My Story Part 1: When Hard Work Doesn't Pay Off...

"There is no substitute for hard work."

-Thomas Edison

Born in Plano, raised in Richardson, TX my childhood was relatively care free. I loved to skate, play hockey, camp in boyscouts, and play the violin, piano, and saxophone. Growing up I used to naively say to myself "wow my life is perfect" as I watched friends go through hard times. My time would come... 

My father was the president of Elkins Institute Dallas where he taught students business, work, and trade skills. He also partnered with psychotherapists to build ropes courses for team building, personal growth, and self discovery. I remember he owned a Porsche 911 and a boat when I was young. He was not great with money. My mother was poor growing up so she became a saver. She taught us how to handle our money. 

At some point the economy dropped and no one would buy the school building my father owned and my parents went into bankruptcy. Goodbye Porsche, goodbye boat. My mother soon went to work for State Farm (and recently retired with a pension.) I was only a few years old at the time. 

I don't remember having an allowance. I started working at age 14. It was a retirement/nursing home restaurant and I recruited all of my friends to work there. I would continue working thereafter. I worked at a grocery store and a jewelry store seasonally throughout school. My parents were always there to support me in times of need, but I had to earn everything. 

Music slowly took over my other passions in high school. I heard that "musicians starve and never make any money," but as a kid I didn't have the foresight to care. Right before college my life turned a sharp corner. 

My father had back surgery and a complication led to his paralyzing from the neck down. My "picture perfect life" turned into one of perspective, purpose, and massive change. The story of my father would define the rest of my life. My focus and determination shot through the roof. I lost 70 pounds and seriously started focusing on my music career. 

As a saver I always had money set aside. A financial bed to lay on so to speak. I never had an excess of money. I was just getting started performing professionally and gigs weren't paying very much. But, I still felt a small sense of comfort from saving.  

Then the summer of 2015 hit and I found myself with $67 to my name.  

To be continued...

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