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32 Comments

  1. This post encouraged me! I want to quit my job and go full time in consulting and building my business. Not the popular move, but a move I may make sooner rather than later…

    Thanks for the post. I love your content, you are a good writer. Have a good one!

  2. BHDA, Love it! We did exactly that when we sold our “house in the City” and moved to our “mountain cabin” 1 year ago this month. We took the equity from our city home, and paid off the mortgage on our cabin.

    Bam! In one fell swoop, we pulled off a BHDA, and are now entirely debt free. Add to that our consistent saving, and we hereby declare ourselves Opportunity Sluts, on the hunt for Opportunities!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love it. It’s amazing how one move can dramatically change your financial position for the better. Thank you, Frtiz. It’s always great hearing from another OS who pulled off a BHDA.

  3. Takes money to make money, right! I found the original post to be very inspiring and this follow up has me thinking of creative ways to put my money to work. If I find something interesting then you can be sure I’ll be applying for OSOTM!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Ty. Your kind words mean a lot. Perhaps I can make the OSOTM a thing. There are a lot people out there like yourself who are doing amazing things financially. Let me mull this over. I’m thinking of creating a badge similar to “As Featured on Rockstar Finance.” How about this: “This Blogger Is a Certified OS”? It’s a bit cheesy, but it might work.

  4. I heard this quote this week and wanted to shout AMEN! “The easiest way to take away people’s power is to convince them they don’t have any.” We all have power. We all can make choices. Some choices help us and some hurt us. Growing up poor might have made it 10x harder for me. But that just meant I had to work 10x harder. And it took longer. Whatever. That doesn’t even matter. But when people try to take away the inherent power and choices we have, or down play the honest amazing amount of opportunity in this country, then I get a little pissed. Helping people is different than discouraging them. I love what you do by inspiring people to see their power, instead of labeling them and in so taking away their agency. It’s true that some people in the US can take ground foot by foot, and others inch by inch. But we all can take ground.

    • Mr. Groovy

      That’s a great quote. Where did you hear it? It’s so true. For most of my life I was powerless. And the person who took away my power was me. In other words, I had a sad habit of telling myself I couldn’t do something before I even tried. I suspect a lot of people suffer from this affliction. And as you pointed out, Ms M, as soon as we recognize our own “agency,” that once seemingly intractable powerlessness melts away and we become super heroes. Here’s another quote to consider when thinking about the large number of Americans who are in dire straits financially.

      “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  5. This post encouraged me! Start with getting your financial plan in order. If you need a boost, start with #6 Look for problems at work. Become a problem-solver and your boss will love you. Which as you said doesn’t cost a dime, only effort.

    That can only lead to good things and possible more money. Which in return could lead to opportunities, and so it begins…..

    • Mr. Groovy

      Amen, Brian. I like the cut of your jib. If you want to get your financial house in order, do two things. First, learn how to spend less than you earn. Second, look for problems at work and solve them. The average person could solve 90% of his or her money problems with that simple strategy. And as you so eloquently pointed out, this simple strategy won’t cost you a dime. Brilliant! Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Money is definitely the lubricant of opportunity. There’s no getting around that. I think the key point is to jump on all the free opportunity you can while you’re young (i.e., free education, libraries, volunteering, honing your frugality muscles, solving problems at work, etc.). Take advantage of the free opportunity and the money to take advantage of more expensive opportunity will come. Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. PP.

  6. “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?” -Adam Smith

    I recognize that there are tons of other kinds of challenges, some of which I’ve experienced and others I’ve only read about, that often keep people from pursuing certain opportunities.

    When I ran into these barriers, I would convince myself that it was necessary to suffer because of our financial situation. As we approached mortgage freedom, we decided to grab hold of the crazy number of opportunities surrounding us. I felt more secure, in the financial sense, to pursue these opportunities. I don’t feel the same barriers I felt before and I certainly don’t feel the same financial stress I did either. Much more to say on this subject in a couple of weeks…

    Thanks for the shoutout! You and Mrs. G are awesome.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Whoa! The father of economics nailed it with that quote. And your musings on this topic are smashing as well. No one is going to experience a barrier-free life. It’s all about context and mindset. Sure things are tough for people growing up in inner-city Detroit or rural Mississippi. But how do the challenges they face compare to the challenges faced by people in Mozambique or Afghanistan? And what about the barriers we shackle ourselves with because we are slaves to our egos. No one needs a hundred pairs of shoes. No one needs a Lexus. And no one needs a McMansion. The average person’s opportunities and ability to seize those opportunities would magnify significantly if they just lived more modestly. Thanks for stopping by, Claudia. Mrs. G and I are big fans of you and Garrett, and we can’t wait to see the great things you will be doing in the very near future. Cheers.

  7. I feel encouraged by this post and I hope it inspires many people to take a look at the real opportunities around them, ones that others may not see (or too easily dismiss). Encouragement is one thing, but a being real life example and shining a light on another example shows how it really is possible.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Gary. I totally agree. It’s one thing to say there’s opportunity; but unless you provide real examples of said opportunity, it’s just talk. And we’re all inspired more by action than talk.

  8. I’m outraged by the lewdness! Actually I’m outraged that I didn’t think of it.

    A good friend of mine recently said, “Luck favors a prepared mind”.

    The Grumbys’ Lewd BHDA/Opportunity Slut story: We sold our house in 2015 and became renters, taking advantage of an insanely escalating Portland housing market. After 1.75 years, the following has happened;
    -We paid off our only debt, which was the $70k balance on our mortgage.
    -The proceeds from the home sale have grown faster than even the housing market.
    -We’ve eliminated time consuming tasks related to home ownership, giving us many more opportunities to use free time any way we want without the nagging guilt of neglecting a home maintenance task.
    -Our annual expenses are lower, even with fairly high rent payments.
    -We are FI now and will work until early 2018 to add some additional padding to our nest egg.

    I am fortunate to have a good job, that the housing market was robust and that Mrs. G and I were able and willing to seize the opportunity we saw. I’ll forwardvtgis post to some folks that could benefit from the wisdom.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Mr. G. Your friend is very wise. He offered a great quote to capture the intersection of opportunity, attitude, and money. I definitely have to remember that one. And I love your BHDA/opportunity slut story. Not many people believe that moving from home ownership to renting can dramatically advance one’s finances. Great freakin’ job. You’re now in the run for our next OSOTHM award. Kudos, my friend.

  9. Money begets money 🙂 You are very right about opportunities Mr. Groovy!

    I would go one step further – there are so many success stories of people who just noticed an opportunity and a burning desire to succeed. Now, these people didn’t have the capital.

    They pursued their dream and achieved it anyways. There is no excuse for not trying.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. I think stories of how people took advantage of opportunity with little means is going to be a recurring feature of this blog. Such stories need to be told. Not only will they inspire others but it will force people to confront the BS excuses they use to defend mediocrity or failure. Thank you, Michael. As always, you provided another great contribution to our conversation.

  10. I wonder if the reason some people can’t see opportunity is because, as you’ve pointed out, you need a seed to pursue it. Just a little capital to give you the boost to chase your dreams (however humble they may be.) For some folks, saving and living below their means is enough. For others, freeing up extra money means radical changes because there is nothing to cut.

    Opportunities have to be taken, and that takes hard work and effort. It’s just a lot more hard work and effort for some than others, and there’s no getting around it but it seems to be a larger and larger gap between starting points. I wonder how many kids will never work their way to the starting line.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great point, Emily. There’s no way to eliminate the gap. And some kids will never get to the starting line. If we dedicate ourselves to freedom and maintaining our political and economic liberties, however, all will end well–even for those who have stunted opportunities. I see the situation as analogous to the NFL. There are large gaps in pay between the players. The starting quarterback gets paid a lot more than the third-string offensive lineman. But the poorest paid player in the NFL is paid more than 99% of American wage earners. Our job is to keep America the NFL of opportunity. Not everyone will have the same amount of opportunity, but the most disadvantaged soul in America will have far more opportunity than most of the people on earth. Short of creating heaven on earth, I’m afraid that’s the best we can do.

  11. It’s encouraging! Actually anyone who does anything different, bold, or unique to get ahead is inspiring! Right now at my full time job, I have the opportunity to lead, learn, manager, and learn about many other soft and hard skills (tech wise) that could somehow better prepare me for whatever next step I take! That mindset gets me through the tough days.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Exactly! Thank you, Tonya. At the very least, everyone should be taking advantage of the opportunities at work–whether that means learning how to manage people or developing a new skill. Like you said, Tonya, it’s all about your mindset. Sadly, I didn’t acquire this mindset until I was almost 40. But then it hit me. I’m getting paid to learn new skills! After that epiphany, everything changed for the better.

  12. Yep, I’m encouraged even more by the follow-up. With this past week at work being a hell of a “one off” for stuff going wrong, I’ve had lots of opportunity to jump in the fray and create solutions to all kinds of issues.

    Enough so that my boss is asking me to be his DOA while he’s gone around Memorial Day. Not that I want to go into mgmt, but hell yeah, I’ll take that as a compliment. Can’t say I’ve been an official DOA before.

    Volunteering for the dirty jobs at work is a great way to get recognized, get promoted, and move your career along for sure. Provided you don’t make them worse than when you started, lol.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love it, Mr. SSC. Here’s an example from my life. When I was a foreman for a road crew in the highway department, there was a worker who couldn’t get along with anyone, and no foreman wanted him in his crew. Taking on this worker was the ultimate dirty job. But I volunteered to do it. And for about two years it worked. Eventually, however, this worker couldn’t keep it together and he was eventually fired. But even though I failed, so to speak, I gained a lot of respect for taking on an impossible task and nearly making it work. So kudos to you, Mr. SSC, for jumping at the dirty jobs in your workplace. You might not always succeed, but you’ll gain a lot of respect, and the pecuniary rewards will surely follow.

  13. I like how being debt free gives you the cojones to take on more risk…
    Similar here: after selling the rental and using some to finish works on our house, we did an extra downpayment on the mortgage. Our stash is now a few times bigger than the outstanding debt… I see risk different now

    • Mr. Groovy

      Nice, my friend. Isn’t easier now to sleep at night when your stash dwarfs your debt? And now your at liberty to take risks you never would have considered before. Well done.

  14. Mark

    I see debt as a sword of Damocles that hangs over your head, waiting to crush your prosperity at a moments notice. Debt can become voluntary enslavement where you narrow your own choices through your need to service the debt master. For me, part of the joy of being debt free will be the sense that my work is no longer beholden to another. My wife and I are working on it, and save our (relatively modest) mortgage, should be there in a year or two. I see being debt free as the point where we can truly unleash our dreams, because we can afford to take risks, because we have no debt to service. We could move to another state on a moments notice. We could change to any job, within reason, because we have no debt monster to serve. We can invest more for the same reasons.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “Debt can become voluntary enslavement where you narrow your own choices through your need to service the debt master.”

      That one line says it all. Thank you, Mark. And best of luck on managing all the opportunity you’ll have once your mortgage is retired. You and your wife are going to have a blast. Cheers.