When I was growing up, my dad was an entrepreneur. He opened his own gas station when I was just a baby, learned how to be a body man (read: fix cars) by taking on low-paying work to learn the trade. He entered into a partnership and owned his own auto body shop for most of my childhood. He then owned another business along with that when I was in high school.
So, during my formative years I learned very quickly the correlation between work, sacrifice, early mornings, late nights, and hustle to success.
That's how it was done.
My dad's mantra was "you are where you put yourself". I say that to myself, to this day, constantly.
This past 24 hours, I posted a news story on the Pudgy page that has quickly gone "viral" (as most of these ridiculous news stories often do). You can read the sordid tale here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/talia-jane-vs-yelp#.kprLJAExE
....or a bajillion other places by Googling her Twitter handle "Lady Murderface" (yeah.)
In a nutshell: entitled youngin' goes to college, gets an essentially useless degree, moves to one of the most expensive areas of the country, takes a job for $12/hour, in the 3 months she's employed there she manages to bitch and moan about said job quite a bit on social media....including some sexual innuendos in there. She Instagrams steak dinners, cupcake making, Lush face masks and pricey bourbon.
She then decides well, crap, I can't do math. So, instead of cutting back on her lifestyle, taking on a roommate or a 2nd job, she CALLS OUT THE CEO OF HER EMPLOYER ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Yeah. Claims she's "starving" (Steak dinner and cupcakes doesn't quite add up to starving, but whatever......maybe she has a different definition of starving). Claims she has no heat (um, you're in California. Get a damn sweater.) Claims she can't pay her rent.
Not surprisingly at ALL to those of us who are ADULTS, she was canned.
That's when all hell broketh looseth.
People were incensed at the CEO of her employer. A man who created a company with his friend after seeing a need in the marketplace. A man who started investing at age FOURTEEN. A man who people were calling EVIL because he was rich and this girl was not. Didn't matter that their actions in life did not parallel in the slightest.....there was ANGER and VITRIOL because he had it....and she didn't.
It's okay to "hate the rich". The rich are what's wrong with this country. The RICH are why we, the normal people, can't succeed. The man...keeping us down. Keeping us poor.
I'm sorry, this is complete and utter bulldookie.
When I graduated from high school I had very little direction as far as WHERE I was supposed to go next. My parents will even agree with you here. We were decidedly blue collar and "college" wasn't really a thing. It was certainly not expected or saved for. You went to work.
So that is what I did. I worked in restaurants, drug stores, bars, a factory (that was awful). I sold the Sears Home Protection Plan over the phone (also awful). I had a 1 week stint in a dentist office. I worked at a COUNTRY CLUB and I can tell you, I was young and dumb and I got to work every day and saw their Lexus SUVs and their nice clothes and nice STUFF....and they would stiff me on a tip or something and I would be ANGRY. Probably good that Twitter and Facebook didn't exist then. LOL. I didn't care what they did for a living to get themselves to that point. They had it. I didn't.
But I learned a TON. A TON. I learned that unless I wanted to be scraping crumbs off tables or sticking a car brake part in a hole and pushing a button forever, I had to educate myself.
wanted BADLY to go to college but I had no idea HOW. So, I just waltzed up into our local community college and asked. "How do I go here?"
You take out loans, they told me.
I was a foolish youngin'. I honestly didn't know any better at the time. It wasn't my parent's fault, they weren't college people. Neither were my grandparents. That wasn't something ingrained in our being.
So, I took out the loans and I started school.
I had no idea where my interest really lied, what I wanted to "be" when I grew up....I just knew I wanted that piece of paper and the freedom of choice, I believed, that came with it.
I went to 3 different schools in 10 years. At the end of my career as a student I ended up at a PRIVATE. SCHOOL. (foolish, I told ya). It was close to my current full time job and I could bop over there and take classes during my hour lunch and right after work.
During 2006-2009 I worked 40 hours a week at a medical company and carried a full time college course load at night. In 2006/2007 year I was pregnant with my 1st and didn't miss a single class. I would go to work in the morning at 7AM and wouldn't get home at night until about 10PM after night classes and commute.
My main area of interest was in geriatric social work, so I majored in Sociology. More on that stupid decision later.
I graduated...FI.NA.LLY. 10 years after starting in 2009.
I left school owing roughly $50,000 in student loans. Ugh.
But here's the thing.
When I graduated and realized that Sociology doesn't REALLY carry with it a key to opening doors to high paying jobs.....realizing I owed a crapton to the government....realizing I was underemployed at this point and needed to get my act together......
Did I lament over the rich? Did I say "It's not fair. Why are THEY making 6 figures??? Why am I STRUGGLING now? Why are they not hiring me and paying me $50,000 a year?!?! I deserve it!"
How stupid would that be? Every single decision I made in the last 10 years were MINE. I made them. I was a reasonably intelligent girl who made a series of decisions: what to study, where to study, where to work, where to live.
The incredible thing about America is you can always change your mind. You can ALWAYS make adjustments. We are limited only by our own ability.
By the time I graduated I had already picked up a camera.....and realized I could make more money doing THAT full time than seeking out social work jobs. Sad as that is.....social workers are not paid very well....and I only had a BS anyway. To get any sort of well-paying job in social work I'd have to continue with school. Yeah, it was time to stop making stupid decisions.
So, I started a business.
And this was NOT. THAT. HARD. Believe me....think about your skill set. Are you a fabulous baker? Are you wonderful with children or older adults? Are you a great organizer or REALLY good at building websites? Can you monetize any of that? We have CHOICE.
Here's the thing....very few of us will ever reach the echelon of the 1%. That's why they are the ONE. PERCENT. There's not a whole lot of them. So, don't spend so much time obsessing over what they're doing.
There's no reason why you can't be in the top 20% who make $92,000 or more a year. Really, you CAN. You just have to make good choices about areas of study, market you enter, what you BRING to the market, and what you spend your income on. Very few of us are born with a big 'ole leg up in their world. We have to create one for ourselves.
Your INCOME is your best wealth building tool....and if it's all being sucked away on payments on stuff you really don't need (we all do this, trust me...it's HARD to say NO)....then you're taking away its power.
Here's a crazy stat: If you start socking away $200 a month in a retirement account at the age of 22....and keep doing that (that's only $50 a week people)....by the time you retire at 67 you will have 1.2 Million Dollars. You will be a millionaire. Yes, the market will tank sometimes....but it will also soar sometimes. Keep it up....keep investing....keep living below your means. (Source: www.kiplinger.com)
And you will be what you hate the most: RICH.
Doesn't sound so bad when it's YOU, does it? :)
Here's the truth: we ALL make stupid choices. We all pay too much for things sometimes. We all make bad decisions on where to go to school, what to pay for school, or jobs to take. TRUST me on this. Not one of us is perfect or has it all figured out.
But, here's the WONDERFUL thing about being human beings in America in 2016: YOU CAN FIX IT. It's never too late to say "Yeah, those were some really dumb decisions I made that put me here. Let's live differently"
And then you do it.
And then you WIN.