When My Cable Got Turned Off

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I graduated from Penn State Altoona with a business degree in May 2004. My senior year internship had been a complete joke (I’ll write about it later). I never attended any job fairs while in college. My only plan was to play basketball, but I had no plan for doing so.

I knew if I went back home to Philadelphia, I’d just be a loser living in my parents’ house. So I decided to stay in my off-campus apartment in Altoona and be a loser there instead.

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I was a college graduate, living the college life, and didn’t have any responsibilities, stuff like classes. All I did was play ball, work on my game, and invite girls over. It was fun for about 2 weeks. Then I realized everyone else was actually, you know, progressing with their lives and stuff.

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The NBA Finals were that June. One of my boys was seeing a chick who was from the area and she knew a sports bookie. I’m not a gambler at all. I’m writing this from a hotel room in Nevada, where there are slot machines in the airports. I never gamble. But, feeling some sort of luck because I’d graduated college (???), I bet $40 of my graduation money on the heavily favored Lakers to beat the Detroit Pistons in the Finals.

The Pistons won, 4-1.

I went to a couple semi pro team tryouts. No one else came to the tryouts. I ate Little Cesar’s pizza. Fish sticks. TV dinners. Pizza Hut on good days. I did nothing useful. Like I said, it was fun for two weeks.

I was there for two months.

I ran out of money. I didn’t pay any bills. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and dial random 1-800 numbers to make sure my cell phone handn’t been cut off yet. One day I turned on the TV and the cable wasn’t working. From then on I only watched channels 3, 6 and 10, or tapes on my VCR. I watched a lot of the Oprah Show.

One day the lights didn’t work. When you don’t pay your electric bill, they send a technician out to your place. But the person doesn’t knock on your door — they put this metal ribbon around the electricity meter outside. It shuts the electricity off, pain free.

I called my dad to come pick me up from Altoona. It was time to go home and face real life with my no-plan plan.

What happened next is in my forthcoming book, Work On Your Game: Use The Pro Athlete Mindset To Dominate In Business, Sports and Life. I’m giving away a TON of free stuff when you Preorder — get details here.

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