We are always told that nothing worth obtaining in life comes easy; you have to work for those things that matter the most. I know that it is an uphill battle especially in the world of today where it is not uncommon for people to stab you in the back at the same time they are shaking your hand. There are a select few that want to see others succeed, but these people are the exception, not the rule. Most others will crush you in their desires to obtain the finances and the material things that they equate to happiness.
I knew what the final destination was and I knew what steps needed to be taken to get there, but it seems that God had a couple more curve balls for me to overcome as I started to make the final push to have these projects take off. I let my guard down and started to trust people a little bit once more, but in the back of my mind knew that the effort and money required was going to be coming from me.
I had been placed in the unfortunate situation where I needed help to pay the rent on the house I was living in after the “investor” decided to not live up to her end of the contract. I had everything in my court which was both a relief and a burden at the same time. SEO for the sites, payments to the employees, and pretty much all logistics were back on my plate. It was a lot but I knew if I made it through the first couple of months it was all downhill from there.
Then enter “crack-head renter” to just about push me over the ledge! I should have seen the true story since I was that addicted person that he currently is. My drug had not been crack but my addiction had been the same. I would lie to all those around me to make them think that I really wanted to change but when money hit my hands or my bank account, the party would begin again.
He was a friend of another person that was going to be living in my house so he came with the package deal. It would knock out 50% of the rent and put me at where I needed to be to get everything else going. I am a person that wants his own space and wants peace and quiet at all hours of the day. However, I always seem to be nominated as the in house psychiatrist that can give advice to solve their problems. The only problem was that when I finally do break down and try to give advice or help them understand that many of the addictions and problems they are going through I went through myself, they really do not want to change or hear anything I have to say. I know that you need to try to help others, but only a select few actually want help.
John had the character of an obsessive compulsive squirrel with attention deficit disorder. He was a guy that was discharged from the military for medical reasons and was receiving a disability check and retirement check at age 43 for about $5,000 a month…no taxes. For most of us in Costa Rica if we were clearing $5,000 a month, we would be living like kings. Even if you get a place that costs $1,500 a month then you would only need about another $1,500 for food and transportation entertainment if you live it up. This leaves about $2,000 in savings each month. You can live comfortably on $3000 a month in Costa Rica with any common sense. There was a problem; John’s addictions came before common sense.
John had been a military police officer in the army and had never seen a bullet nor actually had to go into battle. His disability came from when he and some of his friends in the army decided to get drunk and take a Hummer for a joy ride. The Hummer flipped and he shattered his knees. He got to leave the army with full disability pay and retirement funds each month. You would think that an accident that caused injuries that almost caused him to never walk again would set his mind right to start being there for his children and living a clean life. For him it was the opposite.
John came down to Costa Rica searching for a place to surf and where people would forgive him for his childlike irresponsible behavior because for most in Costa Rica this is accepted; especially in the beach towns where a work ethic is seldom found amongst the locals and gringos living by the shores and waves. He fit right in. He would getabout $1,900 on the 19th of each month and another $3,400 on the last day of each month. Although some of the money would go to rent…about $300 to $500, and some would go to other payments he had to make, the majority of the cash that was sent to him each month by the US government went straight into the hands of the local drug dealers. Even though he was bringing in about $5,300 a month, about $5000 a month was headed up his nose or into his crack pipe.
When he moved in he fooled us all by reading letters he wrote to his ex-wife saying that he had changed while stating the same thing verbally to those around him. He continually said that he never wanted to touch the stuff again and although his friend kept close watch on him, he was still able to disappear for a few hours each day. To go along with his lies about his addiction he said that he would put $850 a month into my projects for a % of the profits. Every day I would ask him if he was still going to follow through with this and every day he would confirm. But more it was just more lies from a drug addict.
It was getting close to the end of the month when he would need to pay for utilities, loans, and the $850 he promised me. I went fishing with him on one of my days off and although I was parked in a safe area during the middle of the day with the doors locked, I came back and the truck had been stolen. Looking back on it now, it was most likely the drug addict since he was a kleptomaniac. He had more money coming in than most especially in the beach town where he lived, but he still felt the need to steal from others. Two days after the truck was stolen and on the day John’s money came in; at 4 in the morning he packed his things, sold the scooter he had been driving which he still owed $500 to pay it off, stopped by his drug dealers and bought a bag of coke, and was never heard from again.
Even his best friend in the USA did not know where he was and had no idea if he was alive or not. The rest of us hypothesized that he had felt trapped not being able to do the drugs he craved without being judged by those around him. He wanted to escape and his only escape was through the coke, the pipe, and probably the needle. Isn’t it nice to see the tax money of US citizens being spent on a drug addict in Costa Rica that was receiving a check for getting hurt in a drunk driving accident on a military base? Every day I read the newspaper in Costa Rica expecting to see a photo of his sunken face dead, alone in some abandoned house, or possibly dumped in a river somewhere because he did not pay someone on time.
At least this time I was not too let down by the situation with the addict skipping town. It would have been nice to have an investor involved in the deal as a silent financial backer, but we all saw the signs that he would be vanishing soon and would never return.
I had passed the first half mile of the shark filled waters in Costa Rica on the way to my final goal of having these projects launched at full strength. We had groups already coming in for the Guy’s Trip site, the Shipping Site had the SEO up and running and was bringing in a few leads, and everything else was falling into place. It was time to instill discipline into an environment that rejected it at every turn, but in order for the takeover to begin, discipline and organization were going to be required as a foundation of the businesses.
Next Up – Turning the Corner of Success in Costa Rica