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GOLD! So if you are born poor in a 3rd world shitpool, can you still make it? My Story.

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DarkKnight

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Bravo! You went to hell, and came back. Your story is a one of a kind.
Thank You! It is my dream to build a business so that I can go back to hell and help souls still stuck in there. I hope one day I can write a book about my journey, start a few scholarships, and provide free mentorship to kids in hell -- but I won't do any of it before I retire through a business of my own. I only want to preach what I've practiced.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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This is an absolutely magnificent story, masterfully told. Welcome to the forum.

I nominate this for gold @MJ DeMarco
Thanks for the tag and the notification about lurking Gold material that escaped my purview! Done!

The grit in the story is as Fastlane as you can get. The "business" aspect of it I'm sure will follow!
 

Jack Hammer

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That is an amazing story. The time time I feel the slightest bit of self-pity, I'll reread your story as a much-needed kick in the a$$.
 
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DarkKnight

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Thanks for the tag and the notification about lurking Gold material that escaped my purview! Done!

The grit in the story is as Fastlane as you can get. The "business" aspect of it I'm sure will follow!
@MJ DeMarco !! I am at a loss for words and have to pinch myself to believe it's you not only reading my first post at @fastlane, but making it Gold!! What a way to join the forum!

What can I say -- Thank You from the bottom of my heart for writing UnScripted and FastLane. Your story is a true inspiration to me and your CENTS Framework has helped me a lot to chart out the next chapter of my life.
I have had a lot of hate from rich kids throughout my journey and was hesitant posting my story in a community of successful entrepreneurs when I was just starting out. You, and the fastlane community have proved all my doubts wrong and shown what the fastlane community is really about. I hope to meet you in person one day.
 

justindircksen

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In one his books, MJ makes a good argument: If you are born in a First World country, have a healthy mind and body, there is absolutely no reason for you to not be able to break through the chains of servitude. Now a question arises -- what if you are born on the wrong side of the planet? And you ain't too smart?

I had that puzzle to solve. I was born poor in a 3rd world country where corruption and cast-ism reigned strong. In early childhood, I experienced beatings on a daily basis because I didn't have a f*cking pen to do my homework and the teacher won't believe me. Or not being able to afford a 5 cents worth box of color pencils. Watching hot food being served to paying customers/kids while you starve in a corner, watching kids buy ice-cream and all the other shit a kid wants after-school and eyeing that stuff secretly for fear of being made fun of for being poor again. Not having a soda-pop in 10 F*cking years? Wearing run-down over-sized borrowed clothes to school on your F*cking farewell/prom and being made fun of yet again as the girl you love watches secretly in the background (and secretly returns your calls but is too afraid to socially own you because you are F*cking poor). One disease -- poverty. [I dare anyone who says money doesn't matter].

As much as that hurt me, it f*cking pissed me off and filled me with anger, revenge and a special kind of hate. My 20s at college were a repeat because I lived in a 10$ a month room in a sulphur warehouse where drinking poisonous water caused me to get jaundice thrice in a year. I rode a broken down bicycle to college that made squeky noises and got laughed at by rich kids, every single day. My budget for food was less than $1 a day. I did not have healthcare. I waited months for 'emergency' surgeries because there were too many poor people before me in the line who couldn't afford it either. I once happened to wait for a few hours outside an overcrowded hospital at night only to find out one of the guys I was watching wait the last night, had now died - waiting. How I even got to college is a story in itself.

Anyway, somewhere during the suffering, I dared to dream. A dream where all of this suffering had ended, where I could drink clean water and breathe clean air and not be bothered about where the next meal would come from. I wanted away from being looked on as being of a certain caste, of living in fear in a corrupt country and being humiliated everyday. So, I cried the nights out and started to dream about a mythical place where there was no more pain, no more humiliation, no more fear.

WW1: It finally dawned on me that the only way this shit was changing was if I managed to get to a first world country with a quality education. I inquired about how much it would cost -- about $120,000 was the figure I was told I would need after visiting every 'higher education' fair that came to the city, even if I managed to get in a quality school with my grades, that is. There was only one problem -- I didn't have a $100 to spend and I was stupid and flunking my first semester. But I couldn't dream of anything else, the dream had consumed me like MJ's Ferrari. I had met too many people returning from the fairy lands telling me too many tales about the myth being true, I had watched too many videos, read too many brochures and dreamed too far. When I made it known to my family, I was pronounced a lunatic. I was 22.

I would need to write a book on what happened next, but too keep it short, here's a quick summary.
I got OBSESSED with history's last stands. Where men, CERTAIN of their impending death, instead of running away to save their lives, chose to stand valiantly and face their fears as they embraced death fighting odds too great with open arms. I had made a commitment to march into the unknown and not give a F*ck about the odds. In hindsight, I don't know if I would do again what I did. But I was too hurt and too stupid to care. My room resembled more of a HQ during times of war than a sane 22yr old's room. The walls were covered with maps of my next offensive -- in other words, what I needed to do next to get JUST ONE INCH CLOSER. There were offensives planned out years in advance with 'stockpiles' of skills. There were 'fronts', elaborate defensive operations, even resource allocation towards researching for an A-bomb that could be a game-changer. With military history books, ideas were taken and strategically applied towards my objectives. Many facades were created and dummies planted to save resources on fronts when I could not afford to fight at multiple fronts at the same time.

One guy, after I met hundreds tells me that the secret to getting in a good school is research papers. I was in a school where the CS 'Professors' don't understand English or coding, forget research. Hell, in that college 3 girls were murdered in the last 2 years -- hacked to pieces with an axe by their 'lovers'. What 'research' could I do? So an offensive was planned, in F*cking great detail and 2 years later, I published 7 research papers of dubious quality because that was all I knew. But it was done. I crammed 5,000 English words inorder to take the GRE when I sucked at cramming. I took the TOEFL exam 3 times. I've written the IELTS thrice as well -- each time with near perfect scores.
While all this was going on, a second front opened -- I got a job as a software developer in a place with absent labor laws requiring me to work 18 hour days, 364 days a year. I took shit at my job every day, got the lowest grade possible to required keep my job and indulged in parasitic entrepreneurship. I didn't have time to date or make friends. I worked like an absolute a$$.
After wading through this pool of shit that stretched for miles for 5 years, I applied to a Western School that accepted me with a 100 % tuition waiver + a Research Assistant ship. Didn't have the $5,000 I needed to come up with to even get to that country. I went back to the drawing board, planned a new offensive with the goal to get even that $5,000 as scholarship money and 3 years later applied again, getting into 8 schools with 5 of them extending 100% waivers and assistant-ships. Due to a combination of plain stupidity, poor planning and the general difficulty of getting a non-immigrant first-world country visa when you get a full ride which another native kid could use, my visa got rejected 4 times -- right at the point of culmination of my 8 years of blood and sweat. I had the college offer letter in hand -- full ride, everything ready to go, just awaiting a stamp of approval from the 'system' to leave the bottom-most slave barracks of the ship but was swatted away like a cockroach. No one gave a F*ck. I was broken, depressed, and finished. A regular at the psychiatrist. I tried buying poison online to commit suicide. I had given up all of my career opportunities for this and the war was lost. But I did not die.

3 years post that, I visited a first-world country for the first time in my life on a tourist visa. I wanted to go see first hand if the myth was really true. I couldn't afford Europe, but I'd heard Singapore was a first-world country. When the flight landed and I was on my way to the hotel, I couldn't believe the contrast between where I lived and this place I was in. I managed to keep it together all morning but I broke down completely taking a walk on a street there one night. It was either this or death itself. It didn't matter anymore. I came back home and re-applied with whatever grades that were still valid. I wish I could tell you it was easy this time. It wasn't. Not at all. But good things don't come easy. Another crawl through a pool of shit and 5 years later, today I can write this:

After 12 years of blood and sweat chasing down an impossible dream and many countless battles and failures later, I graduated last year from a top-ranked school in this First-World country I live in now. I work as a software developer in some big-name corporation here and make a decent wage. I drink clean water and breathe awesome clean air. I can have meat or whatever, any day I want. I work less than 8 hrs a day and make 50x the money I made from my first job.
I am a Permanent Resident on the path to citizenship. It is possible. Certainly not easy.

WW2:
The world is F*cked as MJ says. I am still not free. Although I work way less than 8 hrs a day, I still have to look to my employer for a paycheck, deal with office politics and can't just take off to see the world. As grateful as I am, I WILL NOT DIE IN CHAINS. This is my only WHY. FREEDOM.

Oh, and I'm on it. Planning for another campaign for a pivotal war that I will EVENTUALLY win. I will be free in 10 years, or I will die trying. Actually, there is no OR.
My room is again being converted to a war-room. Maps again, stories of last stands, books of entrepreneurs who made it despite all odds. The prize of the battle is my life, the objective to build a SaaS business that eventually brings me $50,000 a month after tax without me having to work everyday. The shorter-term goal is to build a personal developer brand so I can get my foot into consulting to finance my new ventures. It can be done -- just would need a few thousand hours of skills-acquisition.
And it won't happen tomorrow. This is a game of inches. One, bloody, F*cking inch at a time. Crawling through fingernails, desperately struggling to breathe another puff of air. Life or Death. Freedom or Slavery.

So, this was my introduction. I have been lurking here for a long time but never posted. And I guess, this is my way of saying 'Hi Folks!'.
DAMN BRO!! Welcome to the party!
Your introduction is way better than mine.
 

Ravens_Shadow

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Great story, I'm glad you've reached you excelled at achieving your goals. Keep going and i'm sure you'll find what you're looking for!
 

Kevin88660

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In one his books, MJ makes a good argument: If you are born in a First World country, have a healthy mind and body, there is absolutely no reason for you to not be able to break through the chains of servitude. Now a question arises -- what if you are born on the wrong side of the planet? And you ain't too smart?

I had that puzzle to solve. I was born poor in a 3rd world country where corruption and cast-ism reigned strong. In early childhood, I experienced beatings on a daily basis because I didn't have a f*cking pen to do my homework and the teacher won't believe me. Or not being able to afford a 5 cents worth box of color pencils. Watching hot food being served to paying customers/kids while you starve in a corner, watching kids buy ice-cream and all the other shit a kid wants after-school and eyeing that stuff secretly for fear of being made fun of for being poor again. Not having a soda-pop in 10 F*cking years? Wearing run-down over-sized borrowed clothes to school on your F*cking farewell/prom and being made fun of yet again as the girl you love watches secretly in the background (and secretly returns your calls but is too afraid to socially own you because you are F*cking poor). One disease -- poverty. [I dare anyone who says money doesn't matter].

As much as that hurt me, it f*cking pissed me off and filled me with anger, revenge and a special kind of hate. My 20s at college were a repeat because I lived in a 10$ a month room in a sulphur warehouse where drinking poisonous water caused me to get jaundice thrice in a year. I rode a broken down bicycle to college that made squeky noises and got laughed at by rich kids, every single day. My budget for food was less than $1 a day. I did not have healthcare. I waited months for 'emergency' surgeries because there were too many poor people before me in the line who couldn't afford it either. I once happened to wait for a few hours outside an overcrowded hospital at night only to find out one of the guys I was watching wait the last night, had now died - waiting. How I even got to college is a story in itself.

Anyway, somewhere during the suffering, I dared to dream. A dream where all of this suffering had ended, where I could drink clean water and breathe clean air and not be bothered about where the next meal would come from. I wanted away from being looked on as being of a certain caste, of living in fear in a corrupt country and being humiliated everyday. So, I cried the nights out and started to dream about a mythical place where there was no more pain, no more humiliation, no more fear.

WW1: It finally dawned on me that the only way this shit was changing was if I managed to get to a first world country with a quality education. I inquired about how much it would cost -- about $120,000 was the figure I was told I would need after visiting every 'higher education' fair that came to the city, even if I managed to get in a quality school with my grades, that is. There was only one problem -- I didn't have a $100 to spend and I was stupid and flunking my first semester. But I couldn't dream of anything else, the dream had consumed me like MJ's Ferrari. I had met too many people returning from the fairy lands telling me too many tales about the myth being true, I had watched too many videos, read too many brochures and dreamed too far. When I made it known to my family, I was pronounced a lunatic. I was 22.

I would need to write a book on what happened next, but too keep it short, here's a quick summary.
I got OBSESSED with history's last stands. Where men, CERTAIN of their impending death, instead of running away to save their lives, chose to stand valiantly and face their fears as they embraced death fighting odds too great with open arms. I had made a commitment to march into the unknown and not give a F*ck about the odds. In hindsight, I don't know if I would do again what I did. But I was too hurt and too stupid to care. My room resembled more of a HQ during times of war than a sane 22yr old's room. The walls were covered with maps of my next offensive -- in other words, what I needed to do next to get JUST ONE INCH CLOSER. There were offensives planned out years in advance with 'stockpiles' of skills. There were 'fronts', elaborate defensive operations, even resource allocation towards researching for an A-bomb that could be a game-changer. With military history books, ideas were taken and strategically applied towards my objectives. Many facades were created and dummies planted to save resources on fronts when I could not afford to fight at multiple fronts at the same time.

One guy, after I met hundreds tells me that the secret to getting in a good school is research papers. I was in a school where the CS 'Professors' don't understand English or coding, forget research. Hell, in that college 3 girls were murdered in the last 2 years -- hacked to pieces with an axe by their 'lovers'. What 'research' could I do? So an offensive was planned, in F*cking great detail and 2 years later, I published 7 research papers of dubious quality because that was all I knew. But it was done. I crammed 5,000 English words inorder to take the GRE when I sucked at cramming. I took the TOEFL exam 3 times. I've written the IELTS thrice as well -- each time with near perfect scores.
While all this was going on, a second front opened -- I got a job as a software developer in a place with absent labor laws requiring me to work 18 hour days, 364 days a year. I took shit at my job every day, got the lowest grade possible to required keep my job and indulged in parasitic entrepreneurship. I didn't have time to date or make friends. I worked like an absolute a$$.
After wading through this pool of shit that stretched for miles for 5 years, I applied to a Western School that accepted me with a 100 % tuition waiver + a Research Assistant ship. Didn't have the $5,000 I needed to come up with to even get to that country. I went back to the drawing board, planned a new offensive with the goal to get even that $5,000 as scholarship money and 3 years later applied again, getting into 8 schools with 5 of them extending 100% waivers and assistant-ships. Due to a combination of plain stupidity, poor planning and the general difficulty of getting a non-immigrant first-world country visa when you get a full ride which another native kid could use, my visa got rejected 4 times -- right at the point of culmination of my 8 years of blood and sweat. I had the college offer letter in hand -- full ride, everything ready to go, just awaiting a stamp of approval from the 'system' to leave the bottom-most slave barracks of the ship but was swatted away like a cockroach. No one gave a F*ck. I was broken, depressed, and finished. A regular at the psychiatrist. I tried buying poison online to commit suicide. I had given up all of my career opportunities for this and the war was lost. But I did not die.

3 years post that, I visited a first-world country for the first time in my life on a tourist visa. I wanted to go see first hand if the myth was really true. I couldn't afford Europe, but I'd heard Singapore was a first-world country. When the flight landed and I was on my way to the hotel, I couldn't believe the contrast between where I lived and this place I was in. I managed to keep it together all morning but I broke down completely taking a walk on a street there one night. It was either this or death itself. It didn't matter anymore. I came back home and re-applied with whatever grades that were still valid. I wish I could tell you it was easy this time. It wasn't. Not at all. But good things don't come easy. Another crawl through a pool of shit and 5 years later, today I can write this:

After 12 years of blood and sweat chasing down an impossible dream and many countless battles and failures later, I graduated last year from a top-ranked school in this First-World country I live in now. I work as a software developer in some big-name corporation here and make a decent wage. I drink clean water and breathe awesome clean air. I can have meat or whatever, any day I want. I work less than 8 hrs a day and make 50x the money I made from my first job.
I am a Permanent Resident on the path to citizenship. It is possible. Certainly not easy.

WW2:
The world is F*cked as MJ says. I am still not free. Although I work way less than 8 hrs a day, I still have to look to my employer for a paycheck, deal with office politics and can't just take off to see the world. As grateful as I am, I WILL NOT DIE IN CHAINS. This is my only WHY. FREEDOM.

Oh, and I'm on it. Planning for another campaign for a pivotal war that I will EVENTUALLY win. I will be free in 10 years, or I will die trying. Actually, there is no OR.
My room is again being converted to a war-room. Maps again, stories of last stands, books of entrepreneurs who made it despite all odds. The prize of the battle is my life, the objective to build a SaaS business that eventually brings me $50,000 a month after tax without me having to work everyday. The shorter-term goal is to build a personal developer brand so I can get my foot into consulting to finance my new ventures. It can be done -- just would need a few thousand hours of skills-acquisition.
And it won't happen tomorrow. This is a game of inches. One, bloody, F*cking inch at a time. Crawling through fingernails, desperately struggling to breathe another puff of air. Life or Death. Freedom or Slavery.

So, this was my introduction. I have been lurking here for a long time but never posted. And I guess, this is my way of saying 'Hi Folks!'.
Welcome to Singapore!

The conventional wisdom is that developing countries were a better place to business while developed countries offer better opportunities to work and earn a wage.

Because in developing countries the market is growing rapidly unlike developed countries where the market is often more saturated. You can simply ride on the wave of market growth. There is also a lack of regulation in developing countries where there are more opportunities to make the first pot of “shady gold”.

JD.com owner Liu Qiang Dong few years ago (2015?) was public criticizing his Competitor Jack Ma for offering a platform to sell counterfeit goods. Young people were driving Ferraris by selling fake brands online to consumers who want to satisfy their ego cheaply. People who sell real brands are struggling and Liu criticizes that it really sets a bad example to young entrepreneurs.

India is no short of billionaires too.

Anyway good luck to you!
 

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DarkKnight

Bronze Contributor
Jan 3, 2020
24
216
49
Great story, I'm glad you've reached you excelled at achieving your goals. Keep going and i'm sure you'll find what you're looking for!
Thank You! Look forward to learning from you here -- you seem to have already done what I am trying to do -- building a software company from scratch and taking it to 6-7 figures!
 
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DarkKnight

Bronze Contributor
Jan 3, 2020
24
216
49
Welcome to Singapore!
Finally migrated to North America. Singapore was a glimpse of what my life could be if I tried again and I'm glad I did.

The conventional wisdom is that developing countries were a better place to business while developed countries offer better opportunities to work and earn a wage.

Because in developing countries the market is growing rapidly unlike developed countries where the market is often more saturated. You can simply ride on the wave of market growth. There is also a lack of regulation in developing countries where there are more opportunities to make the first pot of “shady gold”.

JD.com owner Liu Qiang Dong few years ago (2015?) was public criticizing his Competitor Jack Ma for offering a platform to sell counterfeit goods.
The problem with the 3rd world is the massive corruption causing rules to be applied selectively. My dad started a small business which ended up with my mom running the counter and she spent a majority of her time hyper-worried about some random sales tax raid, or some dude from the municipality coming to seize all her goods (happened very often), some cop showing up and not paying or demanding a bribe, local politicians asking for bribes and so on. If you don't know the right people, these countries are a quagmire of shady rules and regulations. Any day your business can be seized by the cops or the local goons financed courtesy of your big fish established competitor who pays the authorities well, something you'll never be able to match.

I don't know if you know but there was a Communist Party's insider on TV saying Jack Ma's life is under threat right now and that they killed another billionaire because they wanted to seize the wealth. Now, the big fish want his business. He had to sign over a significant amount of Alibaba's shares to the Chinese Communist Govt.

Basically, if you are already wealthy and/or know the right people, then 3rd world is where you should run your business, if not, better stay out of big business in dangerous places.
Also, people in these countries are generally not rich, and you need a lot more scaling to make significant profits.

Anyway good luck to you!
And to you my friend!
 

mon_fi

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I'm curious now, what would you have needed in South-East Asia to succeed there?
 
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DarkKnight

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Jan 3, 2020
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I'm curious now, what would you have needed in South-East Asia to succeed there?
Not sure I follow. My dream wasn't just money, my dream was to be in a western country with a different culture where each individual is evaluated on their own merit and not written off just because they happened to be born in a specific situation. I valued being in a Western culture as much as I valued money. Money for tuition would have made my dream easier.
 

Walter Hay

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And I am curious about the religion you mentioned about. I have been a religious fanatic (for multiple religions!), a sworn atheist, an agnostic and now, I don't know what to call it -- but I do believe there is certainly way more than meets the eye, yet I reject the notion of a bearded man in the sky. If you could DM me more about the religion you talked about in your story, I would be very happy to hear about it!
As you have requested I have sent you a message about my religion. As I wrote in that message, I never push my beliefs although they have had an enormous influence in my life.

My Christian religion is fundamentalist because as the philosopher Bertrand Russel wrote it is the closest he found to early Christianity. Having said that I must add that it is absolutely not fanatical.

Walter
 

Beerbread

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I got such anxiety reading this, but I'm so moved by your story! Most people would have given up, but you defied all odds! I'm so happy that you're in a better place and you're still continuing your dream! I'm rooting for you!
 

CrazyCrapCutter.

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I saved this whole post into my Pocket app.
I will certainly come back to look at it every time I think "my life is so hard" in the future.

It ain't. I'm lucky. I've always had clean water to drink and fresh air to breathe, but I've often let the fear of taking low risks and hurting my own ego stop myself. It will never happen again.

Tough times do make strong men! You are a real living testament to that @DarkKnight !!!

Good luck on your fastlane business and becoming financially independent and free! Let's have a hell of a ride on this journey together!

P.S. I love strategizing beforehand as well, especially with environmental designs to keep me from procrastinating or getting stuck into my phone. But I guess you don't have that issue lol.
 

Chasta_tea

Bronze Contributor
Jun 30, 2020
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In one his books, MJ makes a good argument: If you are born in a First World country, have a healthy mind and body, there is absolutely no reason for you to not be able to break through the chains of servitude. Now a question arises -- what if you are born on the wrong side of the planet? And you ain't too smart?

I had that puzzle to solve. I was born poor in a 3rd world country where corruption and cast-ism reigned strong. In early childhood, I experienced beatings on a daily basis because I didn't have a f*cking pen to do my homework and the teacher won't believe me. Or not being able to afford a 5 cents worth box of color pencils. Watching hot food being served to paying customers/kids while you starve in a corner, watching kids buy ice-cream and all the other shit a kid wants after-school and eyeing that stuff secretly for fear of being made fun of for being poor again. Not having a soda-pop in 10 F*cking years? Wearing run-down over-sized borrowed clothes to school on your F*cking farewell/prom and being made fun of yet again as the girl you love watches secretly in the background (and secretly returns your calls but is too afraid to socially own you because you are F*cking poor). One disease -- poverty. [I dare anyone who says money doesn't matter].

As much as that hurt me, it f*cking pissed me off and filled me with anger, revenge and a special kind of hate. My 20s at college were a repeat because I lived in a 10$ a month room in a sulphur warehouse where drinking poisonous water caused me to get jaundice thrice in a year. I rode a broken down bicycle to college that made squeky noises and got laughed at by rich kids, every single day. My budget for food was less than $1 a day. I did not have healthcare. I waited months for 'emergency' surgeries because there were too many poor people before me in the line who couldn't afford it either. I once happened to wait for a few hours outside an overcrowded hospital at night only to find out one of the guys I was watching wait the last night, had now died - waiting. How I even got to college is a story in itself.

Anyway, somewhere during the suffering, I dared to dream. A dream where all of this suffering had ended, where I could drink clean water and breathe clean air and not be bothered about where the next meal would come from. I wanted away from being looked on as being of a certain caste, of living in fear in a corrupt country and being humiliated everyday. So, I cried the nights out and started to dream about a mythical place where there was no more pain, no more humiliation, no more fear.

WW1: It finally dawned on me that the only way this shit was changing was if I managed to get to a first world country with a quality education. I inquired about how much it would cost -- about $120,000 was the figure I was told I would need after visiting every 'higher education' fair that came to the city, even if I managed to get in a quality school with my grades, that is. There was only one problem -- I didn't have a $100 to spend and I was stupid and flunking my first semester. But I couldn't dream of anything else, the dream had consumed me like MJ's Ferrari. I had met too many people returning from the fairy lands telling me too many tales about the myth being true, I had watched too many videos, read too many brochures and dreamed too far. When I made it known to my family, I was pronounced a lunatic. I was 22.

I would need to write a book on what happened next, but too keep it short, here's a quick summary.
I got OBSESSED with history's last stands. Where men, CERTAIN of their impending death, instead of running away to save their lives, chose to stand valiantly and face their fears as they embraced death fighting odds too great with open arms. I had made a commitment to march into the unknown and not give a F*ck about the odds. In hindsight, I don't know if I would do again what I did. But I was too hurt and too stupid to care. My room resembled more of a HQ during times of war than a sane 22yr old's room. The walls were covered with maps of my next offensive -- in other words, what I needed to do next to get JUST ONE INCH CLOSER. There were offensives planned out years in advance with 'stockpiles' of skills. There were 'fronts', elaborate defensive operations, even resource allocation towards researching for an A-bomb that could be a game-changer. With military history books, ideas were taken and strategically applied towards my objectives. Many facades were created and dummies planted to save resources on fronts when I could not afford to fight at multiple fronts at the same time.

One guy, after I met hundreds tells me that the secret to getting in a good school is research papers. I was in a school where the CS 'Professors' don't understand English or coding, forget research. Hell, in that college 3 girls were murdered in the last 2 years -- hacked to pieces with an axe by their 'lovers'. What 'research' could I do? So an offensive was planned, in F*cking great detail and 2 years later, I published 7 research papers of dubious quality because that was all I knew. But it was done. I crammed 5,000 English words inorder to take the GRE when I sucked at cramming. I took the TOEFL exam 3 times. I've written the IELTS thrice as well -- each time with near perfect scores.
While all this was going on, a second front opened -- I got a job as a software developer in a place with absent labor laws requiring me to work 18 hour days, 364 days a year. I took shit at my job every day, got the lowest grade possible to required keep my job and indulged in parasitic entrepreneurship. I didn't have time to date or make friends. I worked like an absolute a$$.
After wading through this pool of shit that stretched for miles for 5 years, I applied to a Western School that accepted me with a 100 % tuition waiver + a Research Assistant ship. Didn't have the $5,000 I needed to come up with to even get to that country. I went back to the drawing board, planned a new offensive with the goal to get even that $5,000 as scholarship money and 3 years later applied again, getting into 8 schools with 5 of them extending 100% waivers and assistant-ships. Due to a combination of plain stupidity, poor planning and the general difficulty of getting a non-immigrant first-world country visa when you get a full ride which another native kid could use, my visa got rejected 4 times -- right at the point of culmination of my 8 years of blood and sweat. I had the college offer letter in hand -- full ride, everything ready to go, just awaiting a stamp of approval from the 'system' to leave the bottom-most slave barracks of the ship but was swatted away like a cockroach. No one gave a F*ck. I was broken, depressed, and finished. A regular at the psychiatrist. I tried buying poison online to commit suicide. I had given up all of my career opportunities for this and the war was lost. But I did not die.

3 years post that, I visited a first-world country for the first time in my life on a tourist visa. I wanted to go see first hand if the myth was really true. I couldn't afford Europe, but I'd heard Singapore was a first-world country. When the flight landed and I was on my way to the hotel, I couldn't believe the contrast between where I lived and this place I was in. I managed to keep it together all morning but I broke down completely taking a walk on a street there one night. It was either this or death itself. It didn't matter anymore. I came back home and re-applied with whatever grades that were still valid. I wish I could tell you it was easy this time. It wasn't. Not at all. But good things don't come easy. Another crawl through a pool of shit and 5 years later, today I can write this:

After 12 years of blood and sweat chasing down an impossible dream and many countless battles and failures later, I graduated last year from a top-ranked school in this First-World country I live in now. I work as a software developer in some big-name corporation here and make a decent wage. I drink clean water and breathe awesome clean air. I can have meat or whatever, any day I want. I work less than 8 hrs a day and make 50x the money I made from my first job.
I am a Permanent Resident on the path to citizenship. It is possible. Certainly not easy.

WW2:
The world is F*cked as MJ says. I am still not free. Although I work way less than 8 hrs a day, I still have to look to my employer for a paycheck, deal with office politics and can't just take off to see the world. As grateful as I am, I WILL NOT DIE IN CHAINS. This is my only WHY. FREEDOM.

Oh, and I'm on it. Planning for another campaign for a pivotal war that I will EVENTUALLY win. I will be free in 10 years, or I will die trying. Actually, there is no OR.
My room is again being converted to a war-room. Maps again, stories of last stands, books of entrepreneurs who made it despite all odds. The prize of the battle is my life, the objective to build a SaaS business that eventually brings me $50,000 a month after tax without me having to work everyday. The shorter-term goal is to build a personal developer brand so I can get my foot into consulting to finance my new ventures. It can be done -- just would need a few thousand hours of skills-acquisition.
And it won't happen tomorrow. This is a game of inches. One, bloody, F*cking inch at a time. Crawling through fingernails, desperately struggling to breathe another puff of air. Life or Death. Freedom or Slavery.

So, this was my introduction. I have been lurking here for a long time but never posted. And I guess, this is my way of saying 'Hi Folks!'.
I’ve learned from a beloved mentor, Jiddu Krishnamurti, that freedom and wealth is a state of mind…poverty is external and wealth resides within oneself. With your level of passion and deliberate action, I have no doubt you will achieve your goals.
 
OP
OP
D

DarkKnight

Bronze Contributor
Jan 3, 2020
24
216
49
I've often let the fear of taking low risks and hurting my own ego stop myself. It will never happen again.

.................

But I guess you don't have that issue lol.
Thanks for the love brother, but if you think I never f*ck up and have grown up into some hyper-masculine-alpha type, I haven't, though hardships do change us permanently.

If we punch above our weight, f*ckups should be expected as part of the process.
 
Last edited:

Jack Hammer

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 19, 2018
77
92
123
Thanks for the love brother, but if you think I never F*ck up and have grown up into some hyper-masculine-alpha type, I haven't, though hardships do change us permanently.

If we punch above our weight, F*ckups should be expected as part of the process.
Right on. Even Muhammad Ali got bloodied up. Even Michael Jordan missed game-winning shots.
 

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dilooska

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 21, 2020
39
39
108
Berlin
this is soooooo inspiring, thank you so much for sharing it. Sometimes success seems like overnight but it NEVER is. it requires patience. a lot of failures. and knowing that it's ok and even expecting it makes you stronger.

my room looks like a war room too and I'm proud of it, even though most average people would make fun of it, this is a f*cking war. thanks again for making that clear.

I can't wait to see your SaaS business rock!
 

Jose Arturo

New Contributor
Jun 2, 2020
2
2
11
Mexico
Finally migrated to North America. Singapore was a glimpse of what my life could be if I tried again and I'm glad I did.


The problem with the 3rd world is the massive corruption causing rules to be applied selectively. My dad started a small business which ended up with my mom running the counter and she spent a majority of her time hyper-worried about some random sales tax raid, or some dude from the municipality coming to seize all her goods (happened very often), some cop showing up and not paying or demanding a bribe, local politicians asking for bribes and so on. If you don't know the right people, these countries are a quagmire of shady rules and regulations. Any day your business can be seized by the cops or the local goons financed courtesy of your big fish established competitor who pays the authorities well, something you'll never be able to match.

I don't know if you know but there was a Communist Party's insider on TV saying Jack Ma's life is under threat right now and that they killed another billionaire because they wanted to seize the wealth. Now, the big fish want his business. He had to sign over a significant amount of Alibaba's shares to the Chinese Communist Govt.

Basically, if you are already wealthy and/or know the right people, then 3rd world is where you should run your business, if not, better stay out of big business in dangerous places.
Also, people in these countries are generally not rich, and you need a lot more scaling to make significant profits.


And to you my friend!
I Agree with you my friend I have lived in the USA and in Mexico and the diferences are... You can make it big in the USA following the legality.... But you can´t make it big in Mexico following the legality, instead you have to know the right people in the goverment or bribe them with the "right" amount of money in order to open those "doors that you need to be opened" If you belong to those few wealthy families in Mexico you don´t have to worry about shit, but if you are like most of the 99% of Mexicans most of your time will be spent in "surviving mode" .
The big question is...can you make it in a third world country (a shit pool) without belonging to the privileged economical and political class ? the answer is YES.....but it will cost you probably 30 X more of everything than becoming rich in the USA for example. In other words you need to be someone really, really special in something to make it big (legally) in a third wold country.
 
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Reactions: Kid

DiamondDog

Contributor
Dec 3, 2016
24
58
23
27
Finally migrated to North America. Singapore was a glimpse of what my life could be if I tried again and I'm glad I did.


The problem with the 3rd world is the massive corruption causing rules to be applied selectively. My dad started a small business which ended up with my mom running the counter and she spent a majority of her time hyper-worried about some random sales tax raid, or some dude from the municipality coming to seize all her goods (happened very often), some cop showing up and not paying or demanding a bribe, local politicians asking for bribes and so on. If you don't know the right people, these countries are a quagmire of shady rules and regulations. Any day your business can be seized by the cops or the local goons financed courtesy of your big fish established competitor who pays the authorities well, something you'll never be able to match.

I don't know if you know but there was a Communist Party's insider on TV saying Jack Ma's life is under threat right now and that they killed another billionaire because they wanted to seize the wealth. Now, the big fish want his business. He had to sign over a significant amount of Alibaba's shares to the Chinese Communist Govt.

Basically, if you are already wealthy and/or know the right people, then 3rd world is where you should run your business, if not, better stay out of big business in dangerous places.
Also, people in these countries are generally not rich, and you need a lot more scaling to make significant profits.


And to you my friend!
@DarkKnight thanks for sharing your story! It was very inspiring. I'm also from a "third world country" and I'm familiar with how difficult it is to immigrate to a developed country. That makes it extra inspiring to me.

However, I disagree with some of the generalizations described in the post I just quoted. I am not saying that your experience is not valid because I am not from your country but I am from one of the poorest, least developed and most corrupt countries of South America (Bolivia) and my experience has been completely different. The objective of this post is to encourage foreign and local entrepreneurs seeking to do business in developing countries.

I have been running a small business for about a year and never experienced any sort of abuse from the police, politicians or government officials (i.e. inspectors). My dad has also been running a small business for a decade and he's never encountered any of these problems. My parents are not rich by any means and my family actually struggled for a long time and although they're well connected (we are the typical "poor relatives" of a mostly rich extended family), we mostly remained lower middle class and never used any of those connections to avoid or get out of trouble with authorities.

I Agree with you my friend I have lived in the USA and in Mexico and the diferences are... You can make it big in the USA following the legality.... But you can´t make it big in Mexico following the legality, instead you have to know the right people in the goverment or bribe them with the "right" amount of money in order to open those "doors that you need to be opened" If you belong to those few wealthy families in Mexico you don´t have to worry about shit, but if you are like most of the 99% of Mexicans most of your time will be spent in "surviving mode" .
The big question is...can you make it in a third world country (a shit pool) without belonging to the privileged economical and political class ? the answer is YES.....but it will cost you probably 30 X more of everything than becoming rich in the USA for example. In other words you need to be someone really, really special in something to make it big (legally) in a third wold country.
Glad to see a post from a fellow Latin American! I will also have to disagree with you though :p

I've seen way too many people in my circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances who have started a businesses on a capital as little as USD 500 and went on to become successful in varying degrees. Some are even worth more than USD 10.000.000 now and they're all legal and legitimate businesses.

Now from my personal experience, I feel I have been decently successful in my first year of business (yes, even during the pandemic! The pandemic even helped my business grow due to some interesting reasons but that's a post for another day). And I feel very positive about the future. There's no doubt in my mind I can make it in this country.

We have our own challenges, yes. But competition is much weaker and less saturated in the developing world than it is in developed countries and I'm happy to use that to my advantage.
 

Marco Skin

New Contributor
Aug 23, 2020
1
1
1
Palma
In one his books, MJ makes a good argument: If you are born in a First World country, have a healthy mind and body, there is absolutely no reason for you to not be able to break through the chains of servitude. Now a question arises -- what if you are born on the wrong side of the planet? And you ain't too smart?

I had that puzzle to solve. I was born poor in a 3rd world country where corruption and cast-ism reigned strong. In early childhood, I experienced beatings on a daily basis because I didn't have a f*cking pen to do my homework and the teacher won't believe me. Or not being able to afford a 5 cents worth box of color pencils. Watching hot food being served to paying customers/kids while you starve in a corner, watching kids buy ice-cream and all the other shit a kid wants after-school and eyeing that stuff secretly for fear of being made fun of for being poor again. Not having a soda-pop in 10 F*cking years? Wearing run-down over-sized borrowed clothes to school on your F*cking farewell/prom and being made fun of yet again as the girl you love watches secretly in the background (and secretly returns your calls but is too afraid to socially own you because you are F*cking poor). One disease -- poverty. [I dare anyone who says money doesn't matter].

As much as that hurt me, it f*cking pissed me off and filled me with anger, revenge and a special kind of hate. My 20s at college were a repeat because I lived in a 10$ a month room in a sulphur warehouse where drinking poisonous water caused me to get jaundice thrice in a year. I rode a broken down bicycle to college that made squeky noises and got laughed at by rich kids, every single day. My budget for food was less than $1 a day. I did not have healthcare. I waited months for 'emergency' surgeries because there were too many poor people before me in the line who couldn't afford it either. I once happened to wait for a few hours outside an overcrowded hospital at night only to find out one of the guys I was watching wait the last night, had now died - waiting. How I even got to college is a story in itself.

Anyway, somewhere during the suffering, I dared to dream. A dream where all of this suffering had ended, where I could drink clean water and breathe clean air and not be bothered about where the next meal would come from. I wanted away from being looked on as being of a certain caste, of living in fear in a corrupt country and being humiliated everyday. So, I cried the nights out and started to dream about a mythical place where there was no more pain, no more humiliation, no more fear.

WW1: It finally dawned on me that the only way this shit was changing was if I managed to get to a first world country with a quality education. I inquired about how much it would cost -- about $120,000 was the figure I was told I would need after visiting every 'higher education' fair that came to the city, even if I managed to get in a quality school with my grades, that is. There was only one problem -- I didn't have a $100 to spend and I was stupid and flunking my first semester. But I couldn't dream of anything else, the dream had consumed me like MJ's Ferrari. I had met too many people returning from the fairy lands telling me too many tales about the myth being true, I had watched too many videos, read too many brochures and dreamed too far. When I made it known to my family, I was pronounced a lunatic. I was 22.

I would need to write a book on what happened next, but too keep it short, here's a quick summary.
I got OBSESSED with history's last stands. Where men, CERTAIN of their impending death, instead of running away to save their lives, chose to stand valiantly and face their fears as they embraced death fighting odds too great with open arms. I had made a commitment to march into the unknown and not give a F*ck about the odds. In hindsight, I don't know if I would do again what I did. But I was too hurt and too stupid to care. My room resembled more of a HQ during times of war than a sane 22yr old's room. The walls were covered with maps of my next offensive -- in other words, what I needed to do next to get JUST ONE INCH CLOSER. There were offensives planned out years in advance with 'stockpiles' of skills. There were 'fronts', elaborate defensive operations, even resource allocation towards researching for an A-bomb that could be a game-changer. With military history books, ideas were taken and strategically applied towards my objectives. Many facades were created and dummies planted to save resources on fronts when I could not afford to fight at multiple fronts at the same time.

One guy, after I met hundreds tells me that the secret to getting in a good school is research papers. I was in a school where the CS 'Professors' don't understand English or coding, forget research. Hell, in that college 3 girls were murdered in the last 2 years -- hacked to pieces with an axe by their 'lovers'. What 'research' could I do? So an offensive was planned, in F*cking great detail and 2 years later, I published 7 research papers of dubious quality because that was all I knew. But it was done. I crammed 5,000 English words inorder to take the GRE when I sucked at cramming. I took the TOEFL exam 3 times. I've written the IELTS thrice as well -- each time with near perfect scores.
While all this was going on, a second front opened -- I got a job as a software developer in a place with absent labor laws requiring me to work 18 hour days, 364 days a year. I took shit at my job every day, got the lowest grade possible to required keep my job and indulged in parasitic entrepreneurship. I didn't have time to date or make friends. I worked like an absolute a$$.
After wading through this pool of shit that stretched for miles for 5 years, I applied to a Western School that accepted me with a 100 % tuition waiver + a Research Assistant ship. Didn't have the $5,000 I needed to come up with to even get to that country. I went back to the drawing board, planned a new offensive with the goal to get even that $5,000 as scholarship money and 3 years later applied again, getting into 8 schools with 5 of them extending 100% waivers and assistant-ships. Due to a combination of plain stupidity, poor planning and the general difficulty of getting a non-immigrant first-world country visa when you get a full ride which another native kid could use, my visa got rejected 4 times -- right at the point of culmination of my 8 years of blood and sweat. I had the college offer letter in hand -- full ride, everything ready to go, just awaiting a stamp of approval from the 'system' to leave the bottom-most slave barracks of the ship but was swatted away like a cockroach. No one gave a F*ck. I was broken, depressed, and finished. A regular at the psychiatrist. I tried buying poison online to commit suicide. I had given up all of my career opportunities for this and the war was lost. But I did not die.

3 years post that, I visited a first-world country for the first time in my life on a tourist visa. I wanted to go see first hand if the myth was really true. I couldn't afford Europe, but I'd heard Singapore was a first-world country. When the flight landed and I was on my way to the hotel, I couldn't believe the contrast between where I lived and this place I was in. I managed to keep it together all morning but I broke down completely taking a walk on a street there one night. It was either this or death itself. It didn't matter anymore. I came back home and re-applied with whatever grades that were still valid. I wish I could tell you it was easy this time. It wasn't. Not at all. But good things don't come easy. Another crawl through a pool of shit and 5 years later, today I can write this:

After 12 years of blood and sweat chasing down an impossible dream and many countless battles and failures later, I graduated last year from a top-ranked school in this First-World country I live in now. I work as a software developer in some big-name corporation here and make a decent wage. I drink clean water and breathe awesome clean air. I can have meat or whatever, any day I want. I work less than 8 hrs a day and make 50x the money I made from my first job.
I am a Permanent Resident on the path to citizenship. It is possible. Certainly not easy.

WW2:
The world is F*cked as MJ says. I am still not free. Although I work way less than 8 hrs a day, I still have to look to my employer for a paycheck, deal with office politics and can't just take off to see the world. As grateful as I am, I WILL NOT DIE IN CHAINS. This is my only WHY. FREEDOM.

Oh, and I'm on it. Planning for another campaign for a pivotal war that I will EVENTUALLY win. I will be free in 10 years, or I will die trying. Actually, there is no OR.
My room is again being converted to a war-room. Maps again, stories of last stands, books of entrepreneurs who made it despite all odds. The prize of the battle is my life, the objective to build a SaaS business that eventually brings me $50,000 a month after tax without me having to work everyday. The shorter-term goal is to build a personal developer brand so I can get my foot into consulting to finance my new ventures. It can be done -- just would need a few thousand hours of skills-acquisition.
And it won't happen tomorrow. This is a game of inches. One, bloody, F*cking inch at a time. Crawling through fingernails, desperately struggling to breathe another puff of air. Life or Death. Freedom or Slavery.

So, this was my introduction. I have been lurking here for a long time but never posted. And I guess, this is my way of saying 'Hi Folks!'.
What a story. Great!
 

Kevin88660

Gold Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 8, 2019
1,063
1,077
365
Singapore
@DarkKnight thanks for sharing your story! It was very inspiring. I'm also from a "third world country" and I'm familiar with how difficult it is to immigrate to a developed country. That makes it extra inspiring to me.

However, I disagree with some of the generalizations described in the post I just quoted. I am not saying that your experience is not valid because I am not from your country but I am from one of the poorest, least developed and most corrupt countries of South America (Bolivia) and my experience has been completely different. The objective of this post is to encourage foreign and local entrepreneurs seeking to do business in developing countries.

I have been running a small business for about a year and never experienced any sort of abuse from the police, politicians or government officials (i.e. inspectors). My dad has also been running a small business for a decade and he's never encountered any of these problems. My parents are not rich by any means and my family actually struggled for a long time and although they're well connected (we are the typical "poor relatives" of a mostly rich extended family), we mostly remained lower middle class and never used any of those connections to avoid or get out of trouble with authorities.


Glad to see a post from a fellow Latin American! I will also have to disagree with you though :p

I've seen way too many people in my circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances who have started a businesses on a capital as little as USD 500 and went on to become successful in varying degrees. Some are even worth more than USD 10.000.000 now and they're all legal and legitimate businesses.

Now from my personal experience, I feel I have been decently successful in my first year of business (yes, even during the pandemic! The pandemic even helped my business grow due to some interesting reasons but that's a post for another day). And I feel very positive about the future. There's no doubt in my mind I can make it in this country.

We have our own challenges, yes. But competition is much weaker and less saturated in the developing world than it is in developed countries and I'm happy to use that to my advantage.
Developing countries actually could have more opportunities for business. I agree.

You do not have to deal with insane 20 dollar an hour minimum wages and 200 rules on industry regulation. You do not have to worry about getting sued for the most stupid reason.

Developed countries are a good place if you are in a physically demanding job and that is unionized-construction Sector or in the hottest new industry-IT.

If you want to flip burger make sure you flip in Canada or Australia not in U.S.

Developed countries on average offer better slow lane opportunities.
 

Frozt

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 10, 2020
5
6
14
Asia
In one his books, MJ makes a good argument: If you are born in a First World country, have a healthy mind and body, there is absolutely no reason for you to not be able to break through the chains of servitude. Now a question arises -- what if you are born on the wrong side of the planet? And you ain't too smart?

I had that puzzle to solve. I was born poor in a 3rd world country where corruption and cast-ism reigned strong. In early childhood, I experienced beatings on a daily basis because I didn't have a f*cking pen to do my homework and the teacher won't believe me. Or not being able to afford a 5 cents worth box of color pencils. Watching hot food being served to paying customers/kids while you starve in a corner, watching kids buy ice-cream and all the other shit a kid wants after-school and eyeing that stuff secretly for fear of being made fun of for being poor again. Not having a soda-pop in 10 F*cking years? Wearing run-down over-sized borrowed clothes to school on your F*cking farewell/prom and being made fun of yet again as the girl you love watches secretly in the background (and secretly returns your calls but is too afraid to socially own you because you are F*cking poor). One disease -- poverty. [I dare anyone who says money doesn't matter].

As much as that hurt me, it f*cking pissed me off and filled me with anger, revenge and a special kind of hate. My 20s at college were a repeat because I lived in a 10$ a month room in a sulphur warehouse where drinking poisonous water caused me to get jaundice thrice in a year. I rode a broken down bicycle to college that made squeky noises and got laughed at by rich kids, every single day. My budget for food was less than $1 a day. I did not have healthcare. I waited months for 'emergency' surgeries because there were too many poor people before me in the line who couldn't afford it either. I once happened to wait for a few hours outside an overcrowded hospital at night only to find out one of the guys I was watching wait the last night, had now died - waiting. How I even got to college is a story in itself.

Anyway, somewhere during the suffering, I dared to dream. A dream where all of this suffering had ended, where I could drink clean water and breathe clean air and not be bothered about where the next meal would come from. I wanted away from being looked on as being of a certain caste, of living in fear in a corrupt country and being humiliated everyday. So, I cried the nights out and started to dream about a mythical place where there was no more pain, no more humiliation, no more fear.

WW1: It finally dawned on me that the only way this shit was changing was if I managed to get to a first world country with a quality education. I inquired about how much it would cost -- about $120,000 was the figure I was told I would need after visiting every 'higher education' fair that came to the city, even if I managed to get in a quality school with my grades, that is. There was only one problem -- I didn't have a $100 to spend and I was stupid and flunking my first semester. But I couldn't dream of anything else, the dream had consumed me like MJ's Ferrari. I had met too many people returning from the fairy lands telling me too many tales about the myth being true, I had watched too many videos, read too many brochures and dreamed too far. When I made it known to my family, I was pronounced a lunatic. I was 22.

I would need to write a book on what happened next, but too keep it short, here's a quick summary.
I got OBSESSED with history's last stands. Where men, CERTAIN of their impending death, instead of running away to save their lives, chose to stand valiantly and face their fears as they embraced death fighting odds too great with open arms. I had made a commitment to march into the unknown and not give a F*ck about the odds. In hindsight, I don't know if I would do again what I did. But I was too hurt and too stupid to care. My room resembled more of a HQ during times of war than a sane 22yr old's room. The walls were covered with maps of my next offensive -- in other words, what I needed to do next to get JUST ONE INCH CLOSER. There were offensives planned out years in advance with 'stockpiles' of skills. There were 'fronts', elaborate defensive operations, even resource allocation towards researching for an A-bomb that could be a game-changer. With military history books, ideas were taken and strategically applied towards my objectives. Many facades were created and dummies planted to save resources on fronts when I could not afford to fight at multiple fronts at the same time.

One guy, after I met hundreds tells me that the secret to getting in a good school is research papers. I was in a school where the CS 'Professors' don't understand English or coding, forget research. Hell, in that college 3 girls were murdered in the last 2 years -- hacked to pieces with an axe by their 'lovers'. What 'research' could I do? So an offensive was planned, in F*cking great detail and 2 years later, I published 7 research papers of dubious quality because that was all I knew. But it was done. I crammed 5,000 English words inorder to take the GRE when I sucked at cramming. I took the TOEFL exam 3 times. I've written the IELTS thrice as well -- each time with near perfect scores.
While all this was going on, a second front opened -- I got a job as a software developer in a place with absent labor laws requiring me to work 18 hour days, 364 days a year. I took shit at my job every day, got the lowest grade possible to required keep my job and indulged in parasitic entrepreneurship. I didn't have time to date or make friends. I worked like an absolute a$$.
After wading through this pool of shit that stretched for miles for 5 years, I applied to a Western School that accepted me with a 100 % tuition waiver + a Research Assistant ship. Didn't have the $5,000 I needed to come up with to even get to that country. I went back to the drawing board, planned a new offensive with the goal to get even that $5,000 as scholarship money and 3 years later applied again, getting into 8 schools with 5 of them extending 100% waivers and assistant-ships. Due to a combination of plain stupidity, poor planning and the general difficulty of getting a non-immigrant first-world country visa when you get a full ride which another native kid could use, my visa got rejected 4 times -- right at the point of culmination of my 8 years of blood and sweat. I had the college offer letter in hand -- full ride, everything ready to go, just awaiting a stamp of approval from the 'system' to leave the bottom-most slave barracks of the ship but was swatted away like a cockroach. No one gave a F*ck. I was broken, depressed, and finished. A regular at the psychiatrist. I tried buying poison online to commit suicide. I had given up all of my career opportunities for this and the war was lost. But I did not die.

3 years post that, I visited a first-world country for the first time in my life on a tourist visa. I wanted to go see first hand if the myth was really true. I couldn't afford Europe, but I'd heard Singapore was a first-world country. When the flight landed and I was on my way to the hotel, I couldn't believe the contrast between where I lived and this place I was in. I managed to keep it together all morning but I broke down completely taking a walk on a street there one night. It was either this or death itself. It didn't matter anymore. I came back home and re-applied with whatever grades that were still valid. I wish I could tell you it was easy this time. It wasn't. Not at all. But good things don't come easy. Another crawl through a pool of shit and 5 years later, today I can write this:

After 12 years of blood and sweat chasing down an impossible dream and many countless battles and failures later, I graduated last year from a top-ranked school in this First-World country I live in now. I work as a software developer in some big-name corporation here and make a decent wage. I drink clean water and breathe awesome clean air. I can have meat or whatever, any day I want. I work less than 8 hrs a day and make 50x the money I made from my first job.
I am a Permanent Resident on the path to citizenship. It is possible. Certainly not easy.

WW2:
The world is F*cked as MJ says. I am still not free. Although I work way less than 8 hrs a day, I still have to look to my employer for a paycheck, deal with office politics and can't just take off to see the world. As grateful as I am, I WILL NOT DIE IN CHAINS. This is my only WHY. FREEDOM.

Oh, and I'm on it. Planning for another campaign for a pivotal war that I will EVENTUALLY win. I will be free in 10 years, or I will die trying. Actually, there is no OR.
My room is again being converted to a war-room. Maps again, stories of last stands, books of entrepreneurs who made it despite all odds. The prize of the battle is my life, the objective to build a SaaS business that eventually brings me $50,000 a month after tax without me having to work everyday. The shorter-term goal is to build a personal developer brand so I can get my foot into consulting to finance my new ventures. It can be done -- just would need a few thousand hours of skills-acquisition.
And it won't happen tomorrow. This is a game of inches. One, bloody, F*cking inch at a time. Crawling through fingernails, desperately struggling to breathe another puff of air. Life or Death. Freedom or Slavery.

So, this was my introduction. I have been lurking here for a long time but never posted. And I guess, this is my way of saying 'Hi Folks!'.
What an inspiring introduction. I hope you can post your progress of your pivotal war!
 

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