Off The Grind

The Six Steps To “Belligerent Independence”

“Belligerent independence” — the refusal to accept anything less than what you truly want and the willingness to acquire the skills to make it happen.

Walt Disney once said, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse… Mickey popped out of my mind at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner. Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence.”

In many ways, the Off The Grind project was started by a “Sammantha” ~ my just-turned-21 friend and business partner ~ when her “fortunes were at the lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.”

But like Walt Disney and his brother Roy, Sammantha has embraced the concept of belligerent independence.

And here is our Off The Grind “mouse”…


Sammantha and I put some thought into the elements that go into a belligerently independent do-what-you-want-when-you-want lifestyle.

Much of the chart above, of course, is based on my personal experiences ~ my decades of off the grind living ~ but Sammantha provides important input and a “realty check” from someone at the beginning of the process.

And she is someone who provides the most important ingredient, inspiration, and here is Sammantha with a few thoughts for you…

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.

We all get down sometimes.

Speaking from my own experiences sometimes I feel as if I am being constantly knocked to the ground. But in all the hard times I try to always find that silver lining. Otherwise what is life? No one wants to leave this planet feeling as if they never truly lived. We all want to be happy and live our life to the fullest.

Well in order to do that we have to live each day as if it is a gift.

We have to take the good with the bad and smile when we’re sad. Life is too short and grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.

So even though someone may crush your dreams or put you down, try to always see it as just a push to move forward. Never let their negativity become a part of you. Just laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you cannot change or control.

Love deeply and forgive quickly.

Take chances… give your all and have no regrets. Always appreciate what you have and remember what you had. Life is all about learning lessons and improving from our past mistakes. So learn from them but never regret them. And as the saying goes “people change and things go wrong but always remember… LIFE GOES ON”!

Thanks, Sammantha!

Sammantha, by the way, has become an expert in coming through difficult situations with a smile and she has developed the ability to deflect the efforts of those who would hold her back and tell her what she “can’t do.”

And that, my friends, is the #1 quality of a belligerently independent Off The Grinder and why “mind” is on the top left of the chart.

On a personal level, it was our “bad attitude” of working only when we felt like it that led to Pam’s Not Your Normal Photography business model. It was a radical idea at the time. Everyone said it wouldn’t work. But it did. More info if you’re interested.

Now, back to the chart…

Obviously you can’t live free without a good mental attitude and good health. That is an ongoing effort for all of us and we will be bringing you useful Off The Grind “mind and body” techniques in future issues.

But the pivotal point to all of this is lifestyle, or rather, choice of lifestyle.

Most people allow random influences to dictate how and where they live… you grow up in a certain area, get a job that happens to be available and decades go by without adequately considering what you really want.

That thinking needs to be reversed.

Put your dream lifestyle in your head ~ keep it in the forefront ~ and then start building the systems to support your dream. Which is what the “money machine” and “money magnifiers” are all about… building financial systems to support your chosen lifestyle.

Most people get jobs which trap them for life…

A job can be a necessary stepping stone ~ I had one back in 1981 ~ but unfortunately, unless your job is your ultimate passion in life, there is no way you can live a do-what-you-want-when-you-want lifestyle with a “job”  strategy.

It is also unlikely you will make enough money working a job to allow you to quit anytime soon.
You are basically in for the majority of your life… the best part of your life health-wise and energy-wise, too!

That’s a big waste of time, and some people realizing this problem, make the mindset change to become an entrepreneur so they can “be their own boss.”

Well that can be worse than a job if you start the wrong kind of business.

I’ve done it. More that once.

Done right, however, a business can be a “money machine” that’s fun, doesn’t suck up all of your time, and doesn’t require much of an investment to start, if any. You can truly create “money from nothing” with the right kind of business.

And yes, those kinds of businesses will be a focus of this newsletter because it is the only way to get yourself financially independent starting from zero. That is without winning the lottery or finding an 87 pound nugget of gold in your back yard!

Now about the money “magnifier”…

A business, done right, can take you from zero to having a very healthy income, and it can be done in a way that doesn’t overly interfere with your lifestyle.

But in order to be completely independent you will need to divert profits into investments that pay you enough to cover your lifestyle costs.

Just be careful to avoid the trap of thinking you can forgo the business and invest your way to wealth.

Here’s why…

The risk/reward ratio for investing isn’t there. Unless you’re a brokerage house or an investment banker, investing isn’t a good way to make money at the speed you need to make it when your assets are minimal. Trying to do so will open you to unreasonable risk without commensurate reward.

On the other hand ~ with a business ~ you can make a lot by investing a little. For example, it’s not uncommon for an ad that costs $100 or so to bring back thousands in return… all in a few days. That’s difficult to do with investing, and unlike a business where you have some control, you’re at the mercy of the markets. With a business you can make something happen in any economic environment.

You can, however, consistently and safely grow your money with investing to the point where it provides you with all the income you need. Much more on this topic in future issues. I might even tell you about the time I lost over 100K in few short hours trading commodities… yes, I speak from experience on all of these things.

Staying in control

I am always amazed when people allow themselves to be randomly interrupted with phone calls and other distractions. All you really have is time, and those who use it without your permission are stealing it from you.

Ultimately, staying in control of your time is what living Off The Grind is all about. It’s not about what you do or how wealthy you are, it’s about staying in control, living according to your agenda, not someone else’s.