[Image: Chicago 2013 from left to right, “Hurricane” Arthur Tubman, Dexter Nelson and Chris Record]
I started 2012 months in debt, broke and about to lose everything.
… the result of having watched my $78k per year income evaporate, literally overnight.
I had already been working from home, and my family had come to rely on me quite a bit during that time.
My sister was in college full time and working really crazy hours (the medical field is like that), so I became a full time uncle and raised my niece, so my sister wouldn’t have to give up on her dreams.
I was no where near ready to be a single parent, (there’s just no preparation for that), but it turned out that it was the most amazing experience of my life.
Career-wise, I was a full time programmer and marketer, working contract jobs for companies all over the US.
The money was good and I was moving ahead with long-planned goals.
As far back as I can remember, my family moved from place to place a lot, mostly because life kinda happened to us. Hard times would hit, we’d fight it for a while, and then just move when we’d had enough. It’s always been that way.
My parents were really hard workers and they always worked and did whatever they had to do to make sure that I and my sisters were taken care of; that there was food on the table, and that we had what we needed.
We came close a few times, but never really had a place of our own and I wanted to take care of them for a change, so I helped them buy a house, and later, when my mom got sick (diabetes) I retired her so she can focus on her health.
All in all, life was good.
Then, just before Thanksgiving 2011 the company I worked for had budget cuts, and was then sold overseas.
Just that one little thing turned my life upside down.
I don’t know why I didn’t pay attention to the signs. There were budget cuts and layoffs in the company earlier that year, and even my supervisor said that I shouldn’t get too comfortable on more than one occasion.
You know how people say, “they didn’t think it would happen to them?” That’s what I felt like. I thought that if I worked harder, became better at my job, did more than anyone else, that I’d be okay.
Then it happened – my contract was cut, and the next several months became one long fight to stay afloat.
I did everything I could to make ends meet, but by the start of 2012 I was seriously in debt and losing more and more with every passing day.
And it continued like that for a few months…
The worst part of being down and out wasn’t what I had to give up. I found out really quickly that all of that ‘stuff‘ didn’t hold a candle to my own dignity and self respect.
You see, as I lost more and more, I relied more and more on my family, and while they were more than willing to support me out of love and for all of the things I’d done in the past, patience is something that doesn’t last forever.
They became frustrated with me in ways I can’t even begin to express, but I’d hear it when they talked to me, and see it in their face when they looked at me.
I already felt like a loser and a failure because my best just wasn’t cutting it, and I was frustrated beyond belief; and having my family dump on me all the time only compounded that frustration.
All the little things built up over time.
I was working from home and raising my niece so they sold my car… I woke up one morning to the sounds of chains and walked outside to my car being hooked up to a flatbed.
Later, when they’d dump on me about getting a job, I’d go job hunting and they wouldn’t let me use their vehicles to even get to interviews far less get to and from work.
In my mind, I had given up several years of my life to raise my niece, they sold my car, and when I did try to get a job I couldn’t use any of their vehicles… it felt like a losing battle.
Still, I did what I could. In place of money, I’d try to help out with things like fixing their cars, but that too came to an end.
I remember, just hours after having done a tune up on one of my sister’s cars, she said, “I don’t want anyone driving my car,” when I asked if I could borrow it.
Some time later, after having fixed another car, one of them took me into town to help with something, and instead of making sure I got home, I was left stranded in the next town over, and had to walk more than 30 miles home.
I remember my dad and his pastor friend picking me up on the back roads. He had gotten home and he was used to me being there all the time so he asked, “where’s your brother?” and nobody knew. So he went out and found me.
And that’s how it went… just one thing after another – building up over time. Not just frustration either, but guilt and shame and believing I was a failure.
Then one day that frustration turned into anger that boiled over, and in the weeks and months that followed, I alienated my family. I fought with everyone, even my parents.
Two of my sisters moved out of the house near the end of it. One moved out months earlier after one of my fits, and the other a couple months later after another one of my fits.
Even though I never went as far as to hurt anyone physically, I did scare them pretty bad and said some very hurtful things.
I had hit my rock bottom and almost ruined permanently the relationship between me and my family.
Why? Because of money and a lack of any sense of personal responsibility – I blamed everyone but myself.
Whether my family was right or wrong in their actions didn’t matter. When the money was good I could have bought a car and I could have avoided all of it.
Of course I didn’t see that I was where I was because of myself until after crashing and burning. Hindsight really is 20/20.
Hitting rock bottom like that changed me.
It’s like I had to see myself losing everything to snap out of the place I was in emotionally and mentally, and to get back to a place where I could move forward with my life again.
As I worked to repair the relationships I had nearly destroyed, I made the decision to go back to where I was the strongest – working from home.
I started creating software again (I’m a programmer) and selling that online. I remembered how good I was at marketing so I started doing that again too.
I even revisited an old passion of mine and wrote a music book and started selling that…
For a while I was just happy to be making money again, but eventually I remembered that I had dreams and goals and desires I wanted to achieve, but never finished.
So, I went online looking for business opportunities. I’ve always had the entrepreneur bug, and I was involved in quite a few of them over the years.
Some worked, others didn’t, but I made money regardless.
I was still looking for a good business opportunity when I ran into a guy I knew from years earlier.
His name is Chris and I met him in a real estate business and I remembered how successful he was, and that he had a story just like mine.
That company moved him and his family to the east coast to help expand the company, because he was so successful.
We talked for a bit on Facebook, and he told me about what he was doing and I wanted to find out more.
And on July 3rd, 2012 (after drilling him with a lot of questions), I joined the business he was in and began an amazing journey of personal development and growth that I never thought was possible.
I was instantly surrounded by people who were successful, many of them with their own stories that I related to. I learned how to believe in myself again, and I began to dream again, and I found purpose again.
And Chris? He became a true friend and mentor who has helped me overcome the many challenges I would face in 2013.
I had so much to learn about financial success and making money that it wasn’t even funny, but you know what?
I got to meet Chris face to face again in Chicago at one of the company events (March 2013) which was a true highlight for me (picture above).
It’s one thing to know that there are people out there who can make $30,000 and even $40,000 a month, but it’s another to see someone do it, and be surrounded by others who have done it.
And by the end of March 2013 (and early April), this little “Internet business” was paying all of my personal bills, and that included the education I received, which worked for my other businesses, (which included a $3,000 weekend running an online marketing co-op for another company.
It was a VAST difference between where I was in 2012.
And now that 2014 is here, I can look back at 2013, and all I’ve been through and I have this profound sense of gratitude, not just for my family and friends and mentors and all of the people that I’ve been able to surround myself with, but grateful for having come so far, and for all of that I now have in my life.
And looking forward into this year I feel excited, because I know what I am capable of. I’m armed with more than just hope or a fleeting resolve, but belief that can crush any obstacle.
I believe that 2014 is the year I retire my dad because he’s worked all his life and he deserves it. I believe that 2014 is the year I pay off this house and buy my new car.
And I believe that 2014 is the year that I will begin living a life of financial freedom, because I’m already living a life free from worry and doubt, and I know that I am worth it.
… that I can have the life of my dreams; doing what I love, with the people I love.
And I believe that anyone can when they’re surrounded by others who believe in them, when they have purpose and belief in themselves…
… and as long as they have the right engine to get them where they want to be.
My journey to 2014 wasn’t an easy one, but I know now why I had to go through it – it was the fire the tempered me to live a year of greatness, and I do have greatness inside of me – and so do you.
NO FEAR 2014 is my goal this year, not just for finances but in every aspect of my life. I’m going to unleash all of the greatness that’s been locked up inside of me and I’m inviting you to connect with me, and even embark on your own journey.
If you’d like to connect with me, (or work with me) use the links below to find out how…
In my business we have a saying, “see you on the beaches of the world” – but beaches were never really my thing.
My passion is music and playing the double bass, so I’ll see you in the clubs of the world – a boy and his bass playing the best blues, jazz and swing you’ve never heard, because I’m sending myself on tour!
Connect with me today and release the greatness inside of you – NO FEAR 2014!
1. Connect on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dexter.nelson)
2. Click here to learn about my business.
3. Click here to find out more about Chris Record and my team.
Happy New Year!
Did you relate to my story? Leave a comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
A really touching and personal story here – wow! And so many wise and thoughtful self-evaluations and adjustments. Really great – I think so many of us can relate to your feelings, and of course your success is a real testament. I know *I* can relate, and your thoughts echo my own in many ways about this coming year being a big one. I look forward to our year without fear!
Inspiring! Many people are in the process of living the same story, but they are stopping short of overcoming. We go through challenges in life to realize who we are. If we love people, we will share the things we go through to inspire others to never give up. There are no problems, only challenges and opportunities. If you call an issue a problem, you expect consequences. If you call it an opportunity, you looks for the benefits of overcoming them. If you call them challenges, you look for ways to defeat them. Thanks for sharing!