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Still working in obscurity
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 1, 2018
Hi everyone
I am close to 50 years old, hold a Ph.D. in chemistry, and on the surface live an "ordinary" life. Inside our home, my wife and I are plotting our unscripted life. She's self-employed in the beauty industry. I am a scientist and teacher who is still employed. Over the past two years we have developed a series of hair care products and are currently in the process to get them on the market. We are following a clear strategy and so far have most of this paid for with our savings. Only recently I had to borrow 25k from my bank to buy us more flexibility and speed in this process.
We live in a rented house, no kids, but a fat male cat and will have paid our last private liabilities by November (car). We have invested a lot of time into personal development, not the least financial education.
I do have a bit of free time over summer and want to get the following achieved:
  • Get package prints on the way (we just sorted out tons of legal questions; it's not trivial to collect information that has to be provided on labels and boxes).
  • This is the last building block before our co-packer can actually work her magic and send the stuff off to Amazon.
  • I need to overhaul our website both content-wise and technically. For the latter I just finished an SEO course on My web programming skills were TOTALLY outdated, since I used to program html in the ol' days of the internet and didn't pay much attention ever since.
  • We are developing educational programs as well. Chemistry is everywhere and people have no clue what they eat, drink or smear on their skin or into their hair. Or do you understand what's written under the "ingredients" section of your bag of chips, bottle of pop or the shaving cream you just used?
  • I want/need to update my financial plan for the future. --> strategy.
Do we want to get rich? Yes, of course. We are hard-boiled capitalists. Do we want money to blow? No. We are old enough to have realized that one can only live in one house, drive one car, and eat one meal at a time. We do live and want to continue living a good life, which requires money. We are rather aiming for freedom. No one to tell us what to do. We are getting closer, but we still haven't broke through. Since we don't have kids we want to make as much money as possible and invest it into a foundation to protect our planet. The idea is there, the URL reserved, the rest is missing. :)
Do we want to get rich fast? Only if growth is organic. We won't compromise on quality. We are fast thinkers, good analysts, but we're not running after the next big thing for the sake of the... actually what?
Presumably most forum users are younger than me. I know enough people in my age cohort, but am eager to learn from younger folks as well.
One more statement: Independent of geographic location many people are bashing high-school and higher education. These institutions are too slow, too outdated to teach us what we really need. To some degree this may be true. However, I want to bring the following points to the table:
  • College or University education (ideally this applies for High-schools as well) requires discipline. Studying chemistry (my background) isn't a Sunday afternoon stroll. One has to sacrifice time and money for a degree. When my friends went out to party or went on vacation I stayed home studying. Not always, but more often than not. As tough as it was back then I am grateful that I proved to myself that I managed.
  • I was constantly forced to weigh my slim money resources. Live now or invest in my future? I always invested in my future. I.e. I had saved a few thousand bucks starting from age 7 and blew it all when I was 23/24 years old. Why? Because I had earned a scholarship to study one year in the US. And since the conversion rate back then was so terrible (my scholarship wasn't paid in USD) I had to invest everything to survive that year. I didn't do everything right and blew most of the money too fast. --> learning curve :wideyed:
  • Degrees help in everyday life. If you enter a bank and need to negotiate a loan for a business idea a degree helps. Same for insurances or MDs or municipal services... It's sad but true.
  • Last but not least: I wouldn't be so analytical and fast in problem solving if I wouldn't have spent so much time studying. I come from a blue-collar working class family. My dad owned a small truck workshop and pretty much did everything wrong that could be done the wrong way. My upbringing didn't teach me these skills. Hence I am grateful to have learned these skills. Personally I think it doesn't really matter what you study as long as you look for challenges - inside or outside school. I learned what people call values, my handshake equals handsale, but I had no idea of how to run a company. I only knew how not to run a business. This is the reason why I didn't want to become an entrepreneur for so long. My role model was a negative imprint.
Finally, if money is tight and you want to avoid the insane US student loans think of studying abroad. In Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and many other European countries tuition and fees are either inexistent or sum up to a few hundred USD per year.

I am glad being here and am looking forward to you guys.

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