Chapter 2: How I Lost My Millions
If you read Part One, you know what has happened to me by this point.
Armchair quarterbacks and backseat drivers always think they know better. “I would have done this or that. I cannot believe you blew through all of your money.”
Everyone is a professional until they have to do it themselves. Imagine being 18, self made, young, stupid, no formal education, no family and a mom who works full time. Sure; I wish I had done things differently. I would be a multi-millionaire now. I cannot change the past. I lived, learned and moving forward.
You are here because you want to know how I ended up completely broke. The Whys: Why have I lost everything; why am I in debt. These are good and valid questions. This is going to be a lesson for you and me. I honestly do not know where my money went. I am going to reveal and reminisce where my money went. Do me a favor: Judge me how you will; say what you will. Please keep commentary respectful and respectable. I appreciate your opinion and value it.
So, where in the hell did my money go?
So where did my millions go, and why am I at the bottom now? Why have I lost everything, and why the hell am I in debt, that’s honestly a good question, this will be an eye opener for me too, because I will be revealing and trying to reminisce where I put my money. Judge me how you want, say what you want, but try to keep the comments some what respectable. You are entitled to your opinion on how everything went down, so let’s find out: Where did all my money really go?
Total Yahoo/Google Earnings: $1,833,705
◦ In addition to this revenue, I sold three companies: MySpaceCity, which I ran with a partner, netted me $70,000.00; MySpaceSupport, $75,000.00; PerfectionApparel.com, $25,000.00.
Total Earnings: $2,003,705 – I also made income from banner ad companies such as ValueClick, CPX, TribalFusion, etc to the tune of another $50-100,000.00.
New Total: $2.1 Million’ish. I thought I made around 1.8, but what is $200,000.00, right?
Taxes paid personally $400,000.00;
Taxes withheld from Yahoo, $50,000.00;
SEP-IRA, $10,000.00 (I know, pathetic);
Partner in Canada, around $250,000.00;
Employees, maybe around $30,000.00;
Site redesign, $20,000.00;
Drivable Investment, $120,000.00;
beModel Investment, $8,000.00;
Attorney transaction fee for website sales, $20,000.00;
Average monthly mortgage + utilities for 4 years, $4,000.00 x 48 months = $192,000.00; This includes my mortage, San Diego and Los Angeles rent and necessary bills.
This is all of the expenses that I can think of that were required as it were.
Total Imperative/Semi-Imperative Expenses: $1,110,000.00
Money Left: $990,000.00
It appears I burned through approximately 1 million in cash.
Now, where did it go?
There is so much more, oh so much more, that I could have done with this money. I could have bought an apartment complex with $300,000.00 down, put around $100,000.00 in hedge funds since I was an accredited investor, invested in a strong company or start a new business venture myself. I would be Hawaii, sipping Piña Coladas, instead of here. I tried to do what was best, but there is something intangible about having the ability to do what you want, when you want, how you want, where you want, with whom you want and not have to be concerned about anything.
WHERE DID MY MONEY GO?
Obviously, on frivolous nothing. It is difficult to understand how I could have $990,000.00 and stay in debt. Hi; my name is Andrew, and I am a shopaholic. Here is a breakdown of my expenses:
My house, $93,000.00 down;
BMW 2006 330xi + mods, $60,000.00;
BMW 2006 M6, $120,000.00;
Nissan Titan, $40,000.00;
S13 240sx Drift car + mods, $15,000.00;
House upgrades; Venetian paint, $80,000.00;
House upgrades; basement, $40,000.00;
House upgrades; landscaping, $30,000.00;
House upgrades; garage, $25,000.00;
House upgrades; library, $15,000.00;
Vegas, roughly $30,000.00;
Strip Clubs – Let’s be conservative and say $20,000.00;
Trips, LA, New York, London, Disney World, Hawaii – again, conservatively, $20,000.00;
Fixing wrecked M6 cash, $40,000.00;
Fixing wrecked 330xi cash, $15,000.00;
Birthday parties for Rose and I, $15,000.00;
Bruce’s birthday present, $5,000.00;
Helping a friend, $15,000.00;
1997 BMW 540i for friend, $9,000.00;
Old jeep for friend, $5,000.00;
Photography stuff, $50,000.00.
Obvious Totals: $742k – Whoa.
Things are starting to make more and more sense.
I have, now remaining, approximately $248,000.00. This total above does not include the other expenses: Food, girlfriend, clothes, toys, randonmess I bought over the last four years. If we take all of the fluff away – I could have bought a modest car, smaller home and had plenty to invest.
Wow; this makes me angry. I was stepped on, walked on and spent way too much trying to help everyone out. The only thing I can figure for the last $248,000.00 was spent on fluff – clothes, toys, trips, expenses on said trips, ladies … Egad. I was a fool.
ADHD makes you act on impulse. I have always been a here and now person. When the money was rolling in, I was on top of the world. I could not go wrong. I was 18 and hauling in $100,000.00 a month.
Young & Stupid
I never once considered making investments. I always thought I could save some down the road. There was a dead end at the end of the road. The money was rolling in for about a year, and then, dead.
I was removed from the company that made me rich. My site tanked because I did not understand SEO. All was peaches and cream. Like a flash in the pan, it was gone.
There I was, 18, with the skills to build a website, code in almost any language and how to spend money. Most people know now to to spend wisely and invest, or I should say I hope they do. Experience is a cruel mistress. I was high on the hog for about two years, and it was a powerful drug. There is a paradox here: The uncertainty of what is going to happen and the certainty of having it all before you.
There was nothing I could not do. If I wanted to rent a jet, it was on the runway waiting. I bought three Lamborghinis. For that amount of money, I could have a house, one Lamborghini and a 30 unit apartment complex. I would be on Easy Street with a single commercial investment. Money put horse blinders on me; money ruined my habits; money ruined me. I worked hard, and now I think money comes easily.
I mastered a new habit – The Art of Doing Nothing.
It is not a good habit to have; take my word for it.
Once I hit the big bucks, I outsourced everything. I grew lazy. Lazy because I could hire someone else to do it for me.
I had to take control and do for me if I was to return to the pinnacle. I knew what it was going to take – work 24/7, period. Money does not buy happiness. Money buys time; time is wealth; wealth is happiness. If you can have time to do anything, have fun, love family, love your S.O., whatever it is that you love, money will bring it to you.
I tell myself, now, as I tell you, reader, establish a vision; build a company; do not stop; stay persistent; allow people to think you are insane; do more than necessary; have people call you a workaholic; let them call you a nerd. I was a nobody in high school, but I was somebody in the real world.
I tasted the high life.
Now, someone is testing me, and I will not fail. You will not fail. If this is what you want and want to be rich, do so with me.
Together, let’s get a jet; buy an island; buy a loft in Dubai; spoil our loved ones
Live life to its fullest.
Okay. You see how my life was at the time when I have unlimited cash. Naturally, there HAS to be a few things that happened along the way along the lines of, “Did you see that sh!t!!?”
Oh yes. I had a few moments that, while entertaining, would not be appropriate for young readers. Parental discretion is advised. (Then again if your kid is reading this stuff, your kid is reading. Who knows? They may learn something – like how not to lose a million dollars. You know, practical information.
“And it goes a little something like this …” – Tone Loc Funky Cold Medina
How to destroy a $120,000.00 car
This is one of those, “Get a load of this!” stories.
I was at the club, doing my thing. My thing consisted of spending lots of money. I was underage, but Benjamin Franklin did quite a bit of talking on my behalf. Mr. Franklin can do LOTS of things when it comes to anything you want or want to do.
I left the club in my brand new M6. Remember, I am 18 and bulletproof.
There is an Audi on the road.
I, we, I cannot remember, I was drunk, decide to race on a round speed ramp getting onto the freeway at about 2:30 a.m.
You know, for a millionaire, I spent money on stupid stuff.
One not stupid thing I did not spend money on was tires.
Bald tires do not like high speed and turning sharply.
Rather than use your imagination, here is what happened: I wrecked.
There I was with my buddy, drunk as all get out, in a wrecked M6. We start walking trying to get an idea of what to do. Then I saw it.
One thing money cannot buy no matter how much you have – luck.
There was a tow truck in a parking lot. The driver was asleep at the wheel.
I had cash, naturally. The tow truck pulled my car to the house.
This should have been my first DUI.
Anyway, I sent my M6 to the shop, thinking it would not take long.
It took them six months to fix my car.
Why? Well, I am glad you did not ask.
The car was so new in the U.S. that there were no parts available, aftermarket or otherwise. The bodyshop had to order the parts from BMW in Germany.
Do you know how much official BMW parts are with shipping?
Oh yeah; there was another stupid thing I did not spend my money on.
The total repair bill was $40,000.00.
At this time in my life, it was pocket change.
“’Has he come armed, then?’ she asked anxiously. “Has he brought pistol or a sword?’
Ian shook his head, his dark hair lifting wildly in the wind.
‘Oh no, Mam!’ he said. ‘It’s worse. He brought a lawyer!’”
– Diana Gabaldon, Voyager
One of my buddies (I call them buddies not friends. Friends stick around with you even if you are broke) had a girl.
I went after her. He was okay with it.
I flew her from L.A. She was hot. Smoking hot. Like make the surface of the sun feel like Canada in the winter hot.
She was also out of my league.
She was not out of my money’s league.
First night, good things happened. Very good things. Or thing. Cannot remember.
Nathan, my buddy, swings by the house to get his skydiving uniform.
Nathan is an adrenaline junky. Faster, higher, scarier – if it gave him a thrill, he was going to do it.
I offer to take him, along with my girl, racing.
Nathan stole her out from under me.
They are still together today.
Nathan is also the guy who stole $5000.00 from me to “fix” my M6.
I swear I am a kleptomaniacophile – I love thieves. Thieves who steal from me.
I made that word up. You can steal it.
So, where am I now? Read Part Three to find out.
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