A Former Retail Store Manager and Serial Entrepreneur’s Path to FI | Robert from the College Investor

A Former Retail Store Manager and Serial Entrepreneur’s Path to FI | Robert from the College Investor

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In today’s episode, Cody and Justin are joined by Robert from The College Investor.  Robert has been sharpening his money making skills since elementary school and hasn’t let up one bit.

Robert used his career at Target as the foundation of his financial journey but always looked to expand his income streams through investing and side hustles. At a point, he realized how much bad advice there was out there for young people looking to build wealth, especially around debt pay off and investing so he started his own blog to help out.

Now go take a listen to Robert’s self-made story and follow along with the show notes below.

Episode Summary

  • Robert was making money from day one by selling candy bars on the playground
  • He even helped his dad with his taxes on old school Quicken
  • His dad was in the Navy and then a defense contractor and his mom was a city government employee
  • So his jump into entrepreneurship wasn’t seen as natural by his parents
  • Robert started working at Target at 16 and stayed there while getting his undergrad degree
  • He ended up working at target for 17 years
  • Robert graduated with a political science degree after quitting a computer science program
  • While he had a lengthy standard career, he’s always had side hustles
  • One of his favorites is flipping deals or finding undervalued items at estate sales
  • At 20 he started playing  in the stock market with just a few hundred bucks and had really good returns even though he didn’t really know what he was doing
  • He started his blog in 2009 at age 24 and had some inspiration from Get Rich Slowly
  • He and his wife were able to put a significant down payment a year later on a house because they had been living with their parents until they got married
  • When he finished college he did have $43k in student loans but they paid them off in 3.5 years
  • The house that they bought was a fixer and bought it at a fantastic time with the housing crash so they came out really well on that one
  • Robert credits his ability to handle 17 years at one business was because he had pretty good luck with great managers for most of his career
  • He worked from pushing carts all the way to a store manager going from just over minimum wage to making close to $200k per year
  • Then we shift to things people can do to help themselves get hired from his experience as a manager
  • He points to communication as the number one and problem solving as the number two most critical pieces when interviewing
  • Robert highlights how young people have more communication than any group in history but don’t have as much experience with one on one communication
  • Then we jump into healthcare and how that’s different working for yourself vs working for a company
  • He reminds us that it’s really not that different it just means your premium isn’t being subsidized
  • Then we get into some side tangents to minimalism and organization.
  • His final thoughts are related to making a conscious effort to raise your income instead of only focusing on saving

Key Takeaways

  1. Bloom where planted: Robert didn’t work his way up to some new exciting tech start-up. He started pushing carts at Target. Then, he went and turned that into a lucrative managerial position through hard and smart work over time. He made the most of his situation.
  2. Know your path: Robert’s story is pretty awesome in regards to increasing his income so much at a company. It’s important to keep in mind what your growth potential at a business is. When looking for jobs, don’t simply focus on the starting salary. Dig into what your potential for growth is.
  3. Live like no one else: One of the biggest life-changing moments Robert has was living at home a little longer. This allowed him to save aggressively, have a down-payment ready for a house at one of the best times in U.S. history, and start his financial journey off on a solid foundation. He could have moved out at 18 and found an overpriced luxury apartment to have some extra fun, but instead, he made the wise calculated decision and will forever reap the rewards.

Call to Action

The call to action this week is improving your soft skills, especially communication. No matter how remote or automated our workforce may seem to get, interpersonal communication will always be a powerful tool.

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Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)