The story so far...
So, I grew up in the upper-mid class suburb of Hawthorn, in Melbourne, Australia, my family was the perfect example of a struggling of the modern 'struggling Australian family'. In my early years, I grew up with my Father struggling to make ends meet running a business and even more so struggling with his bad health, my Mother helped out when it was desperately needed, but, as an emergency teacher, she was left just improvising. This was just to ensure there was some form of 'security foundation' for the family. I feel as growing up, that I often had to search the house from top to bottom to find any form of money to buy the 'things' I wanted, at that single digit age. I had no idea where money came from or the things I could do with it. My Father ended up having to sell the business at the start of the 90's, which was a bakery that served Myer and other big companies like that. The business was 'just' running well until his partnership went south and stupidly both parties incurred a pile of unwanted legal costs and had to sell the business. At this age, it didn't mean very much, and I went about my own business doing what I did back then... Playing basketball & crappy console games.
With thanks to growing up in that 'struggling Aussie family' upbringing, my Mother, knowing she couldn't afford to give us pocket money, took me to the local basketball association, where I'd often play on a weekly basis and be taught to how to ref basketball. Sure, I was only getting $2 for every game I joined a senior referee on, however 5 games for a Saturday afternoon gave me a solid $10 for a hard days work. It was a hell of a lot more than I'd seen coming in on a regular basis before that. Eventually I found enough courage to take the reigns and do it on my own, that saw my income instantly double! I was now earning $20 per week, naturally I felt like a King... Knowing no better!
I remember one time, I was having a 'play date' with a few friends, and I went out to buy some junk food with my weeks pay, I ended up getting about 4 packs of what ever garbage, to find out it cost my entire weeks income! I was naturally shocked to see what I was earning was no where near enough if I was to ever 'make a lot of money' as my Mother tried to instill in me for many years.. You know, the same old story, "get a good job and you'll make loads of money".
A few years later, I'd grown in my basketball ranks and I was now making enough money that I could actually start saving some. Mind you, I was reffing up to 6 nights a week. I ended up buying my first "investment" which was a car, a crappy Magna I might add... Then I got to a point where I'd finished school, started working as an apprentice and I felt I could no longer live at home, I'd learnt enough from my parents to get me started and it was time I went out to explore what life had to offer. Fortunately being an apprentice was such a bad experience for me, it almost turned me off working for somebody at an early age. I'd found out that whilst I was able to take orders without having an issue, I didn't enjoy it (I'm sure most can relate here). I'm sure everyone could guess I didn't last much more than 6 months with this job, but what you may not guess is that this job for the next decade, was to be the longest period I'd last employed.
The down side
Whilst at this stage in my life, I didn't have the most expensive taste around, I still managed to find the joys of not having a job and still wanting 'stuff'. I ended up getting myself in to debt, without any clear path of how to get rid of it. Despite the constant lack of employment, the bank were still happy to give me a credit card with a small limit of $4300. I remember going on a cheap but large spending spree, and my first repayment slip came in, $30. My reaction was "wow!" I can spend way more, and then proceeded to.
Within 6 months of getting this credit card, I found myself titering on the limit. After a while, this imaginary digital figure turned quite real in my mind, it started eating at my from the inside out. Depression kicked in that I may never pay this small number off, I started to feel helpless and for many years felt like having a good job to earn lots of money would never quite cut it in this world. However at this young age with a non limited but uneducated brain, I was having troubles finding a way to make the money I wanted without being trapped in a life consuming job for the rest of my life, like I saw both my parents doing.
With adversity comes opportunity..
I wandered around for many years after this, going from one short stint job to another, that my inner self started becoming truely unfulfilled and unhappy, so much so that at the end of every week, i dropped into an almost katatonic state knowing that Monday was only just around the corner. Not long after business and the high life started bleeping on my radar.
The story contines...