The Most Humbling and Embarrassing Moment of My Life
It was the Spring of 2009 and there I was with my dog and everything I owned in the back of a U-Haul truck. I pulled away from the 1st home I’d ever bought, which was now in foreclosure. Headed out west to live with my girlfriend in a 400-sq. ft. studio apartment in Santa Monica. Which by the way, was paid for with her student loans, while she attended fashion school in Los Angeles. Not how you’d expected the about me section of a blog to help you with your personal finances to start? Well that’s just the beginning.
Husband, father, athlete, coach & entrepreneur.
Having made and lost my 1st million by 30 and what I learned in the process
My name is Denny Faircloth and I appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog. I’m not a guru, expert, life coach or certified financial planner. I don’t have any formal education related to helping parents get their $h*t together. It is my decisions, actions and experiences that I hope will help you make better decisions, take positive actions and make long lasting changes that will exponentially improve the experiences you have in this, the only life you have, to live.
Have you ever been given advice that you didn’t take, only to look back and wish you had listened? I have all too many times. I hope you’re not nearly as stubborn as I am, and instead you learn some things from my experience that help you avoid making a muck of your finances before you wake up. Which by the way will affect your marriage, family, health, faith and every other aspect of your life, if you’re not careful.
Unfortunately for some of you reading this, it’s too late. That is, too late to keep you from mucking it up, because you’ve already done that. The good news is, I’m going to help you get back on track in no time at all and have you basking in the glory of financial Zen faster than you can even imagine.
What does successful mean to you?
I was born into a lower middle class, blue collar family. My dad, 1 of 6 children, grew up on a farm and worked in a factory. My mother came from a broken home with alcoholic parents who divorced and then her father died a few years later when she was 19. Most parents just want a better life for their children and mine were no different. They worked hard, loved us unconditionally, and did their best to instill good values in us. We always had food, clothing, shelter and the necessities but as I grew older, it became obvious to me that there were opportunities and other things that we didn’t enjoy. Most of the time, money was the limiting factor.
So, I focused on learning as much as I could about money. Mostly how to make more of it. I struggled through my early 20’s. Then made HUGE strides through my mid 20’s. Having developed a multiple six figure income, with over $100K in the bank, I did what all young successful guys do. I moved into the city, bought a condo in a trendy neighborhood, an expensive watch and an uber expensive luxury car. Because this is going to last forever, right?
When Disaster Strikes
Approaching 30 was rough and I mean rough. One minute my business is booming and I’m on top of the world. The next minute, I’m in freefall without a parachute. It all started when my father died unexpectedly. My brother turned to drugs and alcohol. (To this day, he has never recovered and struggles with addiction.) I watched as my mother went bankrupt. Losing our childhood home in foreclosure, having the vehicles repossessed and burning through her retirement savings, as both the real estate and stock markets crashed. That experience would lay the foundation for what would later become my financial philosophy and shape my approach to financial planning for my family and the families I work with. Every time I work with parents of young and growing families, I picture my parents across the table and think about how I can help them best prepare for all of life’s twists and turns.
When It Rains, It Pours
Around the same time, I had a business deal go bad, which ended in nasty and expensive legal battle. Which drained my bank account so I maxed out my credit cards trying to make ends meet. Subsequent business struggles literally wiped me out. I laid it all on the line and lost. The money, condo, fancy watch and luxury car, all GONE. My credit, ruined. There was nothing left. Around that same time, my girlfriend, decide to quit playing college soccer and abandoned her nursing major to pursue a fashion degree in LA. (I know what you’re thinking and yes, at 30, my girlfriend was much younger and in college.) Honestly, under the circumstances, I’m fortunate that she still wanted to be with me. Not wanting to lose her and needing a fresh start, I decided to go with her to LA.
The Rest of the Story
Despite all of the challenges along the way, I’m blessed to have had these experiences early in life. As it is from these ashes that I would rise. Bigger, better, smarter, stronger and more committed than ever to building an extraordinary life worth living. This time built to last on a foundation of financial principals strong enough to weather any storm. So that I can provide my beautiful wife and kids with the lifestyle, resources and opportunities they deserve without all of the stress, fear and anxiety that plague so many families today.
If you’re looking for some slick talking, suit and tie, Wall Street kind of asshole that’s never stepped in a pile of shit to help you get your shit together, just call any Northwestern Mutual office. It’s full of them. If you’d prefer to work with an honest, down to earth, growth oriented, loving father of 3, weekend warrior, voracious reader, aging athlete, Jesus follower, community servant, school of hard knocks kind of guy, then I’m your guy! If you haven’t done so already, download my FREE guide, 12 Smart Apps That Help Busy Parents Get Their $h*t Together.