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. The more I look around, the more I see people just like me. 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 well on my way to be 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.
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Update: Related Side Content, Focus on Mastery, not test scores