This story is featured in my new book, Soldier of Finance, now available at all major book retailers
I was quickly on the path to becoming a loser all because of a stupid parking ticket.
That parking ticket made me initially lose hope and give up on myself.
It’s one of the few times in my life where I can remember saying out loud, “F*** it. I quit!“.
You’re probably wondering how a trivial parking ticket could have such a drastic impact on my life.
Let me explain…..
My father was a college dropout and spent most of his life trying to make things work.
I knew that he was disappointed in his choices, and he didn’t want to see me follow suit.
He constantly encouraged me to go to school and get my degree. I had just enrolled in Santa Monica Community College, and was looking forward to making my dad proud.
When it came time to pay for tuition and fees, I handed the school’s cashier my mom’s credit card. To my surprise and disappointment, they didn’t accept it because it wasn’t my card, it was my mothers.
I figured I’d just come back another day and pay.
A few days passed and I returned to the same cashier to pay, this time with a check. I was ready to get this over with. I just about puked when the lady told me that I had missed the deadline to pay and the classes had been closed.
I had been dropped for all of the classes I enrolled in.
Are you freaking kidding me? Did I really just allow this to happen?
I could not believe it. I was in denial and disbelief, and I just felt like crap.
I asked the cashier what my options were, and she said that I would have to go around to each class and talk to each teacher individually to see if there was any room in the class. She also gave me a warning that many classes now had waiting lists, so it would be even more difficult for me to get in.
Not Giving Up…Yet
At this time, I was still determined that I was going to school and I was going to get the degree that my father desperately wanted for me. So, I went around to each of the teachers to beg them to let me back in.
The first two teachers I visited gave me some disheartening news. The classes were full and the waiting list was already ten people deep in each class. They told me there was little hope for getting into the classes this semester.
Once again, I felt sick. I couldn’t believe that I allowed this to happen to me. I still had some hope that maybe some of the other classes would allow me in, and that maybe I wouldn’t be full time this semester, but I would at least have some credits to my name to get things started.
I had this hope until I walked back to my car and found the $75 parking ticket that was on the windshield.
I found myself in another state of disbelief.
Of all the crap that I had gone through the past few days to now have a $75 parking ticket on top of it!
It was a low blow. At that exact moment, I remember saying out loud “<see expletive above>”
A $75 parking ticket took all the wind out of my sails, took all the motivation that I once had for getting my degree and threw it out the window.
When I think about the $75 parking ticket and how I let it control me and potentially sabotage my life and career.
I think about how stupid I was to let something so minuscule have such a large impact on my life.
Luckily, I did go back to college. I did finish my degree and because of that, and many other factors, I have proven to be very successful.
I think it’s easily understood that without my degree I wouldn’t have attained nearly the success that I’ve had. I never would have gotten an internship to A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc, which turned into becoming a junior broker, which then led to me becoming a financial advisor, which then led to me breaking off and co-founding my own independent firm, and then subsequently, creating my own RIA, Alliance Wealth Management, LLC.
None of that would have happened if I had not gone back to school and reapplied myself – and to think that I almost let a $75 parking ticket, a piece of paper about the size of a number ten envelope, dictate my future!
What little things in your life have you let get to you that have stopped you from pursuing your dreams and your passion?
When you take a look at them in the big picture of your life, are they minuscule?
Is it ridiculous that you’ve allowed something so trivial to have such a tremendous impact on your life? If so, it’s not too late.
Do what I should have done (I should have taken that $75 parking ticket and paid it off and told them to shove it) and then get on with your life and pursue your dreams.