Originally, I am from Childersburg, Alabama. I lived on a dirt road with my grandparents for the most part while growing up. I did not have hot water in my house until I was a teenager. Even then it did not last. The well ran dry and the hot water heater burned itself out.
In high school, I was unremarkable until I discovered mathematics, what I call esoteric mathematics. What is THE shape of space? Is the light barrier real or do we just not have the mathematics to plot a course around it. Is my suspicion that infinity is really just another zero point like the inflection point of a sine wave correct?
Geek is not the word. I experience actual, physical pleasure when I master a new math skill.
All of which is worth exactly squat on the open market these days.
My faith is LDS and it took me until I was very nearly 50 years old to find the love of my life on the other side of the planet in Mary Jane Singleton. As I tell everyone when the subject comes up, Mary Jane is proof that Heavenly Father still loves me.
When we met, I had gone pretty far down the road of considering my life to be done. Now, she inspires me to ambition again.
Entrepreneur Right Out of the Gate
My first business was a collections agency at the age of 18. Made lots of money until my clients found out how old I was. That was a lot of fun.
Northwestern Mutual Life
The next stage of business for me was as an agent for Northwestern Mutual Life. It was an intense time in my life. Even though I felt like my bones were being pulled through my skin one chip at a time, I learned a lot from the experience.
If you are in college and want to make some good money and learn a lot about business, saving and investing, you could do worse than calling your local Northwestern Mutual office and see if they are still doing the College Agent program.
It is almost working for yourself. While doing it for life is not for the average person it is almost a certainty that the skills and financial knowledge you gain would make it worth your while to at least try it for a bit.
In 1995 I started my own Internet service provider under the name of Solutions Internet Services. Shortly after that we made a name change to Infosurge, Inc.
Until we got robbed, I was having a hell of a good time. All the equipment was set up in my basement, see? We had two T-1 data lines, one to Ma Bell and one to a CLEC whose name I cannot recall right now along with a 126k ISDN line back to Southern Bell as well. Had a 250 pair phone stump installed. I wanted to save some money on the installation, so I rented a ditch witch with which to dig the 50 yard long, 3′ deep ditch for Southern Bell to drop the 500 pair cable to my stump. Hard work, but a good time.
My going to work a lot of days, most maybe, consisted of getting up, getting into my housecoat and house shoes and going down the stairs to the basement. Many, many nights I would fall asleep watching the modem lights flicker, listening to the modems negotiate drifting off while waiting for someone to call for technical support.
Infosurge taught me how to make payroll, manage cash flow and the facts of life on how half the required activities in which you engage are dealing with asshole government types who want a piece of the action and to tell you how to run your business.
It also taught me the importance of making good choices in your partners in business.
Earthtiger Networking and Timothy Lynn Singleton
One thing I share in common with some of the big names in affiliate and network marketing is that I actually saw the vision of what can be accomplished in terms of generating residual income.
Amway, Quixtar, Melaleuca and on and on and on runs the list of businesses with which I have been involved and in which I have failed.
All have awesome products; all have crappy training programs.
Lots of folks get involved. High 90% of those folks don’t even make it past the 90 day mark. I honestly don’t believe those folks every really saw the business and what it could be.