‘I was 11 when I started my first job’

Albert Carter, a teacher and entrepreneur, moved to the UAE in 2016 but has been involved in the music business for more than 20 years.

He is the chief executive and culture shifter of AudioSwim.io, an investment platform for music non-fungible tokens that went live on April 1. Founded to build a community of musicians, fans, entrepreneurs and investors through collaboration, the platform enables people to invest in music tracks or other digital projects created by local and international artists. UAE-based AudioSwim also runs a digital music distribution platform and audio management service.

Before AudioSwim, the Philadelphia native founded Hip-Hop University, a non-profit organisation working with musicians and artists to uplift underserved communities through educational outreach.

Mr Carter, 37, is single and lives in Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Where did you grow up and how did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?

I grew up in Germantown, a poverty-stricken neighbourhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the US. I moved around a lot, especially in my teenage years, where I went to four different high schools, but that helped me develop a hustler’s spirit.

The area where I lived was called Haines Street, and my friends and I called each other the Haines Street Hustlers because we did what we needed to do to make money, whether fixing things around people’s houses, cutting grass, shovelling snow, pumping gas or cutting hair. Growing up with limited resources taught me to look for money and apply my skill set to make it.

At what age did you start working?

I started working at about 11 or 12 with my father, cutting grass. I would make about $50 or $60 a week at that age. To me, that was big money because before that I would get an allowance of about $5 per week. So that was a big increase. But imagine going to school at 12 years with $50 to $60!

What was the earliest lesson you learnt about money?

I was often told that money doesn’t grow on trees and that it takes time to…

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