I have always been a dreamer. Imagining all of the ways that I could succeed and become a paragon of business filled my head often. Even from a very young age, I saw myself as successful, even as my parents struggled to give us the bare essentials.
Growing up in a double wide trailer in North Carolina made me see the world a little differently, while I tried to grasp at the realities of the world. My father has a degree in business and I watched as he worked 60-80 hours a week to make his small business take off.
The major problem with that, was he recruited myself and my brothers to help. If you haven’t been covered with pig shit, then you haven’t truly lived.
My dad ran his own hog farm and the labor involved was extensive. Whether he was building pens or getting feed, or taking pigs to market, there was always something to do. I didn’t appreciate at the time what our labors were building, I just hated that I was unpaid intern.
The major perks of the job were riding hogs, driving my dad’s truck at age 12, and being allowed to wander in the woods with my shotgun.
Even with those amazing perks, I resented him for getting me out there on Saturday and Sunday mornings to help when other kids were watching cartoons.
A lot of those mornings I did a lot of dreaming.
Mostly because I didn’t want to be there, but also because I didn’t see a path to success following in my father’s footsteps.
How does someone with a Bachelor’s in Business become a hog farmer?
It took a lot of years and failures of my own to see why he ended up there.
Dreaming of a Better Life
When my father started his hog farm, we struggled. I could see the strain it put on the family as he was never home, and we didn’t have any money. We lived with my maternal Grandmother and I imagine that caused a lot of stress as well.
Dad started the farm when I was ten, but he didn’t start making any real money til I was 12. Luckily, my mother worked as a State Farm Insurance representative for an agent.
I’m pretty sure that is the only reason we had food on the table during those early years of the farm.
I hated watching them struggle and I promised myself I wouldn’t go down that path. I dreamt of being a doctor or writer, but never as a hog farmer.
What I didn’t realize at the time, was that the work he put in lead to rewards down the road. Those two years of struggle led to a more secure financial future.
The year I turned 12, for Christmas, Santa brought my brothers and I brand new four wheelers! Suddenly, my father was a success at raising hogs. This didn’t change my resolve of becoming successful in other fields, but in retrospect, I saw what hard work accomplishes.
It meant that I could make my dreams come true, even in pig shit.
Life Moves Fast
As we look back at our lives, we see the mistakes emblazoned in our minds, and those errors become life lessons for the future. We are supposed to learn and grow with every misstep we take.
What happens if we repeat mistakes, try without a goal in mind, or aimlessly wander through our existence? You become an old blogger with stories to tell. You also become wary of every opportunity and look for ways to put your father’s work ethic to good use.
I am ashamed to admit I wasted a good portion of my life. Whether it was working for other people and getting comfortable with low pay and long hours, or it was starting and not following through on business ventures, I found ways to fail.
The way life is supposed to be, or the way it used to be, was you found a profession, worked for 40 years and retired quietly to a warm state.
This never appealed to me. In fact it repulsed me so much, I have spent most of my adult life rebelling against the sheer notion of what I would call “wasting my life” in that fashion.
The problem with rebelling without an action plan, is that you spin your wheels and go nowhere.
So as I approach 40, I am a Generation X’er who lived up to the slacker image that Baby Boomers put upon us. Luckily, not as bad as the Millennial image.
Where We Are Now
As I look back at what my father tried to accomplish, I see a man that chased a booming market that he also knew a lot about. I see so many parallels between him and myself, I just chose a “cleaner” business.
Make no mistake about it, blogging is a business. It is a competitive field and many folks dream of becoming rich doing this very thing.
The major reason for this post is to exclaim from the rooftops what Freedom From 40 is and why I do this.
I believe we all have something inside us that drives us to be productive with our lives. The major problem is that circumstances usually create a need for us to go into roles we didn’t want.
These roles become the chain that keeps us locked there until we retire.
Personally, I have been in so many Customer Service roles, that I can’t answer my own phone without a greeting from some company or other.
Folks get stuck in Customer Service roles because the pay is ok for the starting level position and once they are there for awhile, it becomes your only marketable skill.
No matter what role you believe you are stuck in, there is a way out. No matter what job has chained you to your desk, there is a way out.
I cannot stress this enough, our lives are what we make of them, and I want to help you remake yours into something you are proud of.
That is my mission.
My blogging business, my passion, is to make lives better. All of the accumulated knowledge and future successes will be shared with you.
I invite you to join me on this wild ride, well, as wild as personal finance and business can be, and I welcome you to question me every step of the way.
Hog Farming In The 21st Century
My father only lasted about 6 years in the hog farming business. A major disease almost wiped out his birthing house, and he lost about 90% of the population. Without going into to much detail, he abandoned the entire building and went to an open field pen system.
This left his numbers dwindling and he had to find a way to salvage the rest of the farm.
Large corporations came in and started pushing the price of pork down. Their large volume system eventually became the death knell of my father’s business.
I never asked him if he saw that coming, or if the disease that wreaked havoc had already taken all of the wind from his sails.
Ultimately, it serves as a lesson in business and life. My father is now a tax professional that runs his own business as a one man operation. Once again he is fully in control of his own destiny.
Running a business is in his blood, and that blood courses through me as well. Whether nature or nurture, I start businesses like clockwork. It’s time to settle into the one I am most passionate about.
My father is close to retirement age now, and he tells me I shouldn’t take over for him as a tax professional.
He says the big corporations are trying to push the little guys out, and there is too much uncertainty in the tax field.
The end of his working career is nearing, and he is resigned to finish strong.
I have to start from zero and find my place in this corporate dominated world.
I am thrilled to have you come along with me.
Just The Facts
As competitive as my passion may be, perseverance and sweat go a long way. I want you to have every single actionable nugget of information to help guide you on your path as well.
My success is tied to your success in every possible way.
This is our community of entrepreneurs, and side hustlers, and savers of money. Freedom isn’t about lounging on a beach every day sipping Mai Tais.
Freedom is doing what you love every single day for the rest of your life.
If you are already in a role that provides that, then you can still join us on this journey as a spectator to a great event.
That event is shedding the herd mentality that keeps us locked in our roles. We will free ourselves from our self imposed pens and fight the economy’s whims.
Essentially, we are taking the power back.
If you are new to this blog, you’ll find quite a few posts that teach you about money and how to save it. This is the first step to your independence. The larger your financial cushion, the more risks we can take later on.
A lot of folks will tell you extreme saving is the answer to retiring early, and while I agree, those of us with smaller incomes need to do more than save.
We have to earn more. We have to fight that much harder.
If I inspire you to do one thing while you read this, it is to start now.
You can’t let the chains of your role in life dictate who you are any longer. That compulsion you feel in the back of your mind telling you that you are not happy, that opportunities are passing you by, is absolutely true.
Something in your blood says it’s time for you to start a hog farm, tax office, blog, or ecommerce superstore. It doesn’t matter what the idea is, you just need the motivation, financial tips, and blueprint to your true passions.
Freedom may be closer than you think.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings and I love being able to share my life with you. Freedom from 40(hours) is my passion and I want to help as many people as possible to find their passions, too.
Please comment below and let me and the community know what your passions are. Share this with someone that you know needs that extra push.
I look forward curating my own hog farm, minus the shit, of course.