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After all these years. It’s tough for me to go here. It was October, 2010 on a Tuesday morning when I woke up to someone knocking on our front door. I went to the door and opened it up as my father-in-law, LeGrand, and I said, ” Hey LeGrand, what’s up? It’s early.” He said, ” I’m here to move Wendy and the kids out.” As I saw two large U-Haul trucks backing into the driveway of our house. You see, leading up to that Tuesday morning, the end of 2007 I had lost $4.8 million of our family’s life savings.

My kids’ college education gone. Wendy and I’s entire retirement savings gone. All the earnings and money that I had built up to that point saved, invested, completely gone and it sent me into a tailspin. You see, I’d slowly succumbed to the high risk equals high reward mentality that’s so prevalent in the marketplace today.

Facing the reality of my actions, I found myself on the bathroom floor after Wendy and the kids had left. I was crying hysterical. Didn’t feel like life was worth living. Money and finance play a major role in our life. It’s the leading cause of divorce. See, Wendy left me and took the kids because I wasn’t healthy to be around. It wasn’t, ” Hey, I want a divorce.” It was, “Hey, you’re not healthy to be around man. You need to get your shit together.”

On that bathroom floor, on my knees praying to God I felt the rush come over my body and, in that moment, I knew what my life’s purpose was all about. In that moment, I committed to extract the lessons of that whole financial experience and apply them in my life and share them with you, so you never ever, ever have to feel what I felt that Tuesday morning, October of 2010.

I did just that. I started extracting the lessons. I started reading this book, that book. I committed to writing. I committed to questioning my thoughts. I committed to finding out what financial institutions do with money. Like what do they do with money? What do they teach us to do with money? What are they teaching you to do with money versus what are they doing with money? You know what? It shouldn’t be a surprise now that I’ve been working on it for so long, but it was a surprise back then. Financial institutions teach us to do one thing and they do the exact opposite. That’s what I was doing up to the point of losing that money.

I subjected our family’s life savings to all sorts of risks because I was taught to take high risk on your cash in order to get a high rate of return. Maybe you’re getting bored in your business. Maybe you’re starting to look outside of yourself or your business for the solution. You’re bored in your business; you’re bored in your life. You stop looking at yourself as the #1 asset. You start looking outside of yourself, outside of your marriage, definitely outside of your career and your business for the solution.

Financial institutions have an agenda. They want our money; they want it on a regular basis. They want to hold onto it for as long as possible and they want to pay it back as slow as possible. Every product and service meets that agenda. They teach us that high risk equals high reward, low risk equals low reward. Well, guess what? When your back’s up against the wall, you’re going to take that high risk because you feel like that’s your only option. You start getting desperate. I got desperate. I got greedy. I was gambling. Gambling is a zero-sum game. There’s one winner and there’s a loser. It’s not a win-win. It doesn’t have to be that way. You see, I was apart from my family for two and a half months. It was lonely. It was dark, and in that darkness, I found the light. I found the lessons. I started extracting them. I’m happy to report today that after two and a half months, I was able to move back in with my family because I went to work on myself, my mindset. I took that mindset and applied it into my life and I’m here to share it with you.

This is part 1 in the Vault AIS series “Why we do what we do.”

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