Hello and welcome to my first post as a blogger. Today’s topic is about why the hard way is usually the right way to get work done. Please allow me to elaborate.
A little background
Way back in 1993, an eight-year-old Joey was struggling with multiplication tables. I had mastered addition, subtraction even borrowing and carrying. I was on top of the world. Then suddenly, I learned that 4 times 4 was 16? This completely wrecked me because I didn’t know how this answer came to be.
I, like many people, used flash cards to practice math. The problem with how the flashcards were implemented was that all I had to do was get past the entire pack of cards then my lesson was done for the day. Well, after enough repetition, I literally memorized all the answers to the entire deck of flashcards. I could not logically think out all multiplication problems. I got so good at relying on my memory, I could even pass math tests. Fast forward a few years later, I found myself relying on memory more and more. Needless to say, since I failed to build a solid foundation for mathematics I barely squeaked by throughout high school.
It wasn’t until college and Khan Academy’s math courses made me realize I needed to start over. Please let this sink in. Because I was too embarrassed to start over with multiplication, I spent my entire childhood, teenage life and my twenties (I didn’t start college till 27) stressing out over many forms of math questions. I literally just thought I had a genetic disposition when it came down to basic arithmetic.
Once I went back to studying the basics and stayed at the basic modules until mastery, I didn’t allow myself to progress onto the next course. I spent my personal time and many months practicing math problems online before college enrollment. Because of my effort, I was able to test out of all math classes for my undergraduate degree. I couldn’t believe it.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I had a genetic disposition towards math. I felt smart! I felt ready for the next challenge. The act alone of studying was enjoyable because I started applying mathematics towards other interests of mine such as investing, paying off debt and computer programming. I saw the world in a new way. I could not imagine, what my life would be like without a basic understanding of math.
The purpose of my blog
The paragraph just mentioned is what this blog is all about. How does the act of embracing and overcoming a challenge change us? They say that diamonds are made by an intensive process of refinement. When I cut corners on my “refinement” process, I not only lost employment opportunities, but I missed out on seeing and comprehending acts of the world. Doing things the “hard way” means building a solid foundation. Doing things the hard way means not looking at the clock and thinking about the next task, or looking for a hack. I am not against shortcuts if they are overall improvements. But you cannot improve on something until you first know a process to its entirety.
In the following posts, I will elaborate on how a poor southern boy from the backwoods of eastern North Carolina generated wealth and overcame the poverty statistics surrounding me by doing things the hard way. This blog is called “Average Joe” because that is what I am. Meaning, I did not inherit any special ability or money whatsoever. Up until I was in my mid twenties, I didn’t even have a high school diploma. Now, I am financially independent with an income and net worth well into the six digits. To be clear, I don’t have the answers for everyone, but I can share what worked for me.
I will share my knowledge learned from investing, entrepreneurship, gritty frugality and thinking outside the box to generate passive income. In addition, I will share overall poverty engineering tactics learned first-hand from a guy who got out of the poverty cycle. I hope to find other frugal mercenaries along the way.
Sign up for the mailing list (right side of the page) so you don’t miss out on all the embarrassing stories, personal growth, and overall character development. Thanks for reading. I look forward to the relationships this journey will build.
Update: Related Side Content, Focus on Mastery, not test scores