Middle Class to Middle Income, $60,000 in 3 years

Darryl Bellamy is from a middle class family, took out loans to attend college and didn’t have a car until he was 21. Darryl chose to attend UNC Charlotte after high school where he majored in Business Management.

First Internship

It seems simple to us in the workforce but actually taking the time to apply for an internship is a big differentiator for college students. Many students can’t see beyond the next party and think that when they graduate, they will be handed a six-figure job by the company of their dreams. Darryl wasn’t this student. He knew that a some point he was going to have to hand his resume to someone and needed to have something to show other than a GPA.

During Darryl’s first internship at SunTrust bank he began to earn some serious cash at $14.50/hour. Saving that money over the summer allowed him to come back to school and buy things he could never afford like a new Macbook.

Day to Day at a Big Bank

How to Impress C-Level Executives

That lesson: Everyone has value to offer! If you can walk into a room full of executives and deliver real value, you are doing something right. What did Darryl say? He told them that he banks with Wells Fargo simply because they had an ATM on the UNC Charlotte college campus. He told them how active he on the WF mobile app and in online banking. He talk to them about his habits and let senior executes inside the mind of a college kid. His words were pure gold!

This story is a great lesson for any college kid or young person who is trying to move up in world. Everyone has value to offer. Don’t look at what you can’t do, look at what you can do. Be yourself and deliver something only you can deliver. Every individual is unique and the universe is constantly revolving around you to bring out your very best self!

It’s easy to say that Darryl walked out of that board meeting with a handful of business cards hearing the words, “If you ever need a reference, call us!”

Recap from SunTrust: Learned banking. Found out he didn’t want work in corporate America. Loved presenting.

Internship Numero Dos

“You can present anything if you have the right attitude. If you have good energy, people are willing to listen to you no matter what you have to say.”

Getting Fired from AT&T

Darryl got his cake and got to eat it too. He was very upfront with communication to his boss and told him the dates he would be out. Because the company wouldn’t allow him the extra 1 day off, he returned to the office with a “box” waiting for him and he was kindly walked out.

“Some experiences only happen once. There will be many more jobs that come, but [frat event name] will never happen again…it was totally worth it!”

Recap from AT&T: Presenting became Darryl’s passion. Experiences are more valuable than cash.

“I never wanted anyone to tell me when I can take a day off” — Darryl Bellamy

Darryl Starts First Business

Having no success finding a job, he decided to cut the process short. Darryl had a passion for helping freshman college students and knew from his two internships that he didn’t want to work in corporate America.

Full of optimize and Idealism, Darryl decided to pursue a business idea he had that had received attention from a local entrepreneur incubator. Darryl launched “College Concierge” in the beginning of 2013. It was a company designed around helping enhance the freshman experience.

Sleeping on a Couch

Business Failure

“Failure is okay, it’s all part of the story and one day you are going to be able to tell that story.”

Darryl’s positive attitude is fuel for him to move on. After the business fails, he starts going to recruiters to look for a job.

Landing the First Job after College

After a short time, Darryl had 2 interviews; one was at Wells Fargo. The interview went well and Darryl started his first job after college as a loan processor. His salary was $33,000. He was finally able to move off his friends couch and afford rent at an apartment.

Cubicle Life

Being hungry for success and knowing that being a loan processor wasn’t going to cut it Darryl told his cube-mate that he would be out of Wells Fargo before the year was up.

At this point in life Darryl was 22 years old. He had $30,000 in student debt, $5,000 in credit card debt and a $15,000 car that wasn’t paid off.

Time to get a Second Job

When Darryl told me he got a second job, this is when I knew I was talking to someone special. The humility and hustle that it takes to get a second job is a game changer! It’s this kind of drive and selflessness that makes a person great.

“I knew i had to do whatever it took to get that debt paid off.” Darryl told me. I also admired Darryl’s choice in second job. Trader Joe’s paid him $13/hour had great health benefits and gave him a discount on food.

The Grind

In January 2013 Darryl was able to leave Wells Fargo just 1 month shy of his goal. He joined TIAA and got a nice raise, but the story behind this move is where the real wisdom is found…

Knowing he wanted to leave Wells Fargo, Darryl started spending what little time he had applying for jobs online. When he saw a position he liked on TIAA’s website, he updated his resume, filled out the application and clicked “submit”. A short while later he received the standard rejection letter stating he didn’t get the job.

Darryl started to think…”who do I know at TIAA?” and a story from summer 2012 emerged in his memory bank.

The month was July and it was 90 degrees outside as Darryl waited in line for tickets to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, NC. Darryl had been in line for more than 4 hours and was slowly becoming friends with all the people around him. One of these people happened to be a woman who worked at TIAA and got her masters at UNC Charlotte. There was an instant connection with all the commonalities in place. The conversation ended some time later with Darryl pocketing her business card and hearing the line, “If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to call.”

Fast forward 2 years later and Darryl is holding this card in his hand and ready to call in a favor. Opening us his email, Darryl types in the address on the card and the message is simple, “”Hey [name], this is Darryl…I just applied for position [job title] can you help me?” Darryl says he got a call within 3 hours after clicking the send button and the hiring manager at TIAA wanted him to come in for an interview.

Want to know how to send the perfect email to land your next job? Click here.

Getting Paid $3,000 / Hour

New Job at TIAA


The above is a key factor that you see in successful people. It’s called “focus” and I wrote a deep blog post on it here.

Staying Hungry

Darryl ended up staying at TIAA for a total of 11 months. He left there after we ran into each other on the TIAA campus one day and decided to grab lunch. After doing lunch with no agenda but to catch up on our friendship, I ask Darryl to send me his resume so I could pass onto HR at my consulting firm. The rest was history. Darryl ended up doing a phone interview with the most amazing recruiter in the world and who is still a tremendous friend of mine and he signed on with my firm a few weeks later.

Recap from TIAA: Do things right the first time (don’t fail exams the company makes you take). Work for a company that will give you industry credibility and skills (Darryl got his Series 6 and 63).

Turning Point

Working for a Great Company

Relationships are Key

“when you care about people, and people know you care about them….they want you around.”

Getting to $60k



I really admire people who can think through ideas. I hope you will join me to help me think through my own.

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Colby Foster

I really admire people who can think through ideas. I hope you will join me to help me think through my own.