By: Rich Dudek
On Our War To Financial Freedom!
Just a bit of my Financial Fitness story. Friends call me Rich, I’m blessed to be married to my beautiful bride Zulay of 23 years, and we are raising four fantastic sons ranging in age from 19 to eleven years old! I am a proud US Army Veteran, I love our country and am very passionate about the principles upon which this great nation was founded! I’ve always been a hard worker, however in school I was not the best student.. An unstable home environment tends to do that I’ve come to find out. After High School I joined the Army and had a great 8 years. I grew and learned a great deal! Grew so much in fact that my ambitions lead me to not reenlist.
Unsure of what I did want to dedicate my life to, I signed up for college and picked a career towards the TOP of the pay scale. The only problem was while I loved the idea of earning (what I believed to be) a significant income; I had no real interest or even the skill set to be a computer engineer. Needless to say I didn’t last long in college. I was already working and now my beautiful wife (we married before leaving the service) was now expecting our first child and I needed to provide for them. So off to work I went to see how to excel there.
Many years passed and many “JOB” changes did also. I was hungry for opportunity. As soon as I could no longer see a step to move up, I began to look outside that company to grow… That led to my applying at a large home improvement store with the goal of getting into management. I had the right skill set and there seemed to be plenty of room to grow. I was hired and after a few years there, I was a Department Manager hoping to move up to a salaried position. In order to be noticed for that position, however required being the “go to guy” or so it seemed to be expected. That resulted in really long hours for me, and lots of stress for our entire young family. Then; during my annual evaluation I was given high marks for performance, but was also told I was earning too much and would not be considered for a pay increase for “at least a few more years”. Hearing that changed things for me big time! Then a few months later, in preparation to work an overnight shift to get set for Holiday season. I arrived home early in the day to find the family in the living room and my 1-year-old son on the floor sitting up with his back to me… I crawled up to greet and play with him but he was startled and moved away as though he didn’t recognize me. My wife Zulay said; “He never sees you anymore”… That, my friends, was one of my lowest points. My children mean the world to me, and one of the biggest reasons I had for leaving the military was, that I could see my career getting in the way of my being the Dad I wanted to be, and here I was practically a stranger to my own son.
That’s where I was, when I was approached about better information. After some meetings set up by my beautiful bride, I met Mr. Terry and Barb Kaiser and shortly thereafter thanks to their inspiration and encouragement we began for the first time in our lives, reading and listening to information, and ideas from some people who had the results that we wanted in life. Terry and barb also introduced us to an incredible community of others doing the same thing and they began to teach me the principles of Financial Fitness! Today I’m not looking for a new opportunity. Today my family is not unsure about our financial future. Today we are very close to being completely debt free, we are financially secure! Today I am passionate about what I’ve learned and continue to learn from this amazing system and community. Our family now works together to share what we’ve learned with others, on our way to Financial Freedom and our ability to live the life we’ve always wanted!