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INTRO Good morning from Iowa

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Terence Stamp

New Contributor
Feb 10, 2019
I will do my best to tell you who I am, where I've been, and where I hope to go.

I grew up an only child in Des Moines, Iowa. I was probably a pretty good example of a good kid, though definitely not perfect. My parents divorced when I was still an infant, and my father has never really factored into my life. I do have three half-brothers, but am only close with one of them.

I was not most definitely not a great student, more middle of the road for sure. I got through high school just fine and was very active in the ROTC program they offered. After school, I joined the Navy, but regret I did not take full advantage of the opportunities I had there. I was immature and without any solid plans for the future. I signed up for 4 years but only ended up doing 32 months, because the ship was decommissioned and I was given an early discharge.

It was at this point, my life definitely stalled out. I attended a business college but ended up changing my degree several times because I had no real goals. I actually ended up getting expelled from school for attempting to "blackmail" the school to fire a teacher.

Almost every job I had from 1994-2004 I either quit or was fired from. I lived with my mother and relied on her to pay all the bills and do all the cooking, even though I was a grown man, though a pathetic one. I played video games for endless hours every day. During the time of the 2001 terrorist attack, I was playing for about 18 hours a day, sleeping the other 6. I didn't have time for a job.

During this time, I was angry with my life and explored taboo topics like stealing identities and living an underground life. I drove my Geo Metro for 4 years with no insurance, no license, and no plates. I was lucky I was never pulled over.

Some light finally started to flicker in my life about 2004. I was sick of being broke, being a loser, and not having the life I wanted. I went out and got a job. I got a job with one of those day labor places and worked there for quite a while. Unfortunately, the place I worked eventually went out of business, and so I had to go get another job. I applied for a seasonal position at Sam's Club and ended up getting hired full time. After several years, I wanted more money and to find a job in driving, so I became a taxi driver.

I drove a taxi from 2007 until 2011. However, in February 2008, I moved to the Dominican Republic for 2 years. It was obvious that I had a strong desire to travel, and I still do. I finally bought my own taxi in 2010 and was earning more than I ever had in my life. The company I worked for was awesome and we were all tight and ran a great operation. Unfortunately, that company too went out of business.

The timing was great because, in the summer of 2011, I knew I wanted to move overseas. I just needed to figure out where. I knew I needed a job, so I was going to become an English teacher. I finally settled on China as my destination and was due to leave Des Moines August 18th. On the morning of August 17th, I was getting ready to head out for my normal day of picking up passengers at the airport when the owner of the company called and told me we had been barred from any further activity in the city by the city council (long story, maybe another time).

Since I was scheduled to leave the next day, it did not affect me much. However, I felt bad for my mother who I had let drive my taxi when I wasn't using it so she could earn some money too.

I won't go into every detail regarding China, but it was a great experience and met some cool people, both Chinese and foreigners. My first teaching job was in Taiyuan. After the school year ended, I moved to Beijing, where I lived the rest of the time I was in China. While in Taiyuan, I did end up meeting my wife, and we got married a few months after we met. I got to explore and see many cool places in China, and even managed to learn to speak, read and write a little Mandarin.

By early 2015, I knew I was getting tired of teaching, but I didn't know what I was going to do moving forward. I wanted to be made principal of the school, but it wasn't going to happen. So when my contract ended in July of that year, I was kind of "lost." After a few weeks, I decided to return home back to Iowa with my wife.

I resumed driving a taxi, which I did for another 2 years. Unfortunately, the industry had changed during that time, the income had declined quite a bit, and I knew I needed to find a job with a more stable level of income. I did find a new job delivering fish and other small animals to pet stores around the state. I'm still in this position for just over a year now.

Last year, I began a journey of self-improvement that I am still on, and don't really intend on quitting. One of my big issues, even now, is my procrastination with issues of starting a business. I am trying to hard to kick my own a$$ on this front. I also constantly worry about the "how" of starting and running a business. These two issues are easily my biggest roadblocks right now. I must jump these hurdles if I am to become a success.

I had ignored The Millionaire Fastlane book for a while because I thought it sounded gimmicky and full of fluffy nonsense. Probably some young kid bragging about his lifestyle and wanting to rub it in my face sort of crap. Needless to say, I am currently reading both of MJ's books and hope to have them done by the end of this week.

I still see elements of "sidewalk" in my current life and I need to obviously check those tendencies ASAP. I am not really a "slowlane" type, though my pay is salary, and not hourly at my current position. I do not trust wall street, stocks and investing. To me, they are just fancy forms of gambling.

I greatly value the CENTS model of business evaluation, and I'm looking forward to learning and identifying which businesses I should explore. I am ready to commit to a course of action and want to serve others with a business I can be proud to offer. By the end of 2019, I want to be in a position where I can start making a real impact in my life. I hope to learn a lot from a lot of you and to hopefully share some of my hard learned wisdom as well. Until we talk again.

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MJ DeMarco

Staff member
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 23, 2007
Fountain Hills, AZ
Wow, great intro. You're a good writer as well. Great to have you aboard.

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