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  1. #’s 4 and 6 I try to implement at work and at home. Really, there aren’t that many complex things in life…

    Let’s take personal finance for example. Pay down your debt and save some money. It’s that simple if you want to have money to do what you want at the end of the month!

    For #6, companies love people who will find problems and take the initiative to go and fix those problems. Can you say promotion!!?!??

    Awesome post, looking forward to reading more from you 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Eric. Excellent point. It reminds of something Tonya from Budget and the Beach is always saying: “Money is simple. People are complicated.” Why do we make things so difficult for ourselves? Like you pointed out, just master #4 and #6 and your life will be pretty good. Sigh.

  2. These titles keep getting better and better. I see that retirement has “titillated your imagination”.

    An opportunity slut? You’ll ONLY see that from The Groovies, and it works!

    I want to be a slut! (gees, you’re polluting us all with your twisted way of thinking!). Love you guys, looking forward to connecting soon!

    • Mr. Groovy

      I mean this in the most complimentary sense possible: you are a opportunity slut, my friend. And I love it. Can’t wait for next week’s phone call. Be well.

  3. Great post Mr.G! Nothing wrong with singing a little Nena’s 99 Luftballons, many of us did that.

    Still amazed at how many people just love to complain, and often to people that can’t fix anything for them. If you’ve got a beef go tell someone who can fix your problem or better yet use #4 or # 6 and bring a solution to the problem.

    Opportunity knocks often, just need to be willing to answer it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Nailed it, my friend. Concentrate on #4 and #6 and life will be a sweet ride. But, as you sadly noted, many people lock themselves into complain mode and never do anything magical with their lives. So sad. Thanks for stopping by, Brian. It’s always great hearing from a Nena groupie.

      “Jeder war ein grober Krieger. Hielten sich gleich Captain Kirk.”

  4. I think the problem many of us have is that we aren’t self-starters. We are always waiting for some kind of permission from friends, family, the universe, whatever, etc. to give us a proverbial sign. But there is no sign. And people will be waiting a long time!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Yes!!! Too many of us seemed paralyzed. Why is that? Like you so eloquently said, “We are always waiting for some…proverbial sign. But there is no sign.” Great freakin’ quote. I just wish your wisdom was more liberally spread across the land. Meh.

  5. Love this post! I am going to be a slut! (Can’t believe I’m saying this) But you’re spot on with all your points. There really are plenty of opportunities out there, it just depends on whether you’re willing to think out of the box, get your hands dirty and give it a shot!

    • Mr. Groovy

      LOL! The world needs more sluts–of the financial kind, of course. Why do so many of us put a straight jacket on our creativity? Thanks for stopping by, T. It’s always great hearing from a slut in the making.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Wait, Deanna, it gets worse. I played the Nena clip in YouTube and the sidebar had the Safety Dance video. And I couldn’t resist. Now that song has been in my head all day. Damn, this blogging stuff is hard.

  6. My problem is less about finding castles, but sticking to them. I bought Nvidia at iPod at the ripe age of 18. It cost me 18 dollars. I sold for about 25. A year after sale it was up over 100. Today it’s 100 dollars a share and I gather it split 4x. So had I held onto it my 1000 dollar investment would be worth 20x my initial investment, 16 years later. Oh well.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. You can never have enough simplification for my taste. Take something as mundane as a fireplace. When I was growing up, we had to roll up newspaper into little balls and combine it with kindling to get a fire going. What a pain. And the clean up sucked too. Now we just flick a switch or push a button on a remote to generate fire. Thanks for stopping by, PP. I like the cut of your jib.

  7. SJ

    I think you appeal to a wide variety of audiences with this post. I’m not a big idea girl, I don’t have a high IQ, I don’t understand markets enough to find any castles in the sky.. but I do have a good work ethic and am not repulsed by dealing with shit. I mean shit in the literal sense, and mostly from cats and dogs. I consider myself a “stay-at-home mom with a side hustle” and my hustle is to take care of other people’s animals while they’re at work or on vacation… and I do a pretty good job of it: I enjoy a nice reputation and many repeat customers. For now it’s just me, but I can easily see how with the addition of more time, technology and a few assistants I could scale what I do, and more importantly -how I do it- and have a rocking pet sitting business that covers all our living expenses. Maybe as the kids get older the occupational scale will tip and I’ll spend more time growing a business and less time helping the kids grow…

    • Mr. Groovy

      Let me get this straight. You’re a hard working mom who is dedicated to her children and has a side hustle that involves the removal of fecal matter? Que chevere! Don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t want your husband to beat me up, but you’re my kind of woman. And you never fail to restore my faith in America. Thanks for stopping by, SJ.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      The whole pet industry amazes me. Now we’ve got pet cafes and bars where dogs can sit beside you as you eat or slurp. Then there’s doggy day-care. Making your side hustle scale would be hard since there’s only one of you, SJ. If you start a pet sitting agency you can collect from the services of all the sitters. It’s a tough model though because the sitters only get to keep around half the fee for each visit. Many of them don’t seem to last in those jobs too long.

  8. Hahaha, I love this. There’s opportunity nearly everywhere you look; you just have to look correctly. I only recently started realizing this, but great things can happen (not just financially, but in life) when you keep yourself open to new things.

  9. 20 years ago when I was in college I started a business to pick up dog poop. It was appropriately called, Scoops Pet Waste Removal Service. My friends and family laughed at me and at the same time I was offered a high-paying job at a pharma company. Needless to say, Scoops never really got off the ground – but I still think it could’ve been lucrative. A missed opportunity.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I have this crazy idea of creating a poop-bot. You set it down in the backyard and it scurries over the lawn like a roomba picking up all the doodie bombs. The guy or gal who invents this will make a fortune.

  10. Great post. It’s not a good idea to stay monogamous with your income, and these are some clever thoughts on how to improve and diversify it. Plus you work in 99 Luftballons, Seinfeld and Betty Boop, so what’s not to like? We should all take some time to hone our opportunity-seeking skills.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Yes! The triple threat–99 Luftballons, Seinfeld, and Betty Boop. If this isn’t Rockstar material, I don’t know what is. Thanks for stopping by, Gary. Your “It’s not a good idea to stay monogamous with your income” is one of the best FI-related lines I’ve heard in a long time. Kudos.

  11. Yeah think outside the box, because who would’ve thought doggie daycare would be anything people would actually pay for? I mean wtf?! And doggie bakeries? Really?! bakeries for dogs exist and aren’t bankrupt? Hahahaha… sigh…..

    Great post! Market failure and making the complex easy are 2 areas that should be rife with opportunity. If only you can recognize it before the next guy. 🙂

  12. Schools are going to blacklist your blog, and colleges will have to include ‘trigger warnings!’ Nice out of the box thinking- both on the writing style and the opportunities out there!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! I didn’t think about those ramifications, Daniel. This post is definitely not “safe space” material. Expect the death threats in 3…2…1…

  13. This thought process is fantastic! I don’t know why I wasn’t thinking like this before. I feel like the scales have fallen from my eyes. Dare I say you took something that was complicated (finding opportunity) and made it simple!
    I think you bring up a good point with the slumming. Those who skip college (Marco, Jobs, Gaiman, etc.) aren’t successful because they skipped college and became self-starters. They were self-starters and skipped college because of it. I think it’s a crucial view to have of the success stories we come across with on a regular basis. However, I am still burdened by the question: “Is someone innately a self-starter or can one choose to be a self-starter?”

    Thanks for sharing this, I love the infographic too.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Kraken. I really appreciate your kind words. Great question. My brother was (and is) one of the few entrepreneurs in my family. He’s very bright, but school mostly bored him. He always preferred doing over ruminating and had a great capacity for work. So in his case, I would say he is an innate self-starter. I however was comfortable in the classroom and didn’t develop a stomach for work until I was over 30. Self-starting wasn’t in my blood, so to speak. But I did start this blog. So maybe there’s hope for all of us. Thanks for making me think, my friend. Cheers.

  14. Mark Cuban said that creativity will be the in-demand skill in 10 years and I think he’s wrong; I think it’s now–we need it now. Your post is in line with something I’ve been thinking a lot about the last month or so. Why aren’t more people risk adverse and taking advantage of these opportunities you’ve mentioned? Why are there so many coaches, consultants, and speakers trying to challenge us to change our perspectives? At some point between birth and high school, most of us got the idea that there was one way of doing things and that’s going to lead to the death of innovation and creativity if we don’t start pursuing these opportunities you mention. Def my favorite post and one I’ll be referencing soon in a series of my own. Thanks for pushing me in the direction of publishing!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Claudia. You really made my day. And you’re definitely onto something. At some point between “birth and high school,” the creativity is indeed sucked out of us and we enslave ourselves to the notion that there’s only “one way of doing things.” How sad. Especially when you consider that a little thought and analysis will expose the boundless opportunity that is all around us. I can’t wait to see what you publish. This “social mobility is over” meme can’t die soon enough. And I’m sure your writing will be one more nail in its coffin.

  15. Let me toss in a favorite stolen from James Altucher, “Idea Sex”. Combine two good ideas and get a really great idea.

    Think of a Hollywood or Silicon Valley pitch and they’re always “James Bond” meets “Titanic”. both have been done but not the combination.

    Or Stan Weston combines:

    Dolls (only girls play with) + Action Movie (boys love)=
    GI Joe. Only he sold if for $100,000 and didn’t take royalties.

    You just know I could talk entrepreneurial ideas all weekend…

    • Mr. Groovy

      Brilliant, Ian. I love the way your mind works. Reminds me of the time I suggested to Mrs. G that we combine food trucks with an outdoor entertainment venue. I dubbed my idea a “gastropark.” In fact, upon doing a little research, I found that some guys in Texas beat me to the punch. I’m definitely going to revise my infographic and give the appropriate shout out to you. Number 7 way to become an opportunity slut: Combine two good ideas and get a really great idea. Thank you, sir.

      • Mrs. Groovy

        But Mr. G didn’t mention the lack of enthusiasm I had for his idea. He didn’t fully consider who would run the park, schlep the beverages he wanted to profit from — or what would happen if we decided to close up for the winter and travel. My husband is great at thinking outside the box and has come up with some wonderful strategies that have enhanced our lives. But I’ve had to put the kabosh on a few of them too.

  16. Great story and tips.

    This last year, I tried to become an opportunity slut. AND I will do what I can to make my kids see the opportunities that are out there, rather than the dangers and the risks.

  17. Mr. & Mrs. Groovy are the masters of the provocative blog titles. You guys crack me up. You always have the title that gets me clicking through.

    As always a good thought provoking piece. I agree you can train yourself to think of opportunities and I do try to do that. It is one of the reasons I started blogging, to give a platform to other ideas I had. So far I haven’t followed through on any of these but they are there waiting for me to have the energy to tackle it :-). Thanks for sharing and another well written post.

    -Brian

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Brian. Yeah, the title of this post is definitely on the edge of good taste. I guess I caught Mrs. G on a good day. She refused to use her veto powers. But all kidding aside, you raise an excellent point. We all know that opportunity is critical to our individual lives and our nation. So why don’t our high schools and colleges include “opportunity studies” in their curricula?

  18. This post is destined for your hall of fame – great actionable advice!

    #3 is my favorite – I’m a huge fan of pursuing opportunity over passion (to earn a living). And I’m also passing Betty Boop to my social media marketing manager for some Pinterest love 😃

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. Get a job, take advantage of any opportunities that come your way, and build wealth. Passion is great, but what you’re passionate about is not always conducive to building wealth. For most people, passion should be a side hustle. For example, when I was younger, I was passionate about drinking beer and ice hockey. It would have been hard, since my ice hockey skills were so pedestrian, to turn those passions into money. But today, with the internet, if I were still passionate about drinking beer and ice hockey, I could start a blog about drinking beer and ice hockey. So pursue wealth during the day (via a job or business), and pursue your passion at night (via blogging). If your passion turns into money, great. You can always quit your day job, as the saying goes. Thanks for stopping by, Ty. Always great hearing from you.

  19. There is more opportunity now for most people. You just have to look for it and seize it; it won’t come to you whilst you sit around and wallow in self pity! Number 6 should be easy. Rather than just seeing problems and complaining, actually DO something about them!

  20. I just finished up a life/work planning weekend (at the lovely airport now!), and one of the questions we looked at was how can we teach life planning to kids from poverty. I think just seeing how many choices we have and the shear amount of agency is so empowering. When kids see that they can start to make forward motion. Then they see the opportunity. But someone needs to teach them how to be an opportunity slut. 😉

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Normally I would prefer if our youth were as “pure as the wind-driven snow.” But when it comes to opportunity, I want them to be as wildly promiscuous as possible.

  21. MP

    That was a totally unnecessary swipe at sociology majors. I majored in Anthropology and had friends in sociology and anthropology. 12 years out of college and I can say we are all doing well in life. People underestimate the value of a liberal arts education.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Fair point. That swipe was largely directed at myself. I was a sociology major, and for me, the pursuit of that degree proved to be a colossal waste of time. The only thing that saved me was timing. I went to college when it was still cheap. For my last semester at Buffalo University, way back in 1984, tuition for five classes was $540. But today, I can’t in good conscience encourage a young person to pursue a liberal arts degree. College is just too expensive to earn a degree that imparts no readily employable concrete skills. That doesn’t mean, of course, I’m against the study of sociology, anthropology, etc. In fact, I love reading sociological studies to this day. The last one I read was called, On the Run, by Alice Goffman. If you get a chance, check it out. So let me clarify my position: I want young people to read all the Margret Mead books they can. I just want them to do so as an avocation. It makes little sense to hand over $100K to the college-industrial complex to read a bunch of books you can read for free at the local library. Thanks for stopping by, MP. I really appreciate the respectful way you challenged me. Cheers.

    • Horhay

      Read between the lines. If you wanted nothing else than to be an anthropologist and your friends who majored in sociology wanted nothing else but that, all of whom work hard, then yes, theres no reason for all of you not to be successful. The point that went over your head is that many MANY people just fall into these areas of study because the courses are easy (not the work). In other words, they don’t have a passion or direction toward anything other than getting a college degree, and they therefore typically end up in some cubicle. You and your friends, however, were willing to pay the price, network fiercely while in school, and accept nothing less than a job in your respective fields (even if that meant being unemployed for a while or taking an unpaid internship to get your break). Look around MP, American cubicles are filled to the brim with the latter of us that got a degree to get a degree. And because we have a degree we are above those plebeian jobs the author mentioned in the article, such as taking a bread route or commanding a fleet of portable toilets. Opportunity lies in places other people won’t venture, where many people think they are above that ‘type’ of work.

      On the other hand, this article spoke to me as a psychology major. Looking back, I only went into this field because it was easy and I wanted to party. That doesn’t mean the degree was worthless to everyone. For those who want to be psychologist, the degree is obviously necessary. Those who know what they want and can couple that with a strong work ethic will be successful in any field, including psychology. Those who only want an easy path to something else coupled with a lazy work ethic, like myself, will never find success in that field. The majority of people think this way, my friend. If it were easy, we’d all be successful.

      • Mr. Groovy

        Great freakin’ point, Horhay. I only became a sociology major because a girl I had a super crush on was a sociology major. I definitely wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Sadly, by taking the easy way out, I had a stunted understanding of life and opportunity, and I soon found myself wallowing in self-pity and the cubicle. Sigh.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Arrrggghhh! I’m sorry, MP. My first reply was a little hamfisted. The point I was trying to get across was that you’re RIGHT and WRONG. Yes, we need young people to study the liberal arts. But to study the liberal arts in college today at the prices being charged for tuition, room and board, and textbooks is a very dicey proposition. I want young people to be citizen sociologists, anthropologists, etc. I don’t want them to be liberal art majors. I hope that position doesn’t sound too weaselly. Let me know what you think when you get a chance. Thanks.

  22. I always tell my son “measure yourself not by your past accomplishments, but by the opportunities you create for your future.” Great tips to find them. I especially like the idea of getting into ‘unglamorous work’ and applying your talent. I’m a big fan of Mike Rowe who talks about this all of the time!

  23. C

    Thank you for writing this. When you say only invest 5% of your assets, I can’t help but think growth would be small and slow for me. 5% of my assets is only around $1,500. It would take a lot of patience and time to keep stacking paper and see any substantial growth. Do you have any advice or should I change my thinking?

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, C. My bad. I should have been more clear. I meant to say bet no more than 5% of your portfolio on a castle-in-the-air. Currently, Mrs. G and I have invested around 2% of our portfolio in a lithium concern (LACDF). That’s our castle-in-the-air. If electric cars and residential solar become mainstream in the next 3-5 years, we should do very well. For the remaining 98% of our portfolio, we have invested in two index funds. A total stock market index fund, and a total bond market index fund. Excluding LACDF, our portfolio allocation is currently at a 40/60 split between our stock index funds (40%) and our bond index funds (60%). That’s fairly conservative. But since we’re in our mid-50s and just retired, we prefer to take on less risk. If we were 15-20 years away from retirement, we would have a 60/40 split or a 70/30 split. I hope that helps. Allocation between stocks and bonds is very dependent on one’s risk tolerance. In this environment, I would advise one to be more cautious than normal. A market correction is coming, and I have a feeling it’s going to be substantial, very similar to 2008-2009. Thanks for stopping by, C. And good luck with your investments.

  24. Ah, so many good thoughts here. I was watching the news this morning and there was a doctor’s office that charged patients a monthly fee. No insurance, no insurance companies. Just a monthly fee – pay if you don’t go to the doctor, pay if you go six times. It doesn’t mean anything if only one doctor does it, but what if lots of doctors did it? Such an interesting, disrupting idea, cutting the middle man out of healthcare. You’re right, some people see these opportunities and go for it, others don’t. I probably fall into the latter, but you have inspired me! Also, I’m on board with any argument that quotes Seinfeld.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I really hope more doctors go to the no-insurance model. Less paper work for them and cheaper, transparent prices for patients. I think we’d all do better if healthcare was more similar to the car insurance model. You pay for the small stuff out of pocket and leave the big stuff for insurance. I was born in 1961. My father said the hospital bill was around $150. And my mom stayed in the hospital for three days. He then paid the doctor and hospital $10 a month until the bill was paid. Thanks for stopping by, Linda. It’s always great hearing from a Seinfeld fan.

  25. Great ideas on opportunity, which is one of my favorite topics. I really enjoyed it. Believing we don’t have opportunity makes us blind to the many opportunities all around us. I wrote something a while ago about an opportunity I once held in my hand but didn’t recognize it for what it was. I think you might enjoy it. Here is the link:

    http://micawberprinciple.com/it-all-started-with-a-handful-of-powdered-drink-mix-entrepreneurs-see-opportunity-others-miss-793/

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great freakin’ post, Brent. I particularly like this line of yours.

      “Entrepreneurs know that while opportunity visits frequently, it is often cleverly disguised. To have any chance of finding it you have to be looking and you have to be willing to come up with a lot of bad ideas before you find the good ones.”

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And thanks for the link. There’s a lot of wisdom in there. And it was great learning about your dad and Utah. Bravo.

  26. This is a great mindset to develop. I totally agree that so many people have been trained that they can’t get ahead and just to accept defeat already. I think when we get into a consume mode versus a create mode, we find ourselves falling into this trap.

    • Mr. Groovy

      You know, Steven, that’s an excellent observation about a consume mode versus a create mode. You’re definitely onto something. I’ve often remarked that you’re not fully human unless you create something. Humans were born to create. And if that instinct or impulse is killed, we search for meaning and happiness in other ways–and those other ways aren’t always wholesome (violence, drugs, consumerism, etc.). Thanks for stopping by, Steven. I really appreciate what you had to share. It really made me think.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Tim. I hope the BOA purchase was in reference to yourself. Sadly, Mrs. G and I missed out on that golden opportunity. But I assure you, it won’t happen again. Come next crash, we’ll pounce on at least one severely undervalued stock. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Francesca. Agreed. It took me a while to figure things out, but once I did, it was amazing how much opportunity I came across. Thanks for stopping by. It’s always great hearing from you.