Monday, 19 June 2017

Dad taught me to work hard and make a trade

Since yesterday was Father's Day, I figured I would talk about the influence my dad has had on my life. My father is from a military family and he worked hard for everything he has. I had the good fortune to learn from his experiences. When it comes to me, comparatively, I have had it very easy.

Mom and Dad at the butterfly conservatory. Rocking it, as usual.

My family was exceedingly supportive when I chose to go away for school. Mom and dad had budgeted and put away money so that they could help me with my tuition. They helped teach me (sometimes the hard way) that I had to provide for myself while I was away. I had to apply for student loans and make sure I wasn't overspending. If I ran out of money, that was my problem. If I wanted more money, I needed to get a job.

I knew I didn't want to live like a pauper while I was at school, so I took matters into my own hands. By the time I left university I was holding down two part-time jobs during the school year and worked at a 24-hour slot-and-racetrack over the summer. These jobs were tough and they took a lot out of me. I was yelled at, used as a verbal punching bag and even badly harassed once or twice, but I soldiered on and made sure that I had enough to get through the next school year.

I also learned how to wheel-and-deal. As I mentioned, dad is from a military family - if you don't think trading is a big part of the military, you are very mistaken. My mom may be one of the best hagglers out there, but dad was all about the trade - this was one of the best things I learned as a young adult. I started doing things for my friends in trade. I hit the jackpot in my third year of university. I was the only one of my friends with a car, I didn't drink and I liked to go out and be social on the weekends. This led me to one of my biggest side-hustles in school. I would fill my car every Friday night and go to the designated bar/club. I never paid cover (someone alway offered), I never paid for drinks (designated drivers usually get their drinks for free, and if we were at a place where I didn't, someone usually covered it for me) and everyone always threw some gas money at me the end of the night. This night out, that would have normally cost me up to $50+ was actually paying me $20 per week. I got to go out, spend time with my friends, dance and have enough money in the end to cover my gas for the week. Dad was the one who taught me to look for an opportunity and take it. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement between my friends and me, but I will always say I got the better end of that deal. I mean, seriously - I was Uber before it was cool.

What is the moral of these stories?

Always look for opportunities. A lot of the time you can work them into your day-to-day life and still manage to enjoy the things you like. As I have said here before, caviar tastes don't come cheap. If you want the finer things, sometimes you have to be willing to work for them.


Dad and Cheecho- Dad is the one with the grey hair.

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