I grew up in small southern town in North Carolina (NC) where there were more chickens than people. In High School, my classmates self-divided into two groups being those who applied to college and those who wanted to immediately work after graduation. Since birth I heard, “you are going to college OR ELSE” so I applied to college and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. One of my classmates Tony, went to work after high school and became a bricklayer.
Tony eventually became a millionaire. Although we choose separate paths, we both followed the KISS methodology to grow our wealth.
When I attended High School, there were classes in trades such as brick masonry, carpentry, wood working, auto mechanics, electrical, etc. Many students with no desire for college took these courses to get their basic education in a trade and found employment after high school.
After graduation, Tony worked for an experienced Brick Layer who continued his education, working on inexpensive homes and small commercial jobs.
Brick is a popular construction material in NC
EARNINGS – SPENDING LESS THAN YOU EARN!
Tony worked and eventually saved enough to start his own business, building small projects and gradually expanding into doing the brick work on large homes. He later expands and hires employees and continues his education learning and mastering stonemasonry. “The difference between a bricklayer and a stonemason is skill level: bricklaying is a part of masonry and considered to be a “lower” form of masonry, whereas stonemasonry is a specialist occupation involved in the cutting and shaping of stones and stonework.” And pays better!
Tony uses his savings to invest in more equipment, trucks, etc. so he can bid for larger commercial projects. He wins small commercial contracts eventually building larger projects such as schools, small malls, etc.
Tony keeps saving and decides to invest money in businesses. He first opens a retail store/gas station. He discovers his customers want hot food and opens a cafe, selling hot foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Now with MULTIPLE STREAMS OF REVENUE, Tony builds a restaurant and laundromat, increasing his earnings and cash flow.
One of the smartest men I know is my good friend Clifton who attended college with me and graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree. Saying he is a superior engineer to me is the equivalent of saying Michael Jordan is the better basketball player if you compare the two of us. For years, Clifton told me he wished he had become a car mechanic and opened his own shop. And for years I disagreed. As usual, I now believe Clifton is right. Everyone does NOT need a four-year degree. If there is trade or business that will bring you joy and sufficient earnings, go for it!
We are encouraging young people to go into $100,000 or more debt to get degrees in completely USELESS subjects that will hamper, NOT assist their future earning potential!
We must return teaching trades to U. S. Public High Schools. Another friend, Lisa’s Dad, was a plumber and became wealthy, owning his own business and employing several plumbers. My nephew Tony does landscape work and will be wealthy.
Discover what is in your best interest for your work/career and find YOUR path that earns you the desired level of EARNINGS and JOY!
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I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger, with a NC State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.
I left a corporate career because I had a desire for making a difference as a speaker and writer, to help others. I was blessed to be coached and mentored by strong women and men in both my family and professional life. It is my time to serve and give back.
I started my first business at ~13 years of age (small but brilliantly managed plant nursery). I am a successful investor in stocks, options, real estate and happy to share my personal finance and investment lessons learned with you.
However, I am NOT a licensed financial advisor. Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog, as recommendations for your personal situation. For individual finance advice please seek your own licensed CPA or fiduciary financial advisors.
I write this weekly blog to make an impact by reaching an audience and demonstrating the need for financial literacy. I will help you get there.