No matter how much or how little money you make, or what your assets may or may not be, life will almost always throw a curve ball at you. Life events can come in countless forms. There are separations, health care issues, death of loved ones, divorces, children passing away, frauds, illnesses, natural disasters or events such as fires, and many other challenges can come up. Life has a way of surprising you, but you just got have get back up and stay in the fight.
Like everyone, I have faced life challenges as well. I have faced separation, bullying as a kid (and even have been blasted and mocked this year as an adult), losing a fortune in stock market bubbles of 2000 and 2008, panic attack, divorce processes as well as lawyers, and many others. But I have always been able to get back up on my feet.
While there are definitely down periods, I try to stay as optimistic as possible and recover. Not sure where that ability to come back from comes from, but I think some from my mom raising me, my fear of failure, tremendous hard work, and other traits…and of course a little luck! I think everyone has the ability to recover from a challenge, no matter what the event is.
Often, with perseverance and resilience, a positive comes from a life event hardship, such as my business being an incredible focus (or maybe obsession) of mine when I lost money in the market for the 2nd time. Through investing, I made my first million dollars before I turned 25, and that amount is equivalent to much more in today’s dollars. I still remember crossing that threshold and that day blaring the BNL song “If I Had a Million Dollars” and thinking “yes”. While the money did not make me any happier as a person as money does not lead to happiness, it was a good very short term “high” getting there.
But then within a matter of months after I crossed that threshold I lost a ton of money during 2000 market bubble. I stepped backed from investing for a couple years as my confidence was shaken from that event, but eventually I started investing again. Then, after making all my money back and then much more, I lost a ton of it again (yes….for the second time) during the challenging 2008 economic crisis.
Even after 2 these major setbacks, I got back up and used the experience in a positive manner. I continued to invest, and a huge positive from losing money for the second time was I launched and focused on my business in 2008 and subsequent years. Starting and growing a business is a great feeling, has financial rewards and was great for the mind to recover from the life challenge of 2008 market crash.
That commitment to the business and my continued stock investments that were made after the 2008 crash was a major positive. The focus on work lead to the business booming. The continued investments, work, and growing business then lead to a level of financial success that is at a tremendously higher level and no comparison to where I was at my previous peak of 2008. This lead to among many things including retirement. I never spoke of these things before as I hate (and I try to never say the word hate as it is so powerful) the spotlight and attention on me. I only communicated this retirement to one person within the last year, but in my quest to speak more starting early this year and be more open, I have been writing about this life event since early in the year.
I also “re-made” this money after losing most of it twice through hard work and doing things the right way. I did not take any short cuts or go for any quick money, and grinded it out, which I am proud of. This is a great way to recover from a life crisis. I also used the life challenges I had to make a difference in the lives of millions of people through the business, and my team and I have helped many low income families..
I know some people who have tried to recover from financial hardships by borrowing money from others and not paid it back, participated in shady or illegal business transactions, took kickbacks from vendors, etc. You can also read about corrupt politicians or business people, those who prey on others, and other terrible things people do in the pursuit of money as they try to recover from a life crisis.
Personal, family, and relationship challenges are also turning into a positive for me as the experience is helping me learn more about myself (pros and cons) through therapy, which is never easy for anyone to admit they need or go through. I am hoping those challenges I am working through turn into a positive in that I become a better person.
The challenges of being raised as a kid from absent/alcoholic dad, turbulent household, etc. has also been a part of the therapy I have been going through this year. It took 3 therapists before I seem to have finally found a good fit. That challenging childhood that I made it through gave me tremendous drive, but it takes mentally from people and causes issues to people as they age. But I hope that experience is now putting me on the path to turning into a long term positive for me by making me an even better, generous, kind, selfless, and thoughtful person. And I hope what I learn and am trying to improve right now, at this moment, stays with me the balance of my life.
Funny how the issues from how you were raised almost always come out as you age in 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and those issues from your youth need to be identified and dealt with. BTW, I think every person who had an even slightly challenging childhood/(parent(s) or absence parents should read a book called Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. It is a powerful, eye opening book.
Any family that is struggling to pay the bills due to an unexpected financial hardship, there is always light at end of the tunnel. We get emails from people who are suddenly stricken with cancer (so they have lost income and higher medical costs), a single mom whose car breaks down, people whose partner died at a very young age and countless other hardship case.
Some of those emails that are true hardships, and not people trying to abuse the system or putting on fake fronts, illusions or lies, can be heartbreaking. As we always say, with now over 50 million unique visitors to the site over the last several years and counting each and every day, we hope those users can find a little of what they need, or get some referrals that may help them deal with their life events. And just remember, you are not alone. The richest 1% of people in this country have life challenges and those people living in poverty also have life challenges… While they may be different in some cases, they can also be very similar and have overlap. Remember every person is or will at some point in their life be dealing with something or another.
It is what you do to recover from these life events which differentiates you…it makes up the character and integrity of a person. Whether you give up on life, turn to substance abuse, anger, self-destructive behavior, crime, blaming others, or any other negative. The people who do those activities and go down that path will fail over the mid to long term. Or whether you respond by digging deep and do what it takes to get back on the right path and recover, and turn the life challenge into a positive. That is success.