by REBEKAH HARVEY
Before deciding to move to Thailand, Devin Hargrove was an unconventional college student.
Hargrove, who grew up in Lubbock, planned on going into the military after an ROTC program, but medical issues kept him from continuing on that path.
“I kind of had it planned all through high school, coming out of high school, for the first few years I had planned on that route,” explained Hargrove. “When that ended up not fostering, I had to make a decision. I didn’t have anything else planned.”
With no plan, Hargrove decided to go to college.
“I had to figure out what to do,” recalled Hargrove. “For a long time, that kind of just ended up being going to work and going to South Plains.”
During his time at South Plains College, Hargrove got involved in the campus newspaper, The Plainsman Press. He served as a staff writer for one year and feature editor the following year.
“I always really enjoyed being a writer,” said Hargrove. “Even though it was just a college newspaper, it gave me the opportunity to explore.”
After SPC, Hargrove moved to Denton to attend the University of North Texas. That was when he decided college wasn’t what he wanted.
“I had spent about $5,000 for the first semester,” recalls Hargrove. “I remember thinking, ‘This is kind of absurd’.”
For Hargrove, the decision was not difficult to make. He knew what he wanted to do, which was to establish a business where he could outsource most of the work.
“Initially, I found the cheapest plane ticket that I could,” explained Hargrove, “which at the time was a flight to Thailand. And I took all my money that I had and I went.”
According to Hargrove, the first time in a different country is always magical, but after a while, it fades away.
“We don’t live in a movie,” explained Hargrove. “Even if you’re doing something cool, you have to live in that. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. There’s going to be periods of boredom. There’s going to be times when you’re broke, times when you’re rich. Things are going to happen. It’s just life at the end of the day, even if you’re in a different place with a different set of standards. “
For a while, Hargrove was just hanging out in Thailand. After coming back to the United States a few times, he decided it was time to make the move.
“I ended up coming back for the holidays and also working for a few months to save up money to go back over there,” said Hargrove. “That’s when I really made this plan of this is what I’m going to commit to. I’m going to commit to finding people who can nourish that entrepreneurial spirit, and who I can learn from.”
In Thailand, he was staying in a hostel that a friend owned that was so small he could barely stand up. To sustain himself, he started teaching English.
“I literally just slept there,” said Hargrove of the hostel. “The rest of the time I was out doing things. I was learning from people, hanging out with tour operators, learning how they sell to people.”
Currently, Hargrove is back in America until April. In the meantime, he hopes to set up a business geared toward teaching English as a second language. ”
Outside of business, Hargrove wants to earn his black belt in Jiu Jitsu and become a dive master for recreational scuba diving.
He said he hopes to start a fund that would help Lubbock students pay for travel
“Once I’m able, I want to donate money to local schools here in the Lubbock area,” said Hargrove, “to allow students to travel more on these group trips, outdoor learning, as it’s called.”
Hargrove says one of the best pieces of advice he ever received was from a colleague.
“His best piece of advice was to be singularly focused in whatever you’re doing,” said Hargrove. “Make a lot of money, invest it all, and then break free from whatever you’re doing, even if you’re doing something you enjoy, because that freedom is going to be better.”
Hargrove also recommends having mentors and coaches. While coaches seem like a waste of money, Hargrove recommends it because you might be losing money by not seeing a coach.
“If you spend $250 every month for a coach to work on specific goals,” explained Hargrove, “how much more money could you be making? How much money are you losing by not talking with them?”
Aside from coaching, Hargrove says to have very specific goals, those that can actually be achieved.
“You have to have very specific goals,” said Hargrove, “because from that point you can break it down into individual, actionable plans. That’s something that took me a very long time to learn, but once I did learn that, it has helped me accomplish more in the past two or three years than I’ve accomplished in 15.”