About the Episode
Have you ever wondered how people come from so little in their childhood, but yet turn their lives around as they grow up? Learn how Rick’s childhood shaped him, the lessons he learned, and what he took away from his parents’ hard work.
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Today we’re going to talk about upbringings as children, and maybe you grew up in a home that wasn’t very affluent, that didn’t have a lot of money flowing around and we’re going to talk about parents and kids of poor parents, today a little bit and you might even relate to some of my stories and hopefully, there’ll be some things you can grab onto, I know there will be, which is why I’m going to ask you to share this with three people today. We don’t take promotions, but this is how we grow and continue to impact more and you’re a part of that by sharing it out all right.
If you’re like me, you may be that I grew up in a very poor household. Now, when I say poor, here’s what took place in my home. My dad was, as far as I can remember, he was an insurance salesman, a life insurance salesman, a term life insurance salesman in the ghetto in Chicago, to the point to where we would go around and collect premiums, they’re always cash premiums go door to door people that he would sign on to policies, you know, little policies like $5,000 policies, $10,000 life insurance policies, really just so they would have money to pay for the funerals, if something would, would happen to them. So their family wasn’t burdened and you would go around and collect the cash payments for these. He’d always carry around wads of cash. I mean, he got robbed many times at gunpoint too and this is what would happen and my mom, they both had you know, I guess kind of some corporate job she was a bookkeeper prior to having kids for a large grocery chain Dominic’s which doesn’t exist anymore in Chicago. Made good money, especially while I was the only child because for the first five years of my life, at least from what I was told, both my parents worked, things were going pretty good but then, things shifted when my brother was born. Five years later, my sister was born six years after I was born.
So five, and six years later, after I was born, as when my brother and sister were born, they’re a year apart and that’s when my mom quit her job to stay home. Because at that point, I mean, you’ve got a one year old, it was like a 12 month old or a 13 month old at the time, and another baby that was just born on a new board and you got me, because at that point, I was in kindergarten, of course, I was going to start to go to school full time during the day, so a little better. But still, it just didn’t make financial sense and I can attest to that personally, and having twins as the first kids that came into my life because it didn’t make sense to have both parents working. When daycare costs were so high, it just didn’t make any sense because the salaries that could be made at the time and I wasn’t making very much money at the time. It just didn’t make sense to offset the cost of daycare.
So I understand my mom’s choice, I completely understand my mom’s choice to stay home. And I’m sure it was a collaborative choice of my dad. But from that point on for as long as I can remember it, there was not a lot of money floating around. I mean, I would try to earn some stuff when I was 12 years old and older and cut the lawn and my parents would pay me $5 to mow the lawn that was cool and sometimes it’d be some money for me to go do some things like go to Great America by Six Flags park with my friends and some things with church. I was heavily involved in a youth group that was there that you know, we really never went out and when we did, it was a special day. It was a special day when we would go to McDonald’s for dinner, and I was allowed to order chicken nuggets. Okay, because chicken nuggets were more expensive than a hamburger cheeseburger Happy Meal. Actually, we wouldn’t get happy meals right? The toys would jack up the price so much we would order burgers, fries, and we would even share two drinks amongst the family of five. I love my dad but I hated sharing with them because that dude would just like frickin slobber all over the straw too. So that was like a big thing. When I’m like, can I just get my own drink?
You know, cuz we would share two drinks amongst five people just to keep the price down. And even to the point where I wish I was making this up. I’m not though because my parents did everything they possibly could. For us. They used to have these 10 cent hamburger days and McDonald’s, right or 25 cent cheeseburger days. Right and notice the difference in price from 10 cents to 25 cents. There’s 15 cents in between, my mom would bring Kraft Singles to McDonald’s. So we could order the 10 cent burgers because the Kraft Singles cost less per slice than the 15 cents the McDonald’s would charge for these special days, these hamburger and cheeseburger deal days. I think they were like Tuesday nights or something like that, you know, the slowest night, that’s how they would bring people in but my mom would bring her own cheese for us. That’s the life I grew up with. Yeah, that was the low amount of dollars that flowed through the Jordan household as I grew up, it was just insane.
Now, when I look back at it, and it’s like, “Geez, how did we survive?” Even though there was all those things, there’s this craziness that existed, were still almost everything that at least at the time that I felt like I wanted to do, I was able to do, you know, there was, of course, times that they would say, no, there were times to where we didn’t even have Christmas gifts and the church that we were a part of actually would deliver Christmas gifts because my parents couldn’t afford Christmas gifts. That year. Right, and the only thing I’ve mentioned this before, the only thing that my parents ever fought about really was money, because it was just so tight and then as I started getting into my double digit years, I still remember asking the question, it’s crazy the stuff you can actually remember from your childhood that sticks out, I remember asking the question, “Why can’t I have an allowance?” Now there’s things that I want to do, and all my friends have an allowance, they get a certain amount of money from their parents. My dad came back, he’s like, “Well, I’ve got a choice for you. Would you rather have an allowance? Or would you rather be able to do things as they come up and we just make them happen?”
Like, what do you mean, dad? He’s like, well, you know, this was a special one, I was gonna like 13, and 14 years old and I would go to great America, I obviously didn’t have a job, great Americans have Six Flags park, and I wanted an annual pass to Six Flags, to go with my best friend Dan growing up, and we would go there a lot, you know, a lot of times, his parents would drive us there and we would actually pack lunches. That way, we could save money and tailgate it in the Six Flags, parking lot, you know, sandwiches, chips, all that kind of thing to really lower down and we were 13 and 14 years old, right there and his older sister was, you know, like five years older than us and she could drive she would drive a lot, we would just go there and hang out. It was an awesome couple of summers with that. And this came back to my parents buying that season pass for me and that was the point my dad was making, like, “Would you rather have an allowance, or would you rather have us do everything we possibly can to try to work things out when they come up?”
My dad, being this insurance salesman, had to go out and make his own income. He was completely commissioned on these life insurance policies. And this is probably where, you know, some of the things that I grew up in that gave me the sense that, well, we can always make it happen. You know, the money’s not there right now. Whatever, I need to go buy a $5 million company to acquire an MSP. The CFO is like, do we have the money, I’m like, nope, but we’re gonna find it, we’re gonna go get it. We’re gonna keep proceeding down this route. Because I know that we can do this, we can create these things. Because all the way back, I watched my dad create stuff out of thin air all the time to where he would go and be like, “Okay, if I need to buy my son, he wants an annual pass and that’s something maybe I can get him for his birthday for Christmas, whatever, it’s 50 bucks.” $50 doesn’t sound like a lot of money. But when you’re bringing your own cheese, to a McDonald’s 10 cent hamburger night to save money. $50 is a lot of money. Okay, in the Jordan household.
He would work backwards and be like, “How many new policies do I have to sell this month? What do I need to do? In order to make ends meet? What do I have to do to create the income to provide these things for my family, provide food for my kids, provide a nice life that I want to be able to hang out with my kids and keep them in baseball,” because I played baseball for nine years. He always had this mentality, you know what, I can make anything happen? I can create these things. Hands down, even though there were a couple of times where he would have to say no to things. His question is Would you rather an allowance or would you rather us figure things out as they come up? I am so glad that I chose to figure things out, and there were times I’m sure that he would sacrifice some stuff to other things that were going on in order to make sure that I could have an annual pass to six flags or whatever else that there was going on, or maybe, you know, I remember he liked to eat out for lunch once a week. It was just something he liked to do, rather than bringing a sandwich with. There could have been some leaks in order to prove to me that he would make a sacrifice to where like, you know, I don’t need to eat out this week because my dude wants to do something, there’s something he wants to do, and that’s no problem, I can take a sandwich one extra day this week in order to provide that to him. My parents were never rich. Yet, they still provided me with an amazing childhood because they always thought, especially my dad, that I could create whatever I needed to.
So if you’re looking back and be like, “Man, my childhood sucked,” We never had any money or anything, and now you know mine did too.. You heard it today, you heard exactly what my childhood looked like and I’ve come to realize, because there were times where I looked at and like, Man, I wish my dad would have pushed himself more, because I think he only made max maximum like 40k a year or something like that throughout the the whole breadth of my childhood until he died when I was 16. But I look back, and he always made happen, some of the things that were important to me, because of sacrifices that he made, in order to provide such an amazing childhood. For me, even though it was a poor childhood, there was still so much that I was able to do and even learn from him, and take it to the next level because of choices that he was able to make.
He didn’t fail by not making much money. He won by showing me exactly how you can create the life that you want to create and then no matter what comes at you, even if you have to sacrifice today to provide something for tomorrow, it’s okay. So take a look back at your child and if you had a struggling financial childhood like I did, there might have been some sacrifices that your parents could have made during those time periods to get you certain things to allow you to do certain things in your life that brought a smile to your face and now you find yourself doing the same thing or wanting to do the same things for your kids going forward because of the awesomeness that your parents were able to provide by their sacrifices, even though they were not rich.
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