I'll start by saying this, my family rocks. I didn't grow up rich by any means. In fact, I grew up on a farm in a very agricultural community. Regardless, my family believed in me! They always supported my obsession with entrepreneurship, my rabid desire to achieve academically, and my compulsion to "grow up" before my peers.
It all started with E3cubestore, the business I started with two friends when I was 13 years old.
Fast forward a few years, and I had bought them both out, turning the company into a single-member LLC.
At 16, I started studying at a low-cost community college. I wanted to keep a tight budget, while getting familiar with higher education!
At 17, I moved out of the house and started studying at Clarkson University. The summer right before this, I also took a solo trip to Las Vegas to vend at a competition that was held downtown.
At 18, I bought a fixer-upper house in town to save on room/board costs. I would rather pay off a mortgage than pay a rent! I also co-founded a company called Outland Manufacturing, inspired by a recent missions trip I had taken to Haiti.
At 19, I got engaged to the love of my life and continued to excel academically.
At 20, I own a house, multiple companies, I'm close to getting married, and I have a 4.0 GPA at Clarkson University.
"What's the secret?", you may ask. I don't spend money that I don't need to spend, and I don't spend time that I don't need to spend. Money and time are the two most liquid and valuable resources we have on this earth, with exceptions like faith, love, companionship, and so on.
I don't drink on weekends, I don't engage in needless consumer spending, I don't play video games, the list goes on and on.
Now, I have no problems with some recreation! I do have a problem with systemic time/money wasting and the victim mentality that seems to be pervasive on campus.
What you get out of life depends on what you put into it. Plain and simple. I wasn't born rich, I wasn't born in a populous area with lots of opportunities, Heck, I never even attended a public school! My attitude has always been about creating the most value that I can, for myself and for others.
In the end, we all need to take responsibility for our own lives. If you can blame something else for your failures, you can never take credit for your successes.