I was 22 years old when I decided to go into mortgage sales. I was finishing an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and had decided that I didn't want to go to law school as I had originally intended. I didn't have rich parents, and had never made any significant money, so I set out to find the highest-paying job someone with my limited qualifications could find. At the time, my girlfriend's best friend was dating a guy who worked in mortgages. He drove a BMW, had nice clothes and carried himself well. Over drinks one night, I kept quizzing him on his success, and he told me all I needed to do was read a book or two and have some sort of people skills and I could be making six figures. Hearing those words was like a dog whistle to a middle-class immigrant who had only worked restaurant and construction jobs until that point. As it turned out, the bar for entry into the mortgage world was even lower than reading a book or two.