On Opportunity

I’d like to take a moment to talk about carpe diem.  About seizing the day.  About being ready when you get your shot.  This is one of the reasons that you’re starting to plan and, more importantly, implement your early retirement goals.

To be clear, the kind of wealth we’re working towards is the kind that we nurture for the long run.  Not the kind where we place it all on often mis-guided bets and live by the whim of the stock price, hoping to get more wealthy than we would ever need to be while risking it all without any sense of guiding principles to fall back on.

But that said, even our long-term approach requires taking what feels like a bit of a ‘leap of faith’ here and there.  The difference is, when we do our homework and live by our well-founded principles, what may seem like a ‘leap of faith’ from the outside often seems to be just the logical next step to us.  We find this when we hold the unfounded fear up against our principles and see it for what it is, and then we act as we have been preparing for.

And we can’t act if we’re not ready.

A few weeks ago on the local news there was a nice story about a young woman who worked at an opera house as a ticket checker who got the opportunity of a lifetime.  You see, she was not only an employee of the theatre but an aspiring soprano herself.  When the scheduled performer fell ill the day of the show, she filled in.  And she killed it.  She had been waiting and waiting, preparing in her own time, and when her unforeseen opportunity came, she was totally ready to execute.  She wasn’t forcing it – she was ready.  And she seized the day as best as one could imagine.

In contrast, around the same time I came across an amazing and rare real estate opportunity that suited my lifestyle goals very well and was, by my calculations, a total cash cow (especially in the long run).  Not only could I likely leave work even earlier if I was able to obtain the property, but I would be nearly guaranteed far more income in my retirement than I ever imagined (or needed).  The thing is, it was expensive.  It wasn’t something I could buy in the way one might buy a standard house but more like a business, meaning I would need a lot of cash to put down and a large loan.  I knew I could make it work, but I don’t have that kind of cash yet (I’d probably be ‘retired’ already if I did, of course).

Ultimately, it’s not always that you have to act when any opportunity arises, but knowing that you are in the position to do so at all times when the opportunity arises is a satisfying position to be in.  And that’s what we’re going for here.  That’s what this is all about.  Being unstuck – that’s where my journey began.  Being unstuck In our time most importantly and, by proxy, our finances.  Because there’s nothing worse than seeing the opportunity arise in front of you and know there is nothing you can do to grasp it.  Because you’re not prepared.

So get ready, break the mould, and live your life.

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