Debt Free Or Die Trying: How Marcus Paid Off $30k Worth Of Debt

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Debt is easy to fall into.

It only takes a single moment of weakness and you can find yourself tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

On the other hand, climbing out of debt is a massive challenge.

It takes months (and sometimes years) of hard work, dedication, and consistency to become debt-free.

On this week’s episode, I’m joined by Amazon Best-Selling Author Marcus Garrett  to talk about how he quickly went into debt and had to claw his way out.

We also touch on side hustles and using your day job to develop monetizable skills.

Check it out below.

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Episode Resources

Bankrate Debt Elimination Calculators

ARTICLE: How A Podcast Helped Marcus Launch Multiple Income Streams

D.E.B.T. Free or Die Trying Book

Connect With Marcus


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Read The Transcript

Michael Lacy 0:00

You're listening to Episode 56 of the winning to wealth podcast, debt free or die trying with the Marcus Garrett.

Intro/Outro 0:11

You're listening to the winning to wealth podcast where you'll hear real stories from real people who are on the path to building real wealth. These stories will show you how to earn more money and pay off debt, start investing, and make better money choices so you can build wealth for your future. Now, here's your host, Michael Lacy,

Michael Lacy 0:33

what's up what's up, fam and welcome to Episode 56 of the winning to wealth podcast. And this week's episode, we're gonna be talking about debt, income streams and a few other things. And joining me on the show this week is the Marcus Garrett. Marcus is the former co host of the award winning paychecks and balances podcast and he's the author of the Amazon best selling book debt free or die trying. Now I'm excited to have Marcus on to share his story because his journey isn't the typical journey that you hear on this podcast. Like it's not a journey of paying off a lot of debt and a little bit of time, his journey took years and as I've said before, these kind of stories, they really fascinate me, because I know just how hard it is to stay committed for a short time, like 16 months, which is our story. And I honestly I just can't imagine our journey spanning any longer than like two or three years. So I wanted to have Marcus on the show to share how you stay committed to the process when your journey is gonna take a long time, different strategies you can use and all those sorts of things. Because I know for some of you that's the case, your journey is going to take years. Now Marcus also has a lot of cool resources and tools that I'm sure we're going to talk about in this episode. And I want to make sure you guys have whatever you need to be successful on your wealth building journey. So with that said, I'm going to link to every single resource including how you can connect with markets or grab your copy of debt free or die trying in the show notes which you will be able to find a link for in the episode description, or by simply head into winning to wealth.com slash Episode 56. But Marcus, thanks for agreeing to come on the show and talk money with me today. Man, I'm really excited to talk about your debt free journey, your side hustles and your book debt free. You're trying

Marcus Garrett 2:26

I appreciate it. Appreciate it.

Michael Lacy 2:27

You know in the book. Speaking

of that, you know, you mentioned that you got your first credit card at the age of 18. And you said that being naive mixed with being a little arrogant kind of made you the perfect target for the credit card companies. What did you mean by that?

Marcus Garrett 2:44

Well, I didn't know any. But I think the first time I saw my credit score,

I might have been I'll be nice and say late 20s. But I might have been in my 30s before I ever knew like the purpose and meaning of a credit score. So that means I had a credit card, contractually obligated for nine years of my life. And I didn't even know really how it worked.

And so like many millennials, I went to college and walking through the mall, saw the swag table and I was like whatever it takes to get this T shirt, this emblazoned t shirt because you know that you know, t shirts is hard to come by apparently, I literally saw my life on the line. And that was a start to a very dangerous and lonely road that led to $30,000 in debt.

Michael Lacy 3:32

Yeah, I mean, perfect segue. So you mentioned that debt. But you also mentioned that in the book, you didn't make any, like huge substantial purchase says on that credit card like in those early days. Yet somehow you did end up in 10s of thousands of dollars in debt by the time you graduated college. So I want to know, like What kept you from making the big purchases,

Marcus Garrett 3:53

I really just don't think I have the opportunity. It's almost like ignorance is bliss. And, you know, credit cards, they lure you into a false sense of security. So I might in my head, I can make the minimum payment so I can afford to have a credit card. But you're right throughout college, I racked up about $9,000 in debt. But I didn't do anything major, mostly because I don't think I had the opportunity to do so. And when I did have the opportunity I was irresponsible. I remember junior year, we moved out I was on the dorm for the freshman year. And I moved in with a good friend of mine still friends with this gentleman, actually, both of us less hairline bigger waist lines, but ran into each other again a few years later. And like we were kind of catching up on the legal activities that we could still talk about in front of our coworkers because we happen to work at the same building. And I remember I went to the loan office one time and a lot of this stuff that tells you how old you are. It's just common sense now and they were like, Hey, we're accepting credit card payments for rent now. And I was like I'll never make another payment in my life. Like that. Doesn't It made any sense, though, is that I started charging rent to my credit card, and that it's when you start making those irresponsible balloon payments when it really started to jump up the scale. And I just didn't have the opportunity to do that because I live in in a dorm.

Michael Lacy 5:13

Gotcha, gotcha. So, and again, you kind of went forward a little bit talked about the rent thing, the rent situation. I know another part of your story was this big consolidation loan that you had. So when did that come into the picture and just kind of walk the listeners through that so they can kind of understand what was going on with that?

Marcus Garrett 5:31

Well, that's when things went off the rails they say is that this is when the narrator would come in and like the screen would freezing, like, guys, that's me. Yeah. You know, like this is when things went wrong. And the narration begins. So I graduated school with about $9,000 in debt, about three credit cards at that time. And I got what you said, a consolidation loan in the middle, and I had no idea what a consolidation loan was, at the time, I'd never seen my credit score. So to me, it's just like, wow, the banks are offering me more money. Cool. It is what it is because I'm a baller. And, you know, now I'm graduated school. So I remember distinctly thinking in my mind, you go to school to make bank. So I'm like, I'm a college graduate. I'm making six figures easy next year, on deck, like, that's what we do. That's what Polish students do. I might have clap my hands a few times, I would if the mic wasn't right here. And I saw it signed up for the consolidation loan, not still in my own youthful ignorance, not thinking it was a big deal. And it's like, you know, it's got that pretty lettering only one low monthly payment, I'm just like, bed, here it go. And I didn't even think nothing about I mailed it off. And I thought they would like pay off the credit cards for me, because they asked for the credit card information, because that's what makes sense. I'm 22 years old. I went from like, 515 to $9 an hour, I never made more than $20,000 a year, I've already racked up $9,000 in debt. And they mailed me a check for $10,000. And they were like, good luck. And I'm shopping like it's shopping season. Like obviously, obviously, it's shopping season like you know, these credit cards Ain't nothing to me no more. And so the story that's told in the book and is like, you know, quote, unquote, maybe viral is spent $26,000 and 72. Well, technically, technically, okay, let me be fair, I spent $10,000 and 72 hours, I ended up $26,000 in debt at the end of the weekend, cuz I bought a car with rims. You know, and like, you know, some people are like, wow, you know, shocked and appalled. And I'm like, I'm 22. And you gave me $10,000. Like, if you walked up to our if you were me, anyway, it's 20 to right now, it's like, I'll give you $10,000 to do whatever you want. How many of them are going to be like, well, I'll pay off my student loans and my credit cards, like, I mean, I will say this generation, I think is far more informed than than we were, and they have a lot more access to information. But I'm still certain there's a demographic of 22 year olds with it would go out and buy cars with rims like, yeah,

Michael Lacy 8:06

that's, that's a logical thing to do. Yeah.

Marcus Garrett 8:10

I'm about to make six figures next year at 23. So what does it matter, you know?

Michael Lacy 8:16

So before you add this $26,000 to your debt total? How were you living before that, like, did things feel tight? Or was it just kind of like, Ah, it's all manageable.

Marcus Garrett 8:27

It was all manageable, because I didn't know how big the problem was, I didn't really have a grasp of how much debt I had. Like I said, not only had I never seen my credit score, I've never seen my credit report because these things were irrelevant to me. It's just money in money out, you know, money grows on trees. I was fortunate that, I guess, put that Asterix there that my I had a scholarship for school. So school was mostly paid for. And I had like a $3,000 school loan to pay for my final semester. And I say, I guess coming back to the Asterix because I also had friends. And it looked like everybody was rich. So we weren't keeping up with the Joneses. We were just keeping up with the juniors, you know, like the juniors had all this money. I'm like, where are they getting his money from? And I didn't know because I didn't have a school loan that they were getting a refund checks. And I just knew at the beginning and the end of every semester, they had cars with rim. So I need a car rims like you know, I can't be the only rimless car dude around here, you know, that's not going to increase my abilities to to, you know, move around the campus. So it just at that time, it made sense. It was really normalized, because you know, everyone's doing you really don't know what's going on. But everyone was buying stuff and things and, and rims and speakers every semester it and no one ever questioned is like Yes, just that's just what you do now. So it wasn't tight, because I wasn't tracking the money and I didn't have the wisdom to know, what would come from these habits and activities that I was doing at 22.

Michael Lacy 10:09

Gotcha. So before we jump into, like, you know, you starting to address and pay off the debt and those sort of things, I want to ask like, what should people who are listening to this right now that are considering a consolidation loan? No, before they make that move?

Marcus Garrett 10:26

Well, I do say that consolidation loans mathematically work. And I go through that, that slowly on purpose. So effectively, a consolidation loan, typically, if they're making the offer to you does lower your interest rate, my interest rate was higher on the credit cards than it was a consolidation loan, they typically lower your monthly payment when you total all your outstanding debt. And they fail somewhere around 60% of the time, because most people move to the consolidation loan, and then run the credit cards back up. It's like when you get a raise, and you just spend your bonus like, most people just inflate what they call lifestyle inflation. They don't discount once you give them additional monies if there's no repercussion and consequences behind it. So what I would recommend people do is if you're going to shift over a consolidation loan, is cut up the credit cards. So you have to have a way not to go back to your old habits. So if you're truly ready in a position to pay off this debt, then follow the contractual language that you will make this one monthly payment until you are added that on the other side of it, most people would have the same or equal benefit from simply following a either a debt snowball or Debt Avalanche, I'm sure your listeners are very familiar, but just in case I'll walk through both, which is you tackle the lowest balanced debt, which is a debt snowball, and then you snowball it towards your other debts until it's paid off. It's made famous by Dave Ramsey Are you avalanche it which is you start at the top, you pay off all your high interest debt first save you more money, but once again, more people fell it that because most people need to see a balance at zero. So what I try to tell people is the plan that works is the best plan. I make recommendations, but I tailor it to people spending habits. And when we're on the show, we talk a lot about introverts and extroverts but and we use that to kind of tie to spenders and savers. If you're a natural saver than a consolidation loans, great for you one low monthly payment, automate the payment 60 months your debt will be paid off, you'll be debt free. If you're a natural spender, you gotta you got to put some controls in place, you know, you need an accountability buddy, you might need a journal, you know, you might need a therapist to kind of walk you through some things. You got to tailor it to your habits and know thyself of it. So

Michael Lacy 12:44

going back to something that you mentioned a few minutes ago, you said that everything you did just like looked normal, it blended in with the environment like so I want to know like, what was the moment or what happened that made you realize that something needed to change because again, I'm sure that's hard to find when everybody's doing exactly what you're doing, you don't really have a great example of what you should be doing. So where did that break come for you where you said, You know what, I got to go in a different direction, something's not working.

Marcus Garrett 13:14

Well, most people are probably gonna hear this story and think it It happened right there when I signed that consolidation loan. And that means you haven't been paying attention to the title of the book, because it's how I paid off $30,000 in debt, and I had $26,000 of debt at the end of that weekend. So it was actually 27. And to kind of close the gap. I bought a TV. I tell the story all the time and people believe everything up to the TV story. I bought a $3,000 flat screen TV, and I got like a 60 inch TV right now. I think it cost me $300 so I bought a I bought a smaller TV and it was less flat for more money because that's you know, that's how technology works. I'm just that Oh, like people like cannot wrap their head around. How did you spend $3,000 on TV, I'm damn near 40 everything all technology anyways, I was just cutting edge, I was cutting edge in my ability to bury myself in debt. My rock bottom actually came four years later, so I got $30,000 in debt. It took me seven years to pay off that weekend. But the aha moment came I was now four years in the future. I'm still not making six figures. So the whole college story didn't work out how I planned in my head. And I'm like struggling working three jobs to make minimum payments on what is now like my car loan, credit cards and consolidation loan. And I missed one payment one payment in one month and the interest ballooned to 29%. And that month, I should say I think the bill arrived on a weekend. By Monday I realized I wasn't gonna be able to pay the minimum payments on my debt like it was just that you know, moment of clarity is I think similar objects. said his people probably won't get that reference because I'm old. But that being said, I just realized, right when it came out my mouth, I'm like, it's Pulp Fiction, by the way. And I hope you will have like little fiction, you know, I hope somebody in the audience is like it, I doubt it, people will die, just like with data. And that being said, like that moment of clarity, which I call rock bottom in the book was, there is no path upward. From here, there's there's no path forward, like if I did not ultimate had to start begging for another consolidation loan to pay for the additional four years of mistakes that I've made since age 22. And that, that's kind of, that's when I realized, I have to make a change here, I was forced into change. And I try to encourage people to make a choice to make the change before your back is against the wall.

Michael Lacy 15:54

So once you have that realization, like there's, you know, nothing left, you can do, like you said, back against the wall, what did you decide to do to start trying to at least, you know, put something in place to move forward.

Marcus Garrett 16:08

They're still around, I went to bankrate.com. And again, to reinforce how long ago this was, I went to yahoo.com to find bankrate.com, because I'm not even sure Google was around, they definitely weren't like at the forefront of my mind. I Yahoo did, whatever the hell you did back, then I went to yahoo.com. And the search engine and I typed in like, probably something to the I'm in debt help it and bank rate came up, they're still around. So I still recommend people go to bank rate.com slash calculators, because they have a number of tools that are still available. But like I said, the best plan is a plan that works. I just know this plan works. That's why I recommend it. And they have a plethora of you will have calculators that you can use. They're organized by mortgage calculators, student loan credit cards, and at that time, I only had credit card debt. So I went to the credit card debt calculator. And it put together I allows you to type in exactly how much debt you have across what credit cards what the interest rate is on those, and it'll tell you the exact schedule you need to follow to get out of debt. And if you know how long five years, 60 months or three years, 36 months, type that in, it'll tell you the exact monthly payment no guesswork needed to that you need to make to get out of debt.

Michael Lacy 17:20

So did you have to focus on increasing your income more? Because he you said that you were working three jobs already? Or was it like, you know, you had something that you could cut out in terms of expenses? Like which direction Did you find yourself going in?

Marcus Garrett 17:34

was great question for me. And I think a lot of people I really didn't have besides my discretionary spending. So I'm 27. So I'm not I'm not out as much. But I'm still out. I'm also not in you know, I'm out. I'm not, you know, I'm not washed up yet. I'm washed up now. Like, I wish somebody would ask advice. Without a two day warning, you know, I didn't really have like these extra expenses, I actually had a roommate, I'm working three jobs. So I had already kind of cut everything to the bone. If you have not done that I do recommend people go through that exercise. So one thing that I read recently, for examples, we have, unfortunately, a very clear and recent example of our most streamlined budget, and they said to go back to March when we the country was on lockdown, and look at your spending in March, and compared to where you are in whatever month that you listen to this. And they can guarantee that it's gone up but some of us is returning to work, we're driving more. And they're like, do you really need these extra expenses. So they called it a 10 minute budget looked at where you spent during the lockdown and where you're spending today. That's your that's your bone dry. But you we were in lockdown with no option to leave. That's your true functional living budget Did you can compare it to after I did all that without the lockdown is 27. Yeah, I did grow my income, but for a different reason. I didn't really grow my income to get out of debt. I grew my income because it was unsustainable for me to work three jobs so that I had a day job. I worked selling phones, I put computers together part time. So they had a contract that you could put computers together at this warehouse, they would only do seasonal work. And then I would work weekends doing audits at various hotel chains. And so it was unsustainable. And I do say that for people younger than myself. If you have the energy to work three or four jobs, do it. I did like AI but even at 27 I was like you know, I need a backyard of me and I want to sleep every night then I would like to go out you know, I don't feel like I'm quite done. So I would like to go out and I just didn't have a window for that. So then I was like let me start looking for job opportunities that would allow me to make what I make across these three or four jobs at one time. up. And whether it's when luck meets preparation, whatever you call it opportunity. A job gave me a job offer. But the catch was I had to move across the country leave everything I know, for a six month probationary job, so I might very well be jobless at the end of this six months. But it checked off the box, but we will pay you all the money actually, that's what I asked for. That was my negotiation is, uh, I was like, I will come for this amount of money if y'all take on because I'm taking on all the risk. So y'all gotta pay me this amount of money. And they agreed. And that turned out to be a job that I worked for seven years.

Michael Lacy 20:39

Wow. Okay, so there's a quote in the book where you say, deciding to get out of debt was easy, but actually sticking to that decision was the hardest thing you've done? Why was it such a challenge for you personally, to get out of debt.

Marcus Garrett 20:57

To close that other point, that was a 40% pay bump. So I want people to keep that in mind. Because I recognize that not everyone can increase their salary 40%, especially effectively overnight. So there's that. So that's why I will share both stories, like I started at 19,600. You know, I didn't just start here. So I'm gonna be we're gonna keep that in mind, you know, fully sharing my story. The reason it's difficult to get out of debt, especially for a person like myself is it is completely contrary to everything that I like to do, at least I like to do at that at that time. Without our but for that new job, everything was a sacrifice, like I did want to work three jobs. I didn't want to, I wanted to get out of debt. But I didn't want to make all the sacrifices and cuts necessary to get that. And then even when I did, I still didn't have enough income to make a significant dent in the debt. Debt. But the results were due nothing but to my actions. 22 or not, I signed the contract, I spent all the money, I went on all the spring breaks, they tell me I drink a lot of liquor, because I don't remember most of the screen breaks. And I charged all those on credit cards. And I put you know, so that's why it was difficult for me. Like I said, you can go to bank rate.com today. And honestly, there's so many apps that you can go, just you know, you can go to Google Now you don't have to go. And you can find any number of plans, I just recommend calculators that I know work. And the plan 15 minutes I was talking to somebody yesterday is like I put a plan together for you in 15 minutes. Because people asked me for consultations all the time. I was like, Yeah, no problem. They're like, Hey, what's the cost and like, it's pretty because it takes two seconds. Let's hop online and put it together. Now when you see that, that plan is going to take 60 months, five years of sacrifice and whatever it may take. That's the difficult part following a plan for 510 years. But I would say this, what I tell people is in use a reference guide, especially for people by the time they start thinking about it, they're usually you know, I'll say on the wrong side of 20. There's another age that I usually lose, but obviously on the wrong side of time they start thinking about these things. And but think back that when you thought high school would never end or college would never end like whatever, three to four year period, that car loan would never end if you're probably still paying the car loan, you feel like these things will never end until they do. And then they feel like they flew by. Right like that seven year journey for paying off. It feels like it happened overnight. And it felt like forever while I was going through it. So it's the start the journey is to start the journey.

Michael Lacy 23:47

So how do you stay motivated when you're in it? Right? Like when you're in year two or five, and you feel like where I'm running out of steam? Like? What do you what are some things that people can do to keep themselves motivated and moving forward?

Marcus Garrett 24:03

Now the great question, I think staying motivated is a fallacy. I mean, the human nature unless you're a naturally motivated person, human nature is to to placket so you're, you're excited about something so hey, I'm gonna get out of debt. You go through your excitement phase, and then you placket because, man, I'm not out of debt. And I started yesterday and today is today. But what I can say is you can reinvigorate that feeling, you can force engineered excitement, and I think you do have to build in reward. So when I was going through my debt journey until I got to the end, I would still find ways and opportunities to reward myself. So if I got a raise, like for some, for example, a friend was asking me like, Hey, I got a bonus coming up recently. What should I do with it? Just put it all towards debt. And I know this friend known him for about five years. I know the answer is no and I know whatever I said he's gonna do not do it anyway. Let's The answer was no. That was like, Hey, man, put 80% towards a debt and enjoy 20% of it like you worked hard for that. It's quite literally called a bonus. So you weren't expecting this money. So you do have to kind of find ways to rejuvenate the excitement, just staying excited about paying out of debt for me. And I think people like me, and I think I lean towards the average, at least when it comes to paying off debt is like you're gonna get demotivated, you're gonna get discouraged, but you have to kind of find your triggers and figure out a way to break out of that loop. And if you want to take yourself out, bawl out, treat yourself one weekend, that doesn't turn into a pattern of every weekend, and then get back on the plan. I strongly encourage that. The other thing I would say, lesson learned over time, automated, like remove yourself from the process. So when I was on the tail end of my day, on the tail end of my bed, I was sending 1500 a month to like MasterCard, because I was like, so by that time, I was excited again, because I had seen enough accounts at zero. And I was like, I know this system works, but I still want it to be over and like I actually broke off the system and start accelerating my payments because I want it to be done with it. And so once you get to that position, you got to remove yourself from the process because when you get paid bi weekly, you know that a little devil will gonna pop up the angel ain't always gonna be there to be like, Nah, man, you don't need him Jays, you'll need a PS file. I know it's the holidays like, so you need to automate it. So you know, money in debt payment made. So you don't even have the opportunity to talk yourself into Sunday fun day that that was that was my weakness.

Michael Lacy 26:28

So I gotta ask, you know, so you pay off your debt, right, which, as you say is one of the hardest things you've done. From there, you then go on to create and ultimately code host co host this award winning podcast and blog, you write an Amazon bestseller about money. You've done speaking engagements. Why was it important for you to even after you've paid off your debt to continue to build additional income streams for yourself outside of your nine to five?

Marcus Garrett 26:55

Well, I had another realization that's not rock bottom, but not quite mountaintop. I think Mandela has a quote to the effect of once you reach the top of the hill, you see how many more hills there are to climb. And I told somebody else I find that quote, inspirational is like I've conquered this mountain. And now look at all the other mountains I can conquer. I tell somebody else that there's like, that's the most depressing thing. I used it like, I've conquered this challenge, thus giving evidence that I can conquer more. And I use that metaphor, because what something is interesting, I was actually hosting the show and someone came on wealthy individual and said, You know, like we interview. The tagline was we help millennials make money, save money and get out of debt. And he was like, you know, getting out of debt, get you back to broke. And I was like, it was like the six cents mom. I was like, you know, the screen froze. I kind of had some PTSD. But I realized, yeah, I was out of debt, but I wasn't increasing. Well, I kind of returned back to normal. Well, I'm comfortable, I'm good roof over my head. And I'm working my nine to five, like, what else is there to do? And the very well the answer for me was, you know, build wealth from here, build a legacy leave something for my children and family so that they don't have to go through this struggle that I went, I'm not one of those people, like I walked uphill both ways. You walk uphill three ways. That's just like, you know, my my cake and sled down the hill from all the money down and built up for him, like, more fun, you know, more time for him or her. And so I then quickly realized that the path for wealth would be multiple income streams, probably. And we didn't need a whole nother show about that. Yeah. And I've kind of learned that through my career. So I've been an auditor for 10 to 15 years. And I started, actually, as around that same 27. I had another I call it an aha moment wasn't rock bottom, but I pulled out a spreadsheet, just to see kind of what my income is out there. The ama pulled out a spreadsheet to look at my income growth for the next 25 years. I think I got an actuarial statement or something like that. It told me about my pension savings and retirement. And it wasn't that big. It wasn't zero. But I remember I was like, I'm about to work. 25 more years for this. And I think a lot of people you realize and there's several studies behind this your your true nine to five pay salaries, I don't know pay shame. But it stagnates for everybody, and you're fighting against inflation and you're fighting against lifestyle and you're fighting against lifestyle inflation. And while all your expenses children home, family car, grow, your income is stagnating. So you're making the most money you've ever made. And you have the least get is the most confusing things ever go through and I went through it at around 27 like how can I be making more money than ever and I'm still struggling paycheck to paycheck. And it's just because all the expenses are right there growing in lockstep with the income. And so, thus I was like, Well, how can I start to generate I made it up this other hill of paying off debt, but how can I now expect accelerate that gap between my expenses and my income. And for me, it became multiple income streams.

Michael Lacy 30:05

Love, I love that. Um, one thing that I do want to ask or kind of touch on here is the fact that, like, you go through this personal journey with your finances, and you come out of that, and then you create these income streams about something that you've gone through, you've built expertise in, like you didn't try to learn to become a underwater basket weaver, right, like you did something that you already have experience and expertise in. So what's the value in that for people who are looking right now to create those additional income streams, you know, doing something you're familiar with, versus trying to reinvent the wheel for yourself, or maybe become something that maybe I don't want to say you're not, but something that you don't really have that level of expertise in?

Marcus Garrett 30:49

Well, I'm not gonna lie here in full transparency. Because a lot of people can't say this, I got lucky that I had a job that I liked. And I tell people that your job should be your first investor. And in my case, it was I had that 40% raise. I like data and evidence, I've been an auditor, 15 years certify for 10 years. And it is a it's a fascinating field. To me, it is unfortunate that the pay doesn't it doesn't grow exponentially, that just stay and do it forever. But like most jobs, job, most jobs aren't designed to make you wealthy, that the job is designed to provide enough income to compete with the market to get a person in here that can do the job description. And if the market so that the thousand, then hey, we'll pay you 51,000, but we're not about to pay you six figures or whatever you need. And so I had that aha moment. But another fortunate benefit of my job, but I do think this is available as a lot of job is it, I have to get 40 hours of training every year. So honestly, auditing, I'll be nice and say five years, it's a much smaller number to kind of learn how to do it and get the craft after that you're kind of refining your experience. Somebody said are you getting I read it's Are you getting one year of experience? times 10 years are you getting 10 years of experience. And if you want to get 10 years of experience is continuing to evolve and better yourself. So I started typing. I always had this budget for training. And then you know, about halfway through the year they get exhausted or like, Look, take whatever training you want. I'm like, I want to take speaker training, I want to take writing training I want to take I want to travel to this training on the other country, because I've heard this speaker, this trainer, this course at this workshop is you know, really good, I want to see how they do it. And I didn't know it at the time, I just like I think there's something here I'm gonna continue to better and refine myself. And then now, I wouldn't say I'm a great writer, and that Stephen King or anything like that, but I can write well. And now I can put myself out there as a freelance writer. And I can demonstrate it because not only have I have a portfolio of things that I've been right now their audit reports they've put people to sleep. But you know, they're well organized, you can follow the footnotes, anything like that. And then from there, I started speaking, my initial speaking is on these videos that nobody will ever see on public television, you know about city council meetings that are happening in your city right now. You're probably ignoring it. And but I was able to talk to a crowd and do PowerPoint presentations and see what works and what feels until stories and see what works with the audience. So anyway, I'm doing all these things in my 20s that position myself in my 30s when podcasts and blogs start talking, taken off, I'm like, Hey, I can write, I could talk. And so there's just this natural curve in it, of my case growth. And then opportunities came so I wasn't doing them for money at the time, the money came after I started mastering these things. And then I got lucky that I could make money doing things I can enjoy. I can make money doing writing, speaking, talking, showing up on shows. And now I'm kind of making this next transition. And that is to mentoring and development. So something I share this quote all the time that I heard from one of my mentors, which is why I think mentor, mentorship is so important, because they're just they see the world from a perspective that you don't have it, I was too ignorant, to recognize the world and that way, I did not have the experience to see it that way. And I was fortunate that people position me there. Like, I think you have something here. Let's refine this, let's work on your writing. Let's work on your speaking. And it's use your 20s to learn, which is what I was doing. I was a sponge, your 30s to apply those learning, and then your 40s and beyond to teach and mentor. And just by the natural curve. I've had a place now where I can start to help 30 and 20 year olds who I typically you know demographically look like me and I can start to Okay, I see the potential in you at 20. Let's start to kind of refine this even if you don't know why. So that you can be successful or set up those income streams or whatever it is you Be prepared when that opportunity knocks.

Michael Lacy 35:02

So when we talk about wealth, right, what does wealth mean or look like to you?

Marcus Garrett 35:10

To me, I'll use the definition then I'll say what it looks like for me. So wealth is when assets minus liabilities, so I'm using net worth as a definition, but for me, it would be freedom and to control my day where work is optional. So as much as I enjoy my job, for example, I actually use a story there's one time not completely unrelatable super nice day outside, I'm sitting in the cubicle, watching it go by I got so I've, I've been upgraded to the cubicle, I might not office, the cubicle with the window view, you know, like, I'm a senior auditor now. So like, you get first choice on the cubicle. I'm like, Alright, let me get the one with the windows. I can watch life pass anybody

Unknown Speaker 35:55

gotta go back to the middle cubicles.

Marcus Garrett 35:59

And I was just like, you know, I already know that. This is 25 more years. I'm like, I'm gonna sit here for 25 more years watching people outside and I'm like watching Millennials are probably Generation Z like frog frisbees. I remember one time, because we had a campus too. And I used to walk it just just to get some some different air. And there was some millennials, it was the most millennial thing I've ever seen in my life playing with kittens

in the courtyard.

I was enraged, I enraged. Joy.

Michael Lacy 36:32

the audacity to enjoy life.

Marcus Garrett 36:41

Yeah, man, I was like, whoa, whoa, like the reaction I had, I was like, wow, I so wealth to me, is actually the opposite day. And I actually had another one reason they have more days like this now because I've been fortunate to position myself I have the next day off, it was a Wednesday, as a holiday is a national holiday though. And I, it's gonna be very simple. I turn the little alarm off of the missus had to go to work. So she, you know, grabbing the covers, and making sure I don't get a good night's sleep, you know, whatever.

And, you know, I

think she turned the AC down to 47 or something like that she runs hot, you know. And I just woke up when I felt like waking up and I now do a most important tasks. These are tasks that I want to accomplish with my business. And I walked over to our our office is one that I'm in right here. And I sat down, I work my most important task. I drink some coffee as an orange, I made me a good breakfast. I think I had a good like, it was just like simple. it flowed No boss over my shoulder. No been stopping by no cubicle, you know, it's just like, it just flowed. And I say this something I've also realized with age, I can do things I don't like for about four to six hours. So if I don't like it, you might get four to six hours out of me. But when I'm doing things I love, I could work forever without coffee without Redbull like when I'm exhausted in that cubicle. I'm pounding Redbull coffee, eating nuts, trying to get protein you know, anything, anything, you know, kale, you know, whatever


takes, in my head still like a little newborn baby, you know. But when I'm in my passion, I'll forget to eat, you know, I'll forget to drink. Like, I'll be pounding away at the keyboard and the missus will come home from work. It should be like, have you eaten today? And I'm like, and what time is it? She's like, 730, you know, and that's wealth to me, is just the choice to run my day, every day. And, you know, I'm not one of those hippies, I'll just grow a beard and live on the grid, like, money for me provides the freedom to do that. Or the luxury, I recognize that to luxury to do that. And so that's why I'm trying to earn my way to be able to do that. On the days that I choose to

Michael Lacy 39:02

love that. So final thing I want to do, man, I want to give you the opportunity to share where people can connect with you, if they want to learn more. They want to grab a copy of the book, what's the best place for people to find you.

Marcus Garrett 39:14

So actually, folks can get a free chapter of the book. I'm at the Marcus Garrett comm I'm universally linked now that's my new brand, most active on Instagram. So please come find me there. But if you visit the Marcus Garrett calm, there's two buttons you can choose you choose both If you want, I'll send you three months if you join the newsletter. So we'll send you three months of our favorite highly proven activities. We help entrepreneurs and employees find simple ways to increase their income and lower their debt. And then there's also a free chapter of the book on how to put that debt plan that we talked about together because I believe that's so important. I just give that away for free.

Michael Lacy 39:49

Well, awesome. I'm going to be sure again to link to all the resources that Marcus mentioned in this episode, how you can get his book, how you can connect with him. All of those things in the show notes page. So be sure to head to winning to wealth.com slash Episode 56. And check all that out again, that's winning to wealth.com slash Episode 56. All right, so now it is time for this week's win of the week. Now this week and going forward, I'm going to be doing it a little bit differently. So if you are in our Facebook group, you know that we do what's called winning Wednesdays, where every Wednesday you can come in, make a comment and share your biggest wins from the last week, the last month, anytime period really. And so this week, I wanted to highlight one of the members of our community. Linda Lipski. Here's what Linda had to say. I worked counting absentee ballots for my county voting office and earn $400 for Christmas money. I love that when specifically on this episode, because we did get to touch on side hustles but it's just outside of the box like I'd never thought about counting absentee ballots as a way to make extra Christmas money. But it is something that I'll look into going forward. So again, Linda great when congrats on the extra Christmas money. And if you are looking for a community of people who are like minded who are winning with money, finding great ways to do great things with their money, be sure to head to winning to wealth.com slash teammates and join our community of almost 15,000 people who are paying off debt getting started investing, saving more money and making more money with side hustles. Again, that's winning to wealth.com slash teammates to join our private Facebook community. But that's all the time I have for this week. So until we talk again, keep racking up those wins one at a time. Take care.

Intro/Outro 41:56

You've wrapped up another episode of the winning to wealth podcast. To learn more about how you can start making winning money decisions head over to winning to wealth.com

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