How Do You Hit Rock Bottom?
Hector was living the bachelor’s dream in Austin, Texas. He was a senior specialist with a highly successful tech company (the one with the apple logo). He had the plush condo. The expensive car. The high-end wardrobe. The lavish lifestyle. Everything a guy his age could want, right?
“I was busy showboating. The faster I made money, the faster I would spend it,” Hector said. He was living for the moment with no concern for the future. And folks, that’s a recipe for trouble.
After 16 years in the Texas capital, Hector felt the urge to return to his hometown roots of West Texas. The area was in the middle an oil boom at the time, so Hector sold everything in his condo, packed up his fancy car, and headed to the land of opportunity to earn his fortune.
“I figured I would go home and make an easy six figures. I decided since everyone was making money, I would make easy money too. So in 2012, I took a shot at the oil field,” Hector said.
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There was only one problem—he couldn’t find a job. Anywhere. For six months, he searched. Nothing. And his buy-now, pay-later lifestyle caught up with him. He was broke. Embarrassingly broke. And I’m willing to bet you can relate.
“I cashed in my 401(k) to pay for my high-end clothing line, credit card bills, car payment, insurance—all that stuff. I felt like a big failure. I asked myself, How can someone who had it all lose it all?”
Hector ended up living with his parents—a guy’s worst nightmare—until he could get back on his feet. And then came the turning point. One day, his mom gave him her last $50 so he could buy gas for his car. Her willingness to sacrifice for him because she believed in him was the stake in the ground.
“I used that moment to awaken a sleeping giant within me. I was no wimp! I was not going to allow life to beat me down,” Hector said as he recalled that day. And he proved it with his actions.
How to Start Over When You Hit Rock Bottom
Hector’s first step in changing his life was realizing where he was and how he had gotten there. He owned up to his stupid choices and decided to never get in that financial hole ever again. And he refused to take on a victim mentality.
“A lot of us don’t take responsibility for our bad decisions. I wasn’t going to blame anybody. Not the economy. Not my bloodline or where I came from,” Hector said.
The second step was deciding how to move forward. For him, that meant a trip to the mountains, where he did nothing but journal for two days. He prayed and asked God to make him a better man. He realized that “he had been blinded by a materialistic lifestyle and had forgotten to be grateful.” He journaled about his life and what he wanted out of it. Those dreams became the goals he would work toward with fierce tenacity.
The third step was putting his finances back together, one choice at a time. He started following a monthly budget and tracking every dollar. He turned off the TV and started reading books and listening to podcasts. He took on jobs nobody else wanted. He cut yards, took on side jobs, and washed cars.
Then, he took a trip to the dollar store and bought cleaning supplies to start a janitorial business—one of three businesses he now owns and runs with his wife. When he had saved up enough money, he began to explore more business options, this time in the oil business that had been so out of reach before. His plan? Start small.
“While everybody else was out buying big pieces of property, I purchased a small piece of land and divided it into plots of 1/2 acres and then started renting out to oil field companies. With that capital I slowly started to buy more property,” Hector said.
That rental venture later became another business, which now offers both land and homes for rent. He also owns a third business, a security company. He is pushing forward, determined and focused on his future and his dreams. Yet, he still remembers his roots.
“I came from nothing. I tell my family members, ‘We came from the same bloodline. The only difference between me and you is that I put my dreams into action and started making things happen,’” Hector said.
What Life Is Like as a Millionaire
When you look at Hector’s lifestyle, you might not think he’s a millionaire. He’s still on a budget and he puts money in savings. He doesn’t spend lavishly.
“Just because I make money doesn’t mean I can spend it. I had to learn that the hard way. I cook instead of eating out. I don’t buy name-brand clothing. And I buy in bulk,” Hector explained.
Hector’s favorite thing to do with money is to give to others, a practice that he says is “the best part of this whole thing.” He was able to give his mother the car she always wanted but could never afford on a fixed income. He gives back to his community and local churches. He sponsors events and other activities.
And even though Hector has become a millionaire, he has learned an important lesson—there are things that money can’t buy.
“I am the richest man in the world because I have my family. I have my health. I have a beautiful wife, a beautiful son and daughter. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Money cannot buy that happiness,” he said.
What You Can Learn From Hector
When I talked with Hector, we discussed some important truths that I think we should all remember. Use these facts to motivate you as you work toward your dreams.
- It doesn’t matter where you come from; it matters where you’re going.
- It’s not about how much you make; it’s about what you do with what you make.
- It’s never too late to live your dreams, but the sooner you start the better.
- Living by a victim mentality will get you nowhere.
- It really is better to give than to receive.
Building wealth isn’t rocket science—but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and persistence. If you’re willing to do the hard work like Hector did, you may just wake up one day and realize that you are a millionaire!
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