Have You Ever Lost It All ?

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We are headed for some wicked hard times.  Some of us are already feeling the sting.  Some of you are just getting out of college with a monster load of debt and are going to have a hard time finding a job. Some of you are going to lose your jobs and be out of work for quite a bit of time.   Some of you are about to hit rock bottom.  Some of you have hit it years ago.  Some of you wont hit rock bottom for years to come.

I hit rock bottom about 8 years ago.  I was fired from my job and lived on credit cards for months while trying find another job.  After several months of no luck and not being able to make credit card payments, the credit card companies started to close my accounts and send me to debt collectors. I soon was evicted from my apartment after missing payment(s).

So there I was.. 25 years old, about 50k in debt with a lot of it being super high interest credit card debt spread among about 5 different cards, no job, no place to live and if that wasn’t bad enough I was also super fat.

Rock bottom.   I will tell you its the best thing that ever happen to me.  Its when you hit rock bottom that you find yourself and it gives you an amazing education that is priceless.  At the time it happens its very painful but if you can fight through it and do the hardwork that needs to be done the rewards will be that much sweeter on the other side.

A lot of people ask me why I do not have super flashy cars or fly first class… or whatever super luxurious thing other cool people are doing…  the answer is pretty simple.  I have a hard time wasting money.  I remember how much it sucked when I hit rock bottom and I never want to feel like that again.  Some people might hear that then look at my h2 and think that is flashy…. guess what?  Its a lease and it was practically free because we traded out work with the hummer dealership.

Hitting rock bottom taught me the value of money.  It also taught me to hustle.  Most of all it taught me what truly matters in life is family and friends.  After all it was my friend George Schaeffer who volunteered his couch for me to sleep on in Des Moines IA. which got me back on my feet and also made me not settle for a 9-5 job.  Its also where I met my wife.

A few years ago when we were killing it in the mobile space we were satisfied with success and not really challenging ourselves… then the mobile industry took a huge hit.  We had to come up with something new.  Because of the adversity AuctionAds was invented and in 4 short months we went from launch to selling the company.

This of course put a bunch of green in our pockets and made us pretty happy with our success but it also meant we needed to come up with new revenue streams (or retire).  I am not ready to retire yet so we started fighters.com,  busted ass on the elite retreat, and started other ventures also.

Some of the biggest success today came out of the worst dot com crash ever.  (highly recommend you read that article).  Google being the biggest example.

Every time I have been hit with adversity it has opened up some amazing oppourtunities.  Hang in there.

149 thoughts on “Have You Ever Lost It All ?

  1. QuickPWN

    I did loose hope once but I looked at my position and thought about the other people out there who were less fortunate than me. I learned to be thankful for whatever I had and not complain about losing anything. I also learned to think positively and move ahead in life.

      1. Atlanta wedding photographer

        You learn your lessons because you have too. You have to be inventive and start making reasonable priorities on what’s important. If you have credit debt and you need money for food. Guess what, credit cards wait. They’ll get their money but you have to keep yourself alive. Also, being rock bottom gives you an angle that most people don’t see. You also become a highly motivated individual. Being tired is no longer an excuse to get something done. You can sleep later when things are better.

        I remember when the credit company called my dad because i was being on my payments. The amount $20.00! No it wasn’t much now but when you aren’t making any money it’s a lot. I told myself that I would never do that again. Well, I didn’t listen and as a result I’m about to finish paying off around 16,000.00 of debt in 6 months.

        You got to take Napoleon HIll’s advice, “have a definite major purpose.” Know what you want and create a plan to get there. As such, only do those things that help you get to that goal and nothing else.

        Thanks shoe.

    1. tony dee

      I also have experienced the terrible downfall of sliding into oblivion but I didn’t give up. After being evicted from 2 apartments and losing job due to brain tumor and complications, getting back on track has still been difficult.

  2. VikingBlogger

    I don’t think I ever have been at the bottom. I do not earn a lot, but I still manage to make a living. I do that by doing what I do online for 50% of my time, and 50% of the time I earn some money on a regular 9-5 job.

    My end goal is to make a 100% living online, and hopefully I will archive that within 2009. I have to. I can’t have a regular 9-5 job. I just cant.

    One thing is for certain, people have to start using less money. That includes me. As the opposite of you Shoe, I love to waste money. If I got some, I usually use it as well. This has to change thou, so I have just started a savings account, where all my savings are locked up until I want to buy a house. With 7% interest its not that bad.

    1. QuickPWN

      We both share the same goals! I want to be earning enough online too so I can quit my full time job and just focus on my college and work from home. By reading Shoemoney’s awesome tips and viewing his videos you will learn a lot. I am sure both of us will achieve our goals this year. My online revenue keeps increasing each month.

    1. QuickPWN

      It’s very inspirational not only for me, but for my younger brother as well. He is overweight and really needs to start exercising. After I saw how Jeremy looked in the past I was amazed. He really did loose a lot of weight! Besides giving me hope, Jeremy has given my brother some hope as well. ;)

  3. Rich Hill

    Jeremy,
    Thanks for sharing that very inspirational message.
    Been there, done that, lost a million dollars (twice.)
    “When you got nuthin’, you got nuthin’ to lose.”
    No place but up!
    I have followed DaveRamsy’s instructions for two years, daveramsey.com and could care less about the damn market!
    You are awesome and give hope to all!
    Rich Hill

  4. QuickPWN

    I have never been in a situation where I was out of debt, homeless, or had no food to eat, and I am very thankful for this! I’m taking online courses and I pay for my courses through the money I earn online and from my full time job. Before I started college I had saved up enough to start out with two courses and I kept earning enough for the next month so I will never be in debt this way. I always have enough money left to pay for a college course or any emergency situations.

  5. Ben - frogstr.com

    Very inspirational Shoe. You went through a lot and I think that’s what makes you successful today. You’re not scared to work hard and you can remember what it was to be without a job. I can’t say I lost it all once in my life. I’m still very young at 23 years old, but I still feel lucky I always had a good life.

  6. Clog Money

    I absolutely love posts like this, like most people it’s great to hear a success story. It’s always interesting to read how grounded you are. I’m fortunate enough that in my 25 years of life I’ve never hit rock bottom, I sometimes wonder if this means I wont be as successful as those who have been there and been forced to work harder.

    1. Goran Website

      You could learn from others’ mistakes to eliminate the risk of you falling into the same traps. If you keep your life well organized and planned a few steps ahead, then you shouldn’t have a problem. Self-descipline and drive is the key.

  7. Amit Bhawani

    Indians are also suffering heavily in the stocks, i had around 31.8 lakhs[75k$] of stocks around jan 2008 which are currently valued at 8 lakhs [20k$] but its a loss for short term investors, for long term anything can survive and gain back.

  8. Mark - yBC.tv

    Great advice Jeremy. It’s interesting that quite a few bloggers who have been through a few “downturns”, “recessions” or “slow-downs” are either saying:
    >> there are lots of opportunities, and there will be lots of growth, or
    >> hitting rock bottom had its upsides

    Still, let’s focus on surviving the recession. We’re doing a series about that – let me know if you’d be interested in contributing! We’re just working on it now.

  9. mrkbsm

    Good message Shoe, especially in the face of what’s coming. I don’t think the economy is going to get better any time soon and that’s going to mean a lot of lost jobs, more bad debt, and a lot of struggling. BUT, coming out on the other side of it is going to leave a lot of opportunity for everyone that makes it….. so long as the telco’s don’t go belly up and cut off our internet… but even then, lots of opportunities! :)

  10. Marisa

    I older than you and my situation is quite different and yet I could relate to the “rock bottom” theory. I’ve always believed that to grow, we must be pruned. Usually, that hurts but there’s no other way to flourish.

  11. Matthias

    Thats true!

    I think, unless you really hit the bottom, you cant really appreciate what you have.. There is no real white without black..

    But on the other side, hitting bottom isnt that nice, so unless you can avoid it, you might try to not get to that point.

    1. Goran Website

      I agree. All it takes is good planning and descipline. Most people just don’t plan ahead and have bad spending habits of which they find themselves in too much debt for. That’s when you dig yourself into your own grave.

      But some of us have to learn the hard way I guess ;-)

  12. Andrew Galasetti

    Thanks for sharing your story Jeremy! It is remarkable.

    I think busts are the best times for entrepreneurs. It keeps you grounded and forces you to be resourceful and even more creative. 5 years from now it’s going to be amazing to see what companies and innovations come out of this.

    -Andrew

  13. Jill C

    Great message you are sending Shoe! In my early 20′s I had the same road ahead of me … a large amount of debt due to just a plain ‘ole rough life. I have never been a spender, but had a hard time making ends meet just to survive, thought it would get easier as I got older-boy that was wrong! Good life know though-and like you I don’t have the need to spend, I like to look good and have nice things, but don’t need to have “the best”! I like my simple life, and that is what is going to get my family through this horrendous time! Hopefully this whole scenario will really get people back to a simpler way of life that incorporates what REALLY matters which is friends and family!

  14. Lightfoot Simmons

    Such an inspiring post! I’ve hit rock bottom a time or two but not has bad as what you have experienced. Mine were the same result as yours though; a job loss. That’s why now years later I’m trying to have money coming in from online sources to go along with my daily 9-5 job! Best of luck to you in all of your ventures!

  15. Nathan

    I’ve hit rock bottom and I don’t ever plan on being there again. An education to say the least…I’ve still not reached the success I am after, but I am closer than I’ve ever been.

    1. Goran Website

      Wow, that sounds great. You see, that rock bottom experienced has taught you to be a better fighter. You’re now more successful than you were before hitting the ground. Well done on your rise!

  16. David

    Never realized you’ve been through such tough times in your life. Though I’m still relatively young, I’ve yet to hit rock bottom in my point of view. Everybody experiences at one point in life, even the most successful of people.

  17. Yiorg

    I never came to a situation as bad and I hope I never will. In my country we have not seen a huge difference in the economy although I feel that the worst are yet to come

  18. Joe King

    Rock Bottom was the ultimate wake up call for me. I was 19y/o, without a support system (i.e. parents), living on my own. Each week having to make the choice between electricity or food. I vowed never to be there again, and never have. I did everything I could to become independent and successful.

    The lessons I learned then, helped me make it through the dot-com bust in 2000-2001, when I was near bankruptcy.

    You truly do not know how high the climb is, and how tight to hold on, until you’ve looked at it from the bottom.

  19. thepoorteacher

    Great post, Shoe. I’ve recently hit rock bottom. My small business, a record store that I owned for 9 years, went tits up thanks to an industry that refused to acknowledge a paradigm shift and alienated its customers, both wholesale and retail. The collapse of my business stuck me with an extra chunk of small business debt on top of my personal consumer debt and student loans. I’ve managed to stay employed as a teacher, so I decided to start a few blogs and websites with some tips I’ve picked up from you and a few other pro bloggers. Though my sites are in their infancy, they are producing a small income. I’m happy to supplement my full time income with my meager blogging income, which lets me exercise my passion for writing and critical thinking.

    I don’t think I’ll ever make it as a full time blogger as I am passionate about my full time profession, but it’s nice to know that maybe my creativity can actually pay a few utility bills every month and loosen my burdened budget.

    Thanks for the great post.

    thepoorteacher.com

    1. Ben Adkins

      I think the music industry is the perfect example of “what not to do” in the upcoming years. The key goal for being self-employed (or just employed) for the next 10 years is going to be adaptability. The days of having one revenue stream are coming to an end and I think people better start realizing it. Diversify or suffer the consequences is the lesson that I learned from the music industry.

      I’m sorry about the record store “teacher”, but keep pushing. I think that your creative ability may surprise you in the next few years. Just keep being passionate about what your doing, and success will follow (but you have to believe it will!).

  20. QuickPWN

    I’ve never been in debt, without any shelter, or money to support myself so I’m very thankful for this. I like how you were persistent in trying to improve yourself and succeed in life even when you were in a bad situation and you didn’t give up. This post should serve as a great inspiration for those other people out there who are struggling with their lives. Thank you for another useful post ShoeMoney!

  21. browie

    I feel I’m in a safe place. I have things in order and my job security is pretty high. Good luck to the rest and I pray we don’t have a real melt-down.

  22. Ganesh

    Yes. Necessity is the mother of invention. Right now, I’m thinking of coming up with some great idea that will be tomorrow’s talk. Wish me luck.

    1. Goran Website

      But why does it take us losing everything to learn to appreciate… Just like when you lose a close friend or relative to death, it’s only then that we’re remind ourselves to appreciate our lives more.

      I guess it’s true what they say: “Mistakes and failure is the best school of mankind as they will hardly learn from any other”.

  23. Vijay

    Wow, I have heard rock bottom and Go baby Go… from many successful people..

    I guess it will wise on my part not to wait for it and just bust to Go Baby Go..

  24. coderbari

    I never use credit card and I never spend more than I earn. If you save a small amount from you earnings every month and deposit it in bank it may come handy when you have no work or job. I was without any work from March to July this year, my savings kept me alive that time. If you save something thinking about future then it is hard to hit the “rock bottom”.

  25. Goran Website

    Wow Shoe, now that’s a very inspiring story. I guess the true value of a man is seen when they fall rock bottom, because it’s rising from that that makes you king. Some just give up but some fight and even become much wealthier than before.

  26. Michael

    My wife and I may have been the only ones to open a restaurant in a ‘restaurant mecca’ in Northern NJ at the beginning of a down market for eateries. After a year and a half, we pulled the plug before we washed down the drain (as my contemporaries were saying things like ‘this is the worst market since nineteen eighty something’).

    As an old IT person (30 yrs), I started blogging and while I have a LONG way to go, I can see the light coming. It’s tough, but after five interviews with a major cable channel not panning out, I figured that I could F.U. on my own just as easily.

    I am a student of life, I am constantly learning. I hope to see my readership swell and become the next Shoemoney! Hey, you never know.

    Don’t quit…get a goal – focus and dive in with all your heart and passion. Success will follow.

  27. Motion groove

    Insane times for sure. No one likes a recession however oil was a damn joke with how high it was going. Food went up because of high gas prices and so on. I don’t what is worse, yes recession is bad but it brings us all back to reality and also lets prices come down. A barrel of oil is like $83 now.recession What is worse insane oil and food prices or a “recession”? No one wants to loose their job or home but if you don’t loose either then actually in one way its better because prices are cheaper. Maybe I’m an idiot but that’s how I feel…..

  28. MLKimberly

    This is definitely an inspiring post. I think it is important for people to step outside of themselves for a moment to fully examine a rough situation and be able to clearly decide the best way to move forward. I think that if everyone was able to see hard times as learning experiences, we would all be in better shape. The key is to stay positive.

    I commend all who hit rock bottom and were able to pull themselves together. I hope that all who are not quite there yet can use Shoemoney’s post as inspiration that things DO get better, you just have to be willing to put in the hard work to make it happen.

  29. David

    Stellar post, shoe.
    I also hit bottom several years back, thinking I could quit a 50k/yr job in my mid 30′s to freelance and spend more time with my kids. Looking back, I know that I was probably a complete ass, being stressed out all the time – working harder than I ever had before, and still coming up way short.

    Perserverance is critical. I almost gave up many times..if I did I’d be back where I started, if not worse. Now I’m happier than ever, fulfilled in my home life and career, and excited about going to work every day. Wow, I never thought I’d say that!

  30. Kok Choon

    You are right Jeremy! Once you hit the bottom, you will be more grateful for what you have now – Family, friends and a decent life!

    Do you see any new opportunity in this down time?

  31. Writers Needed- $250/hr

    :) Yeah. I know exactly what you are saying! I have had the problem now of my mother constantly nagging me about getting a job (I just graduated college with a Business degree!) and she knows that the economy is bad and sometimes she feels sorry for me. At other times, she gets annoyed! It is hard out there. I had a friend who graduated with an Art degree and cannot find a decent high paying job to save her life. Our economy is whack. It is best to get into sales or Business if you want to see any real money :)

  32. Doug McIsaac

    There’s something liberating about losing everything that really mattered to you. It makes you realize what truly matters.
    I know I’m stronger from “hitting bottom” and it makes me more grateful everyday for the lessons I learned.

    Doug

  33. Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer

    SO true. I’ve been there and had to file bankruptcy after the Northridge quake. Sucked at the time … but it ended up being the best thing in the world for me personally.

    We were invited to be guests on a local radio show the other day and talked about ways that you can cut corners without taking a ax to your life. There is hope … I think people need to try to do their best to not live in fear of it. Look at your budgets and what you are spending and own it. Things get much better once you do because you have a firm grip on where you are and allow yourself to move forward instead of being STUCK in the fear zone.

  34. J.A. Carpunky

    Hi,

    Rock bottom has always been my fear. I always try to save at least 10% of my income. I have never been in this situation but have come far to close for my taste.

    I think when you are put in those situations it makes you become the person that you should have always been.

    We tap into are adrenalin or we use that part of the brain that has been in hibernation.

    I am glad to see that you finally made it though

    Jeff

  35. Loganet

    Thanks Jeremy! This post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. A-lot of us are going to need the inspiration soon! It also sheds new light on a lot of your other posts. Particularly your “How I Roll in Vegas” post.

  36. Steven-Sanders

    I didn’t hit bottom, but I came real damn close. I know, it’s either you do or don’t, close only counts in horse-shoes and hand grenades.

    My wife and I met in college, we moved in together about a year before we got married. The rent was difficult to pay, and so I quit school and my part-time job to help pay for things.

    I started working at a factory 10 hours a day 6 days a week, spending almost no time with her, but to sleep. The pay was minimum wage so I wasn’t making a whole lot. We still had trouble paying for rent and food and such, but we managed.

    About 3 months after I took the factory job, I got a phone call. I had been in the military at that time for about 4 years already (National Guard). The person on the other end asked me if I was interested in working full-time for the special events team and it eventually lead into a full-time recruiter for the guard. My wife and I bought a nice two-story house on the lake, and had a great time, spending money left and right, dragging ourselves deeper into debt. It didn’t matter, I was making good money.

    Then came a call for deployment. When a soldier gets deployed for war, by law his civilian employer is required to give his job back when he returns. But the government and the military isn’t. So I was put on deployment orders, and taken from my job that paid for all of these nice things we had.

    Long story short, when I got off deployment, I had nothing. Bills were still due, the giant mortgage we had was still due, and we still needed to eat. We got to the point where we were very close to filing bankruptcy and losing everything. I was looking for a job, but I was picky about what I wanted to do. I refused anything that wasn’t a certain thing or didn’t pay a certain amount of money.

    Then I got off my high horse, I let my self be humiliated, and I started looking for any job I could get. I was on the verge of taking one, having to move my family far away from anyone we ever knew, and starting in a place we had never been before.

    Until God finally said, “You’ve learned your lesson.” The week before we were to move (house still unsold), I got a phone call from a new company 20 min from my house. The following monday, they hired me.

    When I stopped being snobby, and started to let myself be humble, God provided me with the job I was always looking for to begin with, and now he has provided me with so much more.

    I appreciate money more, and my situation changed me in a way that I now want to help everyone I can in the same situations I was facing.

    You’ll never see me driving a bad ass sports car. Every bit of extra money I get either goes to helping others or in a savings account for whenever that situation may come again.

  37. Michael Martine - Remarkablogger

    There is always opportunity in adversity. In every problem lies the seed of an equal or greater benefit. If you have a solid plan and aren’t just chasing opportunities, you can filter the opportunities that further your goals from the ones that don’t. And by goals, I don’t something lame like “make more money”. I mean like where you want to see your business positioned in several years.

    1. Mayank Rocks

      Saving more for tomorrow is always a good idea. Whenever you are in need of money, you have it. No savings is good today but bad tomorrow, today you spend all money, you will look rich. Tomorrow when you will be in need of cash, you will regret spending all and living a rich life of past.

  38. GTAStud

    It really reminds me of the movie Wall Street from the 80′s where Darrien says to Bud “When you’ve had money and lost it, it can be much worse than never having had it at all!” How true.

  39. José

    Hi Jeremy,

    You wrote : “Hitting rock bottom taught me the value of money”, but what think it’s more important is that taught you that there are things more important than money. When that happens to someone, one starts looking at other things in life with fresh eyes. Things like friendship (the real thing), a good meal together with people we like and so on.

    Have a nice weekend,

    José

  40. PAS

    Great post. First time comment, long time reader.
    “Man looks in the abyss, there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment man discovers his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.” -Lou Mannheim, “Wall Street”

    Ingenuity, hard work, dedication, gratitude and sacrifice are about to become real words for our generation. I welcome it.
    -Byron

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  42. Patrick

    I;ve never lost it all because I made sure I never put myself in that situation. But you’re right, if it takes that to learn it, you will damn well come out knowing that you need to work hard to succeed.

  43. Josh Smith

    Well, its great that you are doing well now. I have struggled but it really hasn’t been to the extent that you have so I feel like it wasn’t such a struggle.

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  45. Bryn Youngblut

    I hope I never get to that point which is also why I don’t splurge either. I remember when I had my old business years ago and I had more money than any of my friends yet I spent the least, why? Because I like the feeling of having the money, security is a better feeling than buying a Ferrari and hoping your business doesn’t flop next month and force you to give up your sweet ride.

  46. Michael

    Ahh Man….good post….necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Hard times suck…but man if you have the right attitude those times can produce understanding that is more precious then gold. It’s totally the attitude you take in those times that make you or breaks you and NOT external circumstances.

  47. JC

    I have had that “rock bottom” moment before and it also gave me a whole new lesson about money management. Lesson from which I have acquired very important habits that I don’t think I’ll stop doing ever.

    1. Mayank Rocks

      Good Luck in future. I agree, some lessons we learn in life are so important nevertheless and we can never forget it. It also makes our life so much better. The very lessons we learn at the BAD to worse times.

  48. Steph

    This is the Schoe Daddy I know. Your whole story amazes me because I can say I knew you when. I think life is what you make of it. Family and friends can make all the difference in the world and in this case you have the best of both.

  49. Carsten Cumbrowski

    I was virtually broke when I got out of the German Army after I served my 10 months of mandatory military service. The army paid the rent and provided food, but it didn’t pay for the phone lines and the amount of power that my apartment sucked up, even without me being home. I had a BBS running, then there was the “bust” of my old Warez BBS and the ransom I had to pay to pay my freedom and clean criminal record. See http://www.roysac.com/bbs.asp.

    I was the guy who provided the couch for friends before that and I was glad to have those friends when I was going down. They did not let me slip away as I did not allow that to happen to them before. During those hard times will you learn for sure, who your real friends are and who was and is fake.

    I am now living 5,000 miles away from my friends and only see them every couple years or so, but that does not matter, because they are there, if I need them as will I be for them, if they need me.

    My parents and my sister will arrive here in Fresno, CA within the hour and stay for two weeks. They will go on a road trip and I plan to join them for a good chunk of it. I love my family… without real friends ,,, without a family you are nothing. If you are an asshole without any real friends and a family that hates you, all money you might have will not allow you to buy the one thing that cannot be bought… no, not love… happiness.

  50. Jacques Snyman

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jeremy. Everything works in cycles, like a sine wave on an oscilloscope. Your illumination of the subject has been most insightful.

    1. Mayank Rocks

      I definitely agree. It is just the determination to become something, get money is what makes you do it. And you cannot get that kind of determination, strength till you face the blow.

  51. Jonclaude

    Jeremy your story it is also same THAN MY

    I hit rock bottom about 2 years ago. I was fired from my job and lived on credit cards for months while trying find another job.Even with my master degree in business law I can’t find a job at Starbucks coffee or Mc Donald’s. Also I have got a MCSE and try to looking for IT job nothing come out…
    After several months of no luck and not being able to make credit card payments. And the same time I have got a wife and little children.
    It was very though for me I just can’t sleep and start get fat…
    The stress start build up in my life and I start to be depress….
    Everyday I asked myself what to do to get out this situation?

    And this time I learn a lot of about me; friends; women, money… think I never learn before.This thing give me an amazing education that is priceless.

    That reason I never bought Iphone for $500 because I know about MONEY NOW…

  52. Richard Farrar

    I certainly have “lost it all” before, although in a slightly different sense. In July 2000 I dived into my neighbour’s swimming pool and broke my neck leaving me paralysed from the neck down. Consequently I lost my job with it’s associated income.

    However, with the break of my marriage as a direct consequence and my complete loss of independence, the financial loss became far less important. This definitely gives you a different perspective on life, and to what is truly important and what is tangential, which I think is the essential point of your post; you only really appreciate things or gain a true insight into things when you have experienced severe adversity.

  53. domainpubber

    Thanks for the words of encouragement Shoe. Perusing some of your earliest posts on this blog I have to say your grammar and spelling have improved greatly. I guess we all have room to grow and improve through good times and bad…

  54. Peter

    At no point, I have ever “lost it all”. But three times in life, I gave it all up.

    1. When, as a conscience objector, I refused to go to the army and had to work for 20 months as a volunteer instead. They paid me $200 per month. I had to work in weekends and evenings to make ends meet. And they did not. Often in the weekends, we had to count the pennies to see what we could eat (and no, I don’t live in Africa!)

    2. I decided to give up my job, write a book and go to the Antarctic. Ended up a year later with a tan from the South Pole sun and zero on my bank account.

    3. I decided to take three months off from work, and go to the Antarctic again. Hit all time low on my bank accounts, but would not have done anything different.

    Lesson learned: Things are to be lived NOW. No money will take away the experiences I had.

    P.

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  56. Deskins Writing

    I’ve been at “rock bottom” all year. Amazingly though, I’m good at staying calm and positive. Despite it all, I know I’m still luckier than most others out there, and I try to stay thankful for that.

  57. Popular Wealth

    You can’t hit rock bottom with kids, especially young ones.

    Get a second job, a third job, give up 20% of your sleep time intentionaly to spend it learning a new trade, like web design.

    Get yourself out there, network, meet people… just get out there because you never know where or who your next stroke of luck will come from.

    Give up your ideals and work with your ideas. You ideal might be to make it rich online, your idea might be to look into volunteering your time somewhere just to get it on your resume. Ideas trump ideals in hard times.

    I hit it hard in 99 and again this year, none of it could have been avoided because it was employer related. Never again.

    Got some SEO work you need done? lol. jk

  58. Mayank Rocks

    Honestly it never happened to me. I am still 20 and live in India, my parents took care of me and will always do till I get a job. Even though I earn but I am still a college student and parents take care here in India till you start your own job, after job you take care of yourself.

    I know the value of money even without an experience, it is always because I dont want to show off or become a richy right now. I would prefer that later and that is why I save all my money, invest them, because if you invest today, you get more tomorrow, spend all today and tomorrow you wont have anything extra!

  59. Dick

    I studied music all his life. And I wrote the book the fantasy genre. The State has not provided me with a good income. Now I mainly work on the Internet and give some lessons on the piano.
    Why did it happen?
    I do not know. I love music. And I want to live normally.

  60. BusinessX

    A wonderful post. I have been on the bottom for over a year now, and can’t seem to get traction. The upside, I am not giving up. Having been at the bottom before this economic mess, I figure that if I can climb out of this mess even with tough economic times, then I am even stronger for it.

    I saw what the Great Depression instilled in my grandparents (and their generation), lessons that they carried with them for a lifetime and brought the prosperity America enjoyed over the second half of the last century. And America has forgotten those lessons as that generation has passed on. They did not choose to go through such a time, but they were the better for it.

    Same way about being at rock bottom, I would never have chosen to be here. But I see the lessons I am learning, the things I am forced to do, and the motivation to never be here again! I figure I better make it payoff by being here, otherwise I came to the lowest point for no reason.

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  62. Justin Hitt

    I can relate to your message, after the dot-com crash I owed out a bit of money and hand to close my company. Things got really tight while I tried to pay off the $250k in debt, finally bankrupted the company (and my own finances.) You never look at money the same way after that. Because of that experience I decided not to participate in this little financial crisis. I call it lessons learned.

    Best,

    Justin

  63. Brian

    Hitting rock bottom will definitely bring out the entrepreneur in you. It’s at that moment that you learn that nobody is going to get you out of the hole but Y-O-U. If you are at that low point, now is your chance to bust out the next great idea!

  64. Joe

    I got myself fired from my supermarket job a couple of years back. I loved my career, but I realized how quickly a day job could be taken away from me. I decided to NEVER go back to regular employment again. I’ve been paying the mortgage doing standup comedy and I recently started a modeling agency. My wife and I are paying the mortgage, so far and we’re really happy. You can make money when you’re happy.

  65. Dan Patterson

    That was a very inspiring post Shoe. I’ve never hit that sort of rock bottom, and honestly hope I never do. But I have definitely hit some emotional and relationship rock bottoms that made me want to make some serious changes.

    There’s seriously something about hitting the bottom, no matter which way it happens. It changes you. Thanks for the inspiring post!

  66. jim

    Thanks for sharing the story. Sometimes when people hit rockbottom… they keep going. Sometimes they bounce back stronger than ever, glad to hear you were the latter. I think that one of the great strengths in this site is your openness and honesty, not many “superstars” like revealing their failings as often and as openly as you do.

  67. whateverebay

    This is an emotional story. I witnessed my parents rock bottom and have taken those lessons to help me stay away from my own. Come close to rock bottom, “young & dumb”….as my brother refers to it. This economy is the perfect time to wake up and take control of your life. I have some money in the banks for savings etc…. But I do not trust banks, so I have some (not under the mattress) handy too. Jeremy, I can honestly say, that it is refreshing to find someone so open. Your personal stories are of courage and true inspiration!! :)

  68. PokerPotjieSoftware

    i came very close to loosing it all this summer. I was actually stranded in Rome with my wallet stolen, and an extremely limited budget to get back to the states alive. Needless to say, I luckily made it.

  69. uwak

    I am really apreciate your struggling, most people ever face the hard situation, but just little survive and to be the winner……great, thanks I love your posting

  70. Matt Helphrey

    The answer is yes. I have hit rock bottom and I certainly appreciate the story as I can relate well with it.

    It is those times when are true colors shine and it made me a better man as well. It reminds me of a quote from the book “The Ultimate Gift”

    “In those times when we yearn to have more in our lives, we should dwell on the things we already have. In doing so, we will often that our lives are already full to overflowing.”

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  72. Dilip Shaw

    It was in Dec, 2007 that I lost my job and hit rock bottom. With a big mortgage and other bills to pay, my wife getting pregnant and all my saved money in stocks (which started to take a downturn) life was nothing else but worries.

    I was dreaming of foreclosure when suddenly a friend of mine advised me do to something and it clicked. This is just about a year now and am pretty happy and satisfied.

    I am sure if things go like this, I will be out of mortgage in 5-6 years and buy a much bigger house.

    Yes, my wife, myself and our recently born daughter are happy and life’s good – I am out of rock bottom and like you Jeremy save a lot of money.

  73. cmmdtp

    I totally agree with shoe. Just a couple of months ago I was laid off from work and when I got home and lookied in the mailbox there was a letter from DMV telling me they were pulling my driver’s license due to my vision problems.

    Now I had no job and no way to get to a job if I had one! Two weeks later my wife was also laid off from her job! Now both of us had no income but the mortgage, car payment and other bills kept on coming.

    Oh yeh, no medical insurance either now and I am diabetic depending on insulin.

    Well, I picked myself up and started getting serious about working from home since I had no other choice now. It is now two months after being laid off and I am doing okay working from home. I got serious about my webdesign hobby and started picking up new clients. I also am helping a guy with his ebay auctions and doing a little telemarketing from home for a local business.

    Still struggling…but I discovered that I really can stay home and make some money. It took hitting rock bottom to finally see the light!

  74. http://www.articlesnatch.com

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