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My personal story (pt2)

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Among my many interests was electricity and I decided that I wanted to change how the industry operates. Understanding the free market as I did, I was pissed that the coolest discovery in the history of mankind was being regulated to death by the government. I wanted to change that.

I found a job as a part-time temporary meter reader. My girlfriend went ballistic that I was quitting a salaried job for a part-time temp job, but I had complete confidence in what I was doing. Meter reading was great – I was outside all day and had complete freedom to work as I saw fit. I’d finish my work for the day and then find someone else who needed help and help them finish. Once again, I was just having fun working. In less than 90 days, they hired me full-time (and yes, I had to join a union again. For the third time.). After a year, they made me supervisor. I didn’t have the required degree, but they overlooked that fact because of my drive. Then, at close to 3 years, I began to feel like I wasn’t moving fast enough, so I quit and went to work for a neighboring utility in the same capacity. And when I finally felt like I was going somewhere, I got married, bought a house, and had a son. This new utility gave me more duties and started putting me on all sorts of projects. They even offered to pay for me to get a degree.

I got an associate’s degree at night – it was pathetically easy. So easy, that I became a little pissed at how much weight people put on college. I realized that the paper didn’t mean a thing to employers except that it was a means to thin out the stack of applications in a way that the HR lawyers could explain. In other words, they could exclude certain people from consideration without fear of being sued if they made having a degree a requirement.
Eventually, they took me out of meter reading and gave me a job leading utility projects – without the “required” bachelor’s degree. Eventually, they did pay for me to obtain that degree as well, but I never felt like I needed it or that it’s worth anything. Again, they hand them out like M&M’s. I got the degree while working at least 50 hours per week, supporting my family (my wife stopped working when our son was born), and being actively engaged in my hobbies and traveling. I never felt burdened by any of this - in fact, it was easy. Just a modicum of time management.

Finally, my company moved me closer to their headquarters and we got a beautiful house on the lake. My son attends one of the finest private schools around. I’ve tripled my old $35K limit and I’m doing the work that I love. What’s more is that I know they will keep promoting me. Life is pretty damned good.


When people tell me that the reason that they are poor is because of circumstances outside of their control, I call bull$#@!. They don’t realize how much control they have. Or they are not willing to exert that control. Now, there are lots of institutional regulations and $#@! that gets in the way, but those are just more obstacles to overcome. I’d like to see those obstacles removed, but if you are using those obstacles as an excuse, you have no one else to blame but yourself. The laws of the free market will always work even as barriers are put in place. More barriers will NEVER make things better.

It comes down to this: Create and give as much value to someone else as you possibly can. Trust that the reward will eventually be there - don't expect it first. (Many people make the mistake of thinking when they get paid more, they'll deliver more, but that's entirely backwards.) Know what your value is really worth. And make sure that others know it as well. Never fall for the lie that you are not in control of your own life. Make the smart choices for yourself and take responsibility for them.

Updated 02-26-2016 at 07:57 AM by CaptUSA