To my new DG Family,
Day 1/2 (not even day one, because I haven't gotten off the ground yet)
Here is the first entry to my REI Journal. I hope that I can join the ranks of the successful real estate success stories that I 've read and seen so much of since I have been actively becoming a part of this community. I've decided to make my dreams a reality, and by signed up for Dean's Academy today, I have officially taken action, and stepping up to the plate to brighten the financial future for myself and my wonderful family. Wow, I can't believe I am actually doing this, lol.
Everyone has a story, and here is mine. It is important for me to remind myself where I came from and how I got to where I am in life, in order to have the desire and the perserverance to move forward.
I didn't have the challenging uphill climb that Dean had faced. In fact I had the exact opposite. I grew up in a middle class neighborhood in NJ, and was fortunate enough to have parents that could afford to send me to a prestigious prep school for my formative high school years. I received my BA in Biology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and then proceeded directly to graduate school in Memphis, TN where I became an optometrist. Shortly after I met my soon to be wife, and practice opportunities landed me back in New Jersey, so we could raise our family close to the majority of our relatives. We bought our first townhome, lived in it for a year, and sold it to put a down payment on our first home, where we've lived ever since, my beautiful wife, two beautiful daughters, and of course, Hunny, our golden retriever. But...here comes the but...it was all about to unravel right before my eyes, and I never saw it coming...
In the fall of 2003, I opened up my own practice with a very good friend of mine I had met in GA, whom which I had already worked with down in Atlanta, GA when I first got out of school. Financed everything. Rented a space at a local shopping district, had the spance custom designed, with brand new furniture, fixtures, cabinetry, the WHOLE NINE YARDS..and it was absolutely gorgeous, I tell you...(sigh) Now my friend and I agreed to be 50/50 partners in this venture together, but we never actually put anything in writing...mistake #1. Our first year in business, we really didn't do that badly. I was seeing patients at my practice 4 days a week, and I was moonlighting at a local laser facility doing LASIK care for the other two days...working my butt off to make my dreams a reality. I felt like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams.."If you build it, they will come.." lol. Well, they came, but evidently not enough of them came, as we soon found out around 8-9 months into our business venture, we realized we were quickly running out of our working capital, and unless things changed rather quickly, we were in some serious doo doo.
Things didn't change. I ended up opening a HELOC to help support the business and my partner through our financial crisis, but 12 months to the day we had to close our doors. My "friend" decided that he didn't want to repay me for any of the money I lent him, and quickly sold his house and skipped town, never to be heard from or seen again.
I was left with closing the office, filing for personal and professional bankrupcy, and dealing with all the legal headaches by myself. My partner filed for bankruptcy himself and listed me as a creditor so that I couldn't come after him for the $ he owed me.
In sets the depression. The worthlessness. Failure? That stuff never happened to me before! And this wasn't just a LITTLE failure, this was I have a wife, a family and two kids under the age of 3, with two car payments and a mortgage to pay failure. I lost weight. I was losing sleep. I was getting sick for no reason at at all.
Our marriage barely survived. My anger at myself, my wife's frustration with our situation. It was awful. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, I tell you.
We survived. This was back in 2004. Every year has slowly gotten better. financially we are very slowly working our way back. But it's 2 steps forward, 1 step back, as Bruce Springsteen would say..almost too slow, because by the time we get back to square one at this pace, I'm afraid we will have missed out on all of the joys that life has to offer. You only live once, and you only go around this world once..I don't want to be old and gray by the time I can enjoy it. I need to seize the opportunity, work it until I bleed real estate, and stop nothing short of success. Because tonight I had an epiphany. No one is going to hand me success. I have to go out and take it for myself. I will not sit by idly and just live paycheck to paycheck, worrying about paying off the variable interest HELOC that is milking us dry.
So here begins the journey for me. With a $50,000 HELOC in my left pocket, and my horrible credit from my bankruptcy in my other pocket. I want to unload my pockets!!!! God speed everyone, and thank you everyone involved with DG.com for giving me hope to make my dreams a reality. I look forward to sharing with you my journey along the way. Hopefully, we'll all find that pot of gold, good health, and happiness at the end of the road, because, we all deserve to be happy!
My warmest regard to all,
PS...Wow, that was cathartic..but I promise you my future posts will not be this long