Monday, December 17, 2012

Hard Work, Humility, & Hustle


                So I was having a conversation about poverty with my roommate. (Because that’s what poor people do, is talk about how poor they are) And after I had that conversation, I decided that I’m not going to be poor for the rest of my life. So as of today I’m not poor anymore!
                Yep, it was that simple I just made a decision. I decided I wasn’t going to let money hold me back from doing the things I want to do, like eat. I realized there is no reason for me to be poor. I don’t live very expensively and my bills are relatively manageable. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t have money. I see people come to this country (United States) with nothing and make a living for themselves. How is it that I after being raised in this country, I can’t even get by? I realized that essentially it comes down to three things for me:

Hard Work
Five years ago I was kicked out the house at 17 years old. I had a job but no place to live. So I moved to 3,000 miles across country to Eugene, Oregon. I didn’t know anyone out there and I had only $135. Yet in two and half days I found a new job, a place to live, and a way to pay for school at the University of Oregon. How did I do that? Hard work. My first semester in college, I worked 50 hours a week and went to school. 3 days a week I would close the drive thru at Wendy’s. I would get off at 3:30 or 4 in the morning walk home and then get up and catch the bus to be at class at 8am for the next 5 hours or so before heading to my second job.  Yeah I was dead tired but I knew it was what I had to do. There was no fall back plan. I didn’t have any relatives I could stay with out there and going back home wasn’t an option. I just knew it had to be done. I need to get back to that kind of hard work. I don’t care what you do, when you come home from a long day of hard work you just feel so accomplished.

Humility
I’ve realized since I moved to LA back in 2009, I’ve become a little Hollywood. There are jobs that I think are “beneath” me. Talk to me back in 2007, and I would’ve done anything and work any job. Nothing was beneath me because I had hit rock bottom. It’s time to be that humble. A few weeks ago I didn’t have any money and no real hot job leads so I stood outside Home Depot. Yep that’s right. A +3.0GPA high school graduate, who once was on a full academic scholarship at the University of Oregon, studying Psychology and Japanese, while being involved with the Student Government and various leadership programs on campus was standing outside of Home Depot with undocumented illegal citizens who didn’t speak any English, waiting for someone to drive by and offer me a job. I didn’t get anything (maybe because people thought I was undercover or something) but nonetheless it was a very humbling experience. But whenever I’ve humbled myself like that my world gets opened up to opportunities that I didn’t even know existed.

Hustle
It’s true I need to work way hard, but my brain is probably the strongest muscle I have in my body (my biceps don’t even compare) I need to worker smarter as well. The other day I realized that there’s so many different way to have multiple sources of income and I am more than capable of tackling a few of them all at once. Plus given my expertise at the board game Monopoly there’s something about hustling and making a come up that I just get. The other day I left the house with no money in my wallet. Within an hour I had $31. Just from hustling. Not to mention my roommate was with me and I helped him make a come up of $85. I’m not talking about taking advantage of people, that conning. Hustling is different from conning. Hustling is about being an opportunist and making the most of every opportunity. I realized I could hustle a long time ago, but it became more evident to me about a month ago when I was asked to lead fundraising event for my church. The group I led made about $1300 in three days from about 2 hours of work a day. I just need to have a hustler mentality and make the most of every opportunity.

Yep, so that’s it, I’m not going to be poor anymore. I’m probably won’t be rich, but I don’t want to be. I just want move on to the next part of life and be able to tackle it without having to worry about money. I believe that in this country (United States) poverty can be avoided for most of us through a little hard work, humility, and hustle. This combined with a little bit of discipline in my finances and I poverty will be in rear view mirror.

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