QUESTION: Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Q & A session. Would you like to share with everyone who you are, your background as you have an absolutely amazing story to tell?
MICKEY: You can find my story at https://www.army.mil/article/242282/from_homeless_to_green_to_gold_an_army_officers_humble_beginnings
It was very well written and I still read it and can not believe I lived this life. This isn’t even my Army story which is pretty crazy in the details as well. I just thought this was always normal and when I discovered it wasn’t it just made me value my friendship and people more. I won’t go over a lot of it but the gist of it is below
I was born in 1984. Ask me where, and I’m not so certain. Dallas, Texas, most likely. My parents were travelers, I was told, but I have no memory of them. I entered Maryland’s foster care system when I was 2 or 3. The only knowledge of life before then came later from foster parents and counselors.
“They said they found me in an old shack,” I remembered. “They were feeding me beer instead of milk because they couldn’t afford both.”
I don’t know who my father is. My biological mother is dead. A grandmother who took in my half-sister couldn’t take in both of us. So I entered the foster system alone and remained that way the rest of my childhood.
The early years were spent bouncing “from foster home to foster home to foster home.” Parents came and went. Foster siblings came and went. Usually after giving me something to remember them by.
“I (got) into a lot of fights with other foster kids,” This was a constant thing.”
It was the older ones that liked to pin me against walls, I remembered.
“Those boys tortured me,”
For an escape, I often turned to a world where people lifted each other up. Where they counted on each other. Where leaders were born.
I used to play a lot of backyard imaginary sports games, like football, basketball, pretending I was on a team playing a championship.
Jordan and Shaq often showed up to play in my imagination. The scenarios, like for so many other young fans, borrowed from big games on TV. Exposure to television, however, was not common for me then. I was drawn to sports.
That was the only thing I ever watched, I picked it because it was a team effort. As a young kid, that is what I lacked in life…In foster care, nobody (was) a leader. Nobody (was on) a team.”
I was 13 when I lived with a foster family outside Washington D.C. My foster parents provided a place to sleep and three meals, but required me to be out of the house otherwise. The door was locked, and I was not allowed in.
I was allowed to use public transit, but I wasn’t allowed to use the phone or watch TV. I found family elsewhere the best I could. Sometimes it was with friends. Often it was not. I liked discovering things. A weird-looking tree in the woods. An old, rusted-out car. Things like him. Alone in the world.
“Even though I had a rough childhood, I still saw value in people, and places, and things, I still had an appreciation for life. Because of this I was able to persevere through any adversity I might have faced.
QUESTION: We understand you are very active with a mission to help returning veterans protect and grow their money the proper way. What are your goals and objectives here. And how is the EquitiesETC/Microefutures Trading Community helping you here?
MICKEY: First and foremost HUGE Shout out to the team at EquitiesETC/Microefutures trading community. There are so many people offering courses and signals for thousands of dollars. Most of the time they don’t work and honestly are a pretty toxic way to protect your capital. Choice the hard right over the easy wrong. With the EquitiesETC/Microefutures trading community they teach you how to fish so when the piranhas are coming to you, you can have the mental resilience and emotional intelligence to respond with critical thinking. They do this at a price that only covers the equipment they need to run the room. They make their income through the trades that they take. This speaks volumes on the characters that run these rooms. As my Soldiers and I would deploy to Iraq/Afghanistan and any other exotic places across the big pond. I would see these barrel chested freedom fighters do some of the most amazing things. Their ability to micro focus and push all adrenaline and emotions aside while dealing with any variable that was thrown at them was a science/process that came with experience. EquitiesETC/Microefutures trading community has the experience in the room to teach us how to do the same in the trading arena. Now as these amazing Soldiers would come back home, they would have a good savings account of 5k to 20k sometimes more. I would watch the responsible ones that were good stewards of their funds try and do the right thing and not blow their funds on useless items and try to invest it in ways they thought was right. Within months, weeks, and sometimes days their money would get wiped out by the market. This did not settle with me right, I knew their small savings account had blood, sweat and tears on each dollar. I know this because I was right next to them. They didn’t get paid enough to throw their money away and we didn’t have the network to be taught the profession correctly. So we would read hundreds of fluff to get to 10-20 pages of applicable information. We would spend thousands of dollars through credit cards to take course that taught us RSI, MACD and blah,blah,blah. By this point I was left standing there alone. I told myself I would go out there and figure this out. While my Soldiers went on and worked however they did. I told myself that I would find a way to teach veterans how to trade for an income and seek financial freedom. I would teach them the profession. This way Soldiers could focus on the profession they were passionate about, or that they had the freedom to deal with any demons they might have brought back to America. I knew the last thing I wanted them to worry about was money.
QUESTION: Tell us what person(s) played such a key pivotal role in your life (both good and bad) and why?
There isn’t one person and it would be unfair to single one person out. Weather I was a new bulldawg team leader kicking in doors with my men in Talifar Iraq, a overconfident Platoon Sergeant in R.C East Afghanistan, a degenerate Drill Sergeant, University Instructor, Logistic or human resource leader and all of the other roles I played in the Army, I always had good and toxic leaders that taught me how to be the leader and not a boss that I currently am now. We all have toxic traits and professional characteristics. As I saw the same displayed in others, I would focus on what I liked in the good leaders and get rid of the traits I didn’t like in the bad leader.
QUESTION: This is becoming a favorite question for many – plus readers get some good gift ideas from it. What purchase of less than $100 have you made in the past year that you simple could not live without now?
MICKEY: WOW This is my favorite question too. My favorite hundred dollars that taught me the most in life went like this. No shit there I was. It was February at 04ish in the morning. I was heading into work and stopped at a gas station. This homeless bum approached me and I thought well here we go. He asked for any spare change. Just like most people out there I question his intentions with my 45 cents of spare change. He said honestly dude it has been a cold night and I haven’t ate, I just want to buy beer and numb myself from my bad life decision. I melted like the wicked witch when water was poured on her. A light bulb went off and this single experience changed my life and taught me empathy, humility and the importance of being transparent. Not only did I buy him a case of beer and a crapload of food/cigarettes I gave him 100 bucks. If I could comfort this dude during this trying time in his life then I did my work for the day. This man just like many got trapped and squeezed in life. He had already paid the price with lost relationships, missed opportunities, and not even having a house to sleep under. Who was I to judge and how dare I do anything to make his life suck anymore. From that moment I vowed to not judge and be part of the problem but to help others. I always have enjoyed seeing others succeed. That is all I want to do with veterans. Help them pay their credit cards off and get that financial freedom while I deal with still paying mine off. Haha it sounds weird and I can’t understand why I am wired this way.
QUESTION: What personal or professional failure/setback have you experienced in your life that has set you up for this success?
MICKEY: I went through a couple of DARK days in my life probably more than not in my first 30 years on this earth. My last 10 have been bomb thought and made up for the crappy ones. As we would return from deployments, my Soldiers would get out of the service. Months and years later I noticed a spike of times when my old bosses like Christopher Mcmillian would call me up and say bad news bud this guy killed himself. I would go into a deep depression that stirred up lots of hate and rage. It wasn’t bad enough we left loved friends in unspeakable ways overseas. Now I had to deal with this. I had to get helped and all of my buddies I would reach out to would typically say stuff like I am dealing with my own demons, I am not qualified or stop being weak. So I finally had to swallow my pride and ego to give my wife and daughter the man they deserved, not the raging jerk I had become. I signed up with counseling and the pressure of my kettlepot decompressed. This was much needed. If you are dealing with anything no matter what that makes you think about suicide call me serious.
QUESTION: If you could choose three dinner guests dead or alive, who would they be and why?
MICKEY: Hmmmm, easy question my three amagios that are good hearted dudes that actually care about people and think like me. JJ, Steve and Ray. That is my wish haha. Why? Because they are trying to change people’s paths in life for the good. They are building legends with their life work and experiences. They see a problem and aren’t waiting for others to fix it but are spending their days doing so with their rooms. This isn’t going to just change people’s lives but their grandkids’ lives and I think that is pretty cool. I know teacher suck up.
QUESTION: What advice would you give to your younger self or someone young who may have lost all hope?
MICKEY: Pick yourself up, don’t feel sorry for yourself, walk it off and rub some dirt on it. You learn alot of awesome lessons from being knock down. The first one is as you are on the ground seeing stars, identify what you did wrong so when you get back up you don’t get knocked back down. Once you are up and walking it off, this is when you are learning new traits that will make you better and not fall for what knocked you down to begin with, then you rub dirty on it which is to always remember what it felt like to be knocked down and the pros and cons that came out of that blow. Improve but don’t forget the emotions and feelings as you laid on the ground initially when you got knocked down.
QUESTION: We understand you and Steve (BeyondTheTrades founder) have discussed ideas to help veterans, what can your picture five years from now this looking like?
MICKEY: I want to see a self-sustaining organization that is ran off off values teaching veterans and people to trade for base hits not home runs. Although homeruns make life easy to get freedom from debt it is more realistic to lose more money. I don’t know how to do what I am trying to do or where to begin. I am just trying to figure how to trade or get a job outside the Army myself. I am in dream phase. I will be the best return on interest Steve, JJ, and Ray ever had in a student.
QUESTION: If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be?
MICKEY: Embrace the suck, invite it in for tea, become friends with the suck because at the end of the day it will buff out in one way or another, it always does.
QUESTION: Thank you for taking the time for this interview. How can our readers contact you, including on social media. And is there anything else you like for our readers to know about you?
MICKEY: Sure find me on linkedin at Matthew Mickey I am the handsome one according to my daughter. If you guys have any ideas how to find a 40 year old man his grown up job