My earliest memories were living on acreage with horses. At times lots of horses (up to 21).
I remember kinder garden class in Needville and I was quite fond of the milk breaks and nap time.
Back to all those horses, I have no clue how early I started helping with them but at some point I started riding them and even showing them at shows. Like mother like son.
And even more importantly I started getting paid to take care of them. I remember one of my older half sisters telling me I have always been about money. And I wonder if that was because my mom gave me the opportunity to earn money and also required I pay for 1/2 of things that were above and beyond her price thresh hold.
For some reason I realized early on that money gave me the ability to get what I wanted. I remember saving a few thousand dollars for a Kawaski Tecate 3 wheeler (green and white) but by the time I had enough money I realized I should be saving for something much cooler…a car.
My mom gave me her blue 1985 4 door Honda accord with the crome luggage rack on the back. It had 180,000 miles on it and I proceeded to put 60,000 miles on it that first year.
Some of those miles were to “Harwin street” in Houston where I could buy merchandise wholesale and sell it for a profit. I got my tax permit and I was off to the races. I remember buying speakers, hats and clothing like Karl Kani. I don’t think I was the best salesman but I learned that I could make money selling something rather than selling my time.
Off to college I went and I tried to sell some incents and some 3D pictures (Wish I still had one).
I look back at college and realize it was a lot of fun and I was able to play a LOT of basketball. After my grades slacked that second year in engineering with the icing on the cake being an F in Deferential equations (Texas A&M didn’t take roll and I had cable for the first time in my life along with 12 basketball courts open until midnight).
I changed schools and majors to business at Texas Tech. And back to work I went since mom said that was enough.
At one of the jobs I started another chapter of my education when a coworker was invited to an Amway meeting. I found out and invited myself. I signed up and plugged into the education of a business built on residual income. The recommended business books and I actually read them.
I think 7 people signed up with me but when I graduated and moved I dropped the ball (Sorry) as I was now a professional with a J O B. Fancy huh?
These books along with my purchase of Tony Robbins 20+ CDs was the beginning of my education in the self help world. I remember sitting on the couch with probably a rather strong beverage in my hand (waiting to be picked up) and the infomercial was on and Tony got to me. I forget if I paid $270 or more but I thought wow I must be crazy to want to buy these CDs. ( I still have them and I often remember that people avoid pain and go after pleasure, thanks Tony!)
Fast forward five years as a software developer consultant for several companies, the next entrepreneur opportunity popped up.
My coworkers friends said we should start a webhosting company (RiptideHosting.com was born). In my mind I some how connected the dots back to Amway and residual income. Meaning with webhosting, server hosting etc. customers pay month after month for the service you setup once and maintain for them. Now the investment was $5,000 for me and it didn’t seem crazy at the time for the chance to be in business again!
We ran this business as a side hustle putting all the profits back in it to grow it.
Fast forward 4 or 5 years and one of my coworkers suggests I should quit and do Riptide full time. All I thought was yay right I’m making six figures. ****Oh do I wish I would have listened to him and quit that instant. You should be wondering why right now because when I did just that I was making less money for quite a while.
But I was free of the 9 to 5, out of the cube and out of those meetings that seemed like such a waste. I was once again free!
This free time has lead me to a life where people wonder how in the heck I have the time to do so many things. (Podcasting – AutocrossTalk.com and YourBusinessPodcast.com, Farming RegenFarms.com, Patents (2 and counting), Social Media Marketing, Learning and consuming lots of positive information (cutting cable and tv watching really helped with this!), BarndominiumFloorPlans.com, realestate investing (rentals and flips) oh and a kids book that is oh so close to being finalized.
For me time freedom has been accomplished with businesses and partners to help with the businesses. (In 2016 a major breakthrough was I need to have more partners to make more progress with my businesses.) As Gary Vaynerchuck says be self aware and work through your strengths. I’m a fearless starter.