The Saints of Chipotle
The Saints of Chipotle
In 2009 my friends, Jason and Stephanie sat me down at Chipotle and gave me a speech that i doubt many have ever heard:
"PW, we love you and want the best for you... you work harder than anyone we know but we think you can work smarter..."
That conversation lasted about an hour and then they handed me a copy of a magazine called, Success. Of course, I scoffed and said thank you. Secretly though, I was pretty pissed that someone had the audacity to tell me that I wasn’t "smart" or "successful". The words stung but only because they were right. I was acting neither smart nor had I seen the success I was working so hard to get.
Not even a year later I was working on my sister's kitchen - in reality I was doing a complete gut and remodel of her kitchen. When music got tough, side jobs always helped with paying the bills and my sister was kind enough to give me the job. About halfway through the job, my friend Stevi showed up to visit. Stevi's an old friend whom I used to mentor when he was in college and although he was in his thirties during this visit he still hadn't finished college. He pulled up a chair while I was redoing the subfloor and we caught up on life and work etc. I asked him how school was going and he shared that he wasn't in school then but was taking another break and just working and investing for people.
I knew he had started investing, doing stocks and some swing trading but what I didn't realize was that he was doing really well at it. He started with $12k some years back and with some persistence and reading he was up just over $150k and was up over $600k investing $$ for friends and family....shocking!
He stayed for about an hour and before he left he recommended buying a day trading book and said, "You should really think about this if you are looking to stay home more and start a family." It was like finally hearing the right lyric after a bad breakup. Something snapped in me and I ordered a book the next week (you can get it here).
Between the books recommended by entrepreneurs interviewed in Success magazine and the books I found in my trading studies I amassed a large collection of over 250 books - I've read 216 so far and plan on hitting 300 books by the end of 2020.
A few years after my visit with Stevi I was up and running on a trading platform trading futures contracts and studying every waking minute about money. Its funny to look back and see how these strange conversations, books and failures were providential, all veins and paths forming the road that leads me here now, sitting and writing to you.
Maybe this is your Chipotle moment and a bit of a wake up call to start working smarter and not harder. Maybe in these ramblings you can see yourself or at least see your need for some breathing room. I mean, lets be clear here - no one is talking about getting rich quick or even getting rich. But we need to start addressing the lack of financial education in the middle class and maybe even your lack of financial education.
I'm 48 years old and on my third career and I can say that proudly - they weren’t failed careers. On the contrary - I was able to make a great living with each job AND more than that, I have been able to make my own schedule for the past 17 years. I have been able to follow my passions and live out my passions because someone stepped up to the plate and said good and hard things to me to get me unstuck. I got by with hard work and a lot of luck in my twenties and thirties but my friends and saints saw the end of that story and stepped in and said something. They weren't trying to sell me a get-rich-quick package. They just wanted me to be free...and I am. I discovered the door that led me off of the proverbial hamster wheel.
I'm still a work in progress but I'm learning and refining my life everyday and enjoying more freedom than I was a decade ago... I can breathe. My family has a financial plan that my wife and I are both well versed in. We both work for ourselves and make our own schedules and most importantly we get to spend more time with our little girl.
In a world full of saints and sinners, you'll know your true friends because they wont let you die in the mess of your own folly. And maybe they'll even buy you a burrito in the process. You have everything you need to succeed if in you're fatigue you are willing to stand up and take some small measured steps for a season. Learn a new vocabulary, challenge your old ways of thinking and allow people to push you. Give permission to those good saints to speak and surrender to their wisdom.
If you're feeling stuck and confused by the road you're on, maybe a good conversation will help take the monster out of your next few steps. Happy to help if I can or point you to someone who can.