Coming back to the US and the fast paced lifestyle was certainly a shock to both Marsi and I. We had really become accustomed to the “pura vida” vibe so the transition back into reality was anything but smooth at first…sounds weird to say but we were going through a “culture shock!”
Now to understand my current work situation (or lack thereof), I guess you should understand a bit of my work “background.” I did a couple years of college taking courses that I was into, but college just didn’t ring my bell. I had visions of being a Real Estate mogul. I have always been quick with the tongue and a pretty extroverted sort so I had been mainly in some form of “sales” for the majority of my young adult life. When I moved to Ventura, California in the early 80’s I found work as a painter’s apprentice (house painter). I moved to San Diego in the late 80’s where I began my own paint company called “Paint By Design”. I also met my future wife Marsi in SD as well. I went from door to door with flyer’s to ten years later having a successful paint contracting business with eight employees and commercial and residential contracts. I was an excellent painter, but what set my company apart from others was my professional approach that focused on customer service (more on that trait later!).
Having been self employed most of my young adult life afforded me time to travel and surf the corners of the globe. But also, having been a painter for so long I also contracted “work related” asthma. So it was not difficult for me to hang up the painting career and sell everything I had to move to Costa Rica at all. In fact, it was a life choice…meaning I chose to live a long life instead of breathing in crap paint fumes!
Bringing this all together, upon my return from Costa Rica I was forced to jump back into the painting industry and got a job as a lead painter. I did it because we (Marsi, I, and the baby) needed to. But I quickly became sick of the painting routine and Marsi and I sat down one night and decided to write down a few things that I might be interested in doing as a “career.” I narrowed it down to 3 things: 1 – a Real Estage Agent; 2 – a stock broker; 3 – a loan officer (mortgages). I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to work on the weekends so RE was out. I sure as hell wasn’t going to be up at 3 am looking up a freakin’ ticker tape so Stock Broker was out…it looked like the mortgage biz had my name on it.
My sister was a loan processor for a company and had good relations with the owner. She got me an interview and of course I BS’d my way through that, telling the person I had experience and was a great asset to their company blah blah blah. I was hired and started doing second mortgage loans. This was back when people were doing mortgages for 125% of the value of homes! It’s no wonder we all took a dump there a few years ago.
Anyway, within a couple of months Marsi and I had gotten our own apartment and within a year we had bought a house and were driving a range rover (la dee dah). In short, I was making more money than I ever had in my life. Selling loans was my thing. Helping people with their finances was my calling. I was good at it and the paychecks certainly reflected that. I bounced around to a couple different mortgage companies over the next 18 months or so. I seemed to be looking for the “perfect” situation which for me was less time in the office and more time in the ocean while still trying to make my sales “quota.”
It was early 1999 and I had everything I thought I needed…a gorgeous wife and new kiddo, a nice car and a nice house…I had it all right? Well all that was going to change.
I must admit I was certainly restless in my new profession, having been a self employed soul for so long, it was like caging up a cougar…keeping me in a cubicle with my desk, my phone and not letting me be free! I was deep inside, feeling like I should be elsewhere. My day dreaming became ever present again just like in the classroom when I was in grade school.