Monday, September 29, 2008

College and my first properties.

I continued to attend school and work full-time at Nordstrom for the next two years. During this period, I also started to sell shoes on eBay with a partner. Our main products were Diesel and Michael Jordan shoes. I also picked up a part-time job at a local pharmacy delivering medication all over the Westside of Los Angeles.

I thought I would get my degree from University of California, Riverside (UCR), so a couple friends and I rented a townhouse in Riverside. After attending Riverside Community College (RCC) for another one and a half years, I went to Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) for one quarter and then finally transferred to California Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly).

During this period, I applied for an accounting internship at a local manufacturing company. After four months I was offered an accounting supervisor position, two levels up from my internship position. I began to make really good money and was able to put enough money aside to purchase my first investment property. I was also able to payoff my second new car that I had purchased.

During the planning stages of transferring to Cal Poly Pomona, I did not want to commute from Riverside and wanted to purchase a condo for myself. I began to save and search for the right home. I found an ideal townhouse in Rancho Cucamonga and made arrangements to purchase this home for myself. I knew I could not afford the mortgage payments by myself, so I planned on renting two out of the three bedrooms to other students.

My success during my college years showed me that I was destined for something great. I wasn't exactly sure what, but I just felt different from everyone else. The results experienced in this part of my life further supported my belief in the saying, "You can accomplish anything you put your mind to."

A little background info.

I decided at the age of 12 that I was tired of seeing my single mother struggle. I watched my mother sell almost everything in our home (furniture, jewelry, electronics, appliances, etc.) by holding weekly garage sales and posting ads in a free publication, the PennySaver. We were almost homeless. I knew things weren't getting better when our car was repossessed and we were six months behind on the mortgage.

I definitely felt like I needed to live up to the title of "man of the house" at the age of 12 and decided to get myself a job. I mowed lawns, washed cars and worked at a convenience store after school. I wasn't earning much but being able to pay for my own stuff, buy groceries and pay the utility bills for us felt good. At 14, I was waking up at 3 a.m. to work at a donut shop and remained at this job until I was 16 years old. I didn't have to get paid "under the table" anymore, so I started working two legitimate jobs the day after I turned 16 in July of 1999. I worked for Arco (AM/PM) and McDonald's for the whole summer. My shift at Arco began at 6 a.m. and only consisted of cleaning and stocking. Since I wasn't 18 yet, I could not be a cashier. I would leave Arco at 2 p.m. and begin my shift at McDonald's at 2:30 p.m. My shift would usually end at ten but sometimes they would need me to cover for someone else or help close so I would be there till midnight.

Six months later, I found a job working at Ralph Lauren Footwear which paid better and had a small amount of commission. A few months after landing this job, I was able to purchase my first brand new car on my own. After finishing high school early and while waiting for my friends to finish so we could walk and graduate together, I took on an additional two part-time jobs. At this point, my schedule consisted of 32 hours at Polo, 12 to 20 hours at Pacific Sunwear and 24 hours at a grocery store. This period of nonstop labor demonstrated to me why I needed to attend college.

After my graduation, I moved to Los Angeles to attend Santa Monica College. Within two weeks of moving to L.A. and after a few part-time job offers on the table, I chose to work for Bed Bath & Beyond. A couple months into classes, the professor of my business class assigned a project where we had to do research on a company of our choice and try to get as much information as possible on the internal structure and operations. I chose Nordstrom as my company after reading The Nordstrom Way. After a month into the project and an interview later, I landed a sales associate position with the brand new Nordstrom at The Grove near the Beverly Center.

I also joined the Rotaract Club on campus which invited local business owners from the Rotary Club. I became the treasurer of the club, but also organized events that our club could participate in such as Heal the Bay and a September 11th car wash fundraiser.

Los Angeles gave me inspiration and something to look forward to. The city and people that I met there helped make my vision clearer for the lifestyle I picture myself leading.

The Passion and Desire to Overcome.

How is it possible that a 25 year old can be in almost $1 million of debt? Allow me to explain.

My debt portfolio consists of four mortgages, one unsecured personal line of credit, one student loan and 15 credit cards/accounts which equates to almost a million dollars in liabilities.

Shortly, I will pass the million dollar mark by adding another mortgage to the list.

Your next question is how did this 25 year old gather enough money to purchase four properties and how did he establish such credit worthiness?