Since I was just a kid, I knew I was different. As my classmates excelled, I lagged way behind because I would sit in school ‘daydreaming;’ drawing pictures, inventing contraptions or figuring out how I could buy candy bars for a quarter and sell them at school for fifty-cents.
It all started when I was seven years old and my parents explained to me how I could go out to our corn field and pick sweet corn and sell it out of my dad’s pickup truck by the highway. The traffic was good and everyone that stopped, bought from me. I had to learn to market by putting up signs, I had to educate the customer about my product and use math to count and make change for their large bills. Thankfully, the product sold itself and my costs were $0.
On the farm I did chores for a couple dollars a week, but selling sweet corn was different. I realized that I could make in one day what my brother and sister and I were making in a couple weeks of chores.
Back in the church basement classroom, my mind reeled as to how I could make even more money. To set the scene for you, we worked at our own pace in our little desks with dividers on either side while facing a tan concrete block wall for six-plus hours a day. Not the best learning environment for a kid with big dreams and an active imagination.
I wasn’t interested in studying spelling, math or following the rules in general. I just wanted to come up with more ideas of how I could make more money using pure ingenuity.
My enterprises were frowned upon by my church-school administration. I was shut down multiple times because of my selling candy, soda, stickers and iron-ons on school property. I didn’t understand why my parents promoted it and the school took disciplinary action because of it. It didn’t stop me.
I cared so little about school that I should have failed second and third grades, but thanks to Mrs. Hansen, I passed since she believed me to be a ‘good kid.’
Today, I’m one of those ‘jobless’ statistics you’ve read and heard about so much. I was a great employee because whatever I do, I give my best, but I haven’t actually held a job since quitting my cushy university position in 2002.
A while back, I decided to follow my weaknesses and now happily create interactive, video-based educational materials. I design and build websites, produce digital and tangible products and teach people how to beat the system (or at least challenge conventional thought). My main focus lately is teaching people how to escape the binary trap of owning a home or renting one.
Though I still consider myself a poor speller, I have written a book about how my wife and I have taken the idea of paying nothing for our housing for over 9 years and developed it into a system of freedom, flexibility and opportunity that only a rare few have achieved.
Community Executive Academy teaches people how to get out of debt, put more of their hard-earned money toward their future and live life on their own terms instead of that of others by helping them recoup all of the money they were spending on their housing.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my parents who all along encouraged me to follow my ‘weaknesses.’