The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

OFF-TOPIC Homeless: Can you build a life from $25?

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

andviv

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2007
5,421
2,210
625
Washington DC
Homeless: Can you build a life from $25?

In a test of the American Dream, Adam Shepard started life from scratch with the clothes on his back and twenty-five dollars. Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and a small savings.


With only $25 in his pocket, Adam Shepard spent 10 months in South Carolina, eventually landing a job, buying a pickup truck, and renting his own apartment.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0211/p13s02-wmgn.html

There were simple luxuries that I didn't afford myself. I had to make sacrifices to achieve the goals that I set out. One of those was eating out. I didn't have a cellphone. Especially in this day and age, that was a dramatic change for me.... I was getting by on chicken and Rice-A-Roni dinner and was happy. That's what I learned ... we lived [simply], but still we were happy.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
1,829
136
81
29
NJ/MD
Interesting story. Rep+++

I'd say it's a bit Slowlane, but there are some Fastlane principles within the story. For instance, setting a plan and sticking to it.

Good find.

Btw, does anybody else see the resemblance to "Chase" from "House, M.D." on FOX?
 

Jorge

Bronze Contributor
Oct 5, 2007
583
103
32
38
Mendoza, Argentina
I think it's the attitude that I take in: "I've got child care. I've got a probation officer. I've got all these bills. Now what am I going to do? Am I going to continue to go out to eat and put rims on my Cadillac? Or am I going to make some things happen in my life...?
For me, this is what is all about. Sacrifice and action.

Good find Andres! Rep++
 

Jill

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 26, 2008
1,031
757
277
Frisco, TX (Dallas)
I think it's the attitude that I take in: "I've got child care. I've got a probation officer. I've got all these bills. Now what am I going to do? Am I going to continue to go out to eat and put rims on my Cadillac? Or am I going to make some things happen in my life...?
I was struck by the same quote, Jorge!

I can't tell you how many times in my life I've said to someone "OK. I see that you've defined the problem. Now let's design the solution." Much to my chagrin, most folx just want to continue re-defining the problem. This is probably the biggest thing, in my experience, that keeps the majority from ever finding the fastlane.
 

GoldenEggs

Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
321
38
25
Silicon Valley, CA
We had someone live with us last year. We had this incredibly smart, well-mannered and also very pretty girl stay in our home. In exchange for room and board, she would do the housework, work on our e-commerce website and watch my father-in-law when my husband and I went out. She had no money but wanted to turn her life around. We ended up letting her go but when she left us, she had a brand new laptop she bought herself, reinstated her driver's license and opened her own bank account with money in it.

It was very gratifying to be able to help her but I think she lacked the discipline to see it through.
 

EasyMoney_in_NC

Contributor
Sep 9, 2007
399
31
31
Wilmington NC
Great story. I wonder though, even though he doesn't "use" his education or contacts in his quest, does the fact that he HAS an education direct him in ways that the average "will work for food" crack-head wouldn't even be able to ponder? Its inspiring to know that it (survival and prosperity)may be possible from such a low point. Doesn't say a whole lot for those that choose a life of government housing and welfare.

Cool story, thanks for sharing :thumbsup:
 

8 SNAKE

Contributor
Aug 15, 2007
239
44
25
Midwest
Great story. I wonder though, even though he doesn't "use" his education or contacts in his quest, does the fact that he HAS an education direct him in ways that the average "will work for food" crack-head wouldn't even be able to ponder?
I had a similar thought. To me, the biggest advantage that he had was his experience living a "normal" life prior to the experiment. That's not to discount his journey, but there's no way that he wasn't impacted by his life prior to this exercise. I liken it to many posts on this forum by people who have become financially free saying that they could do it all over again if they had to start from scratch. They've got the mindset and the experience to rebuild themselves much the same way this guy did.

I see a great parallel between this story and the transition into life in the fast lane. People who have experienced the fastlane can repeat their successes and prove that it's definitely not a fluke, much the same way the author of this story proved that anyone can emerge from homelessness and build a life. The problem is getting people to change their mindset and attitude to allow either transformation to take place.
 

EasyMoney_in_NC

Contributor
Sep 9, 2007
399
31
31
Wilmington NC
I'm not so sure he proved ANYONE could emerge, which was my point above. This guy is definitely ahead of the curve because of his education and apparent "well off" upbringing. He's not a typical homeless person. He proved that a person can come from nothing, yes, but how much influence did his prior life afford him. I would have liked to see him really get into it and get hooked on and recover from drugs. Or go to jail for robbery, anything.....

Look at those survival shows on Discovery channel. ........
Of course the guys survives, thats the show! So what if you drop him in the middle of BFE with nothing but his clothes, this is what he knows, how he thinks, how he survives. That was sort of the way I looked at this story. Interesting it theory, but what about those underlying knowledge?

Still nice to know if I ever hit the skids, that it is possible to triumph :)
 

phlgirl

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 29, 2007
813
176
85
Philadelphia
I will preface this by saying that I have no knowledge, as to the actual statistics.

In PHL, my mom and I used to volunteer at a homeless shelter. I was constantly amazed at how many of the patrons had not only a high school degree but often one or multiple college degrees.

I'm no expert, but it seemed to come down to mental issues. Something major went wrong in their life (lost their job, got a divorce, someone died) and they started drinking/drugging, whatever and just never had the strength to recover. It seemed like they had all the pieces but just could no longer make the puzzle fit together. No hope, no desire.

Many of them had the 'normal' life beforehand but for some reason had given up on themselves - they no longer felt that they deserved it?

Good find, andviv. Great to know it is possible.
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
2,375
281
70
42
PA
I think this should be good for those who are on the fence, over analyzing deals, and not taking action.

Take $25 and put it in a safe place. Now, if hell breaks loose and all the worst things happen, you know that you can recover. So now that you have the worst case covered, go out and take some educated risks, start the journey, take action. Stop sitting still. If you get scared, think to yourself, "Self, what is the worst that could happen?" Well you could be homeless with only $25 and the clothes on your back. Well now this guy just proved that you can come back from that, so what is stopping you?

rep+ for great find
 

PEERless

Bronze Contributor
Jan 23, 2008
1,469
106
81
I think this should be good for those who are on the fence, over analyzing deals, and not taking action.
Rep.+

Let's risk everything, because this guy increased his initial investment by 20,000% in less than one year! Plus an apartment!! Plus a truck!!! What the hell have I been doing wrong?

I would give some more thought to the fact that his experience and attitudes DO equate to an advantage, but I'm not sure it's measurable.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Jito

New Contributor
Dec 2, 2007
147
8
21
Bay Area
I think this should be good for those who are on the fence, over analyzing deals, and not taking action.

Take $25 and put it in a safe place. Now, if hell breaks loose and all the worst things happen, you know that you can recover. So now that you have the worst case covered, go out and take some educated risks, start the journey, take action. Stop sitting still. If you get scared, think to yourself, "Self, what is the worst that could happen?" Well you could be homeless with only $25 and the clothes on your back. Well now this guy just proved that you can come back from that, so what is stopping you?

rep+ for great find
This is an awesome point. Rep for you my friend.
 

bflbob

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 25, 2007
1,906
376
142
Endicott, New York, United States
I think this should be good for those who are on the fence, over analyzing deals, and not taking action.

Take $25 and put it in a safe place. Now, if hell breaks loose and all the worst things happen, you know that you can recover. So now that you have the worst case covered, go out and take some educated risks, start the journey, take action. Stop sitting still. If you get scared, think to yourself, "Self, what is the worst that could happen?" Well you could be homeless with only $25 and the clothes on your back. Well now this guy just proved that you can come back from that, so what is stopping you?

rep+ for great find
I missed this until now.

Rep++ for thinking of it this way.
 

Jill

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 26, 2008
1,031
757
277
Frisco, TX (Dallas)
Great story. I wonder though, even though he doesn't "use" his education or contacts in his quest, does the fact that he HAS an education direct him in ways that the average "will work for food" crack-head wouldn't even be able to ponder? Its inspiring to know that it (survival and prosperity)may be possible from such a low point...
I've argued this many times with people who believe that the station into which you are born dictates where you will have to spend your life. In some cultures, that is true. I've just never bought into it though, in our culture. Maybe I'm naive. While I was not "to the manor born", I was afforded certain advantages: Loving, supportive home environment; parent-paid college education, etc. So I lose credibility in the argument.

But I can then easily point to my parents who were NOT priviledged in any way, and yet they overcame crazy odds to "make it". No need to elaborate at this point. But I do think it has a lot to do with expectations. They decided to have and provide for their children a different life than that to which they were born. Then they did it.

When we moved into our new neighborhood recently, surrounded by other 5K sq ft houses, my husband was curious as to why I wasn't as giddy as he was. After several long talks over many long walks (and a few bottles of wine), we figured it out. He'd never dreamed of it, whereas I'd always expected it. I love our lifestyle; I'm just not surprised by it.
 

Jill

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 26, 2008
1,031
757
277
Frisco, TX (Dallas)
But I'm guessing that somewhere along the way, you developed the belief that you too could have more? Right? Comes back to one's expectations.
 

EasyMoney_in_NC

Contributor
Sep 9, 2007
399
31
31
Wilmington NC
Comes back to one's expectations.
Which is exactly why government subsidies (welfare etc) should be abolished. Come to expect a hand out........'nuf said!
Come to expect a higher level of life (and have the knowledge to know how to get it) and you achieve it.
 

kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
825
120
38
Which is exactly why government subsidies (welfare etc) should be abolished. Come to expect a hand out........'nuf said!
Come to expect a higher level of life (and have the knowledge to know how to get it) and you achieve it.
Completely agree (coming from low, low, okay no income).
Long term government subsidies are pretty darn insulting.
It is like your own government doesn't even think you can support yourself.
 

Jill

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 26, 2008
1,031
757
277
Frisco, TX (Dallas)
Right. For fear of getting political, I won't dive too deep here. But I do think that what you said is true. I'll be willing to write in an exception clause, however, for the elderly and the (truly) infirm who did all the right things, then got blindsided when they were beyond their "productive" years.
 

EasyMoney_in_NC

Contributor
Sep 9, 2007
399
31
31
Wilmington NC
Oh sure, but that's a completely different story. I'm not talking about social security (which will be gone in the coming years, but I digress), medic aide etc.....
I'm talking about section 8 residents and public housing and welfare. People that bring up generation after generation of families on our dime! We don't need to make this a political discussion. It all comes down to values :)
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
2,375
281
70
42
PA
I think this should be good for those who are on the fence, over analyzing deals, and not taking action.

Take $25 and put it in a safe place. Now, if hell breaks loose and all the worst things happen, you know that you can recover. So now that you have the worst case covered, go out and take some educated risks, start the journey, take action. Stop sitting still. If you get scared, think to yourself, "Self, what is the worst that could happen?" Well you could be homeless with only $25 and the clothes on your back. Well now this guy just proved that you can come back from that, so what is stopping you?

rep+ for great find
On further reflection, I found a flaw in my thinking. This can be applied to the single, but what about the married guy/gal, with or without kids. I be curious to see the results of a comeback at that level, and the impact on the family. Maybe Legacydad just has me thinking too much that direction.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

CarrieW

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 12, 2007
2,546
1,039
346
suburbs of savannah in Ga
I agree kurt.

if not for my kids theres alot of things I could do that I wouldnt attempt to do with them.
 
OP
OP
andviv

andviv

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2007
5,421
2,210
625
Washington DC
bump

I remembered this story today, I don't know for what reason...
 

fanocks2003

Banned
Mar 31, 2008
1,324
176
0
Sweden
Homeless: Can you build a life from $25?

In a test of the American Dream, Adam Shepard started life from scratch with the clothes on his back and twenty-five dollars. Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and a small savings.


With only $25 in his pocket, Adam Shepard spent 10 months in South Carolina, eventually landing a job, buying a pickup truck, and renting his own apartment.

Homeless: Can you build a life from $25? | csmonitor.com
Would he be able to coop with very, very bad credit as well:)? Bad credit automaticly erases you from the "renting" map and other credit giving places. That would have made it harder for him. I just thought it would be pretty interesting as an experiment. Especially for those who now need to leave their sub prime homes.

Would he be able to coop with this without support from friends and family and being helped by their good credit:)?

I like to test the hardest ways just to see if it can be done. The harder, the better. Because you become sharper doing it, even if you ultimately want to shot yourself after a while doing it. I might be a self-sadistic guy:) (like to somehow punish myself in the name of science...hehe).
 

Jill

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 26, 2008
1,031
757
277
Frisco, TX (Dallas)
Would he be able to cope with very, very bad credit as well:)? Bad credit automaticly erases you from the "renting" map and other credit giving places. That would have made it harder for him. I just thought it would be pretty interesting as an experiment. Especially for those who now need to leave their sub prime homes.
Not a huge problem, especially for a single guy. Stay in the free shelter until you've saved enough to rent a room from someone's house or from someone else whose name is already on the lease. I've done this before when traveling on business when I needed only a short-term place to live (2-3 months).

Would he be able to cope with this without support from friends and family and being helped by their good credit:)?
Initially, perhaps not. That's easily remedied by making new friends.

I've often thot I'd like to do something like this just to prove it can be done. But at this point, it's not likely (and hopefully, will never be necessary!)
 

Luke12321

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Jul 27, 2007
664
199
97
North Carolina
I agree it comes down to your values and mindset. I would work two 8 hour shifts per day and save money and live in a shelter until I had enough money to rent a apartment, buy a car. It would not take long though to get back on your feet working 16 hours day and living in a shelter.

I remember hearing of this story a year or so ago. Reminds me kind of when the guy started trading the paperclip until he ended up with a house or whatever it was...
 

hatterasguy

Bronze Contributor
Jul 29, 2008
2,090
195
59
34
Its all about values. Poor people are that way because of mental problems or the way they think.

The great thing about this country is that if you have your head on straight, and are willing to work than you can make a good life for yourself.
 

fanocks2003

Banned
Mar 31, 2008
1,324
176
0
Sweden
I have Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Nickel and Dimed" on my computer right now:). I will start reading it today.

I will then purchase the book written by this guy. Start at the core and expand outwards is the idea:).

I have a little experience of this (4 days only, but still hands on experience of living on nickels and dimes:)). Everyone should experience it, because it shows that it is not that hard surviving on the street. It sure isn't funny, but it still is an eye opener. You get rid of the fear of going bankrupt and losing everything. Me for example, I would know exactly how to feed myself on the street and where to get water etc. You just need to get back to basics.
 

^eagle^

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 17, 2008
820
99
69
Florida
Twenty years ago at the age of 22 I was homeless with nothing but the clothes on my back and a drinking problem. I was a college dropout armed with the only knowledge I had about finance....

"It takes money to make money."

as of right now I have a small positive net worth. around 40k.

Education is the key. Understanding the difference between wealth and having nice things. I worked my a$$ off for everything I had and almost found myself homeless once again a few short years ago. Now I have surpassed my previous high and am continuing to climb. I owe it all to self education through books, tapes and the internet.

Our American consumerism gets us in trouble all the time. Using credit to buy things instead of assets. We feel it is our right to have a widescreen tv in our studio apartment. It makes us FEEL rich by having things instead of buying assets that will buy me those things. And this feeling is what kills our drive to better ourselves.

My next goal is to make enough money in forex to buy a personal water craft. It may seem contradictory but I look at it as rewarding myself for learning how to use the forex to buy assets. If I make the money I will get the watercraft if I do not then no watercraft.. Once I learned the skill I will never lose it.

Eventually I will reward myself with a flying car! But I wouldnt mortgage my house to buy one!

Another thing I have noticed is that I am more driven by the carrot than the stick. I think most people have the mentality to do as little as possible. Just enough to avoid the stick. I OTOH am always striving for the carrot. Until one changes this mentality nothing will change.


If nothing changes then nothing changes.
 

kwerner

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 4, 2007
1,399
263
118
Its all about values. Poor people are that way because of mental problems or the way they think.

The great thing about this country is that if you have your head on straight, and are willing to work than you can make a good life for yourself.

Our American consumerism gets us in trouble all the time. Using credit to buy things instead of assets. We feel it is our right to have a widescreen tv in our studio apartment. It makes us FEEL rich by having things instead of buying assets that will buy me those things. And this feeling is what kills our drive to better ourselves.

Agreed. Like I stated in another post, I believe the "poor"-minded and the "rich"-minded have completely opposite value systems.

The poor-minded's priorities seem to be:

  1. Spending their money on stuff they WANT
  2. Spending more money on stuff they WANT
  3. Spending their money on stuff they NEED
  4. Paying their bills
  5. (If any money is left over) Saving
  6. (If any money is left over after that) Investing

The rich-minded's priorities tend to be:

  1. Paying themselves first
  2. Investing
  3. Saving
  4. Paying their bills
  5. Spending their money on stuff they need
  6. (If any money is left over) Spending their money on stuff they want
  7. OR as an alternative to # 6 - Investing MORE
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Dropping a quick note in here to say... if you are on TFL, you are part of an elite group of...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox's Web Design Guide: Earn $100K this year (Yes, 2020!) and Go Fastlane
Hey @Simon Angel thanks for the write up. I think there is a ton of potential in all areas...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE How To Create A 100K-1M+ Sales Funnel
@Lyinx lol man, okay. Just to make it clear to everyone else, I'm not involved with...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE KAK’s “Kill Bigger” Incubation Program- With DAILY personal attention.
I joined @Kak's business incubator in the first week of May. During our daily chats we uncovered...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
This is your May reminder that you can do this. I'll keep it short. These are the May promos...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Grow Your Business With a Book (An Unorthodox Marketing Strategy That Built One of the Largest...
Thanks! This is a cool idea, actually. I would like to use your experience as I heard that these...
  • Sticky
FEATURED! Introducing... WEALTH EXPO$ED, A Short Story By MJ DeMarco
would this be available in paper version? I know it's short, but most of my family is...


Visit A Forum Sponsor
sponsor

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected - Please Disable

Yes, ads can be annoying. But please...

...to support the Unscripted/Fastlane mission (and to respect the immense amount of time needed to manage this forum) please DISABLE your ad-block. Thank you.

I've Disabled AdBlock