I quit banking when I was 26 years old, convinced that I could do better by owning something, without exactly being clear on what that “something” was going to be.
I messed around for a few years working on projects that did OK but ended up being dead-ends.
By the time I really got started in real estate, I was 28 or so. Compared to a lot of people in the industry, that’s late.
It felt pretty bad to be beginning something new so late. It felt even worse that I had next to nothing in my bank account. (I even carried a credit card balance for a while, which is something I can guarantee you no one in my immediate family has ever done.)
To make things worse, a bunch of my friends who stayed in finance were getting filthy rich. Ouch.
But Lucy, my wife, kept me positive by reminding me of what I’m about to tell you:
When Lucy’s mom, Jo, got pregnant with Lucy, her first child, Lucy’s dad, Richard, was working at a small stock photography business owned by someone else and not making a lot of money.
Even worse, he was 35.
With a new kid on the way and not much in the way of savings, Jo and Richard decided that, to have any chance of providing the kind of life they wanted to provide to Lucy, they needed to break away and start their own business.
Through a some luck and a lot of hard work, Richard and Jo grew their little business until it employed 30-something people and provided a wonderful standard of living for their family, then sold out just before the industry collapsed.
Every time I start to think about how little I’ve accomplished in my 33 years on earth (which is daily), I remind myself that Richard hadn’t even started yet when he was my age.
If you haven’t been there, this story probably doesn’t mean much.
If you have, I bet you’re nodding to yourself right now in recognition. It’s not too late.