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Can you help me to identify a good career to support myself whilst I commit my youth to training to attempt to become a professional boxer?
I realise this is a really long post, there is a TL, DR at the bottom for those that are not interested in the details of my life.
So firstly, some context about me - if you're interested:
Disclaimer: I'm really sorry if I sound incredibly arrogant here, but the truth is I can't be as 'intelligent' as I think I am if I have made as many mistakes as I have in my past to end up where I currently am - just take it as though I’m selling myself for a job interview. I would consider myself to be the absolute definition of a neurodiverse generalist-specialist - in fact when I was 16 (I'm currently 20) my psychology teacher would always refer to me as the "master of all trades" (and despite as flattering as that was, there was obviously an element of hyperbole there). I am fairly autonomous; however, I am also a neophile (and my theory is that this element of myself is the biggest reason for why I am the way that I am). I am either incredibly hyper focused or completely distracted - however I have been working on developing an element of moderation to these two extremes of my character. Just to clarify though, I don't consider myself 'good at everything' - I'm actually usually the WORST at a lot of things when I first begin, and in all honesty the only thing a lot of people I know would say I'm genuinely naturally 'good at' is learning (which I really, really have come to appreciate over the years) - but I wouldn't say I have any 'innate talents' or any 'elite endowments'. For example: I'm not the best at Maths, I don't have a gift for music, I can't speak multiple languages, and I'm not the fastest or the strongest - BUT, despite whatever disadvantages I have, I have always had the supreme confidence that if I really try, and if I really dedicate myself I can reach the top ~5% of most things. In other words, I can at least do the things that don't require talent that will close the gap between myself and those at the most elite level of a particular discipline. I know this isn't unique to me, however it is something that I have had a good comprehension of since I was very young. However, the super-power I discovered is this: if I can reach the top ~5% of most disciplines, then I have the LARGEST advantage in the most multi-disciplinary subjects. The more versatility, variety, and integration a subject requires - the higher and higher I have noticed my potential to be within it (and I will relate this to boxing soon). To vaguely illustrate the point, I spend A LOT of time researching very high level multi-disciplinary subjects such as Bio-Chemistry and Physiology; Neuroscience and its connections to computation, reality, consciousness, and the practical applications of novel cognitive and neural strategies in sports and the acquisition of new 'abilities/skill'; Data science, artificial intelligence, human history, neurobiology, and systems engineering and how they could shape a society better fit for humans, their needs, desires, and purpose etc. etc. etc. I have been employed since the age of 13 and have grew up in a poor part of inner-city Birmingham, UK, from birth. My parents are 'un-skilled labourers' however have had to care for my disabled brother since before I was born, and their opportunities to progress their material conditions were, and still can be, incredibly limited; for these reasons my parents are unable to give me more support than they already do (I appreciate and love my parents a lot; they give me shelter rent free, and are always supportive of me and my ambitions). I've also always worked 'low-skilled', poor rate of pay jobs that require a lot of time investment in order to change my material circumstances: Hair salon cleaner, Fish and Chip shop, Go-kart track race Marshall, and currently I am an apprentice mechanic (21 months into the 36months required to fully qualify) - I also sold weed for some supplemental income when I was 17/18 but those days are behind me.
The 'problem' though, is this:
Despite my attraction to 'novelty' and my history of what appears to be 'commitment issues' - I've finally settled on a path that I am willing to commit my entire youth towards - but I am unable to support myself financially (and therefore at-all) if I am to make the sacrifices I need to make to be serious about this lifestyle. The main problem is time, and the second is money (go figure!). So essentially, where I'd like to be right now is: spending approximately up to 7 hours a day training (preferably most of that time in the mornings), AND saving enough money to where I have options 5-7 years from now if my efforts unfortunately do not pay off. At this point you can see why I'm having difficulty... I'm pretty sure that it's literally everyone's goal ever to earn enough money to depend on, in a minimal amount of time- however I don't need to earn a lot - just whatever is sustainable for the next 5-7 years... as long as I am able to pay for my abstract needs, with some disposable income I will be happy. THE ONLY OTHER CRITERIA is that it just can't be something monotonous. I'm here because I'd still like to develop a career suited for my skills alongside boxing if possible - but if the best case scenario is that I have to just work a minimum wage job for now, it has to be something that allows me to progress into more meaningful work that is more intellectually stimulating. Basically, a part-time job in a field that I’m interested in, where there is a very real possibility of me attaining more skilled and better paying roles.
What makes all of this complicated (sort of):
Due to a lack of personal responsibility, and a past struggle with depression I dropped out of my tertiary education (the step before getting a degree) before I received any qualifications. I do have a very, very exceptional set of secondary education qualifications - but those are only good for FURTHER education and aren't really beneficial when trying to gain employment - at least if I already had some tertiary education qualification(s) it would open up some doors to a set of slightly higher paying jobs that would (with an assumed degree of flexibility) at least enable me to work less hours and be closer to my ideal situation. I'm slightly adverse to going back into education for now, only because it will reduce the amount of time to generate some capital and train at the same time. I actually really would love to go to University (for something like Physiology with Neuroscience), but I don't want to slow down my current progress in Boxing - as time is of the essence and I will reach my biological prime fairly soon. I am fairly certain that whether my boxing career takes off or not, I will almost certainly end up going to university at a later point in my life, just because I genuinely have an interest in attaining a degree, however, as I already stated, I currently do not possess the qualifications to be accepted into University - and gaining those qualifications would also set me back in my boxing progression further. DESPITE THIS, I would be willing to complete a degree apprenticeship (so long as it’s in a field I'd consider a degree in), because I will be able to save money and sort out my finances from now, and only have to slow down my training for the next 3 years (and in all honesty that's at a push) until I'm able to (hopefully) establish a better work-life balance to, again, attain my ideal situation. At this point, I’m expecting to receive replies that will tell me to continue with my apprenticeship - especially because of the fact that I'm more than halfway through - however I will throw some spanners in the works (lol). I am already on a wage that would just about be in that range where I am able to pay for my abstract needs, with some disposable income (which is actually less than NMW here because it's an apprenticeship) - however I have gotten into debt because for the first year I was on an even lower rate of pay that was just not sustainable to meet my needs and therefore I made the sacrifice to accrue some debt, thinking it would be a worthwhile investment. Furthermore I must (and have been) buy(ing) an adequate collection of tools before my apprenticeship ends to retain employment - and tools are not cheap so this further reduces my take home pay (and will continue to do so for the duration of the apprenticeship). Not only that, but once I finish the apprenticeship, I would not like to continue my 40-hour work week - nor would I choose to stay on with my employer. Despite this, there is good potential to be more autonomous and flexible, and earn quite a lot of money by being a self-employed mechanic - but the amount of money I will have to spend to acquire the tools and facilities required to be a profitable mechanic will take me some time, further delaying my progress in boxing. Furthermore, it would be great if I had the knowledge and experience to be a self-employed mechanic, but attaining the qualification is the sole purpose of the apprenticeship - not becoming a good mechanic; I only work on newer models of a certain brand and therefore my exposure to different configurations of mechanisms, and diagnosis and rectification of different issues is limited also, which will make it difficult to have a large enough volume of potential customers to be worthwhile, unless I spend additional time in a 'backstreet' garage. I did have the thought of applying to a 'backstreet' garage and gaining these experiences and knowledge NOW, so that when I do finish, I could potentially have an easier start becoming self-employed - however I have sacrificed the amount of time that I spent being active before and this is what led me to my previous stage of being deeply depressed, and I do not want to make that same mistake again - athletic development really is my self-designated purpose in life. Disclaimer: Obviously I don’t NEED to train extensive hours every day for my mental health - but I DO need to make sure that I do not reach the age of 30/40 with regret wondering what could have been if I was courageous enough to risk it all- that's literally it. I just won't be able to live with myself if I don't at least do everything I can to try to succeed whilst I still have the opportunity. Once I’m beyond my prime, I can deal with spending my time differently, but I wake up with a sense of urgency towards becoming the most athletically developed as I possibly can every morning. I've thought about doing something like Forex or content creation - but I don’t think it's very smart to invest both my plan A and B in risky 'gig economy' style careers. I've also thought about having a career within boxing - however I don't know of any good opportunities other than competing and I'm scared anything else will kill my passion for my desire to compete also. A possibility that I have just recently began playing with though, is to begin creating an online boxing profile for myself on various social media websites - to share high quality videos of my training and performance in the hopes that I may gain a following that will enable me to gain sponsorship(s) of some sort. The only reason I hadn't done this sooner is because I have only just started to attain a level of skill and ability that I feel is 'rare' - I still have so much to work on, and this is my point, that I have no time to waste. A lot of guys will just throw themselves out there too early but, as some of my greatest idols, I follow the philosophy of Mike Tyson and Cus D’Amato - Amateurs should take their time before they start competing (I am only just about to start competing in amateurs, but coronavirus lol) because we want to dominate, and not compete. I know it may seem silly to be so, so, so focused on Boxing as a career - especially when I am not that 'tried and tested' but I know I can't just give up because I haven't yet proved myself to other people. If you've made it this far, I am incredibly impressed by your ability to focus your attention on someone else's self-absorbed first world problems for this long - and I am incredibly thankful that you continued despite my lack of concision and the horrible formatting of this huge boring wall of text. <3 What would your advise be for me?
I have a good history of low-skill employment; (In my opinion) I'm under-qualified for my level of 'intellectual capability' (through no faults other than my own), and I feel like I am already prepared for a higher-skill job - so long as I was given the opportunity to prove my ability - however I am a choosing beggar in the sense that I am trying to create a great work-life balance despite my large demands as to what constitutes 'life'; despite this I'm willing to live frugally for a while in order to make my dream a reality - but do need some disposable income to pay off some debts I have accrued and also to prepare myself financially just in-case I am unable to make my dream of becoming a professional boxer a reality once all is said and done. Therefore, with these circumstances what do you think is the best course of action to reach my ideal situation of: working part-time for (up to) 30 hours a week to begin building a career that will not feel like a form of mental torture due to the monotony of - and one that has good potential to increase earnings without increasing my commitments to work (mainly time) - something that pays me because of the extra value I can provide (funny how hard this seems - not sure if this says something about me hahaha). I have interests in all the sciences (mainly life science, but the STEM and Natural sciences are good too), public health, using tools (as long as they're not as expensive as a mechanic's hahaha), and anything that allows me to be more autonomous and learn about novel things - or at least contribute to the development of knowledge. The only thing I know is that I DO need to make sure that I do not reach the age of 30/40 with regret wondering what could have been if I was courageous enough to risk it all- that's literally it. I just won't be able to live with myself if I don't at least do everything I can to try to succeed whilst I still have the opportunity. Once I’m beyond my prime, I can deal with spending my time differently, but I wake up with a sense of urgency towards becoming one of the best boxers the world has ever seen. Edit: It's funny how one of the first things I mentioned is that I'm a 'generalist-specialist'... and then this whole post is about spreading myself too thin hahaha.
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