Landlord, Student, and Entrepreneur, How I Made Time For School and Made it Affordable

Document created by jakel on Nov 4, 2015Last modified by on Dec 5, 2016
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My Success Story

Jake Lowing

     Growing up I knew that my parents struggled financially. Me and my family of 4 lived with my Grandma until I was about 8 years old. Then when we finally got our own house it seemed like there was a late bill every month. My parents worked hard to keep the debt down but ultimately the bills just kept mounting every month. The electric would be off at times, cable was cut out or not existent, they lacked savings and still to this day are fighting debt. They never took the time to understand money, understand a budget and under investments.


     This was a frustrating process to go through as a kid. Kids shouldn't have to worry about there parents financial problems, but I did. I saw the fear and the bitterness that comes from poor financial management. And I never wanted to be put in that place. I was going to do what was necessary to be financially literate and free of those burdens at all costs. When I was 18 I knew I needed 3 things (in this order). 1. A job, 2. My own car, 3. A higher education. I needed a job because I did not have any backup. It was on me to take care of business. 4 days after my High School graduation I got a job selling Verizon and Dish Network plans. I did this full time and learned a lot about business, money management, sales, and investing. Whenever I had downtime I was reading financial blogs and advice articles on the internet to gain an edge and make more money. By the time I hit 19 I had a full time job, savings/investment account, a car paid for in cash and I was ready to take the 3rd step and get an education. I decided to go to Grand Rapids Community College to save money and not have a mountain of debt to tackle upon graduation. This move saved me approx. $100,000. Originally I wanted to go to Northwood University (a private business college) but could not afford it.So I started at GRCC and found that they offer a 3+1 transfer program to Northwood, same degree but instead of paying $120,000 (30k/yr) I will have the same bachelor's degree for under $20,000 (Major: Business Management Minor: Operations & Supply Chain Management).I continued to work full time and go to school year round to catch up from having skipped a year of college to work and save.


     At the age of 20 I was paying a lot of money for rent and utilities. The cost of living is expensive when you are living on your own so I decided to invest in real estate and buy a house. At the same time I started to pursue the management position of the store that I was working at (at the time I was selling Sprint services in Grand Rapids) so that I could have more income. On March 4 2013 I had an eventful day that started with me closing on my first property in the morning and accepting the management position in the afternoon.


     With having the house I was able to rent out 3 rooms to friends and other college students. This brought in roughly 1,100 a month which was more then enough to cover all of my living expenses. Plus, with the salary and benefits that I was getting from being a Manager, I was putting over 1,000 a month into the bank while still living comfortably (upgraded my car, bought a motorcycle, a pool, a dog etc.)


     Soon however this was all becoming very overwhelming... I began to lose focus on the things that matter most, real Friendships, Family, I even lost focus of who I was as a person. This was quite a lot to go through at such a young age and the feeling of your "on your own" was very real. On you own to succeed, on your own to manage everything, it was just to much to handle all at once. So May of 2015 I quit my job. I had enough of the 12 hour days and hardly having a break from all the other responsibilities I had back at home. So I sold off my motorcycle, my pool, the truck (kept the dog )... Every responsibility that was just unnecessary I let go of. I allowed myself to breathe and change my perspective. Ultimately I decided that what I really want to do is truly work on MY terms. So I started my first business. This gave me more freedom, more time, and in the first month of business I made more money then what I was making as a manager!


     This journey has been pretty extraordinary. I have had times of doubt and fear, but I do NOT give up on my dreams. Ever. I know that the positive efforts I make today will compound and create a better future for me tomorrow. A future where I am not trapped to financial problems and worries, but rather a future where I can spend my time focused on what really matters in life.



Below: 1. My Australian Shepherd Riley in Colorado, 2. Me, Riley, and my beautiful Girlfriend of 6 + years 3. Riley during our hike at Silver Lake Dunes 4. A screenshot of my website (plug )