The Story of My History In Business – Part 3 – Moving Out

This is the next installment in an ongoing series where I talk about my history in business, starting all the way back when I was a child to now, my mid-forties. Feel free to read parts zero, one, and two if you haven’t yet to get some context.

We last left off in 1990 when I was 18 years old, desperate to move out of my house…

After high school ended I couldn’t wait to get some income so I could move the hell out, away from the rules of my parents. I got along fine with my parents and always have, but that didn’t matter. I hated living in a place where I was subject to their rules even though I was a legal adult. I needed to be free. I needed to get the hell out of there.

Using a DOS spreadsheet program on my dad’s crappy computer, I made a budget, estimating how much I would need to pay my own rent without a roommate (the last thing I wanted was a fucking roommate; that’s almost as bad as living with family), utilities, automobile expenses, and groceries.

The good news is that I had no debt, not even a car payment. (I drove a crappy, 13 year-old Toyota Supra with a failing transmission.) The other good news was that I didn’t care where I lived in the region; I didn’t need to live downtown, or even close to downtown, where rent was much higher. I was happy to live out in the suburbs where things weren’t as expensive. It would be boring, but at least I wouldn’t be living at home anymore and I would be free to live my life.

The bad news was that the total amount of money I needed (I don’t remember the exact figures) required me to get a full time job that was well above minimum wage. So working at McDonalds or doing landscaping like many of my teenage buddies wasn’t going to cut it. I would have to leapfrog right into the corporate world, and do so without a college degree. I knew college was bullshit and worse, it would simply delay the time it would take me to get to my six-figure income that I so desperately desired. (I had no idea how right I was, as I discovered a few years later.)

The rest of the story is at my now defunct old business blog, about how I got that magical first corporate job as the youngest employee in a company with 400 people, at age 18 with no college degree, no contacts, no people skills, and almost no job experience. Take a minute and read it here:

You can’t comment over at that blog but I will answer about that article here today.

In the next installment, I’ll describe exactly what happened at that job, as well as me starting my first part-time business.

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  • Brandon
    Posted at 08:35 pm, 11th July 2018

    That’s pretty awesome caleb. Growing up, what information or perspectives did you read or hear to realize that college was a waste of time?
    Most people tend to get programmed to think it’s “necessary” including myself until I was 21.

  • Caleb Jones
    Posted at 10:35 pm, 11th July 2018

    Growing up, what information or perspectives did you read or hear to realize that college was a waste of time?

    I just did the math. Back then, college cost around $8k-$15k per year. I wanted to make a six-figure income. I could either spend four years doing college homework and going into massive debt, or spend four years in the workplace gaining skills and contacts while being debt free. The latter seemed much more likely to get me to that six figures faster.

  • Eric C Smith
    Posted at 06:19 am, 12th July 2018

    your getting to the part where im at. im excited.

  • joelsuf
    Posted at 09:01 am, 12th July 2018

    Most people tend to get programmed to think it’s “necessary” including myself until I was 21.

    Yeah same here. The SP of “if you don’t go to college you’re a LOSER!!” was particularly strong where I grew up because it appeared true…everyone who I knew who didn’t go to college was stuck at a minimum wage job. And the high school dropouts would join gangs, burglarize places, and do drugs (then SELL said drugs at school lol). And this was in a neighborhood and city that was about 70% white where the average income was like $60000. The underbelly of where I grew up was crazy and no one seemed to recognize or care about it. Our local news sources would often cover other parts of south Florida instead.

    All things considered, college was just a really expensive hobby which is pretty unfortunate seeing as I wasted so many years of my life there. Towards the end, I just went cuz I had no idea what kind of job I could get and was just bored. I’ve been tempted to start anti-college “movements” where I get together with some other people in my area who have been scammed by colleges to picket outside of high schools and stuff, but I’m good. I don’t feel like wasting that much energy and people have a choice to waste their lives away in college so why should I try to take it from them? After all, colleges have to make money too, right?

  • BigTime
    Posted at 01:27 pm, 13th July 2018

    College isn’t a scam if you use it correctly.  Most of my friends who majored in Stem did fine and are living well.  The ones who took party majors like business or communications didn’t get their money’s worth.  The lie is that college is a guaranteed path to success for everone.  It’s not.  Just like a hammer isn’t for every job.

    Same for friends who didn’t go to college.  The ones who worked hard and proved they were good employees went up the management ladder.  The ones who lived with their parents playing video games until they were 30 are still life’s losers.

    The third route is starting a business.  It’s not for everyone, just like college isn’t for everyone.  No surprise here either.  You make your luck with self education and hard work.  My lazy relative failed.  The hard working one made millions.

  • Caleb Jones
    Posted at 01:38 pm, 13th July 2018

    College isn’t a scam if you use it correctly.  Most of my friends who majored in Stem did fine and are living well.

    They’re also corporate slaves who live a high-cost, high-tax lifestyle. They will never be as happy as me, and they’re absolutely fucked in the long-term financially.

  • BigTime
    Posted at 12:20 am, 14th July 2018

    LOL, on a recent thread you said your tax rate was 50-70 percent.

    After clicking send I realized my comment could have been better.  College isn’t a scam — the MARKETING of it is.  Just like all the smiling, laughing people who make it seem like some soft drink will make your life better.

    Unsuccessful people need to be taught how to analyze marketing claims.

  • Caleb Jones
    Posted at 09:31 am, 14th July 2018

    LOL, on a recent thread you said your tax rate was 50-70 percent.

    You really need to learn how to read. I said the typical American pays 50-70%. I live the Alpha 2.0 lifestyle so I pay less than 15%, because I’m not a corporate wage slave like your college friends.

    You need to quote me correctly if you want to disagree with me.

  • joelsuf
    Posted at 01:54 pm, 14th July 2018

    College isn’t a scam — the MARKETING of it is.  Just like all the smiling, laughing people who make it seem like some soft drink will make your life better.

    Yeah the marketing of it is genius however. Get parents to act like the high school kids they have by making sure their kid goes to the coolest colleges lol, and get high school kids to chase the dancing string of popularity by worrying about what college they are going to. The kids in my high school who didn’t go to college would get bullied and ridiculed like crazy. Even administrators and stuff said that if you don’t go to college you’ll be a loser forever. Looking back, its inhumane to just put people in boxes like that.

    Like I said its not so much a scam as it is a very expensive hobby in the end. Even when it comes to engineering and STEM. Much better to do what Caleb did which is plan things out real well, and do your own thing right out of the gate.

  • BigTime
    Posted at 10:22 pm, 14th July 2018

    Not wanting to pay 51.4% – 73% of my income is not frugality. It means I’m not insane.

    “MY INCOME”.

    Not trying to troll.  I realize that figure is hyperbole, used by politicians to get the rabble all riled up.  Nobody really pays that much.  I also pay less than 15%.  Otherwise I would have left as a young person.

    Now, given that we both pay (what most would say is) very little tax — how much can 5 flags save folks in our position vs the cost to implement and maintain?

  • Caleb Jones
    Posted at 11:25 pm, 14th July 2018

    Nobody really pays that much.

    Huh? Incorrect. Most Americans pay that much in total taxes (including you, unless you’re self-employed like I am). Did you even read that article?

    Either you’re just trolling or you legitimately don’t know how to read well. Tell me you either misspoke, or explain to me, with facts and stats, exactly why and how most or many Americans “don’t pay that much” in total taxes.

    Failure to do either of the above means I won’t be responding to your comments on my blogs anymore since you’re just wasting my time as you have in the past.

  • BigTime
    Posted at 02:30 am, 15th July 2018

    First you accused me of misquoting you, and you insulted my intelligence.  Now that I proved I read and remembered your quote correctly, you resort to threats.

    I suggest you cool your emotions.  If you cannot stand to lose a civilized debate, then go ahead and ignore me.  This blog is mere entertainment.

    The 50-70% “fact” comes from a third party that you did not footnote.  Telling me to do research for you is not an argument.  Nor is it possible to prove a negative.  However I can refute this fairly easily.  With the standard deduction and exemptions, a person making 30k is only taxed on about 18k at the federal and state level.  Most of that would be in the 10% bracket. Medicare/SS is another 10%.

    So that’s 10% of 18k plus 10% of 30k = about 17% of the total.  Let’s use Portland OR for the rest.  1.5% of rent paid.  0% on retail purchases.  What else?  Are you saying a few bucks a month for gas and utilities (tax portion only) gets us up to 70%.  Impossible.

    Over and out.

  • BigTime
    Posted at 02:40 am, 15th July 2018

    One more thing…  A person making 30k will get back about 5k in Obamacare subsidies.  That makes his tax at the federal level NEGATIVE.

    Also, if he has dependents his taxable income will be far less worst case example I used above.  For each child the exemption is 4.5k.  Let’s say 2 kids.  He would only be taxed on 10k of earnings.


  • Caleb Jones
    Posted at 01:22 pm, 15th July 2018

    Yep, you didn’t even read the article. Amazing. I highlighted and linked to every source I used, about 12 of them, of where my data was coming from, and very carefully and clearly noted the math I was using.

    You’re free to keep commenting on my blogs (as long as you follow the rules) but I won’t personally be responding to any more of your comments. Thanks.

  • johnnybegood
    Posted at 12:18 pm, 6th August 2018

    STEM is a scam as well in universities.

    Hey, 10 years ago graduating in 2009 right after the market crashed, I had already completed a double major in Poli Sci and Psychology. For those keep scoring at home, 0 + 0 = 0 value of that degree, other than proving I had a pulse and can follow basic directions.

    As was popular at the time before shit hit fan, I though a college degree was just “what people did” and you needed one, or you were a loser who would be working at Arby’s. I was young and naive, obviously. I had gone to an “elite” university and was pretty intelligent and thought I can get by on that alone. Also I hadn’t considered — wait … why am I paying $50k for learning jack dingus shit? I think a Ferrari would have been money better spent ….

    That said, STEM is still a scam too.

    Firstly, a bachelor’s in “Math” or “Chemistry” or “Biology” is also fucking useless. I myself (despite worthless degree) have taken diffEQ, multivariate calculus, advanced statistics courses, got perfect scores in various math standardized tests. Employers are impressed by that, sure, but just like a Math bachelor’s it’s generally useless. Very few businesses actually require super advanced mathematics (most issues are data quality problems to be honest or basic analysis being ignored or “variables” not even being considered). If you want to be an Actuary (very very niche and boring) — then you need to take those tests. If you WANT to do Big Data crazy crunching for Netflix — that’s so niche, your time would be better spent figuring out THAT rather than a generalized “math degree”. Textbooks, case studies, and mentors can be cheaply acquired OUTSIDE of a standardized ‘catch-all’ university curriculum.

    I won’t even bother discussing a Bachelor’s in Physics. Good luck finding a job that uses that!

    Now the engineering degrees are more vocational, sure. BUT – you’re still overpaying for the education. And forced into overpriced student housing with MANDATORY meal plans that are cheap prison-food slop charged $12 a meal. And then a mandatory fitness fee, health fee, fee fee, bullshit fee, “my fee fees” fee, the diversity fee, save the whales fee, etc etc in your tuition that increases 300% every 5 years because they learned they can fuck students harder and harder.

    So yeah maybe 5% of the university is devoted to actual useful, vocational degrees (and even the degrees themselves are more accidentally vocational; the majority taught is theoretical).

    Yeah knowledge is important but the tuition costs make it a joke. If it cost maybe $10k a year all-in, and they offered useful courses and it was 2-3 years then maybe it would be a good deal. Not everyone in the country needs to be a ‘steward’ of cocktail party information (the majority of social science information).

  • Magok
    Posted at 05:30 am, 8th August 2018

    STEM is a scam as well in universities

    If science investigation is part of your mission, it is not. People that study the careers that you listed,  generally they persuit understanding over money.

    If you mix a STEM degree with marketing and business you can become a monster, Elon Musk is the greatest example of this.

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