Several years ago, I was helping a family deal with the financial mistakes that a son had made that impacted the whole family. I had spent a long time (probably weeks, all together) untangling a mess of a young adult who, at 21 or 22, was already facing bankruptcy. The young man wasn’t stupid. He wasn’t lazy. He just didn’t get it. At the end, with limited success, a grateful mother thanked me for all the work I did. She knew that the case was probably hopeless, but she was so glad that somebody from her financial institution was willing to take the time to help her. She said that I should write a book to help others like her son.
BTW, I got fired from that place.
I started tinkering with several book ideas, convinced that I could be the next Terry Goodkind or someone. Nothing came of any of those original ideas.
As the years went by, I worked with more and more families. I started the beginnings of what would become Finance 4 Youth to put out some basic ideas to help people. Along that same time, I realized that, while I liked what I did, I really hated my job. I was getting burned out on a major level. Apparently, I wasn’t alone.
I had another young person come in to my office about 4 years ago just to bitch about how much he hated his job. This guy was a regular (I think he wanted to date one of the girls in the office). I was close to leaving that company to go on to another that was close to home at the time, and I was kind of tired of people thinking I was their bartender, hairdresser, counselor, psychologist, or whatever. I asked him what he wanted to do, and told him that he should give it a try.
He told me that he couldn’t afford to start his own business without getting several hundred thousand dollars in loans. He felt that one should be guaranteed success before one strikes out on their own. I mentioned to him in the course of the conversation, about the book I was considering writing. I understood his frustration and his desire to have a safety net, but that shouldn’t let me wimp out on something that I had always wanted.
I challenged him to follow his idea, using only his own skill and whatever resources he had available. I pledged to do the same thing. So, after four years, six revisions, and almost saying “F@#$ this, I quit!” about a million times, not to mention the hard work F4Y: The Wife has put in with reviewing and proofreading, it is done!
Finance For Youth: The Book is real and headed to a bookstore (or Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other “.com” bookstore) near you. I am awaiting confirmation from Amazon, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and a couple of others to tell me when the street-date will be, but I am confident that you will be able to find Finance For Youth: The Book in time to read it while lounging by a pool over the summer.
Let me list the tools and resources I used:
- Many computers at the various companies I have worked for over years
- Two computers at my home
- The interwebs for research and fact-checking
- More than 30 years cumulative experience in banking, finance, education, and life between my wife and myself
I didn’t go through the process of getting a fancy literary agent, nor did I hire any expensive support staff. This project is proof positive that the American dream– that you can do anything you want if you set your mind to it, is real. Whether I ever sell more than one copy of this book is irrelevant. The goal was to produce something of value using my own talents.
Now, I challenge you to find a dream of your own that you have pushed aside because you felt it would be too hard to achieve. Now crush it. Find a way to do it. Make it happen, even if it takes you the rest of your life. I firmly believe that a life spent in pursuit of achieving something you have dreamed of is better than a life of waiting for something good to “happen” just as you come along. While you are at it, share with the other readers what your dream is, and how you plan on making it happen. Your story can influence someone else who might need more convincing than I can give.
Finally, because I have been told that the music videos I have been including at the beginning of my posts can be distracting, I’m including a video that reminds me of the topic at the end of this post. Enjoy!