With my project funded and everything in place, I am off to Taiwan.
First, I want to thank the contributors of 'Content, The New Drug.' The website is being put into place and the other supporting pieces are starting to get placed as well. Defiantly a work in progress with lack of time with working for a startup for the last few weeks. Not complaining/making excuses, a few more minutes in the day would be nice from time to time.
Secondly, IT'S 2011! I am writing this blog in a thing called a word processor since the 12+ flight doesn't have WIFI. Yeah, not productive at all since most my work needs to be done in the cloud. It's the little things that can damper a time travel into the future and another land
Lastly, this blog might be updated from time to time over the summer but the real magic is happening over at T-Wan.us That is where you will find the main Taiwan blog and then the off shoots, photo's, videos that will be providing the examples for TheContentDrug.com
Can't say I haven't given you anything
So here is me finishing off a blog post in the clouds but not in the cloud. Hopefully, Tokyo has some connection. hah
*** update *** Tokyo had paid for internet that wasn't working so this is going up late. I know will forgive me
The last month has been a roller coaster of pretty much awesome, but with a lack of extra time for myself. As most of you know, I am spending 3 months in Taiwan and that is where we will start.
With Taiwan a month out, in mid April, I put in my 2 weeks in at the job I spent 40 hours a week for the last year. 3 months is a long time and when I come back I'm not sure what awaits so that is why I bowed out gracefully. The information was taken well. That's when the crazy started.
Later that night I was hanging out with a few friends and had shut off my phone due to a low battery. After about 15 minutes I turned the phone back on for the ride home when I started receiving messages telling me I needed to call this guy, which I had never heard the name before. So, like anyone would do, I called him at midnight.
During that weekend, Startup Weekend was happening in KC. That is where the guy I was calling had asked a few attendee's if they knew of an energetic social media guy. 2 of them spoke up and said, “You know T-Rave, right?” Immediately he was asking for my number to call me at 11:30pm with no heads up for me.
I think that last part is friggen awesome to consider he was willing to call someone he had never spoken to before.
After a 30 minute conversation telling me about this new startup that he was the marketing director of, he ended with asking me to come in on Monday to talk about a position; but as quick as he asked that, he then was asking if we could meet up during the weekend. So with a free Saturday evening, I agreed to meetup with him at the Startup Weekend.
With only having about 10 hours between putting in my 2 week notice, I was being potentially offered a position with one of the most buzzed about startups in the tech community.
We sat down the next day and he went over what I would be doing and on the spot, with no resume looked at, he was offering me a job and to start that Monday.
Yeah, it blew my mind!
Enter my new position: Marketing Coordinator for Zaarly.
So from that point, I have had little time to work on personal content, but not to worry. As quickly as I started, I finished and hopped on a plane to Taiwan. Yeah, remember that was on the schedule? Kind of a bummer really since I won't be around for the launch. Fun times nonetheless.
It ended well, and hopefully when I come back there will be a spot for me, and my summer will have produced the most content I have done yet.
It's been crazy and it's only about to get more crazy.
I love it!
With everything else going on around me: work, Taiwan prep, fundraising, I have very little time to myself. It actually feels weird when I have nothing to do. So when I am inclined to raise my head and breathe, I have to pounce on that opportunity. Last Thursday was one of those times.
I don't remember the details of what drove me to wanting to get away from KC for a bit, but I immediately picked up my phone and told one of my best friends I was coming for a visit for camping. Thus, it began.
Actually, after I sent that message I remember feeling better and my Friday then went smooth, even ending it with some dancing for a B-Day party to the band 'The Good Foot.' If you are in KC, go see them ASAP.
With plans set, I grabbed some gear on Saturday, threw my bike in the truck and headed south.
First stop had to be Osceola Cheese Company
So after getting through Springfield with the random highway construction, I trucked on through to Mountain Grove. With about a 3 and half plus hour trip it was nice to be at the destination... until there was no signal for my phone and I couldn't find the house.
But alas, Jacob and Rachel came storming over the hill at the perfect time. (I was one driveway away from where I should have been )
Ended the night at his folks with some good food and conversations, then we headed back to MansMo, Mansville's new name
Watched Sahara, one of my personal favs. Then camped on the floor. We were going to camp outside but the wind was furious.
After we attended an awesome church service and ate lunch with some of Jacob and Rachel's friends, we headed to STD Flea Market. It seemed pretty clean inside but that's how the little pervy jerks get all up in your stuff. Ha, sorry had to make some kind of crude joke.
Jacob found me one of the best things in the shop. A new and sealed Darth Tater for 3.99. I later checked online wondering if it was profitable buy, but it looks like it's still readily available so that just means I get to enjoy it more out of the package.
Made the trek home shortly after, this time it being a little shorter since I was leaving from Springfield. Even though it was only about 24 hours with them, it was much needed. I love of those 2 a lot.
Finished off the rest of the weekend with a few other friends and then crushing the credit card debt. Which if you did not get a chance to read that, I would highly suggest.
Now with only a month out from leaving the country it's crunch time. Not many more of these weekends will happen which is unfortunate. So it was highly enjoyed.
As some of you may know, a year ago I took on the plan to rid myself of debt. I picked up a full time job and tried doing side projects to accomplish this goal. This is the story that has come out of the journey.
To start off, I don't remember the absolute total, but it was over 8k. This including 2 maxed credit cards, student loan and some other lines of credits.
Up to the start of this I was making above minimum payments to all of them and was not getting slammed with late fees... usually. Will go into that near the end.
Growing up, the norm was to have debt but to always pay it on time. So with that ingrained in my head I went down the same path at the age of 18. If you re-read that, notice the good and the bad. YOU ALWAYS PAY ON TIME! when there is debt.
Anyway, lets start the story. If you have debt or are young and being offered, please get to the end. It's not that bad of a read. I'm kinda bias though
At 18, a devil in the suit knocked on my mailbox. Mr. One offered $200 limit with a chance to grow later. I said, "sure, you can't get into too much trouble with $200." Thus, it began.
I quickly hit that limit on a trip I took to California and then down to see friends in Louisiana. The money was in the bank, and my thought was to use the card to start "building" credit.
After about 6 months the limit went to $500. Still, what was the worst could happen? Well the worst was when it went to $2000. (I think that's what it went to.)
Notice that jump. They moved it from reasonable to manage, to tempting to use to indulge.
I bit, needless to say.
At that time in my life, 19-20ish, I was "working" for myself and not doing bad, but needed capital. Those were exciting times, to say the least. I was wheeling and dealing. Buying and selling... all legal, I promise. My eyes got big and that plastic heroin was just lift I needed to make it to the next day.
Now let me say this. If I would have stopped at this point I would be around $1800 for CC debt and about 3k for one of the student loans. I had also had a wreck and was paying off my truck, which started at 2k.
The truck wasn't a biggie because my dad helped with a 0% interest for a year CC check. Blessing! Student loan wasn't yielding much and the CC was the only biggie.
Then I walked into my bank. I was updating something or fixing an issue and the fine gentleman asked if I wanted a bank CC. "All transfers and purchases are 0% interest for a year," was the line that lead me down the alley.
So in a "wise" move I applied, got 1k and transfered $900 off the other one.
Then that year came up and I hadn't done much to pay off things other then the truck, which no car loan is pretty cool to say. However, the other card rose and that is where I started living from statement to statement. Not a fun thing to do when you're freelancing and barely making it by anyway.
When you're already in it, what's a little more, right? Well, it's a little more you will have to deal with in the long run.
The fine computer company I buy from then offered a year no interest. 2k limit and I am good to rock with new gear. (I'm kinda a gear slut)
Now, let me take a moment at this point to say I had taken chunks out of the debt but then quickly stacked it back up playing a buyers sellers market. Some of which were "business" expenses. Can't shoot if you don't have a camera. If you can't shoot you can't get paid. See what I mean.
Then the credits went higher, and the prideful part of me said, "pfsh, I got this!"
I did not.
The end of 2009 was shaping up revealing what I began the year with. "2009 will be the best year as of yet!"
Towards the the end of 2009 business was BOOMING! I was actively working and able to pay on things with more money. Xmas gifts were going to be a breeze, for one of the first times in my life. I took one of my best friends to see U2 with Muse for her birthday. Life was sweet.
A few months before, I said I wanted to work on clearing debt. This for 2 reasons. 1. That way I could be moved anywhere with the past not kicking me in the back, financially speaking. This would include moving even out of the states if presented. The second part was the realization of how selfish it would be to drag a woman into debt in the case of marriage. That one hit hard. No way I would do that to her. (that's forward thinking right there)
Then as an Xmas present, that nice man in the suit came back, and this time he wasn't as nice. He had an issue of me not paying him. The nice businessman became a gangsta in a back alley.
In English terms, a debt collection agency contacted me in the mail. The grounds they stood on was that I had not paid and that they had taken my case.
Thinking it was a spam mail, it being in the postal service, I about disregarded it, until I saw the exact amount I owed the suit. All $2357, not sure on the exact total, was due within 30 days.
Since I ALWAYS PAY ON TIME, I still kinda pushed it aside. Checked online and noticed I was overlooked paying just a few days before. I had the money, it just slipped through the cracks of the other bills. This being one of the first late pays. I paid it and moved on.
Then I got a call. A call as if the world was falling apart. I might as well been a drugged out homeless sleeping in an abandon shelter. (over dramatic to use my slick writing skills.)
My dad was on the other side asking if everything was ok. He got a rude call with an abrupt sounding man on the other end looking for me. My dad, meant well in a loving way asking if all was okay.
Everything was okay. Everything was great... until that moment. I assured him everything was good and I would handle it.
Cue, code red!
I immediately stepped outside of my favorite coffee shop, in the freezing cold, no coat, and dialed the suit.
Hoping to avoid an accent, I got slammed with one immediately; however, I was quickly passed to an American when my name was said. They new the law was coming and hell was coming with me... or they just had a flag on the account.
That sweet southern sounding gal didn't know what was coming. For about 5 minutes I laid into the company and how it was rude to be sending me this stuff on one of my first late pays. Told her that it was already taken care of and asked how they got my fathers number. (He has never been attached to the account in any way.)
After really getting worked up and demanding to never call that number again, I cooled down and apologized to her, but not to the company. Then started my vengeance. I knew what I had to do.
No matter what it took, I would, first, pay off Mr. One, and then take out everything else. That D Bag was at the top of my list.
A few months into, what started to be the best year for business yet, I was offered a full time position. It was a test of my skills in the economy and I figured I could keep doing my thing and get a pay check every 2 weeks. This is where it really started. I was motivated to get out of debt by end of 2010.
Now obviously, you see that didn't happen as planned. I stopped personal business due to time and also I took a few joy trips, New York. I could have done better at money management, another new thing for me; however, I will stand on, with work and determination, fun must be had at some point. Just keep it reasonable.
We now get to early morning of April 11th. I have just had my 1 year anniversary at my current employer's. I pull up my bank account, my taxes, and my last credit card debt.
I complete my taxes, which came out a little lower but stressed me out when errors came up when doing it past midnight. Got them sent and paid with a movie in the background and me hovering over a glowing screen in a dark room.
Going into the weekend, which I used to completely relax, I had noticed that with a deposit to the bank and pay day Friday, I was doing good. I then did some math.
Yup, my calculations were correct, I was about to see some serious s*!7. Thanks Doc!
As of 1:08am on April 11th, 2011, my last high interest credit card was paid off!
It still hasn't complete sank in with the magnitude of what just happened, shell shocked I suppose, but I know it's coming. A steak dinner with 2 other men that did the same feat is coming and going to bust out a cigar should get it to hit me in the face.
A serious effort in a years time, being patient, being diligent, being pissed, being happy, making it rain has now come to fruition.
Let this be a lesson, encouragement, or just a point and laugh moment. Share this, comment below, do whatever.
This is the longest written blog I have done to date and I want to thank you for getting this far.
Thanks for reading, and remember, it pays to be determined and patient. Set a goal.
In the midst of shouting it everywhere else, I failed to broadcast my new project here.
You may not be able to contribute in a monetary way, but you can defiantly share with others to help get the word around.
Here's my little soap box on it.
We as humans make what the internet is. Yes, there is big business but for the most part we flock to our easy connectivity to view the content that our friends, family, and even strangers produce. We have the power to share. Some might not know how to do that, so that is where this project comes in.
Follow me as I prepare, and live in Taiwan for 3 months producing such content and in turn I will take the view behind the scenes to see how it is produced. Sharing my experiences and techniques so others are encouraged to share their story as well.
So share the world, everywhere.