For a lot of personal reasons, I chose to write this blog anonymously, but I do want to share some personal information with you so you’re aware of my point of view when reading about the topics we will be discussing.

Let’s start with as much personal information as I’m willing to share, then we’ll get into some of my life cup that says

I think it’s valuable for you to know something about my journey, especially that I wasn’t born into privilege.

About me:

  • I am a male in my 40’s.
  • I have been married for over 15 years.
  • I have three children. Oldest is college age and the others are in elementary school.
  • I was born, raised, and have lived in the Midwest my entire life.
  • My hobbies include attending sporting events, hunting, camping, Toastmasters, and traveling.

Early Years

I grew up the youngest of 6 children in a small rural town in the Midwest.

My dad was a dairy farmer and my mother was a former teacher of a 1-room schoolhouse (yes, they existed back then) turned homemaker. My parents grew up during the Great Depression and did not come from privilege since both were children of farmers too.

While we never went hungry, never lived on welfare, nor without a roof over our head, life wasn’t easy. Days were long and the work was hard.

We worked from sun up until sundown 7 days a week, 365 days a year. No sick days, no vacations, and no days off. It didn’t matter if you had a cold, a migraine, or a broken foot, the work had to get done (as my dad would say, “animals cannot not feed themselves and cows cannot milk themselves”). 

I’m sure it was very stressful for my parents since there never seemed to be enough money leftover after each check. Money was always tight so we did what we could to manage within our limitations. We grew a lot of our own food, did our own repairs, and didn’t eat out (good thing, the nearest McDonald’s was over 20 miles away! 😊). I had hand me down clothes until I was a teenager and only had new clothes because I earned extra money to buy my own. We paid cash for our used vehicles and drove them until they dropped (for example, our pickup was 20 years old when we finally sold it).

Luckily, I was good in school and earned good grades. I saw it as my way out of this life because while my brothers loved it, I didn’t.


Even as a youngster I knew I would to go to college. I just assumed that I would. I first wanted to be a doctor. Partly because I thought it would be cool, partly because I knew I could earn a lot of money and escape the life I was living. This plan changed as I approached high school, but I focused on careers that could potentially make a lot of money.

I worked all the way through college. I went home to help on the farm on weekends & summers as well as worked a part-time job during the week. The part-time job put gas in my car to get home and paid for as much of my school living expenses as it could. I wasn’t paid to work on the farm since it was more of an obligation to help the family than a paying job.

Essentially, I worked full-time and went to school full-time my entire college career. I did well in school (not great by my standards but good enough to find a good paying job), earned some scholarship money, and took the majority out in student loans to make up the difference. I wasn’t the brightest person, but I was tenacious and determined. I studied many hours each and every day to do as well as I could.

Yes, making a good income was a goal I wanted to achieve. I had seen the struggles we had as a family and I didn’t want to be so stretched money-wise and repeat that life.


My early career was characterized by 60+ hour weeks and a lot of traveling as I worked to climb the corporate ladder.

I transferred both within departments in the same company and took assignments with new companies. Each time I slowly worked my way up the food chain. I had a goal to achieve a six-figure income within the 1st 10 years of my career and met that goal.

Overall, I have had some mis-steps along my career journey, but mostly have made forward progress. While I am not in management at my current company (not yet! 😊), I do make a good, though not unprecedented, living.

Graduate School

A few years after starting my career and moving to a new company, I decided I wanted an MBA. The career I initially chosen was not how I viewed I would spend the next 30 years of my life and wanted more. I found out that I enjoyed project management since it was a good marriage of my technical degree with a business acumen. I really enjoyed this but was limited to moves within my new company without an MBA.

Luckily, I was able to get into a really good and prestigious school. The best part was my company paid for it all! It was tough but doable. Essentially, I worked 2 jobs again. My career during the day and going to school at night. After 5 years of night school, I earned my MBA!


I think what sets my story apart from others is that I am not in management nor an executive at a Fortune 500 company. I do not own a multimillion-dollar business or even make $250K+ a year. I am a regular guy who has made a good living through a lot of perseverance, tenacity, and overcoming a lot of adversity. While I am not where I want to be yet, I was on track for financial independence once and will get back there again.

My goal is for you to learn from my experiences, successes, and failures. We’ll talk more about this as time goes on. For now, this post will serve as background information so you know where I’m coming from.

I also want to hear about your stories and learn from you as well. I want this to be a 2-way experience. Anything you would like to share, please add in the comments below. I’d love to hear your stories too.

Remember, if I can do it, you can too! 😊