Connect with us


Twenty-five Cents: the Journey of a Broke, Homeless Drug Addict to Millionaire Entrepreneur



Matt lenta

Twenty-Five Cents: The Journey of a Broke, Homeless Drug Addict to Millionaire Entrepreneur

“Twenty-five cents. That’s what it cost. Homeless, broke, jobless, carless, family and friends had long given up. A walking zombie. A midsummer hotter than Hades in Virginia Beach after a three-day bender of any toxic substance I could get my hands on. I stopped in the Chanellos Pizzeria to ask for a cup of water—they always gave me a cup and let me use the faucet. But this time, the worker said it cost twenty-five cents. I told him I didn’t have it and asked to pay next time, but he declined. I left feeling embarrassed, defeated, and pissed off. I’ve been clean for about 16 years now. I live a life that is full of blessings and freedom. I told myself I was going to buy that plaza where the Chanellos was one day. Whether to prove something to myself or get revenge, I don’t know, but I could do it today and wouldn’t even struggle. Let’s be careful how we choose to treat people in their darkest chapters. Nobody knows when the wheel of Karma is going to spin in your direction.

”Matt Lents, CPA, CMI, is the owner and CEO of Tax Advantage, a CPA firm located in Jacksonville Beach, serving thousands of clients worldwide. He specializes in working with entrepreneurs and business owners, specializing heavily in the crypto, e-commerce, and real estate industries. With over 13 years working in the tax industry, Matt has gained a myriad of experience working in cities across the United States and consulting on some of the biggest and most globally recognized brands. He also spends a lot of his time working on passion projects and investments, along with helping recovering addicts by sharing his story to be an inspiration to others.

Difficult beginnings

Unfortunately, Matt was brought up in a horrifically abusive and unhealthy environment in the bad parts of town. With his dad walking out when he was 5 and losing his stepfather to cancer, he jumped right from that environment into a life on the streets, associating with criminals, gang members, derelicts, and bottom-feeder drug addicts on a full-time basis. He spiraled into a period of dark hopelessness that landed him in detox centers and plenty of jail visits. Despite getting clean and sober at 24 years old, the deck was stacked against Matt in many ways. He knew he had burnt up all the free chances he would get in life, so it was time for a major change.

Accomplishments over adversity

Since that fateful day that Matt chose to change his life, he has completed three bachelor’s degrees in four years—financial services, corporate finance, and accounting. Matt then passed all four parts of the CPA exam and the CMI exams, two of the world’s most recognized and difficult credentials in the world. With this education, he worked for three of the world’s largest and most prestigious globally recognized professional services firms: EY, BDO, and FORVUS. This allowed him to travel the country for seven years, 40–45 weeks a year, working on some of the world’s highest profile fortune 500, publicly-traded multinational accounts. Along the way, Matt grew a 23-year existing business by 87% three years after purchasing it. Aside from business success, he is proud to be clean and sober for 16 years, helping other recovering addicts on the same journey.

The passion that keeps him going

Matt wants to be seen as a beacon of hope and inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs. Despite having such a late start, the deck stacked against him, a criminal arrest record, and made a complete mess of his life, Matt turned things around and became an entrepreneurial business owner and millionaire. He hopes that this proves there is literally nothing that can stop someone else from doing the same thing and achieving their hopes and dreams as well. Now, with the background and experience of the world’s largest and most prestigious professional services firms, Matt’s bringing value to entrepreneurs and business owners through coaching, accounting, and tax services!

Learn more about Matt’s story and business at his Instagram accounts: @mattlentscpa and @matt.lents

Ravi Rajapaksha is an 𝗘𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘂𝗿, investor, travel influencer and digital nomad specializing in Digital marketing. As a Founder of Nextenco, he is a driven entrepreneur looking to help small businesses, influencers, musicians, coaches, and entrepreneurs leverage Digital and Social media to the fullest extent.

Become A Crypto Expert


Recent Stories


Copyright © 2022 Disrupt ™ Magazine is a Minority Owned Privately Held Company - Disrupt ™ was founder by Puerto Rican serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Delgado who is on a mission to transform Latin America using the power of education and entrepreneurship.

Disrupt ™ Magazine
151 Calle San Francisco
Suite 200
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00901

Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.

Disrupt ™ is the voice of latino entrepreneurs around the world. We are part of a movement to increase diversity in the technology industry and we are focused on using entrepreneurship to grow new economies in underserved communities both here in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. We enable millennials to become what they want to become in life by learning new skills and leveraging the power of the digital economy. We are living proof that all you need to succeed in this new economy is a landing page and a dream. Disrupt tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real-life experience. Disrupt Magazine was designed to give the world a taste of that.