Episode 4 Hustle, Hardwork, Back to Zero, Repeat: is about having the rug absolutely ripped out from under you.
When you watch your dreams fall apart in front you it’s a very trying time. There are lots of questions, emotions and sometimes feeling of anger. What do you do when this happens? I had my rug ripped out from under more than once in my life but this one hurt.
Sometimes you work your butt off to make it happen and then rug gets pulled out from under you.
When you are doing whatever you can to make ends meet you have to do side jobs. Some people call them side gigs, side jobs, second jobs. Whatever you call them. If you are listening to this and you have never had to take a side job to pay the rent or buy food or get ahead then you are maybe one of the fortunate ones but then again maybe your not.
There is a handful of studies out there that talk about how something like 70 percent of Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs. Let’s think about that for a second that means that so if you took 10 of your friends and line them up 7 of them are unsatisfied with their jobs. This just seems like a very crazy statistic. But I think if you start digging into what it means to be unsatisfied with your job. There are so many factors. It could be your pay, your commute, your co workers, the actual work that you are doing, the menotiny, just feeling undervalued or whatever it may be I think that stat become pretty accurate pretty quickly.
Side gigs are actually an amazing way to find new jobs that can spark a passion. For example if you get a side job selling products at trade shows on the weekends. You may find that talking to people that are walking up to your booth is much more fulfilling than sitting in your cubicle from 9-5 working on spreadsheets. There are a thousand books out there that talk about how to turn your passion hobby into your full time job. Unless you have the opportunity to explore that passion side or work that side gig you may never know what the future holds.
Not really by choice I was given my first side gig when I was 12 years old. Being 12 I didn’t have a job obviously so this was my only gig haha. This is a quick story about the time that I made $80 in a single weekend. I was 12 and my dad asked my brother and I to help him paint my aunts house. My dad always did a lot of side jobs to keep us afloat the best he could. My family knew my dad was always trying to support us kids so when something needed done my dad was the first one that they would call. My aunt had this 2 story house in the Mott Park area of Flint. The house had a brick foundation, slate roof with lots of windows.
My job was to scrape then clean with and wire brush the entire foundation then I had to brush and roll the entire foundation around the whole house. Just a quick side note on being the youngest and smallest you are always going to get the crappiest jobs. If someone needs something brought to them or maybe somethings needs to be swept or rinsed, that’s going to be your job. I spent 4 days in laying on my side in the dirt. I spent a lot of time poking rollie-pollies and cleaning dirt off of my brush but after 4 days it was done. The house looked great, my aunt was happy and we were all beat and tired and pretty covered in paint. We all went home and got cleaned up and sat down at the kitchen table where my dad layout all the money and told us we were going to play Monopoly. He had all the money laid out in order 50s, 20s, 10’s and 5’s. My dad told my brother and I to pick a bill. So naturally my brother and I both went for the 50’s. We each got the 50’s and then the 50’s came off the table. Then he said to pick another bill and so we both grabbed the next highest bill which were the 20’s. Then he pushed us each a 10 dollar bill and he pulled the rest of the money off the table. My brother and I both got $80. My dad was always pretty fair. He could have gave us $20 and said thanks for playing but he knew we worked hard and wanted to know that it pays to work hard and show up.
While we were painting my brother and I had these ideas and conversations kind of like the ones we have as adults when the powerball gets up to 285 million. The, what would you do if you won type conversations. Except we were like what are you going to do with your money. We had no clue how much we would get paid we just knew that if we worked hard then my dad would surely give us something.
My brother always had this weird thing he used to tell me about how if he ever won the lotto and what he would buy a house that was just like ours and put all the same stuff in and go in and smash everything with a baseball bat.
So like any kid with a little money it’s of course burning a hole in my pocket. There was kid in my neighborhood had this older moped that he had crashed a few times, it had some broken plastic pieces and it had hockey tape holding the headlights on it was pretty ugly looking. Other than those somewhat important things it seemed pretty good. It ran well and it was for sale. It was a 1984 Yamaha Riva Jog moped. He was selling it. I went to his house to check it out and the magical price… $80! This thing was pretty beat up but best friend down the street had a sweet Honda Elite that was brand spanking new. I used to always lag behind him on my bike, skateboard or curb cruiser. I wanted a moped but I was really too young to be driving one around legally but it was a chance I had to take.
I bought the moped and he and I rode all over the neighborhood all summer. Dad gave me a few rules. I wasn’t allowed to cross any main roads and I wasn’t allowed to ride at night and that was ok with me. My neighborhood was kind of boxed in by a 3 main roads but there was a lot of space in between to ride around and cause trouble. There was a kid that stopped in front of my dad house and asked if we wanted to go for a ride. We all took off together but at the first stop sign we looked back and realized he was like a block behind us. We waited for him and when he caught up he told us that his moped had a governor on it and his whip topped out at 25mph. We instantly started calling him speed demon and red fire. I couldn’t tell you his name to this day but I remember his nicknames.
In our neighborhood we had a 7-11 that opened up a few years earlier and it was right around the corner from my house. 7-11’s back then were awesome they always had dope slurpees and big arcade games. I remember playing games like shinobi, bad dudes, rampage. It was awesome! Bad dudes was the game that you had to save Ronald Regan at the end. It was pretty cool. There would always be groups of kid standing around arcade game watching some whiz kid that would be the entire game on a quarter.
That summer 7-11 had this scratch off giveaway thing that basically it was a little card that they gave you when you bought something and when you scratched it off you won something like a free slurpee or a big gulp or a chilly cheese big bite and chips. There were these girls that worked there that apparently thought my friend was cute so they gave us entire stacks of these cards. We sat out on the curb scratching these things off for like 3 hours. All the winners went into a stack and all the loser ones went into our helmets that we we then dumped in the trash. We had over 200 winners and those little scratch offs and they fed us for the entire summer. I lived on bigbites and big gulps for 3 months straight it was amazing!
Toward the end of the summer my luck being an underage moped rider came to to and end when I was pulled over. I don’t remember doing anything wrong as I pulled into my friends driveway and the cop came cruising down the street toward me. I think the only thing I was really guilty of was being way too small to look like of legal age to ride a moped.
The cop sat in the street and waived me up to his window. I remember being pretty scared when I walked up to the car. He said “how old are you” and I said I was 12 and he said you know you are too young to be riding that moped. And I said but all my friends have them. He whipped off his glasses with his hand and just said “and I take em”. It was probably the most scared I had ever been. And what a crazy thing to say to a kid. Talk about a dream crusher. I guess it’s better he take away mopeds then scrape 12 year old kids off the street
I told my dad about it and we agreed that we should probably get rid of it. I tried to sell it but couldn’t find any takers as most of my friends were the same age as me and their parents didn’t want their kids riding around on a moped that had the headlights held on with hockey tape.
I eventually ended up trading it for a new skateboard. It was a pretty good swap for me. I think complete set ups were about $150 at the time so it was come up for sure.
I got a brand new World Industries Jeremy Klein Salad Board with Indy Trucks and Slimeball wheels. It was awesome!
I rode it for about a week before I let this other kid ride it, he tried a trick and fell and shot it under a passing car that smashed it. It skidded under the car for a about 40 feet until the driver opened the door, reached out and grabbed it and threw it away from his car and then sped off. The only thing I could salvage were the trucks.
Sometimes you work your butt off and make it happen and sometimes you end up exactly where you started.
So what did I learn from all this?
I learned that Starting over isn’t always a bad thing especially if you have gained insight and learned from the experience. Although at the time it was pretty devistating with a good amount of tears!
I also learned that it’s hard to control your emotions when you see your hard work go down the drain or even get ran over by a car. It happens often so just be prepared.
I think the best that I learned was to try not to get discouraged. People fail all the time and dreams come crashing down. The best thing to do it learn what you can, salvage what you can and rebuild.