By Matt Shields
Founder Invest In Sqft
I can remember being very young and my dad had a metal green box that he kept his socket set in. That thing was so heavy at the time but I would grab it and run off in the corner and put all of the sockets back in the correct locations in the plastic holder.
I started putting roofs on houses when I was about 10 years old or so. My family was a very hands on DIY bunch of people so when someone needed something done we all came together and got it done. This particular project was for a cousin of mine and her boyfriend at the time. They were young and just starting out and needed a new roof so we made it happen together.
My Dad was my best friend growing up, I was a shy and reserved kid who always worried about what other people thought of me. I didn't go over to many other kids houses like normal people and I was fine with that because I had projects and work to do.
I realized that without my Dad I needed a new plan for life and it needed to start with my own self happiness. I started to come out of my shell and let other in, I started to become popular in school and even got to the point where I was told "You are able to strike up deep conversations with anyone"
Unlike the other seniors in High School I wasn't going to the guidance counselor trying to figure out what I was going to do. I didn't go on any college visits at all. Although I did apply to NYU for motion picture technology, obviously I didn't get in so I moved forward still holding onto the idea of investing in real estate.
After graduation I realized the one area that I was weak in was Electrical so I joined an electrical apprenticeship at a local electrical contractor. It was great we would work all day in the field and then once a week for 5 years we would have class. I could feel that I was on the right path with everything.
Because I had a great job I was able to find a house that a friend of mine who's dad was an attorney was handling the probate for. It was a small house on the West Side of Cleveland Ohio. It needed a total gut job and the family didn't want it at all so I was able to pick it up really inexpensively. I worked on that house with all of my free time. After working all day I would head there any work till 11 or 12 at night then head home and sleep 5 hours then get up and do it all over.
That flip was the start of it all
By the time that I was 23 I had enough hours in the electrical industry to take my state contractor certification and I was able to start my own electrical contracting company.
Crafting a Back Up turned out to be the crucial key to unlocking my financial freedom. It offered the reassurance that I could rely on it whenever I needed it.
In 2008 Apple launched the App store and because of our programming background from the energy management work it inspired me to give a go with the technology company. We launched an app in the store that was one of the first apps available. It was called the Juju List and it was meant to be a lead generation source for contractors. The app didn't catch on however that experience allowed us to transform into a digital transformation company.