I Am Poor
If you know me, then this post may surprise you, if it doesn’t shock you. If you don’t know me, then you may think I’m crazy, a sensationalist, desperate, or just seeking attention. And that’s fine by me.
This post signifies a turning point in my life. It contains a humiliating admission, and hope for the future. It reveals a serious challenge that I’m currently facing in my life, at this very moment. And it also contains potential for significant growth.
What you’re about to read will expose a side of me that has never been shared before. It will make me vulnerable to my friends, family, and the general public (basically, anyone who decides to read this blog).
Let’s get on with it, shall we?
A Humbling Admission
I’m broke. I’m poor. I have $236 left to my name. Add to that a monstrous debt, and it’s as bad as it gets. My home is in foreclosure right now, and I have until November 2, 2012 to come up with a solution, or I am out. Here’s my current bank statement as proof:
On top of this, I currently have a part-time job as a driver for a local company where my net income, per month, is about $900. Yes, I’m not paying my mortgage, but I still have my condo dues, which ballooned to $500 a month since I skipped 5 months. But as of RIGHT NOW, at my current level of income, I’ll never catch up at this rate.
If you don’t know me, then this doesn’t have quite the same impact, except for the revelation and insight, and a bit of voyeurism into another person’s personal life.
But if you know me, then this may jolt you, and cause any number of emotions to arise. The more you know me, or think you know me, the more you’ll be scratching your head. You may think, “You’re too smart!”, or, “You had me fooled”, and maybe, “WTF??”
No, I don’t do drugs. I haven’t smoked weed since ’97. No, I’m not an alcoholic, I drink wine occasionally and can’t stand beer smell. No, I don’t gamble. That would make my plight even more destitute than what it is. I rarely go shopping for clothes. I don’t buy cars and I don’t travel like I used to.
I’ve just been earning less and less because I’ve been giving less and less to society.
Judge me anyway you like. I’m fine with it. I’m not apathetic or desensitized from this, but I have completely accepted what I’ve done, the results I’ve produced, and failed to produce.
If there has been a wrong done, it’s been made by me. If there’s someone to blame, it is I. I’m here, I stand before my peers naked, and say, “I am responsible.”
And I confess that there’s much more ‘wrong doing’ that I have committed. There’s more to this story than just the numbers. The numbers perhaps tell the story of a talented, skillful, and educated man (although I dropped out of school four times, I still consider myself quite educated), AND the faulty thinking behind his actions. The numbers reveal a problem that I believe afflicts many, many people today, even though I cannot speak for them, however I do speak for me.
And this “wrong” I have perpetrated, is a failure to use what I have been given. I have not utilized, to the best of my ability, my God-given gifts and talents, my unique perspective and personality, my strengths, knowledge, and skills to benefit others in my most recent past — most recent past being the past four years of my life.
Was I just being lazy? Stupid? Fearful? Stubborn? Selfish? Ignorant? Comfortable? Arrogant? Yes, all of it, and more. You may think I’m being too hard on myself, or perhaps I have some other motive by sharing this, but I am not asking for your pity or your condemnation, because there’s another side to this as well.
This is not a sympathy post. This is not my way of trying to gain your empathy and understanding. I’m also not blaming the economy, the “system”, racism, or any other abstract concepts that people use to justify their circumstances. I’m not blaming the past, my parents, or any of the thousands of people who have crossed my path. No.
But I do have a reason for putting it all out there. And since I’m being totally upfront and honest, I can say without a doubt that I would NOT be sharing this if I wasn’t optimistic about my future. If I didn’t have a little more than hope in my heart, I would not be open about my current state of affairs.
There is light at the far end of the tunnel. I am not in utter despair, quite the contrary. And if you stick with me throughout this entire process, I believe you will be deeply rewarded. And any epic journey requires major challenges to overcome, and a goal to accomplish.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, but that light has to be sparked by me, can only be lit by me, and forged by my own optimism and vision. It’s a goal that must be set by me, and me alone. No entity is sitting out there waiting to give me a fat reward for being a good human being.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’ve never had $10,000 in my bank account. Ever. But despite never having that, it’s still not a big enough goal for me, at least not right now. But to see $50,000 in my bank account would be a tremendous accomplishment, and it’s also something I believe I can achieve.
So, this is my public declaration:
I will have $50,000 in my bank account by August 1, 2013.
And if you stick with me, I promise to share the details of how I reach this goal. Every significant detail will be divulged. I won’t hold anything back.
How You Benefit
I’m documenting all of this because of you, the nameless and faceless reader. I believe that by sharing my account with you, by taking you on my journey back to abundance, you will learn the lessons I learn. I’ve thought deeply about the importance of this story, if I were to triumph, and how it will affect others. I’m not making my life public for stupid, or even shallow reasons. There’s always a “why” behind my actions.
And if I don’t make it, if I don’t reach my goal, if I don’t make it to the championship and win, then I still hope you would have gained something from my experiences. Maybe you learned what NOT to do, or a new approach to challenges you’re facing, but I’m sure if you ride this out with me, you will get something.
And as this story unfolds, you’ll see how I create opportunities for myself, how I lose them, and others I will just flat out reject because of my values. This isn’t about making money at any cost. I still carry a strong sense of idealism and know who I am, and am not interested in compromising what I consider sacred to me.
But all in all, I hope you get the sense that I’m being real with you. As authentic and revealing as I can be about a very private subject in our society — money.
And as for me, I get to prove my own concepts. I just wrote a book called Butt-Naked Abundance, which, as it turns out, was a message I wrote to myself.
If you’re interested in reading it, you can find it here at Butt-Naked Abundance.
From here on out, I will post once a week to this blog, that will at least carry these two bare minimum of updates:
How much money I made that week and how it came to me, and…
How much money is currently in my bank account.
If I add anything else to my posts then I’m sure it will have some value to you.
And if you made it this far, thank you. I hope you stick around to see how this plays out.
Here’s what you can do for me. If you know of anybody who may benefit from this series of blog posts, please pass this on to them. Share this with everyone you think can benefit.
You can also subscribe to my blog or click on the RSS feed to get updates. You can follow me on Twitter @paulcampillo.
Feel free to post your comments below. More coming soon.
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About the author
Work: Career Coach at Rubicon Programs.
Here's the current book I'm working on: Alien Aesop.
I also have some stuff up at Wake Up Smiling.
I like to start stuff. A new idea, a blog post, a business, a fresh design -- whatever. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, to collab or brainstorm your idea.