Now instead of making $20/week on a paper route, I was an engineer, making way more! Finally, I'd moved up in the world. I was no longer poor. By North American standards, I was "middle class".
But that bad-a**ity I'd gained from growing up poor never went away. While my friends bought fancy clothes, over-priced houses and shiny new cars, and worked longer and longer hours to pay for them, I decided to put my bad-a**ity to work, and build my portfolio so I could be the youngest retiree in the country. And what do you know? It worked.
By using the skills I developed from growing up — Creativity, Resilience, Adapability, Perseverance — or CRAP (I'm not good at making acronyms), I became a millionaire.
I could've never gotten to where I am today without these skills. Growing up in North America, the mean kids at school made sure I knew I was poor. But all that did was make me stronger, and turn me into a bad-ass. That's why when haters clog up the comment threads, I just shrug and go "whatever" while others crumble and hide under their bed.
And here's an interesting thing I've noticed. In my extremely non-scientific poll of other early retiree bloggers (there are like 8 of us, and I've met 3 in person), I've noticed something weird.
In all the early retiree couples we've met, at least one of them is always an engineer (or something closely related). And at least one of them spent some part of their childhood in poverty. Note that sometimes these traits are blended between the two people.
That's weird, isn't it? I have a theory. Despite the fact that the ideas behind Financial Independence and Early Retirement have been around for a few decades, couples who pull it off in their 30's are still exceedingly rare. I think it requires an interesting pairing of skills. The Engineering part means that person's good with numbers and comfortable with math. Spreadsheets turn them on. And interestingly, engineers belong to one of the few professions that can earn a lot of money, yet don't spend a lot of time caring what other people think of them. Engineers take their pride in what they've built, not how rich they appear.
And as for the poverty part, the skills I just described above are a huge part of what drives the couple to succeed, because they are willing to do whatever it takes to save money and damn what the haters think of them.
But that's not saying you have to have grown up poor or have an engineering degree to do this. On paper, people who grew up wealthy or middle class have way more advantages than those who grew up poor. But don't think that growing up wealthy or middle class is sufficient to become rich yourself. You still have to want it badly enough.
And if you grew up poor, don't let anyone ever tell you that you can never become rich one day. You may be a bigger bad-a** than you think.
Read the original article here.