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Grew up Fastlane, currently in Slowlane

code_more

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2022
6
13
Hi everyone, it's good to be here.

My story might not win me any fans, but it's a decent example of how crippling comfort and praise can be.

Growing up, things were pretty easy for me. My family was very well off. School was no challenge, I barely had to study to get fantastic grades.

Everyone said I was a genius. Everyone said I was going to be rich. And I believed them.

I breezed through high school, but had absolutely no plan for what came next. I always imagined I'd start a business and never need a regular job or college. I believed that I was special. After all, everyone kept telling me so.

But it was clear I had no plan. So I went to community college. I never bothered to research colleges because I never thought it would be that important. Luckily, I at least chose Computer Science for my major. I figured I'd start a profitable software business and dropout of college.

That never panned out. I never got an idea off the ground, and what's more, I realized just how normal I was. I remember my first test that I took in community college, I got a whopping 8%. Yes, eight percent. I was used to getting 90%+ on every test.

I was in absolute denial. "Those teachers have ridiculous standards, no one can do well in those classes" I thought to myself. But then the failure continued, bad grade after bad grade. I finished the semester with all C's and D's.

My ego shattered. I was used to showing up and getting praised all my life. But here, I was just another community college kid who didn't have his life together. I had to learn what real hard work was. Math and physics were destroying me, and I needed something I had never asked for before in school: Help.

I ended up sucking up my pride and going to one of the community college study centers and asked a tutor for help.

The most important thing I learned from them?
"Do all the practice problems", that was their most common advice.

All of them? That would take hours and hours to do. But I started studying more, and my grades started to improve.

The humbling continued when I needed money. I was pretty frugal so I had been able skate by just doing some menial work for friends and family, but now that I was commuting I needed some more cash. I had no skills and ended up working at a fast food joint. This job was probably one of the most important events in my life. While there is no shame in working fast food, that didn't change how much it sucked.

I didn't get angry about having to work there, instead I got scared. I got very scared that this could realistically be my future. Many of my coworkers had been there for years and years. No plans for additional education, nothing. Most had even gone to the very community college I was attending, only to drop out. They just lived their lives one shift to the next, wasting every spare moment they had on TV, videos games, and any other distraction they could afford.

I stepped back and looked at who I was turning out to be. I was a burger flipping community college student struggling to pass his classes. A far cry from what everyone said I would be. It absolutely frightened me.

I got serious about my studies. I actively sought out the top performing students in my classes and asked if I could study with them. I was spending hours each day studying my butt off. My grades skyrocketed. I felt for the first time the true rewards of hard work.

I knew I needed to get out of that fast food job, so I kept scouring for internships or anything remotely related to computer science. I ended up landing a job as a tester at an extremely small local tech company. The pay was just as lousy as my fast food job, but now I got to work around tech. I eventually got to do some programming for them and I learned as much as possible.

I ended up completing community college with honors and I had a job that was teaching me a lot. Things were looking up.

I figured I would try my hand at entrepreneurship again while I was in college. Using everything I had learned, I created a mobile game and released it. It was a simple game, and rather poorly made honestly. I'm still proud of my self to this day for actually completing it. However, the downloads were abysmal and it generated 0 ad revenue. First failed product.

I transferred to a 4 year university and continued my studies. I was getting better at programming, and it was making my ego come back.

I felt like hot stuff because I could code. I began to think that school was stupid and that I already knew everything I needed to know. "I can code, I should get paid big bucks" was my thought. But more humility was in store for me. The final year of college was hard. The tests were hard, the projects were complex. I was starting to get my butt kicked again. I had to put my head down and study just like at community college. I had to recreate my work ethic, again.

College was coming to an end, and everyone started talking about job offers and places they were going to work. I had no plans and no job offers. I'd never even researched jobs or applied anywhere. Graduation came and went, and I was still working for that small local tech company getting paid just barely above minimum wage, and worse I wasn't really learning anything new at this point. I was still holding out on the idea of starting a business.

I worked on some projects in my spare time, but they were all half-baked failures. I did this for over year before getting fed up.

The annoyance of being 24 and having lived with my parents my entire life was starting to get to me. I wanted more. So I got serious about finding a real paying job. But no one would hire me. Another humbling event. I asked a recruiter for honest feedback and they pretty much told me my resume sucked and that I lacked the skills that employers were looking for. My current job was a dead end, and I wasn't learning anything valuable at this point.

So I quit my job and decided to study programming fundamentals all over again. I got a lot better, but the more I learned the more my ego began to fade. I was beginning to understand the value of continuously learning.

I studied hard for months and revised my resume, then began to apply. I began to get interviews, and I started to do well in them. Then I managed to land a high paying job. It felt like Christmas. I could move out!

I worked there for a year and then landed an even higher paying job, the one I currently have. Now I'm making 6 figures, great benefits, fully remote, and a great career trajectory. Everyone says I've made it. But I can feel the golden handcuffs tightening. My job is now so good, it will be very hard to leave. Throw in some lifestyle creep, maybe a couple of kids at some point, and bam! I'll be stuck.

Even with this great job, I'm not quite happy. I'm still trading 5 days for 2.

I've been reading books for years now, mostly just blowing my load to all kinds of self help books. I came across Millionaire Fastlane a few months ago and it managed to do one thing that no other book could: it reaffirmed my desire to start my own company and have autonomy over my life. It made me realize that I had worked hard to get out of the Sidewalk only to land in the Slowlane.

You might be wondering where my desire to start a business came from. The one silver lining to my somewhat spoiled upbringing was that my father had Fastlaned. He started a company, grew it for 15 years, made a ton of profit and then sold it for a sizable amount. Retired very early. After seeing that, how could I truly accept the Slowlane? This is one of the reasons why I had trouble taking jobs or college seriously.

Everyone else in my family is a comfortable Slowlaner. I grew up listening to aunts and uncles complain about their bosses, their commutes and to hear how it would one day happen to me. They told me that was life, and you scrimp and save till retirement. I would always frown and think to myself "but that's not how it was for my Dad".

So here I am, well positioned in the Slowlane, but 100% sure that I want out. I literally grew up on the other side, I've seen the benefits of the Fastlane firsthand. I have a very valuable skill and it's time to start using it to help the world instead of my employer.

I'm currently reading Unscripted , and the most personally relevant part of the book that I have come across is how detrimental it is to praise people's innate talents as opposed to their hard work. The negative effects of such praise are pretty evident when reflecting on my own past.

I'm still trying to find my "Why" and how I can provide value to the world.

Anyway, thanks for giving this a read and I'm super excited to learn from all of you! Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 
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svekk1

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 9, 2022
15
8
Hi everyone, it's good to be here.

My story might not win me any fans, but it's a decent example of how crippling comfort and praise can be.

Growing up, things were pretty easy for me. My family was very well off. School was no challenge, I barely had to study to get fantastic grades.

Everyone said I was a genius. Everyone said I was going to be rich. And I believed them.

I breezed through high school, but had absolutely no plan for what came next. I always imagined I'd start a business and never need a regular job or college. I believed that I was special. After all, everyone kept telling me so.

But it was clear I had no plan. So I went to community college. I never bothered to research colleges because I never thought it would be that important. Luckily, I at least chose Computer Science for my major. I figured I'd start a profitable software business and dropout of college.

That never panned out. I never got an idea off the ground, and what's more, I realized just how normal I was. I remember my first test that I took in community college, I got a whopping 8%. Yes, eight percent. I was used to getting 90%+ on every test.

I was in absolute denial. "Those teachers have ridiculous standards, no one can do well in those classes" I thought to myself. But then the failure continued, bad grade after bad grade. I finished the semester with all C's and D's.

My ego shattered. I was used to showing up and getting praised all my life. But here, I was just another community college kid who didn't have his life together. I had to learn what real hard work was. Math and physics were destroying me, and I needed something I had never asked for before in school: Help.

I ended up sucking up my pride and going to one of the community college study centers and asked a tutor for help.

The most important thing I learned from them?
"Do all the practice problems", that was their most common advice.

All of them? That would take hours and hours to do. But I started studying more, and my grades started to improve.

The humbling continued when I needed money. I was pretty frugal so I had been able skate by just doing some menial work for friends and family, but now that I was commuting I needed some more cash. I had no skills and ended up working at a fast food joint. This job was probably one of the most important events in my life. While there is no shame in working fast food, that didn't change how much it sucked.

I didn't get angry about having to work there, instead I got scared. I got very scared that this could realistically be my future. Many of my coworkers had been there for years and years. No plans for additional education, nothing. Most had even gone to the very community college I was attending, only to drop out. They just lived their lives one shift to the next, wasting every spare moment they had on TV, videos games, and any other distraction they could afford.

I stepped back and looked at who I was turning out to be. I was a burger flipping community college student struggling to pass his classes. A far cry from what everyone said I would be. It absolutely frightened me.

I got serious about my studies. I actively sought out the top performing students in my classes and asked if I could study with them. I was spending hours each day studying my butt off. My grades skyrocketed. I felt for the first time the true rewards of hard work.

I knew I needed to get out of that fast food job, so I kept scouring for internships or anything remotely related to computer science. I ended up landing a job as a tester at an extremely small local tech company. The pay was just as lousy as my fast food job, but now I got to work around tech. I eventually got to do some programming for them and I learned as much as possible.

I ended up completing community college with honors and I had a job that was teaching me a lot. Things were looking up.

I figured I would try my hand at entrepreneurship again while I was in college. Using everything I had learned, I created a mobile game and released it. It was a simple game, and rather poorly made honestly. I'm still proud of my self to this day for actually completing it. However, the downloads were abysmal and it generated 0 ad revenue. First failed product.

I transferred to a 4 year university and continued my studies. I was getting better at programming, and it was making my ego come back.

I felt like hot stuff because I could code. I began to think that school was stupid and that I already knew everything I needed to know. "I can code, I should get paid big bucks" was my thought. But more humility was in store for me. The final year of college was hard. The tests were hard, the projects were complex. I was starting to get my butt kicked again. I had to put my head down and study just like at community college. I had to recreate my work ethic, again.

College was coming to an end, and everyone started talking about job offers and places they were going to work. I had no plans and no job offers. I'd never even researched jobs or applied anywhere. Graduation came and went, and I was still working for that small local tech company getting paid just barely above minimum wage, and worse I wasn't really learning anything new at this point. I was still holding out on the idea of starting a business.

I worked on some projects in my spare time, but they were all half-baked failures. I did this for over year before getting fed up.

The annoyance of being 24 and having lived with my parents my entire life was starting to get to me. I wanted more. So I got serious about finding a real paying job. But no one would hire me. Another humbling event. I asked a recruiter for honest feedback and they pretty much told me my resume sucked and that I lacked the skills that employers were looking for. My current job was a dead end, and I wasn't learning anything valuable at this point.

So I quit my job and decided to study programming fundamentals all over again. I got a lot better, but the more I learned the more my ego began to fade. I was beginning to understand the value of continuously learning.

I studied hard for months and revised my resume, then began to apply. I began to get interviews, and I started to do well in them. Then I managed to land a high paying job. It felt like Christmas. I could move out!

I worked there for a year and then landed an even higher paying job, the one I currently have. Now I'm making 6 figures, great benefits, fully remote, and a great career trajectory. Everyone says I've made it. But I can feel the golden handcuffs tightening. My job is now so good, it will be very hard to leave. Throw in some lifestyle creep, maybe a couple of kids at some point, and bam! I'll be stuck.

Even with this great job, I'm not quite happy. I'm still trading 5 days for 2.

I've been reading books for years now, mostly just blowing my load to all kinds of self help books. I came across Millionaire Fastlane a few months ago and it managed to do one thing that no other book could: it reaffirmed my desire to start my own company and have autonomy over my life. It made me realize that I had worked hard to get out of the Sidewalk only to land in the Slowlane.

You might be wondering where my desire to start a business came from. The one silver lining to my somewhat spoiled upbringing was that my father had Fastlaned. He started a company, grew it for 15 years, made a ton of profit and then sold it for a sizable amount. Retired very early. After seeing that, how could I truly accept the Slowlane? This is one of the reasons why I had trouble taking jobs or college seriously.

Everyone else in my family is a comfortable Slowlaner. I grew up listening to aunts and uncles complain about their bosses, their commutes and to hear how it would one day happen to me. They told me that was life, and you scrimp and save till retirement. I would always frown and think to myself "but that's not how it was for my Dad".

So here I am, well positioned in the Slowlane, but 100% sure that I want out. I literally grew up on the other side, I've seen the benefits of the Fastlane firsthand. I have a very valuable skill and it's time to start using it to help the world instead of my employer.

I'm currently reading Unscripted , and the most personally relevant part of the book that I have come across is how detrimental it is to praise people's innate talents as opposed to their hard work. The negative effects of such praise are pretty evident when reflecting on my own past.

I'm still trying to find my "Why" and how I can provide value to the world.

Anyway, thanks for giving this a read and I'm super excited to learn from all of you! Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
It's good to read that you accepted the humbling experiences and put your head down to study more, this is really important. I'm super angry at smart people who choose comfort over hard work. Hard work goes far, hard work + innate brightness goes to the moon. Innate brightness + comfort goes nowhere.

Regarding the feeling that you are on the slowlane, don't worry, you have the most important thing in you. You feel that you have more in yourself and want the fastlane. Keep your eyes open, and you will spot problems to solve with your skills, you just have to use your learned work ethic for this. In the meantime enjoy your salary, so you can save money for starting your company, when the time comes.
 

Eudaimonium

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2017
314
420
EU
Enjoyed reading your intro and I resonate with your story.

You use the word "I" a lot when stucturing your sentences, which is natural for an introductory post, but this may give you a clue as to your current predisposition. Do you agree or is this a concious style of writing?
 

Peter Abrahamian

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Dec 22, 2020
19
19
19
Hi everyone, it's good to be here.

My story might not win me any fans, but it's a decent example of how crippling comfort and praise can be.

Growing up, things were pretty easy for me. My family was very well off. School was no challenge, I barely had to study to get fantastic grades.

Everyone said I was a genius. Everyone said I was going to be rich. And I believed them.

I breezed through high school, but had absolutely no plan for what came next. I always imagined I'd start a business and never need a regular job or college. I believed that I was special. After all, everyone kept telling me so.

But it was clear I had no plan. So I went to community college. I never bothered to research colleges because I never thought it would be that important. Luckily, I at least chose Computer Science for my major. I figured I'd start a profitable software business and dropout of college.

That never panned out. I never got an idea off the ground, and what's more, I realized just how normal I was. I remember my first test that I took in community college, I got a whopping 8%. Yes, eight percent. I was used to getting 90%+ on every test.

I was in absolute denial. "Those teachers have ridiculous standards, no one can do well in those classes" I thought to myself. But then the failure continued, bad grade after bad grade. I finished the semester with all C's and D's.

My ego shattered. I was used to showing up and getting praised all my life. But here, I was just another community college kid who didn't have his life together. I had to learn what real hard work was. Math and physics were destroying me, and I needed something I had never asked for before in school: Help.

I ended up sucking up my pride and going to one of the community college study centers and asked a tutor for help.

The most important thing I learned from them?
"Do all the practice problems", that was their most common advice.

All of them? That would take hours and hours to do. But I started studying more, and my grades started to improve.

The humbling continued when I needed money. I was pretty frugal so I had been able skate by just doing some menial work for friends and family, but now that I was commuting I needed some more cash. I had no skills and ended up working at a fast food joint. This job was probably one of the most important events in my life. While there is no shame in working fast food, that didn't change how much it sucked.

I didn't get angry about having to work there, instead I got scared. I got very scared that this could realistically be my future. Many of my coworkers had been there for years and years. No plans for additional education, nothing. Most had even gone to the very community college I was attending, only to drop out. They just lived their lives one shift to the next, wasting every spare moment they had on TV, videos games, and any other distraction they could afford.

I stepped back and looked at who I was turning out to be. I was a burger flipping community college student struggling to pass his classes. A far cry from what everyone said I would be. It absolutely frightened me.

I got serious about my studies. I actively sought out the top performing students in my classes and asked if I could study with them. I was spending hours each day studying my butt off. My grades skyrocketed. I felt for the first time the true rewards of hard work.

I knew I needed to get out of that fast food job, so I kept scouring for internships or anything remotely related to computer science. I ended up landing a job as a tester at an extremely small local tech company. The pay was just as lousy as my fast food job, but now I got to work around tech. I eventually got to do some programming for them and I learned as much as possible.

I ended up completing community college with honors and I had a job that was teaching me a lot. Things were looking up.

I figured I would try my hand at entrepreneurship again while I was in college. Using everything I had learned, I created a mobile game and released it. It was a simple game, and rather poorly made honestly. I'm still proud of my self to this day for actually completing it. However, the downloads were abysmal and it generated 0 ad revenue. First failed product.

I transferred to a 4 year university and continued my studies. I was getting better at programming, and it was making my ego come back.

I felt like hot stuff because I could code. I began to think that school was stupid and that I already knew everything I needed to know. "I can code, I should get paid big bucks" was my thought. But more humility was in store for me. The final year of college was hard. The tests were hard, the projects were complex. I was starting to get my butt kicked again. I had to put my head down and study just like at community college. I had to recreate my work ethic, again.

College was coming to an end, and everyone started talking about job offers and places they were going to work. I had no plans and no job offers. I'd never even researched jobs or applied anywhere. Graduation came and went, and I was still working for that small local tech company getting paid just barely above minimum wage, and worse I wasn't really learning anything new at this point. I was still holding out on the idea of starting a business.

I worked on some projects in my spare time, but they were all half-baked failures. I did this for over year before getting fed up.

The annoyance of being 24 and having lived with my parents my entire life was starting to get to me. I wanted more. So I got serious about finding a real paying job. But no one would hire me. Another humbling event. I asked a recruiter for honest feedback and they pretty much told me my resume sucked and that I lacked the skills that employers were looking for. My current job was a dead end, and I wasn't learning anything valuable at this point.

So I quit my job and decided to study programming fundamentals all over again. I got a lot better, but the more I learned the more my ego began to fade. I was beginning to understand the value of continuously learning.

I studied hard for months and revised my resume, then began to apply. I began to get interviews, and I started to do well in them. Then I managed to land a high paying job. It felt like Christmas. I could move out!

I worked there for a year and then landed an even higher paying job, the one I currently have. Now I'm making 6 figures, great benefits, fully remote, and a great career trajectory. Everyone says I've made it. But I can feel the golden handcuffs tightening. My job is now so good, it will be very hard to leave. Throw in some lifestyle creep, maybe a couple of kids at some point, and bam! I'll be stuck.

Even with this great job, I'm not quite happy. I'm still trading 5 days for 2.

I've been reading books for years now, mostly just blowing my load to all kinds of self help books. I came across Millionaire Fastlane a few months ago and it managed to do one thing that no other book could: it reaffirmed my desire to start my own company and have autonomy over my life. It made me realize that I had worked hard to get out of the Sidewalk only to land in the Slowlane.

You might be wondering where my desire to start a business came from. The one silver lining to my somewhat spoiled upbringing was that my father had Fastlaned. He started a company, grew it for 15 years, made a ton of profit and then sold it for a sizable amount. Retired very early. After seeing that, how could I truly accept the Slowlane? This is one of the reasons why I had trouble taking jobs or college seriously.

Everyone else in my family is a comfortable Slowlaner. I grew up listening to aunts and uncles complain about their bosses, their commutes and to hear how it would one day happen to me. They told me that was life, and you scrimp and save till retirement. I would always frown and think to myself "but that's not how it was for my Dad".

So here I am, well positioned in the Slowlane, but 100% sure that I want out. I literally grew up on the other side, I've seen the benefits of the Fastlane firsthand. I have a very valuable skill and it's time to start using it to help the world instead of my employer.

I'm currently reading Unscripted , and the most personally relevant part of the book that I have come across is how detrimental it is to praise people's innate talents as opposed to their hard work. The negative effects of such praise are pretty evident when reflecting on my own past.

I'm still trying to find my "Why" and how I can provide value to the world.

Anyway, thanks for giving this a read and I'm super excited to learn from all of you! Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Wow! What a great story! I am 19 years old and am studying Computer Science at community college, too! I am just starting out coding. What advice can you give in order to land internships and increase "real world" skills? I understand that I have to reach Fastlane, but I still need to start off somewhere, at least with a Slowlane job that would help me achieve Fastlane.
 
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Parks

Tree Doctor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 20, 2020
211
305
Portland
Welcome to the forum man, you have a great start. What did your father do? Sounds like great insight into a different industry.
 

code_more

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2022
6
13
It's good to read that you accepted the humbling experiences and put your head down to study more, this is really important. I'm super angry at smart people who choose comfort over hard work. Hard work goes far, hard work + innate brightness goes to the moon. Innate brightness + comfort goes nowhere.

Regarding the feeling that you are on the slowlane, don't worry, you have the most important thing in you. You feel that you have more in yourself and want the fastlane. Keep your eyes open, and you will spot problems to solve with your skills, you just have to use your learned work ethic for this. In the meantime enjoy your salary, so you can save money for starting your company, when the time comes.
Thanks for the read!
 

code_more

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2022
6
13
Enjoyed reading your intro and I resonate with your story.

You use the word "I" a lot when stucturing your sentences, which is natural for an introductory post, but this may give you a clue as to your current predisposition. Do you agree or is this a concious style of writing?
You are absolutely right. My small business endeavors have always been in pursuit of personal gain above all else, as opposed to providing value. I definitely plan on working on keeping my ego and selfishness in check. Thanks for the feedback!
 
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Antifragile

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Mar 15, 2018
2,961
10,018
@code_more

Sometimes we need to hit bottom to learn how to climb all the way to the top. Sounds like you've already done that... the rest of your journey should be spectacular. Enjoy the climb, I have a feeling you'll do exceptionally well.

Best of luck.
 

code_more

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2022
6
13
Wow! What a great story! I am 19 years old and am studying Computer Science at community college, too! I am just starting out coding. What advice can you give in order to land internships and increase "real world" skills? I understand that I have to reach Fastlane, but I still need to start off somewhere, at least with a Slowlane job that would help me achieve Fastlane.
Thanks for reading! Definitely have a lot of tips to share for entering the tech job market. Perhaps I’ll write a thread on this specific topic for a deeper dive. Some tips that come to mind are:

1. Stay humble: As you get better a programming you might begin to feel like a god who can do anything. You may even feel special, like you have a skill few people could acquire. This is not true, anyone can learn to code. If you manage to earn a good salary, appreciate it. Be grateful, you aren’t entitled to anything.

2. Don’t get comfortable: After you get past the initial hurdle of learning the basics of computer science, you begin to get comfortable. This is a path to stagnation. Continually work on things that you have absolutely no idea how to do.

3. You are a Product: When applying for jobs, you have to present a specific skill set that employers are looking for. You are a product that you must sell. Don’t learn a bunch of random programming languages and frameworks just to put them on your resume. Pick a very specific area to focus on, and learn the fundamentals. For me, my career didn’t take off until I narrowed my focus to iOS development. Before, I was a jack of all trades who didn’t really know much about any of the tech I was using. After, I was able to market myself as an iOS developer. Recruiters and employers knew exactly what they were getting when they looked at my resume. I was also able to crush interviews because my iOS fundamentals were so good. Some other examples of easily packaged skillsets would be Android dev and front end web dev.

4. Take your classes seriously: In one of my interviews, I literally had a flashback to one of my data structures courses and it saved my neck. You never know what you’ll use from your classes. Especially around data structures and algorithms.

5. Talk to other students: Study, chat, whatever. Hang out with the kids that are crushing their classes. Learn from them. Never assume you are the smartest in the classroom. Everyone has a fresh perspective to offer that can help you learn better. Likewise, you will accumulate tips and notes that you should share with your study buddies to help them as well. Graduating is easier when you feel like you have teammates.

6. Work in the industry: A job is an opportunity to learn how a successful tech company is run. Getting paid is a bonus. I used to think that I knew everything I needed to start a tech company. After working in the industry for a few years, my mind continues to be blown. You will will get to see behind the curtain and it will help you understand how to properly set up and deploy projects.

7. Launch projects: If you can create a website or app that aligns with your specific skill set, it will help you land that first job. Saying you have 0 experience makes it hard to get the interview. Saying that you have a couple of apps on the App Store will make it a lot easier. They don’t even have to be that good, they just need to be launched.

So excited for you to get more into computer science, it can be really frustrating sometimes but don’t give up!
 

code_more

New Contributor
Nov 7, 2022
6
13
Welcome to the forum man, you have a great start. What did your father do? Sounds like great insight into a different industry.
Thanks! Much like MJ says in his books, what my father did cannot be replicated now. He created products for the automotive industry. Starting a company like the one he created over 2 decades ago would surely fail today.
 
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Practic

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 29, 2022
286
142
Hi everyone, it's good to be here.

My story might not win me any fans, but it's a decent example of how crippling comfort and praise can be.

Growing up, things were pretty easy for me. My family was very well off. School was no challenge, I barely had to study to get fantastic grades.

Everyone said I was a genius. Everyone said I was going to be rich. And I believed them.

I breezed through high school, but had absolutely no plan for what came next. I always imagined I'd start a business and never need a regular job or college. I believed that I was special. After all, everyone kept telling me so.

But it was clear I had no plan. So I went to community college. I never bothered to research colleges because I never thought it would be that important. Luckily, I at least chose Computer Science for my major. I figured I'd start a profitable software business and dropout of college.

That never panned out. I never got an idea off the ground, and what's more, I realized just how normal I was. I remember my first test that I took in community college, I got a whopping 8%. Yes, eight percent. I was used to getting 90%+ on every test.

I was in absolute denial. "Those teachers have ridiculous standards, no one can do well in those classes" I thought to myself. But then the failure continued, bad grade after bad grade. I finished the semester with all C's and D's.

My ego shattered. I was used to showing up and getting praised all my life. But here, I was just another community college kid who didn't have his life together. I had to learn what real hard work was. Math and physics were destroying me, and I needed something I had never asked for before in school: Help.

I ended up sucking up my pride and going to one of the community college study centers and asked a tutor for help.

The most important thing I learned from them?
"Do all the practice problems", that was their most common advice.

All of them? That would take hours and hours to do. But I started studying more, and my grades started to improve.

The humbling continued when I needed money. I was pretty frugal so I had been able skate by just doing some menial work for friends and family, but now that I was commuting I needed some more cash. I had no skills and ended up working at a fast food joint. This job was probably one of the most important events in my life. While there is no shame in working fast food, that didn't change how much it sucked.

I didn't get angry about having to work there, instead I got scared. I got very scared that this could realistically be my future. Many of my coworkers had been there for years and years. No plans for additional education, nothing. Most had even gone to the very community college I was attending, only to drop out. They just lived their lives one shift to the next, wasting every spare moment they had on TV, videos games, and any other distraction they could afford.

I stepped back and looked at who I was turning out to be. I was a burger flipping community college student struggling to pass his classes. A far cry from what everyone said I would be. It absolutely frightened me.

I got serious about my studies. I actively sought out the top performing students in my classes and asked if I could study with them. I was spending hours each day studying my butt off. My grades skyrocketed. I felt for the first time the true rewards of hard work.

I knew I needed to get out of that fast food job, so I kept scouring for internships or anything remotely related to computer science. I ended up landing a job as a tester at an extremely small local tech company. The pay was just as lousy as my fast food job, but now I got to work around tech. I eventually got to do some programming for them and I learned as much as possible.

I ended up completing community college with honors and I had a job that was teaching me a lot. Things were looking up.

I figured I would try my hand at entrepreneurship again while I was in college. Using everything I had learned, I created a mobile game and released it. It was a simple game, and rather poorly made honestly. I'm still proud of my self to this day for actually completing it. However, the downloads were abysmal and it generated 0 ad revenue. First failed product.

I transferred to a 4 year university and continued my studies. I was getting better at programming, and it was making my ego come back.

I felt like hot stuff because I could code. I began to think that school was stupid and that I already knew everything I needed to know. "I can code, I should get paid big bucks" was my thought. But more humility was in store for me. The final year of college was hard. The tests were hard, the projects were complex. I was starting to get my butt kicked again. I had to put my head down and study just like at community college. I had to recreate my work ethic, again.

College was coming to an end, and everyone started talking about job offers and places they were going to work. I had no plans and no job offers. I'd never even researched jobs or applied anywhere. Graduation came and went, and I was still working for that small local tech company getting paid just barely above minimum wage, and worse I wasn't really learning anything new at this point. I was still holding out on the idea of starting a business.

I worked on some projects in my spare time, but they were all half-baked failures. I did this for over year before getting fed up.

The annoyance of being 24 and having lived with my parents my entire life was starting to get to me. I wanted more. So I got serious about finding a real paying job. But no one would hire me. Another humbling event. I asked a recruiter for honest feedback and they pretty much told me my resume sucked and that I lacked the skills that employers were looking for. My current job was a dead end, and I wasn't learning anything valuable at this point.

So I quit my job and decided to study programming fundamentals all over again. I got a lot better, but the more I learned the more my ego began to fade. I was beginning to understand the value of continuously learning.

I studied hard for months and revised my resume, then began to apply. I began to get interviews, and I started to do well in them. Then I managed to land a high paying job. It felt like Christmas. I could move out!

I worked there for a year and then landed an even higher paying job, the one I currently have. Now I'm making 6 figures, great benefits, fully remote, and a great career trajectory. Everyone says I've made it. But I can feel the golden handcuffs tightening. My job is now so good, it will be very hard to leave. Throw in some lifestyle creep, maybe a couple of kids at some point, and bam! I'll be stuck.

Even with this great job, I'm not quite happy. I'm still trading 5 days for 2.

I've been reading books for years now, mostly just blowing my load to all kinds of self help books. I came across Millionaire Fastlane a few months ago and it managed to do one thing that no other book could: it reaffirmed my desire to start my own company and have autonomy over my life. It made me realize that I had worked hard to get out of the Sidewalk only to land in the Slowlane.

You might be wondering where my desire to start a business came from. The one silver lining to my somewhat spoiled upbringing was that my father had Fastlaned. He started a company, grew it for 15 years, made a ton of profit and then sold it for a sizable amount. Retired very early. After seeing that, how could I truly accept the Slowlane? This is one of the reasons why I had trouble taking jobs or college seriously.

Everyone else in my family is a comfortable Slowlaner. I grew up listening to aunts and uncles complain about their bosses, their commutes and to hear how it would one day happen to me. They told me that was life, and you scrimp and save till retirement. I would always frown and think to myself "but that's not how it was for my Dad".

So here I am, well positioned in the Slowlane, but 100% sure that I want out. I literally grew up on the other side, I've seen the benefits of the Fastlane firsthand. I have a very valuable skill and it's time to start using it to help the world instead of my employer.

I'm currently reading Unscripted , and the most personally relevant part of the book that I have come across is how detrimental it is to praise people's innate talents as opposed to their hard work. The negative effects of such praise are pretty evident when reflecting on my own past.

I'm still trying to find my "Why" and how I can provide value to the world.

Anyway, thanks for giving this a read and I'm super excited to learn from all of you! Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I'm still trying to find my "Why" and how I can provide value to the world.

Find a painful (to consumers) problem. Develop the best solution to the problem.Sell products/services based on the solution.

Here you can find some problem to think about.
 

Peter Abrahamian

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Dec 22, 2020
19
19
19
Thanks for reading! Definitely have a lot of tips to share for entering the tech job market. Perhaps I’ll write a thread on this specific topic for a deeper dive. Some tips that come to mind are:

1. Stay humble: As you get better a programming you might begin to feel like a god who can do anything. You may even feel special, like you have a skill few people could acquire. This is not true, anyone can learn to code. If you manage to earn a good salary, appreciate it. Be grateful, you aren’t entitled to anything.

2. Don’t get comfortable: After you get past the initial hurdle of learning the basics of computer science, you begin to get comfortable. This is a path to stagnation. Continually work on things that you have absolutely no idea how to do.

3. You are a Product: When applying for jobs, you have to present a specific skill set that employers are looking for. You are a product that you must sell. Don’t learn a bunch of random programming languages and frameworks just to put them on your resume. Pick a very specific area to focus on, and learn the fundamentals. For me, my career didn’t take off until I narrowed my focus to iOS development. Before, I was a jack of all trades who didn’t really know much about any of the tech I was using. After, I was able to market myself as an iOS developer. Recruiters and employers knew exactly what they were getting when they looked at my resume. I was also able to crush interviews because my iOS fundamentals were so good. Some other examples of easily packaged skillsets would be Android dev and front end web dev.

4. Take your classes seriously: In one of my interviews, I literally had a flashback to one of my data structures courses and it saved my neck. You never know what you’ll use from your classes. Especially around data structures and algorithms.

5. Talk to other students: Study, chat, whatever. Hang out with the kids that are crushing their classes. Learn from them. Never assume you are the smartest in the classroom. Everyone has a fresh perspective to offer that can help you learn better. Likewise, you will accumulate tips and notes that you should share with your study buddies to help them as well. Graduating is easier when you feel like you have teammates.

6. Work in the industry: A job is an opportunity to learn how a successful tech company is run. Getting paid is a bonus. I used to think that I knew everything I needed to start a tech company. After working in the industry for a few years, my mind continues to be blown. You will will get to see behind the curtain and it will help you understand how to properly set up and deploy projects.

7. Launch projects: If you can create a website or app that aligns with your specific skill set, it will help you land that first job. Saying you have 0 experience makes it hard to get the interview. Saying that you have a couple of apps on the App Store will make it a lot easier. They don’t even have to be that good, they just need to be launched.

So excited for you to get more into computer science, it can be really frustrating sometimes but don’t give up!
Thank you so much! This is very helpful advice! I've been going to college for about a year, and just recently switched my major to computer science from economics. I figured that I will have a better chance in succeeding if I take this path. Plus, I've heard that this field gives you a better work-life balance compared to other prestigious jobs like doctor, lawyer, Investment banker. I have interest in medicine, but I feel like I'm romanticizing it. The reality of it is probably just working crazy hours and being tired all the time and getting over the whole “helping people” idea. Computer science sounds like the best path to a good SLOWLANE job, and then a great way to transition into FASTLANE.
 
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Bekit

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2018
1,049
4,873
Hi everyone, it's good to be here.

My story might not win me any fans, but it's a decent example of how crippling comfort and praise can be.

Growing up, things were pretty easy for me. My family was very well off. School was no challenge, I barely had to study to get fantastic grades.

Everyone said I was a genius. Everyone said I was going to be rich. And I believed them.

I breezed through high school, but had absolutely no plan for what came next. I always imagined I'd start a business and never need a regular job or college. I believed that I was special. After all, everyone kept telling me so.

But it was clear I had no plan. So I went to community college. I never bothered to research colleges because I never thought it would be that important. Luckily, I at least chose Computer Science for my major. I figured I'd start a profitable software business and dropout of college.

That never panned out. I never got an idea off the ground, and what's more, I realized just how normal I was. I remember my first test that I took in community college, I got a whopping 8%. Yes, eight percent. I was used to getting 90%+ on every test.

I was in absolute denial. "Those teachers have ridiculous standards, no one can do well in those classes" I thought to myself. But then the failure continued, bad grade after bad grade. I finished the semester with all C's and D's.

My ego shattered. I was used to showing up and getting praised all my life. But here, I was just another community college kid who didn't have his life together. I had to learn what real hard work was. Math and physics were destroying me, and I needed something I had never asked for before in school: Help.

I ended up sucking up my pride and going to one of the community college study centers and asked a tutor for help.

The most important thing I learned from them?
"Do all the practice problems", that was their most common advice.

All of them? That would take hours and hours to do. But I started studying more, and my grades started to improve.

The humbling continued when I needed money. I was pretty frugal so I had been able skate by just doing some menial work for friends and family, but now that I was commuting I needed some more cash. I had no skills and ended up working at a fast food joint. This job was probably one of the most important events in my life. While there is no shame in working fast food, that didn't change how much it sucked.

I didn't get angry about having to work there, instead I got scared. I got very scared that this could realistically be my future. Many of my coworkers had been there for years and years. No plans for additional education, nothing. Most had even gone to the very community college I was attending, only to drop out. They just lived their lives one shift to the next, wasting every spare moment they had on TV, videos games, and any other distraction they could afford.

I stepped back and looked at who I was turning out to be. I was a burger flipping community college student struggling to pass his classes. A far cry from what everyone said I would be. It absolutely frightened me.

I got serious about my studies. I actively sought out the top performing students in my classes and asked if I could study with them. I was spending hours each day studying my butt off. My grades skyrocketed. I felt for the first time the true rewards of hard work.

I knew I needed to get out of that fast food job, so I kept scouring for internships or anything remotely related to computer science. I ended up landing a job as a tester at an extremely small local tech company. The pay was just as lousy as my fast food job, but now I got to work around tech. I eventually got to do some programming for them and I learned as much as possible.

I ended up completing community college with honors and I had a job that was teaching me a lot. Things were looking up.

I figured I would try my hand at entrepreneurship again while I was in college. Using everything I had learned, I created a mobile game and released it. It was a simple game, and rather poorly made honestly. I'm still proud of my self to this day for actually completing it. However, the downloads were abysmal and it generated 0 ad revenue. First failed product.

I transferred to a 4 year university and continued my studies. I was getting better at programming, and it was making my ego come back.

I felt like hot stuff because I could code. I began to think that school was stupid and that I already knew everything I needed to know. "I can code, I should get paid big bucks" was my thought. But more humility was in store for me. The final year of college was hard. The tests were hard, the projects were complex. I was starting to get my butt kicked again. I had to put my head down and study just like at community college. I had to recreate my work ethic, again.

College was coming to an end, and everyone started talking about job offers and places they were going to work. I had no plans and no job offers. I'd never even researched jobs or applied anywhere. Graduation came and went, and I was still working for that small local tech company getting paid just barely above minimum wage, and worse I wasn't really learning anything new at this point. I was still holding out on the idea of starting a business.

I worked on some projects in my spare time, but they were all half-baked failures. I did this for over year before getting fed up.

The annoyance of being 24 and having lived with my parents my entire life was starting to get to me. I wanted more. So I got serious about finding a real paying job. But no one would hire me. Another humbling event. I asked a recruiter for honest feedback and they pretty much told me my resume sucked and that I lacked the skills that employers were looking for. My current job was a dead end, and I wasn't learning anything valuable at this point.

So I quit my job and decided to study programming fundamentals all over again. I got a lot better, but the more I learned the more my ego began to fade. I was beginning to understand the value of continuously learning.

I studied hard for months and revised my resume, then began to apply. I began to get interviews, and I started to do well in them. Then I managed to land a high paying job. It felt like Christmas. I could move out!

I worked there for a year and then landed an even higher paying job, the one I currently have. Now I'm making 6 figures, great benefits, fully remote, and a great career trajectory. Everyone says I've made it. But I can feel the golden handcuffs tightening. My job is now so good, it will be very hard to leave. Throw in some lifestyle creep, maybe a couple of kids at some point, and bam! I'll be stuck.

Even with this great job, I'm not quite happy. I'm still trading 5 days for 2.

I've been reading books for years now, mostly just blowing my load to all kinds of self help books. I came across Millionaire Fastlane a few months ago and it managed to do one thing that no other book could: it reaffirmed my desire to start my own company and have autonomy over my life. It made me realize that I had worked hard to get out of the Sidewalk only to land in the Slowlane.

You might be wondering where my desire to start a business came from. The one silver lining to my somewhat spoiled upbringing was that my father had Fastlaned. He started a company, grew it for 15 years, made a ton of profit and then sold it for a sizable amount. Retired very early. After seeing that, how could I truly accept the Slowlane? This is one of the reasons why I had trouble taking jobs or college seriously.

Everyone else in my family is a comfortable Slowlaner. I grew up listening to aunts and uncles complain about their bosses, their commutes and to hear how it would one day happen to me. They told me that was life, and you scrimp and save till retirement. I would always frown and think to myself "but that's not how it was for my Dad".

So here I am, well positioned in the Slowlane, but 100% sure that I want out. I literally grew up on the other side, I've seen the benefits of the Fastlane firsthand. I have a very valuable skill and it's time to start using it to help the world instead of my employer.

I'm currently reading Unscripted , and the most personally relevant part of the book that I have come across is how detrimental it is to praise people's innate talents as opposed to their hard work. The negative effects of such praise are pretty evident when reflecting on my own past.

I'm still trying to find my "Why" and how I can provide value to the world.

Anyway, thanks for giving this a read and I'm super excited to learn from all of you! Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome to the forum. Great intro!

If your dad did this himself, have you asked him to mentor you? What ideas does he have for you? What opportunities does he see that you could pursue? What needs in the market does he think would be a good fit for your skills? Would he be willing to partner with you or help you in some venture, even if it's small?
 

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