Sometimes it's better to take the road less traveled. You know, look, there are so many ways we could go with this because most people don't save and invest like they should. Most people don't eat the way they should. So, you find out very quickly that a lot of people are not going down the path that leads to success.
What I find awesome about coming from humble beginnings is that being the first or going that less traveled path can be very empowering. It creates an adventure, a journey. Just like you said something earlier about, you said that because people could tell that you were a doer, they gave you leadership opportunities even earlier, and that kind of got you excited about that. That's exactly right. It was an incredible high. I use the word "high," and it was an incredible high to receive this. I am being entrusted. I like that freedom. I like that responsibility. I like that power.
I think so many of us, I know certainly in my situation, based on the circumstances into which I was born, there was a very clearly defined path that I could have gone. I could have followed in this biological path that happened. I could have followed in the footsteps of what happened with my brother. Yet, because I chose not to go in what I would say was the easy path, maybe the grooved lane that was already built for me, by taking that other path, by moving out of that direction, it worked out tremendously well.
I think so often, whether it be young people, young children, or people coming out of college, just because you say, "Oh, well, I came from this family, I came from this part of the country, I came from this town, I came from this circumstance," I naturally fall into that, and you're gonna arrive at not the place you want to be. You said the same thing with your dad, right? He was the first in his family to do some really unique stuff, and that paved a way for you, right?
Yeah, my dad was the... You know, my dad grew up with six children, you know, in extreme poverty, but he was the first and only to go to college. It wasn't because he was a great student; it was because he was a great athlete. You know, he was a Spurs, you know, blindside attack offensive tackle down at the University of Florida. He got a PE degree, so he didn't maybe maximize the opportunity for what it did because it led to him getting into sales. But I was able to see his success and his pride and accomplishment from being the first to get the college degree.
Then I think about even for myself, when I got into entrepreneurship, I mean, my in-laws thought it was the craziest thing to leave a high-paying job to go start my own business. But for me, it was just incredibly... The energy created from being the first to try to do this, and I'll explain later, when some hardships came my way, on what I made that jump, I got some crazy clarity from trauma that led to that.
But I've witnessed friends who came from resources, where... And I don't know if it's the curse of the one percent or whatever you want to say, but they almost were drowned out by the shadow of the success of their parents. They almost resented it. Yeah, they rebelled, you know, whether it was going and just not being willing to do anything that you would consider privileged or tremendous opportunity, and they were running from it because of this rebellion streak that they were struggling with, that they came from resources.
I think there's something to being empowered and being the first. What I love is choosing a path is not something that only happens one time early on in your formative years. It's something that continues to happen as we move through this life. We're often faced with decisions, okay, which direction should I go? You know, I again, I was blessed that school was not incredibly difficult for me, so I was able to make it through high school and make it through college.
I graduated in a circumstance where I had two choices when I graduated from the University of Georgia, the greatest institution on the land. I could have gone and worked for the large fancy corporation in downtown Atlanta that had a super high-paying salary and crazy benefits and right in the heart of downtown and all these trappings of success. Or I could have gone a different path. I could have taken a little bit less, a lot less money, a less clearly defined career opportunity, you know? "Hey, what's this thing look like in five years?" And the answer to that question was, "I don't know; we'll see." But I recognized, "Hey, there's some opportunity here, this firm that I could align myself with, this guy that I could kind of hitch my wagon to, he's doing some really interesting stuff."
And if I take this risk, if I recognize that, "Man, okay, I can go do this small business thing, I can go see if I can join up with this guy," and maybe it's not going to be a clearly defined career opportunity, but maybe I'm going to learn what it's like to operate inside a small business. So maybe I'm going to get to talk to clients a lot earlier. Maybe one day, I'm going to end up on this national publication talking in front of a microphone. Man, how neat, how interesting, how amazing would that be? It was not the clear, obvious choice for me to take at graduation, but boy, was it the right choice. Was it the one that I needed to make, and it worked out wonderfully? I can't imagine it playing out any differently.
I kind of feel some pride in this because I feel like you just called us the Wild Wild West. It was... We were like wild gunslingers of opportunity. I mean, look, I'll admit that when Bo came on, this thing was a little ragged. I was very passionate about the podcast, The Money Guy Show, but it... You know, I do love that you've been able to come join me, and your fingerprints are all over the success that we've had. And I think that leads to the takeaway of, and this is what you're alluding to, short-term opportunities versus long-term opportunities. You need to really develop the skill set, lean into the incremental decision-making to push off instant gratification.
Because there are a lot of times things are presented, and I feel like big corporations sometimes will trap people. I see this in the financial world, where huge corporations give you a huge starting salary, but you're going to cap out very quickly, whereas there might be something that, yes, is a little more subdued on the beginning, but it's limitless on the backside. So, don't overlook going through the exercise of short-term versus long-term opportunities because that is the secret power of success, or being able to navigate a good plan.
Because I think a lot of people only think in the moment, and they don't think about three years, five years, ten years in the future. If you can have that field vision, you will be more successful, absolutely. The other takeaway that we had from this is that if you can pursue a career that matches your skill set, like your unique ability, and provides some purpose, man, it's going to be a fun journey. You're going to be on a path that you're going to love. You're not going to have the Sunday scaries, where every Sunday afternoon, you're biting your fingernails because, "Oh, I've got to go back to work."
You know, back on the farm, it's not like that. You can actually do something where you're able to be excellent at what you do and also make the world around you a little bit better every single day. If you can figure that out, and the earlier you figure that out, the more fun this path of life, I think, gets to be for you.
And I think the next two kind of go together because I think forging your path, so if you start from humble beginnings, figure out, "Hey, what can I take today and start forging the path for success tomorrow?" I still remember the moment that I had the economics teacher, Mr. Morrow, in high school tell me a hundred dollars a month would make me a wealthy person. That set in motion me forging the path. I don't care if I was working fast food for the rest of my life; I could save a hundred dollars.
So, figure out what you can do today that will have that huge incremental increase in opportunity for the future. And then, if you are somebody who comes from resources, I want to encourage you not to fall into the curse of the one percent. You can forge your path. You don't have to rebel. You can actually just lean into what are my skill sets, what are the things that I do better than the five... You know, I'm in the top five percent of the world of this skill set. How does that marry to the economics of the world? How can I merge these two things to actually create my own path of success?
And then, if you are someone who's later in life and now you have children, you're trying to figure out, "Okay, well, how do I work with them? How can I impress this upon them? Help them figure out where the intersection exists between their ability and their opportunity? What are the things that they're good at?" But not just the things they like. I mean, I see so many times parents just say, "Oh, well, you know, my kid, they sure do love playing video games. I guess they're probably going to be a coder." Well, that's a little bit different, right? You've got to figure out how do I actually marry the thing that they enjoy, the thing that they're passionate about, with where the opportunity exists?
And if you can begin instilling that in your children early on, perhaps they won't be one of the statistics that says, "Okay, I went off to college, I racked up tens if not hundreds of thousands of student loan debt, and I got a degree that I didn't even need to do a job that I don't even have." That's not the outcome you want to have. So, if you can marry those two for your children early on, you're going to set them up to not waste time, but not spin their wheels trying to figure out, "Okay, what is it that I'm ultimately supposed to be doing?"
And also, I think it's okay to let your kids be different than you. I'm recognizing even with my girls now, there's a chance they might not be financial advisors when they grow up. There's still a chance; I'm still holding out. But you know what? If they want to do something else, that's okay. What's their unique ability? How can I pour into that and help them see the opportunity in that? Yeah, I mean, y'all have seen it. I had my oldest daughter interned for this summer because she just came out of her freshman year of college, and she made a tremendous impact here.
And she continues; she's in her sophomore year now. She's already working in a production class with graduate students because I think the professors recognize that she's tremendously skilled. And it's fun to see her using her talents and blazing a trail completely outside of what I'm doing. So, empower your kids to find that intersection because it can really be just tremendously valuable for their confidence and their success long-term. For more information, check out our free resources