Day 349 | $3,720.97 paid | $8,175.76 until freedom


Something my boss always talks about is “getting momentum going” on projects. I’m not sure it means anything most of the time, but the word has been bouncing around in my head lately.

That’s kind of what this entire experiment has been. I’m in a fight, and I’m getting jabbed in the face, and I’m coming up on the end of round 2. If it keeps going like this, I’m going to lose by unanimous decision. I’m sorry if that metaphor is trite. I hear about people who make sports analogies as a way of understanding the world, and I resent them, and here I am doing it myself.

Well, check this out, folks. I just sent an invoice to a company that hired me to solve an emergency for them over the weekend. I warned them: you’re buying my weekend from me at rush rates. It’s not going to be cheap.

It wasn’t cheap, but they didn’t argue. I know now something else about the value of my time, and it’s looking pretty good for me. Before this my business had become profitable, but after this it’s going to make back about double my initial investment.

And today after work I stopped by one of the coolest bars in town to take measurements for a project I hope to be doing there. I’ll do it as well as or better than anyone else, and I’m going to make sure I make money doing it.

You know all of that money is going toward the destruction of my loans.

Although there’s now no chance of me achieving my initial goal of winning this thing within a year (I have two weeks), I see the end of this round coming, and I have begun dodging jabs and catching my breath. Start of round 3 I’m going in swinging.

Again, I’m sorry about the sports metaphor.

A word from out sponsor

Joe of No More Harvard Debt just sent me a link¬†about our generation’s condition. It’s awesome, and I don’t think I’ve read anything so encouraging. I consume articles on the internet at a rate of about 3 per day, and I love the viral ones that advice people to live their lives the way I’ve lived mine for the last four years.

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Filed under strategy

4 responses to “Momentum

  1. TMAP is huge. You’re killing it. At one point on this blog, you said that you’d rather invest your money into paying down your debt rather than throwing it into index funds and earning 10% because of the 10% wasn’t guaranteed–there was an element of risk.

    But then you went and threw it into a start-up, which is perhaps one of the riskiest things you could have done short of putting it all on red.

    I sent you that article because you’ve done exactly what that article advocates. You looked at your loans, and you looked at your potential, and you chose to put the money on yourself, your potential, rather than your loans, and I couldn’t be happier to read about how this is all turning out for you. A year ago, would you have thought that this would ever be possible?

    It’s amazing the things we can do when we tell ourselves that we want to be debt-free. Some of us work harder and pay down the debt, but others, like you, work harder, start a sustainable and profitable business, and then pay off their debt. If you do this weekend job and kill it, the word-of-mouth is going to be big and it will lead to bigger jobs, and your debt will be paid down in no time.

    I’m super excited for you. Timeline be damned. You’re not only paying down your debt (you’ll do it eventually), but you’re being an entrepreneur. You’re freaking legit, dude! I’m not even sure I’m being coherent right now, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. You LIVED the article I sent you. You opened that restaurant in Paris! I don’t have anywhere near the cajones it would take to do that, but you freaking did it. Good on you. Good luck this weekend.

    • Here’s an update on my startup, Joe. I’m launching a new line of products within a couple months. I’m working with a Tacoma-based textile products business to design a backpack I’m de-facto calling a city overnight bag. I’m selling things in Switzerland (inexplicably).
      It’s not enough to live on, nor to pay off student loans, but along with another, more regular job, it’s very helpful, and a ton of fun.

  2. Kris

    I just want to say congratulations! I think I haven’t read your blog in about 5 months because I’ve just been lazy and I don’t use RSS feeds (don’t hate). But I’ll never forget how you responded to my first comment about not manning up and only going half-way or something like that. I wasn’t impressed by your half-assed effort and it appeared that it was sort of a wake-up call that you used as motivation. I now have my tail between my legs and need to apologize because I didn’t have the resolve you have shown in keeping up with this. Just like Joe said, you will beat your debt to death shortly, I have no doubt of that. It’s your dedication that amazes me. I’ve got myself into quite a bit of debt in the last few years and am using you and Joe as motivation to pay it off NOW. Thanks so much for taking the time to document your experiences and share some intimate details about your finances.

    • You haven’t read my blog in 5 months, and I’ve been too busy throwing coal in the fire to post on it for three. Can we call it even?

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. I really do think I did my best. I did buy some things I didn’t need (unless you count mental health?), and I sure as hell didn’t achieve my goal (unless you count a broader reading of my goal?).

      I find it really hard to keep up a blog in general – but in this case I had two obligations that fueled each other. All told I wound up paying down a third of my debt on about 25k/year. I think that’s a cool trick and something I get to be proud of. And it’s not over yet. My business bank account has more in it now than I put in initially, someone is interested in buying that motorcycle, and I have the coolest business cards I’ve ever seen.

      I’m glad you came back to catch up. It’s great to hear from you.

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