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INTRO Late Bloomer's intro

Late Bloomer

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Apr 17, 2018
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What brings me to the forum today? This one's a long post. Buckle up and hang on.

As I mentioned in my first post, to "I've read The Millionaire Fastlane," I'm in my late 40's... thus the user name. I worked a long time in the corporate world. I then took a long time off to be a caregiver for my long-term sweetheart (we didn't have kids) through her difficult, increasingly complicated, and progressively worse, battle with cancer.

And then when I suddenly became a widower, I took some more time off to ponder what I wanted my life to be about. I should have at least a couple of decades of productivity remaining. What matters now?

In this life-review time, my own health collapsed. More on that in a moment. My health is not fully back yet, but it is back enough to make some things happen in business.

I came up with some good ideas about business building and freelancing. And I started them, but poorly. I'll admit it, I was a wantrapreneur. I had some clients from hell, some promising opportunities I didn't take advantage of, and more days of non-marketing than of achievement.

Why? Not really a lack of information, but a presence of emotional interference that kept me from taking action. And also, troublesome logistics I had a hard time working around.

(I plan to discuss some of those issues here, in hopes I can help others avoid some of the same potholes in the slow lane.)

I found the book and then the forum, and read a lot, and got my a$$ kicked in the attitude - in a good way.

MJ is right that health catastrophes can totally wipe out someone who's not in a VERY financially strong position. Especially (without getting political here) the way the health care industry works in the US. Believe him about this!

I had some money saved up in a 401k and it was all gone after the first couple of years of caregiving... and there were several more years left of the awful scramble, of being helpless and hopeless both medically and financially. This is hell on earth, if you don't have wealthy and supportive families! Take the opportunity to learn from MJ and the other successful mentors and role models here! You can't manage awful bad luck that could happen to anyone. But you CAN manage awfully good business that YOU could make happen to YOU!

I believe my late beloved's cancer was not just random bad luck. I believe it was primarily from her body getting depleted by many years of crap jobs for companies that were careless about safety for their employees dealing with toxic chemicals! (Metal etching and traditional printing.)

Why did she have these jobs for so long before we got together? (At my encouragement she got into a technical call center job and liked it.) Because she didn't know how to overcome some awfully self-deprecating attitudes.

Beliefs she never chose from careful review, but that had been instilled or brainwashed into her by uncaring or clueless people, when they had an opportunity to indoctrinate her! And I had my own share of destructive emotional clutter holding me back, too!

At the same time she had the bad jobs, she had a couple of little side businesses that COULD have been readily expanded to compatibility with MJ'S NECTS principles. But part of the childhood indoctrination was some hippie-dippy-trippy nonsense about how she shouldn't charge more than broke people like her could afford!

She didn't realize that if she charged the highest possible prices the market could support for those who could pay more, they'd have readily paid it. She could have then given scholarships to those who were broke, while not being broke herself!

Unfortunately, by the time I met her she'd already shut the business down and had despairing, depressed determination to not return to it!

After her death, when I was shocked to discover that I was now also a cancer patient, my oncologist told me, "I see NO risk factors for your having this disease. It is purely bad luck. The good news is that it's an extremely well understood and treatable kind of cancer."

He was right about the treatment effectiveness. Fortunately, after surgery and chemo I've had clean test results and no signs of any repeat. That's not a surprise as the odds of recurrence are under 1% for me now.

I think my doc was wrong about it being random bad luck. I think a broken heart had its effect on my body. I think a polluted environment and not eating well were also factors. And what was the root cause of those experiences? Poverty!

The slow lane can literally be a killer!!

I guess I was lucky in one way about chemo. Its exact side effects are difficult to predict. I have long hair, and got to keep it. Instead, I doubled up on the other side effects!

In this society, the punishment for Cancering While Socially Isolated And Insufficiently Wealthy is brutal and inhumane. I might share some more about that another time, or I might not. The important thing is to ensure all of that stays behind me in my past!!! I don't know if I will want to reveal my precise "F*** IT" moment. I will say that it was pretty damn low!

What I AM going to share, is my own journey to get back on my own feet financially, to get onto the Fastlane. Have I succeeded? No, not yet. Has MJ's advice already been life changing? Yes! NOT because it shows what definitely WILL work for me. But because it shows what definitely COULD reasonably work, along with a process to systematically engage in trial and error discovery. A PROCESS, not an event, that is the only way to get from MIGHT work to DOES work!

I have some ways I can provide value to fellow forum members. I'll have posts to give and share what I can, based on what I know. I look forward to conversations. I expect to have around an hour a day to contribute as much as I can, while also learning some things that will fill in the gaps in this late bloomer's education in the ways of success.

I'm not on the fastlane yet but I think I've found the on-ramp!

After I make another post here to offer this thread as a way to make myself available in whatever way I can be of service for other forum members, I'll move on to the Hustles/Bootstrap forum as that is my current immediate need and opportunity!

Acceleratingly yours,
Chris
 

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Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Apr 17, 2018
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Late Bloomer offers to share what he knows with the forum

I was first paid to use technology, and to explain it to others, in my first paid job ever, during a summer vacation in my high school years. It was in 1985, before many of MJ's current students were born. Damn there was some great unique rock and pop music to enjoy, a clever new sound every day, back when MTV was Music Television!

Since then I have, for pay, been: a trainer, a documentation writer, a software developer and a support analyst, and (my favorite) a technical lead. I have also been paid to be a typist, general office paperwork slave, McDonald's crew member, a day laborer on a construction site with a broom, a night laborer for the world's dumbest job for the world's dumbest company (a story for later), a music composer and performer, a scapegoat for the worst of corporate politics, a thorn in the side of the complacent, and the canary passing out in the coal mine.

Not all of these are what the boss expected to get from me, or what I expected to give!

Pay ranged from a total of $50 for my entire life for one of those items, to $54 per hour for another! And ten times that hourly rate for the handful of times a conversation resulted in a paying client for me. But that's only for the salesman's share... of course I had to deliver the technician's and project manager's shares of the work!

I have worked for several Fortune 500 and Inc 500 companies, and a variety of smaller companies down to working with individuals working out of their homes.

Paid in ways other than money, I've been a public speaker and a nonprofit administrator. A progressive rock band member, and a concert sound & stage lighting guy. A photographer and photo retoucher. A personal counselor and shoulder to cry on. A hiking and travel guide. Perhaps a few other things that don't come to mind right this minute.

I'm qualified, whether from paid work or other reasons to learn about things, to speak about operating systems, programming (although I think my prime code monkey years are behind me), databases, Web sites, audiovisual and photo technology, operations efficiency, new product design, doing extensive research and analysis, hard work on inner life maturity (psychological, emotional, spiritual), philosophy, music theory, and a few other topics.

Too much unrealized potential, not enough converted into the motion and flow of money as realized wealth!

I'm not yet qualified to speak about how to personally succeed brilliantly at a career change and business launch from ground zero. But I'm going to become qualified to talk about that, or die trying! There is no other option for me!

Of the things I know about, I think the business and technical items are the ones most relevant to the themes of this forum. How can I be of service by sharing my perspective with you? Any questions I can help you with?

If I don't know an answer, I'm not embarrassed to be honest about that. The world is big enough that my explorations in this life are only the tiniest sliver of what's possible! But perhaps my sliver goes a little deeper so far, in one direction, than yours!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I expect to be online around an hour a day to contribute as much as I can to this community. How may I share encouragement, practical ideas if I know them, and impractically impertinent questions if I don't, to help your own Fastlane journey?

And, here's how I look when not obviously ready to take your money for my great business ideas. I might use this shot for a tech geek or philosophy blog, that attracts interest for the content rather than going for a sales pitch.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Wow, what a introduction.

So sorry to hear about the health problems. Just wanted to welcome you aboard and wish you good health and prayer never to hear the C word again.
 
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Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Apr 17, 2018
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The direction things were going with some momentum

I want to clarify that there is exactly one reason, only one reason, that I did not continue with my previous career in corporate information technology.

There's only one reason why I am not currently transitioning from a comfortable corporate life to the Fastlane.

If not for this one and only reason, I would have continued on with that career.

And by now, I'd be something like Vice President of Some Specific Type of Software Development, at a medium to large company.

Perhaps about five political levels down from the top: CEO, CTO, Executive VP, Senior VP, then me. Perhaps with a Director in there a level above or below me, or as my peer.

I'd be running a portfolio of projects and teams. Each with a Manager, probably in a Cross-Functional Matrix org chart.

I'd occasionally hire freelancers for the short term projects, that didn't justify additional Full-Time Employee headcount on the payroll.

The best ways to find those freelancers, shifted to the freelance gig boards during this time I was forced out of the workforce. Had I been able to stay in, I would have become familiar with Upwork and similar sites, as a major way for me to find talented freelancers to hire.

This is not a self-aggrandizing, unrealistic fantasy.

It is a realistic statement of the truth of where my professional work life was headed, with some growing momentum, BEFORE catastrophe hit.

I had already, at previous jobs, solicited and screened resumes, both directly and through agencies. I selected who to interview, conducted interviews and then selected who to hire. I created code standards and API designs, chose an agile methodology, and delegated implementation work to team members.

I knew project management. I knew development.

I was reasonably good at those areas.

I was pretty strong in a couple of specific areas, mentored others in those strengths, served as a research for colleagues who were stuck with those topics.

I was also humbly aware of my weaknesses, so I could seek team members who had those complementary strengths.

I was very strong at time management and at making the most of each day, using the resources available to me.

And I was good enough at institutional politics to get by. That was my least favorite part.

There are many people who have relevant experience, understanding, and guidance about some or all of these matters.

Some of them gained their ability to give me advice based on their having done similar corporate work.
Some of them gained their competence in the freelance world.
And so on.
That's fine.
 
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Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 17, 2018
952
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Best of Late Bloomer on Fastlane Forum

In addition to my intro thread, you might enjoy these... I gathered my more substantial comments, as opposed to stuff in the ongoing flow of chit-chat

The Big Idea might not really matter that much
Looking for advice, expecting a lecture or 17 :)

Something to learn from Steve Jobs's seemingly random life experiences
What do you do when you have no ideas

Why I think a cryptocurrency shakeout is still ahead
NOTABLE! - Going "All-In" on ONE cryptocurrency... which?

Don't underestimate your own form of intelligence
perception of intelligence

Little forum comments are still worth making
MEETUPS - Discord or Slack Group?

My background with coding
Where to Learn to Code?

Why I'm a fan of Wordpress
DIY Website builder - yes or no & why? Need advice.

A business with pretty much no scalable growth potential
Looking for advice, expecting a lecture or 17 :)

Henry Ford on why customers might not know best
Looking for advice, expecting a lecture or 17 :)

My thoughts for night owl business builders
Creative ideas for night owls?

Why I'm skeptical of The Next Big Thing From Google
The next Big Thing is quietly being assembled by Google...
and
The next Big Thing is quietly being assembled by Google...

Would like to see more discussion on this theme:
Only one of anything online violates the commandment of Control.

Is coding a barrier to entry?
Only one of anything online violates the commandment of Control.

Buy vs. build thoughts for a coding based business idea
Developers..hire or contract a company?!

Need graphics? Sponsor a contest at the art school.
INTRO - 40 year old Lawyer Turned Entrepreneur?

Biz school is historically about managing and sustaining what someone else created, not creating your own original empire & fortune
INTRO - Introducing Myself

My mini-review of MJ's Fastlane book
GOLD! - I've Read The Millionaire Fastlane!
 

Anothersimon

New Contributor
May 3, 2018
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Hi again,

apologies if the answer is somewhere in your post. I guess I am one of those millennial that have an allergy to reading.

What specifically was your business selling albeit having clients from hell. I'd imagine if there were promising opportunities there would be more? I can help you research markets in the digital world and assessing how big that opportunity is. That's what I do from 8-5 anyways. If you give me some more detail on the type of service offered I can post some thoughts.
 
OP
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Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Apr 17, 2018
952
1,304
362
What specifically was your business selling albeit having clients from hell. I'd imagine if there were promising opportunities there would be more?
I have several stories I could tell, but I'll focus on how I wasted most of last year on the worst situation.

Early in the year, I went to a business networking event, offering technology consulting. One of the people there was an inventor, with a unique, patented product design, and some hand-built prototypes.

He thought I'd be able to help him in several ways. I agreed.

We talked about how instead of just a vendor, I should become a business partner.
He arranged a meeting with his attorney, to ask, how can Chris get payment and equity, but only upon his completing a contribution, etc. The attorney explained how a corporation could be set up to make all of this happen, with an options vesting schedule, etc. The attorney said his assistant would send some paperwork, including a questionnaire about exactly what we agreed we wanted. Upon the inventor paying the attorney's fee, the attorney's staff would set everything up, file with the state, give us bylaws to reflect our agreement, etc.

The inventor told me he was short on funds, and wanted to put the money into marketing first, then catch up on the legal stuff later. I said okay, that makes sense, but let's get the questionnaire from the attorney's assistant so we can at least talk between ourselves and agree on what we want to do.

The inventor blew this off and never came back to it. I should have walked away at that point.

Instead, I continued to do a lot of work for him, including a lot of video and web work for promotion, giving a talk at a trade show and greeting people at the booth, etc. Also a lot of tech stuff for him such as getting his business email set up on both his phone and laptop.

He paid a very little bit of money along the way, with no consistent plan about how much I'd do and when I'd get paid. Again, bad business from him, but bad business from me to let him get away with it.

Along the way there was some specific technical stuff he wanted. I warned him I was NOT set up to implement it. I explained how much it would cost for me to set up to implement it myself. If he wanted to pay me that, I could implement. Otherwise, he could find someone else who could do that implementation.

He blew this off and assumed and demanded that I'd do that implementation too.

Eventually I had a conversation with him. My theme was, "you can pay me now, or you can pay me later, but you can't get away with not paying me at all."

He broke off contact and I have no way to access the good work I did for him, as examples for other clients.

What drove me to accept such a bad deal, getting worse over time, is that I didn't have a marketing funnel set up to provide a constant flow of new prospects. If I felt that when one bus breaks down, another will be along in a few minutes, I'd have got off a lot earlier!
 

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