The Path to Financial Freedom

Author - Justin Geyer
NWS Board Member & Merch Coordinator 

For anyone who cares enough to read this, I am going to begin to explain what I have been doing over the past years to put myself in a position to be successful, with the end goal of being financially free. Which is also known as, the most important thing in life & one of many skills that are not taught in school for god knows what reason. I will cover a couple of topics over my next posts, starting with risk, and placing my opinion on it. In my next post I will transition to consistency, and how that will translate into success, and end with discipline - the most important one of them all. 


Background:


In October of 2017, I drove my brand new Honda Civic Type R (terrible investment, sick car), from New York to Austin, Texas to start over. When I left NY I was 25, I had just graduated from SUNY OSWEGO, with a Broadcasting and Communications degree. I was living with my mother in Newburgh, bartending at a local bar on the Hudson. I had the degree, but I wasn’t using it - like 90% of the other grads. I hated that. I watched from a distance those around me from school move on to entry level corporate jobs, saw some go back to school, some chase their own dreams, and most take a similar path I was. 


I always wanted more for myself. I just didn’t know what to do or how to do it. I knew I was selling myself short, but I didn’t exactly have an answer. I was stuck. I was complacent. I was making 50-60K a year as a bar lead - always in and around the party. It was fun, sure, but it wasn’t what I wanted. Countless amounts of nights and hours wasted. Counting tips at 3AM, wearing a fake smile, pretending to be happy - but I wasn’t. In the matter of seven days, I made a life decision that changed everything. If you are reading this and you feel stuck, stagnant or comfortable with your current state of being, what I am about to say next is beyond important. If you are not, and you are happy with your lifestyle, exit this page and move on, this post may not be for you. 



Be open to risk. 


In order to be successful you need to start putting yourself out there. You need to become open to the idea of taking risks. Identify uncertainty, but do not let it break you. Use it as a platform, or boost to grow. Too many people live by the books. It kills me to see folks always being so careful. “I need job security,” “I didn’t know anyone there so I didn’t go,” “We were together for so long, I didn’t want to start over” - the list goes on and on. 


Some of the greatest euphoria in life comes on the other side of your greatest fears, and many will never experience that because they are scared to fail. (Will Smith put up a video on this not too long ago, check it out.) This comes into play with friends, relationships, marriages, jobs, careers, dreams, choices, all the above. Expand your comfort zone, meet new people, cutoff that dead relationship, quit that bullshit job, see the world, experience new cultures, learn and see from different perspectives - in other words, grow.


 I moved out to TX, with less than $3K to my name, cash that was lended to me from my brother Matt and father Adam. I had no apartment, no job, just my dog and one friend, Chris Catania, which has been one of the most influential people in my life to date. Also shoutout to Ryan Fanning for taking the ride with me, if you read this I love you dog. I had nothing, and it was exactly what I needed. It gave me an opportunity to find myself, to find what drove me, to truly reflect on who I was and who I wanted to become. I found myself with my back against the wall, and you bet I fought my way out. Chris and I found an apartment which used up about 50% of my total cash flow, and then I got down to business. I spent days perfecting my resume, lived on Linkedin and Indeed and interviewed about 5 or 6 different places until I found someone that finally took a shot on me. That gentlemans name was Roosevelt Hawkins, and it was a sales job at a company called Protect America, a home security company. Very entry level, position which allowed me to begin living paycheck to paycheck - and start to learn from those around me. What I made was barely enough to cover my expenses, which taught me very quickly how to live frugally - another wicked important lesson. 


Moral of the story is now, less than three years later I am working with one of the most elite, innovative and respected companies in the SaaS industry, called Procore. I now have the ability to be around some of the sharpest folks there are, but I still stay true to my core and what got me here. Everyday, I expand my network. I learn from those around me, I go out of my way to meet new people, hear their story and understand what got them there and where they want to go. I ask what types of investments they have made, ask for advice and what makes them happy. It gives me insight and allows for me to grow, and become better and better each day - which as you guessed is why I joined “No Windy Sleeves”. I heard once that “you cannot find your purpose in life, until you find your people” - and I found mine. These folks around me keep me accountable, and are committed to growth in every aspect of life. 


I want to highlight that I would never have made it this far without taking the initial risk. Moving to Austin with nothing, is a risk that is big enough to scare the shit out of a lot of people, and one that could have set me back in life big time. But I made it happen, I found a way, I fought through the obstacles and hard times and I am one step closer to becoming financially free. If you have gotten this far, it means that there is something inside of you that wants more, wants to be better, wants to continue to advance in life - and I hope this lights a fire inside you. 


“The only thing worse than death is a regret filled coffin - so try before you die or always wonder...what if…” - J. Cole. 


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