If you have been following my journey, you know that in 2017 I set a personal goal to pay off $70,000 in debt within 12 months. The reason that I was able to do this is because prior to that, I spent a lot of time and a lot of resources investing in myself. With the job that I had, there was a lot of opportunity and a lot of chance for me to pick up new skills that I knew that I could use later on in life to help me bring in additional income. This was a win-win for me, I was able to learn while working and I was learning skills that I knew that I could carry with me for life.
The number one reason that I was able to pay off all of my debt in 12 months was that I finally started applying those skills that I’ve learned elsewhere to help me increase my income.
Not too long ago, I joined a program for a company that I have worked with and I’ve been using their products for a while. It was a 12-month coaching program valued around $18,000 for the year. For me, this was a large investment and I haven’t had such an investment since college. The reason that I made this shift and made the decision to invest in myself was that I knew that in order to get to where I wanted to go in life, continue to grow and get to the levels that I desired to be at, I had to start making more investments in myself.
I invested in learning, I invested in good books, I also had a community and that is one of the reasons why I started my YouTube channel, started my Facebook page, and the main reason behind this blog and my podcasts, is to have that community, that accountability. This is the same reason I joined this coaching program for $18,000 a year to be in a group with several hundred people that are either at my level, below my level, or getting started, but at the end of the day, we are all trying to reach a common goal – to help us get to the next level.
I had read a lot of books about people that have been successful, a lot of my clients that I work with have been successful, my mentors and most common advice amongst all of them was: invest in yourself.
I paid off all of my debt. I saved up my emergency fund, and I’ve been putting a certain percentage for investing and there was still this thought of, there has to be another place where I can invest to get a higher return on my investment.
It finally clicked! The largest thing that I have been investing in so far in my life has been myself. Now that I do not have debt, and that money isn’t going to student loans, car payments etc… I have extra money and I don’t have the stress weighing me down on dealing with that debt. I now have the money to be fully engaged in me and now I can take that extra time and income to reinvest it in myself. I can now go learn new skills, get new information to help me to get to the next level.
I know that the United States has a huge problem with student loans. That number is steadily growing and I see so many young people that feel that they have to have a good job and that comes to you by going to college.
But what no one told me was and it failed to click within my mind was, I’m going to go to college, I am going to invest all of this money, the price will continue to rise as I am there, I am going to get my degree, I’m going to get a job and that job is going to pay well. The reality of, you can call it bad timing or bad luck, when I graduated in late 2007, early 2008, we were in one of the worst housing crisis that this nation has ever faced. Since this economy is driven by the housing market, according to some people, there were no jobs.
I then realized, I had been going to college, I was funding all of my education but there wasn’t a guarantee that what I was learning was applicable to apply in a workplace and I have to start paying these student loans back. Here I sat, having invested $30,000-$50,000 into my education and now I cannot go get a job that is going to pay me to pay these loans back. Not only that, but I had to start paying these loans back immediately.
You can imagine the dilemma I’m in.
I’m not saying that you should not go to college or that you shouldn’t want an education, but what I am saying is that there has to be something better, a better way for people like myself, or young people to not have to go into a situation where they are having to depart college with a degree and enter adulthood with tons of debt attached to their name. That is not the American dream.
The reason that I invested in programs like this is because that I want to be able to spread my message and show people the processes I formulated for my own life to tackle my debt. I want to show others how to take their skills, things that they have learned along the way and help them repurpose that to provide value back into this world, out into the workplace to help them get a return back and get money back in return and to also help them expedite their debt paying off process.
I know if I didn’t have the skillset that I had, that if I had not invested in the skills that I had, I would have never been able to pay off my debt as quick as I did.
There are alternative routes other than college or routes you can take even while you are in college to help you pay for your education as opposed to having to borrow money and racking up more and more debt.
The stress of debt is not a good stressor to have. I can say this with one hundred percent honesty now that I’ve been on both sides of the debt spectrum. I am a lot clearer, my mind and my clarity are a lot better, I have more opportunities and I’m able to do more things that allow me to invest in myself.
I get to invest my money where I choose to and not having to give my money to a student loan provider for something I took out years ago, I am not having to send in a car payment every month, I am not on any payment plans. I am able to invest my money freely where I want to and use my money to help me make money. Now I have the opportunity to let that money grow for myself rather than growing for someone else.
I am only one voice, but I know that I am not alone, and we have to bring awareness. We have to bring the change to this world. We must show that there is a better way to do this.