was negotiating my services with another “business owner” and we ended up discussing an equity partnership agreement. I was so excited and felt that this was a sign in dire times that the tides were changing. Unfortunately, the agreement quickly fell apart as soon as we started discussing previous financials and what seemed like a sign of light in dire times, quickly became a sign of darkness, exposing how little I truly know about business, even after nearly completing my bachelors in business administration.
What makes this all especially hard for me to deal with is the fact that I have been in a financial trough since I was about 16 or 17. I was able to earn more money when I was 16 or 17 doing less work than I have ever been able to do since, working my ass of everyday to try and teach myself new skills about business, programming and marketing.
Granted it wasn’t the most honest living, but it was a much better living than I am making now. When I was around 16-17, I was selling pot in my home town, and not just a little bit of pot. I was grossing around $3,300-$4,500 a day and netting about $300-$500 of cash each and every day by making a deal with one or two people. It was exhilarating, I had never felt more free and in control of my own life, and most of all the pay was great!
I remember the one and only time my parents confronted me about this. They grew suspicious as I deposited more than $7000 into my bank account over a few days and asked if I was selling weed while we were at dinner in this cafe in Austin. Of course, me being a teenager, I lied and I always felt like they knew I was lying.
Fortunately I knew I could not do that forever so I eventually quit, and although I have never been able to make that kind of living since, while working harder than I ever have to somehow try and get back to that kind of income, I don’t regret it.
During this time I was robbed multiple times, sometimes for more than $3000 and onetime by someone who I considered to be one of my closest friends at the time. One of the worst times being when my friend got robbed at gun point making a delivery on the way to the funeral of our friend who had died of an overdose caused by Xanax and heroin.
Overall, it attracted a lot of negative people into my life, nearly all of whom betrayed my trust at one point or another including my girlfriend at the time and two of my closest friends, and the one person who never betrayed me, continued to sell drugs and is now looking at 20 years or more in prison. My son will likely be a full grown adult by the time he gets out, which saddens me. However, it also makes me thankful that I had the brains to quit when I did.
Despite that, it is still extremely depressing knowing that my income peaked when I was 17 and had no responsibilities and I have been in a trough ever since as I am now 23 with more responsibilities than I can deal with and an income that I consider to be shit.
Being an entrepreneur and trying to make an honest living has been one of the hardest endeavors of my life. It has been a struggle for nearly 6 years now and there is no end in sight. Nearly everything I have tried since I quit selling drugs has failed or blew up in my face. With being said, the grass does not look greener on the other side. I would rather have an income that is shit working for myself than have an income that is halfway shitty working for someone else.
The truth of the matter is, you will never have a great income working for someone else, you may make a good living, but you will never make a great living, and it is rare that you will even be able to make as much as I was at 17 selling pot for myself. I can’t settle for this. Although I am in great pain now because of the reality of my financial situation, I know one day it will pay off and that I will be able to get out of this trough and reach a new peak. I don’t know when this time will be, but I hope it is sooner than later.
The Harsh Realities of My Social Situation
The harsh reality of my social situation or life, is that I have no social life. This mainly due to my own actions and who I have become. Because of the things I have done in the past, I have grown to not really trust anyone. The only people I truly trust are my wife and my family. Besides that though, it is really hard for me to open up to people and let them know how I really feel and what I really think. This is also why I have created this website. It is easier for me to write these words knowing no one is likely to read them, than it is for me to express these things to the people I am close to.
Another thing that has really prevented me from having a “healthy” social life is I feel like I can’t ever actually connect to people. I never feel like I have same values or beliefs as the people who I usually find myself around which makes me pull back from building a relationship with them. I want to build a life of abundance and talk about how it can maybe be accomplished, question the status quo, discuss the ideas that shape and mold our values and beliefs as a society, and this is the last thing most people want to talk about. Throughout my entire time at college, I have never made a single friend.
On top of that, I have never been that good at small talk for extended periods of time. I can do it for a little bit but then it just kills me as I feel like I am putting on a mask. I like to talk about money, religion and politics, mainly because these are the 3 things that control every facet of our lives, yet these are things most people hate even bringing up. Not only do I like talking about them, but I am also very passionate about them, which doesn’t make a good combination, especially in terms of socializing with people on a casual level.
Something else I have noticed is I often feel as if I am a “sympathy” friend of most of the people who are in my life. I have a large family and one of my siblings is very out going, super fun to be around, and people gravitate towards her. Many of her friends have become my “friends” not because we actually connect on some level, but because I am in there life do to their connection to my siblings or my parents. I often think one of my brothers feels this way as well.
The only times I have ever gotten really close with anyone is when we were working towards the same goals and doing the same things. Albeit, sometimes these were not always the right goals to pursue or the healthiest activities to be partaking in, mainly the activities outlined in my last section, but with that being said, when I was doing all of that stuff with the two people who I considered myself to be closest too, I never felt more connected as “friends” with someone than I did then. Even though one of those people totally betrayed my trust, the times we shared, both good and bad, were great experiences that really brought us together and I wouldn’t change it for the world. We shared our successes and we shared our failures and hard times.
Something that has been really hard for me with my current business is I haven’t had anyone to share my very few successes, and my many failures with. No one I know is even trying to do the same things as me and can relate to what I am experiencing. I have bared the burden all on my own and it has taken a toll on me.
I doubt any of this will ever change either. I have come accept the fact that the people I will become close to or be “friends” with will likely be the people I end up working with, as we work towards the same goals and pursue the same vision.
The Harsh Realities of My Mental Situation
Something that has really suffered over the past few years as I have been struggling with the harsh realities of my social and financial situations is my mental state of mind. A few years ago, I felt I could tackle the world no matter how hard the going got. That was when the going was pretty easy. As time has progressed and I have tried to break out of this financial and social trough I have been in for 6 years now, my mental strength and positive outlook as gotten weaker and weaker.
I used to see the world through a very wide lens. I saw unlimited possibilities for how I could achieve my goals and get to where I wanted to be. Unfortunately though this has changed, especially within the last few months to a year. It seems almost daily this metaphoric lens gets smaller and smaller and I almost feel like I am looking through a peephole. It is almost getting to the point where I can’t see a single possible way to achieve my goals and get to where I want to be, and it seems like everyday that destination gets further and further away.
It has almost gotten so far away that, some days, I don’t even know what the destination is any more.
I used to have so much passion. I was passionate about music and was creating it and DJing in bars. I had dreams of being a professional DJ/rapper. I even created my own little recording studio that was pretty bad ass. I was passionate about video games, I truly loved to play them and meet people through them, specifically World of Warcraft. I was an officer in the guild I was in and found pleasure in trying to grow our guild and advance through the games content. I was passionate about financial markets and had dreams of becoming a professional trader/investor.
I still haven’t given up on trading all together and I have had mild success as I have traded on and off with small accounts over the past few years. I prefer to trade using a mix of fundamental analysis and evidence based technical analysis(statistics drawn from my own customer indicators I have created over the years. Not traditional technical indicators). On one account I have achieved a 700%+ return, but that is with a starting balance of about $50.00. I have just never had enough capital to actually make the returns be meaningful.
I have also started to head down a path of machine learning and am working on a few different algorithms that I hope to one day incorporate into my trading. I will likely be blogging about that on this website too under a machine learning journal category.
All of these passions and dreams have slowly faded away though and now I can’t find one thing I am truly passionate about. I can’t find one thing I truly enjoy doing.
I know this is very unhealthy place to be. My wife doesn’t deserve a husband in this situation, and more importantly my soon to be born son doesn’t deserve a dad who has this many issues. I really hope I can have this all figured out before my son can become consciously aware of all the struggles I am going through.
I’m not just wallowing in my own sorrow either. I have been taking proactive steps to try and get myself in a better mental space but many days, my efforts seem futile. I have quit drinking and smoking pot, something I did habitually everyday for years. I have also talked to my doctor and he has prescribed me some medicine that has helped a little bit I’d say. I have also gone to see a therapist but have yet to find one I felt truly listened to me and understood my problems. I am also financially not in a place to really afford therapy so that makes it that much harder to find a good one.
Something I have also been struggling a lot with is faith and spirituality. I was raised in a Christian home and went to a very religious Christian private school for 9 years. As I previously mentioned, I love talking about money, religion and politics, so even at an early age I began questioning the religion I had been brought up in. Through this questioning, I have not found any answers to my questions, but only more unanswered questions.
For some reason I just can’t accept the Christian religion or any religion at that, for what it is, which I guess is what faith is all about. Something I unfortunately lack. I can’t accept that it is “in God’s hands”. And even if I did I accept that, I think it would make me resent him or at least the idea of him. The song Bukowski by Modest Mouse beautifully puts into words how I feel about the whole thing.
One thing that has helped me, or at least I think it’s helping me, is reading. I have recently been reading a lot more than I used to and I am reading books on all sorts of topics. Religion, politics, business, sales, political theory, propaganda, leadership and more. I think I just hope that if I read enough books I will eventually connect all the dots in my life that are currently plaguing me as they remain unconnected.
I am going to start posting about the books I read at the end of each month to help me solidify the ideas and lessons I learned from them. Hopefully those ideas and lessons may be useful to someone else in the future.
Well I think I am beginning to ramble on now so it is probably time to end this journal entry. I know it may be a very depressing blog post, but it’s how I feel and this is one of the only places I feel I can truly express these feelings and be completely honest. Hopefully as I continue to journal my experiences through life they will become more positive, uplifting, and inspiring for others, but hey, you got to start some where.
If you are currently feeling any of the things I have expressed in this post, just know you are not alone and there are always people going through the same struggles as you. Stay strong and be persistent. I don’t know if it will work out in the end but it is all we can do to keep moving forward.