I’ve been doing this blogging gig for nearly 9 years now. My first google blogger account was setup back in August of 2006, but I quickly left that 3rd tier site to join forces with The Fly at iBankCoin. For the new comers, and those interested, the story can be found HERE.
As some of you have walked with The Cajun over the years, reading my pain, I am reminded why I started doing this in the first place. It all started as a dream.
Growing up, I did not have much. Having a large family (7 of us), there was not a lot of extra money to go around. My parents could not spoil me, like I do my daughter, for the simple fact if they bought something for me, they would have to for everyone else. I hated Christmas. My friends were loaded with stuff, and all I got was one singular gift.
Looking back at it all, I’m am grateful for a large family, grateful for my mother & father who instilled deep spiritual values in me versus material things of this world. At the time though, I hated it. I hated my brother and sisters, I hated my friends. I remember my best friend turning 16 and getting a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee. I wanted one. Being a tall guy, I needed an SUV. But, you know what I was driving? A fucking Toyota Tercel, that was passed down (luckily) from my sister. I look back and wonder how in the hell did I fit in that car?
From Age 16, in order to drive, I had to have a job, I had to pay my own insurance, gas, ect. If not, it was back to the bus. I quit all sports, giving up my love for basketball & baseball in efforts to drive and become independent. I was the hustler type, picking up any and every shift I could, the manager would often have to send me home at the end of the week in fear of paying me overtime.
I soon learned the working man was a sucker. Why the hell do I want to spend my life slaving away at a job, while my friends got to enjoy life as a teenager? I thought there has to be a better way, and was determined to never have a 9 to 5 as I raised a family later in life.
I never had dreams to go to college, even though my parents wanted to see me there. I didn’t qualify for a TOPs scholarship (like my sister), or an athletic scholarship (I quit sports to work), so if I wanted to go, guess what? I had to pay my own way.
The first year out of high school, I opted out of college. I was working at a small seafood restaurant owned by Al Copeland, called Wholly Mackerel. I have stories on Dining out, click HERE. At age 18, I became the service manager and was making a bunch of money for my age. Little did I know, the reason I was promoted was they didn’t want to bring anyone else on, they were shutting down the restaurant. They didn’t tell me that however.
Being the young broke kid that I was, as soon as I made some money I went out to buy an SUV, not any SUV, an infinity QX4 (way over my budget). I didn’t care, I wanted something nice. A few weeks later, after I paid my first $600 note, I was laid off and the business was shut down.
I had to hustle up at this point in order not to lose my new prize possession. I started waiting tables for tips, jumping from one restaurant to the next. Being on my feet for so long, I developed what is called Plantar Fasciitis, heel pain. Work became miserable, I could not stand longer than 3 hours without being in significant pain. I remember thinking then, “all of this pain just to drive around in a nice car that I no longer care about?”
The next day, I put my SUV up for sale. I also decided to go to college. I couldn’t be on my feet all day, I needed a job where I could sit down. I applied for student loans, moved out to the country, and started studying accounting at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, home of the Ragin’ Cajuns.
After my first year in college (2001-2002), I opened my first online Scottrade account. I was still waiting table through college, but started to add to this bullshit 4 figure account every chance I got. My first trade was a home run, a wireless company that was bought out by AT&T, I was hooked.
As I continued to build my account, I wanted more capital to trade so I applied for an additional student loan to add capital to my account. This was back in 2005-2006 where you could buy any stock and wake up the next morning to see it gap up 4 points. I built this account quickly above 25K, which was the goal, because I wanted to daytrade.
I started a blog to hold myself accountable for my trades, create plans, develop discipline, all that fun stuff. Never in a million years did I think it would lead to this.
Upon graduating, which was in 2007– the top of the market, no one was hiring in my field. The brokers were going out of business a la Lehman Brothers.
I settled for a management position at a retail fitness chain that allowed me to trade while working (No Woodshedder). I loved the key fob fitness retail concept so much, that I wanted to own one myself, but needed more capital.
Blogging wan’t paying much $500-$800/mo at the time, but I used every bit of that side money, along with some of my trading profits, and a loan, to start my first gym.
I now have two gyms, drive that Jeep Grand Cherokee I wanted when I was younger (overland edition of course), and do not currently have a 9 to 5. I am able to spend time with my wife and kid(s) whenever I want and no longer have to work on my feet.
It all started with a dream, which is cliche, but true. When I started the blog, my mother gifted me a real live AAPL stock certificate for Christmas in 2006. She put a label on the bottom saying, “Dreams Do Come True”. I never thought much of the label, but my mother did. She knew at the time that we have the power to make dreams become reality, I did not.
Looking back on things, my dream came true. I am living my dreams in this very moment, and you can too. All it took was a dollar and a dream.
“When you are on your last dollar, do you fold, grow bitter and grow cold? No longer fightin’ now the only thing you grow is old, Or do you flip that fuckin’ dollar to a dream? Whether a scholar or a fiend, watch a pawn become a king.”
-Mr. Dollar and a Dream