Personal Finance Articles

I Came From Nothing!

by | Personal Finance

Unpaid Bills and Sworn Secrecy

Poverty as far as the eye can see is how I can describe my grandparents’ experience.

On my dad’s side, my grandfather, David, was born in Transylvania (border of Hungary and Romania) in 1924 and suffered through anguish and pain seeing his beloved mother and several of his brothers and sisters murdered at the camps during WW2.

Grandma Yafa fled Germany at the age of 11 in 1937 when my great-grandfather saw what was coming.

David and Yafa met in Mandatory Palestine under British rule in 1945 and got married just as the country of Israel was formed in 1948. They lived in a one-bedroom apartment with their three sons, my father being one of them.

On my mother’s side, Grandpa Rudi was born in 1911 in Romania. When he was five, his father was killed in action in WW1.

My grandmother, Adeline, was born in 1920.

Rudi and Adeline met before the war, were separated, and were reunited after it.

After their family’s wealth was confiscated, they immigrated to Israel in 1949.

Dead poor, they started over.

All they knew was poverty. When I was twelve, my own father’s business went belly-up.

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    I write this on a Saturday because I remembered how I asked my father for $25 for a cab and some spending money for a sandwich when I was 13 and he told me to take it out of the savings that I earned from babysitting because he just didn’t have any money. He swore me not to tell anybody how problematic his situation was, so the rumor won’t spread.

    I remember phones not working due to unpaid bills, and I surely can’t forget my father asking me for a loan when I was 15 after I had earned money doing all sorts of work.

    I can’t imagine how it must have felt for him. Even when he got back on his feet, a vivid memory I have is that when I was 26, he told me that he had nothing – not even a dime.

    When I was 12, I started to keep score and manage scoreboards in basketball matches for $4/game. I simultaneously started babysitting, and a pile of cash was accumulated day by day.

    It was at the age of 16 that a banker suggested I take these savings, about $20K, and invest in China. The year was 2000, right after the Dotcom bubble, and it was a good call from him.

    Aged 22, I began reading books by Napoleon Hill, Ernest Holmes, and Wallace Wattles. When I say “read” I mean 5-6 hours per day on top of listening to audiobooks and rereading every book once a month until I knew some chapters by heart.

    It took about eight years of rewiring my entire thought process for prosperity and feeling comfortable with myself. It happened just as I became a father for the first time.

    I came from nothing, and I will always be grateful for the journey.

    Wealth and business must be learned, and the best way to do that is from mentors. You stick at it until something finally clicks and 51% of your thoughts are of opportunity, solutions, and forward movement.

    It took eight years to get there, and it is a daily choice to stick with it that I make each and every morning.

    Thought leads to action. Action leads to habit. Habit creates a personality. Personality manifests itself in a lifestyle. It can’t be done for you, and no one can take it away from you. Thought is the key – the determining pulse of results.

    Best Regards,

    Lior Gantz

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