(Today’s guest post is written by Trey Brackman)
My Quitter story actually begins five years ago when my wife and I moved back to Nashville after many years of living in New Mexico and Wisconsin. We arrived with loads of debt, two small children, and a big loss on the sale of our house in Milwaukee that we had only bought 18 months prior to moving. We spent our first nine months in Nashville living with my father, stepmother and three half-sisters. Yes, nine of us in a 2,500 square foot house with my wife working full time, our two sons in daycare, and me without a job.
I am a carpenter by trade but had gone to school to become an acupuncturist, which is my passion. There weren’t and still aren’t a lot of jobs or career opportunities for acupuncturists, so I called a long-time family friend who is a contractor and strapped on my tool belt one more time. Doing something was WAY better than doing nothing. While working in home remodeling, I was going through the process to get my Tennessee state license to practice acupuncture. Once that was completed, I went to my mentor in acupuncture, who has an office here, and rented space from her one day a week.
I worked construction full time as I started to build a practice. It didn’t go well. I did this for a year-and-a-half with poor results. We were no longer living in my father’s house (thankfully), and I was still looking for a full-time job in acupuncture. I finally found one, applied for it, and got the job. It started out well for the first six–maybe nine–months. Then it slowly went downhill. I realized I was working in an office with very high turnover, lots of gossip and rumors, and a complete lack of leadership from an owner who hated his employees. My wife and I were (and still are) on the Total Money Makeover, so I felt that, since the money I was making there was decent, I needed to stay until we were debt free. So I sucked it up for three-and-a-half years.
But something amazing happened the last six months I worked there. My wife came home after listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio and told me about this book he was talking about called Quitter. I ordered it that day and read it twice in a week. Then my wife and I sat down and came up with a Quitter Plan. It took many hours and a lot of yellow legal pad paper. We came up with a twelve-month plan. In that time, we would be down to just owing on our house, and we would have $10,000 in the bank. Then, I could move into my dream job.
I was still working full time as an acupuncturist at the awful company one day a week as a massage therapist. Plus, I was spending one day a week at my “dream job,” which was at a clinic that practiced acupuncture the way I had always known it could be done. I was working 50 to 70 hours a week. Three months into my family’s Quitter Plan, I was let go from my full time job without any warning.
I freaked out–but just for a short time. I called my wife as I was leaving to tell her what happened, and she was so calm. She told me we would be okay. I knew that my other part-time job didn’t have any full-time openings. Our Quitter plan didn’t have me starting there until they had a full-time spot open, but I left a voice mail for them as soon as I hung up from talking with my wife. The owner called me back thirty minutes later and said that they could take me full time starting on Monday! Their acupuncturist had given notice that morning, so they were about to be short-handed at a very busy practice! I have now been employed there full time for over six months. The clinic has almost doubled in size, and we are planning to open a second location next year.
I give a tremendous amount of credit to reading Quitter. It really spurred me to have a plan, and do it the right way, so I wouldn’t put my family in a financial mess and my passion on the back burner again.
In the three years leading up to this change, my wife and I paid off $60,000 in debt and had our third child. It can be done and Jon’s book showed us the way.
Thank you, Jon.