The irony of this goal, is that virtually all of my other goals for 2020 cost money - some cost A LOT of money! So, I don't think it will be possible to achieve this entire list as in many ways this list is fighting with itself - unless I win the lottery.
Money has never been my friend. I feel I know how to manage it well, but my debt load tells another story. So read the title, not the image. "REDUCE my debt load", not necessarily "get out of debt" although that is eventually the goal for all of us, right? Even if I can make progress toward the ultimate goal of being debt free, I'll take that as a win.
I've always had the dream of making it big. I'm an entrepreneur through and through and I believed I could be a success on my own, working for myself. I owned my first business when I was 16 years old. I sold it to buy my second business at age 20. That one went bankrupt in an epic, catastrophic way (as it should have). This forced me back into the workforce as I climbed the ladder within the food & beverage industry - until one day I was ready to go out on my own again. Unfortunately, that day was poorly timed as it was right in the middle of what would become known as the "Great Recession". I was bankrupt and homeless again and I wasn't even 30 years old yet.
2010 brought with it my first career change as I decided to follow my passion. See, cooking had been forced on me. Now while I enjoyed it, and could have stopped once I moved out on my own, it hadn't been MY idea to begin with. During my childhood, I had many ideas of what I wanted to be when I grew up; however, most if not all were laughed at and discouraged. For many years it was a toss up between a film director and/or screenwriter in Hollywood or audio engineer/tech for concerts. The dream of going to Hollywood was literally beaten out me and I eventually gave up on it. The ironic part is that my brother went on to fulfill that dream and is currently credited in a TV series and 19 feature films (such as Star Trek Beyond, The Mummy, Deadpool 2, Pacific Rim and The Meg)!
But I secretly held onto the dream of concerts. In 2010 I made the leap. I went back to college, got a certificate in event planning but more importantly used the colleges resources to help me build another business. This time in concert production. This was going to be it. People made millions in the concert and live events industry. It was only a matter of time. And they were right! I did make millions, but it also cost me millions. It wasn't uncommon for me to come home with a five or six figure profit one night, and lose it all the next. To say its a roller coaster of an industry is an understatement.
This went on for six years. At tax time, my accountant always looked at me and asked, "why are you working so hard for nothing?" as year after year we ended at net zero. Sure, I paid myself, but only enough to cover basic expenses.
Then in 2016 I had twins and they changed everything. I was in the middle of a multi year contract with a venue that had the potential of changing everything, I was producing 200+ concerts and events per year, and I was finally starting to see the bottom line in my accounts grow. But life at home was more important, and I walked away from it all to become a stay-at-home Dad to my three kids.
Through this all, the credit cards started to add up, we got evicted from our rental and decided it was the time to buy, my car died, etc. etc. etc. You've probably heard it all before, you likely even have your own story similar to this! It sucks, right? When you envision things going one way, you're confident that you can steer them that way, but things don't work out and then life starts hitting you over and over and over again.
Today, I'm not sure if it's wiser to develop an aggressive budget to get myself back into the black, or just go bankrupt again. Either way, the debt needs to go. Or at least be reduced. It's going to be tough... but I'm determined to make it happen.
I hear Loto Max this week is at a national record high... 70 million would help a bit with this goal, right?