I wasn’t born in the United States. I grew up in Britain’s foster care system…
I lived in a cramped, unheated room on top of a garage. At night, I watched my breath coil into a frigid mist. And the future looked as bleak as my tiny room.
Since I was 12, I dreamed of working in the stock market. I shared that dream with my school job counselor. His response? He told me to be more realistic.
“Be a telephone repairman,” he advised me.
But I knew in my heart my future was in the financial markets.
As a teenager trapped in the foster care system, I soon realized no one was going to rescue me… That meant I had to rescue myself.
So when I turned 16, I left for America…
With just $150 in my pocket, I set a course for the financial capital of the world: New York City.
What I found changed my life forever…
It was 1987, and New York City was full of enormous opportunity… obscene luxury… and bottomless wealth – all right next to crippling poverty.
I worked three jobs. And I even offered to work for free on Wall Street until a guy named Frank gave me a shot.
I started off as an assistant to the big-time brokers and eventually became a big-time broker myself.
In two years, I became the youngest vice president in the history of Shearson Lehman.
The rest is history…
Today, I’m writing you from a small island part of the Grenadines called Canouan. Forbes calls it “a place where billionaires go to escape millionaires.”
Teeka’s view from the beach in Canouan
Now, I’m not a billionaire yet. But I’ve already seen a few billionaires here.
Here’s why I’m telling you this…
I didn’t become a multimillionaire by a lucky inheritance. I built my entire wealth from scratch.
If a chubby kid who was bullied while growing up in the U.K. foster care system can live his dream life… so can you.
First You Need the Mental Mindset
When I was younger, one of the big mistakes I made was to get frustrated when I couldn’t immediately turn my dreams into reality.
I failed to realize that having a dream is just the start of the process. As you pursue the dream, you become the person who can actually make it reality.
All of my life, people told me I couldn’t be a success on Wall Street. Just like my job counselor told me when I was a teen.
And they were right… At least at the time.
The person I was at that point in my life couldn’t be a success. But as I pursued my dreams, I became the person who could create the lifestyle I wanted.
To do that, I had to confront myself with hard questions. But the young Teeka would just beat himself up without making any changes.
Beating yourself up is easy. It takes no effort. The real effort is picking yourself up after you’ve suffered a defeat or setback and looking at what you can improve on.
When that happens, you must ask yourself: “What did I learn? What can I do differently? What aspects of my behavior can I improve? Whom do I owe an apology?”
Then you move forward with an action plan (more on that below).
Friends, I know confronting yourself isn’t easy. It’s hard to look in the mirror and not judge yourself.
If you think you’re too mean or too lazy, judge the behavior – not yourself.
That bears repeating: Never judge yourself. Always make it about the behavior, not the person (you).
You may never be able to change who you are… But you can always change what you do, the actions you take.
No matter what you currently believe about yourself, know this… The person you are is beautiful. You’re a miracle of life. And you have a gift the world needs.
But to bring that gift to the world, you have do some work. It’s one of the key lessons I’ve learned.
So if you’ll let me, I’d like to share three lessons that have helped me get to the place in life I always dreamed of.
Then You Need an Action Plan
There are three concrete financial steps I took to start living my dream life.
First, if you want to build your wealth and live your dream life, you need money.
If you spend every penny you make, there’s no way you can reach your financial dreams.
When I started on the path to my dream life, what I found was no matter how much I earned, I always spent it all.
But I didn’t have a money problem… I had a spending problem.
If I wanted to be rich, I had to drastically lower my expenses and save more while improving the quality of my life right now by making better decisions. I didn’t need the most expensive, most exclusive, newest thing.
I had to focus on buying quality items that could last 20 years or more. And learn the true cost of spending by figuring out the real cost of what I was buying.
For instance, I could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by buying a reliable car and keeping it for 15 years rather than changing a car every three years.
My personal rule of thumb to getting rich is to live well below your means so you can save over 60% of your monthly income. I know that sounds nuts… But it’s doable.
For me, I had to have some tough conversations with my children and my then-wife. I made huge changes in our lifestyle, from downsizing our cars to chopping up credit cards and embracing “staycations.”
Second, I had to look for outside-the-box ideas about how to create additional income.
For instance, you can focus on increasing your ability to earn more money by having a side hustle… improving your work ethic… and learning new work skills. I did all three.
I ran two consulting businesses on the side while writing two financial newsletters. I worked more diligently and started a program of skill improvement.
Each of these little changes didn’t do much by themselves. But over time, they collectively started to compound upon one another.
Soon, I had an explosion of money coming into my life. Because of that, I wasn’t spending it all on a bunch of nonsense. That allowed me to put 95% of my money into conservative, income-producing investments and strategies.
The other 5% I used to speculate on asymmetric investments like bitcoin, Ethereum, pre-IPOs, and high-flying tech stocks. Many of those investments ended up making me a fortune… without putting my current lifestyle at risk.
I was finally off the boom-and-bust wealth roller coaster.
Lastly, I learned to step out of my comfort zone and reimagine what my ideal dream life would be.
I realized I didn’t have to buy into anyone else’s dream. You don’t have to, either.
I want you to get crystal clear on what you want. What do you really want from this life?
I’m not asking you what you’ll settle for. I want to know what YOU want.
Unhook your brain from a lifetime of conditioning that tells you what you SHOULD want… And find out what YOU want.
You don’t have to tell anyone else. (My recommendation is to keep it to yourself.) But you should write it down. Once written down, ask yourself, “If I could achieve this… How would I do it?”
It’s OK if you don’t know the answer yet. Just the action of opening your mind to accept a life radically different from the one you currently live will begin to move your life more in the direction of where you want it to go.
I didn’t know how to answer this question when I asked it of myself. And so what I did every morning was sit at my desk and write out my ideal life. At the time, I was in an unhappy marriage in rural Pennsylvania.
Each morning I would write about the life I wanted. I wrote about the home I lived in, the view of the ocean from my balcony, and the sound of the ocean in the background.
I wrote about my workday, the people I interacted with, the type of romantic relationship I wanted, and the wealth I wanted.
I did this EVERY morning for months.
Within two years… I had converted every one of those dreams into reality.
Push Past Your Comfort Zone
Friends, there’s no difference between you and me. I have the same fears and insecurities you have. I’ve just learned how to handle and channel them.
I’ve done stupid things in my life. I’ve just figured out a way to overcome my own personal stupidity.
We’re all humans… We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect.
But as long as you can follow the lessons I’ve learned, you’ll be on the path to realizing your dreams.
Will it be easy? No. Will you have to go outside your comfort zone? Yes.
But if you can bring yourself to do that… to keep pushing past your comfort zone… You’ll have a life beyond your wildest dreams.
Let the Game Come to You!
P.S. On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, I’m holding a special briefing about an idea that will take you way out of your comfort zone.
During the event, I’ll discuss how this idea can turn $1,000 into a retirement nest egg – while getting paid month after month.
You can learn more about this event right here. When you click on the link, I’ll automatically add your email address to my RSVP list.
You’ll even learn about a special bonus I have for those who attend. So click here to automatically add yourself to my RSVP list.