Mr.CC from [Financial Independence Forum, EP.002]

Mr. CC is in veteran in worked in the oil and gas industry for many years and also a veteren 9 to 5er’s like the rest of us but aspired to be Financially Independent and FIRE, with the goal of achieving in their 30s.  ClippingChains is also a treatise on climbing and generally outdoorsy types and is an interesting intersection of climbing culture, financial freedom, self-exploration, introspection and entrepreneurship.

Podcast Transcript

Eugene / Host: (00:02)
This is Eugene from the Financial Independence Forum tonight. I have here Mr. CC just a brief intro about him. Him and Mrs. CC runs clipping Mr. CC Is a veteran that worked in the oil and gas or is working in the oil and gas industry and has been for many years but is also like many of us, the 9-to-5ers inspired to be financially independent and also to retire early. I’m with their stated goal of doing so well in their way. In their thirties. Is also a treaties on climbing and generally outdoorsy types and as an interesting intersection of climbing culture, financial freedom, self-exploration, introspection and in entrepreneurship. There are pet owners and their dogs name is called stickers. Welcome Mr. CC to the Financial Independence Forum.

Mr CC / Guest: (00:54)
Awesome. Eugene, thanks for having me. One clarification. My dog’s not really names. Snickers, like we came up with a better name, I think, but I’m probably more tight knit on her identity than our own. So we stuck with that cause she needs a lot of, that’s great. That’s great.

Eugene / Host: (01:12)
And, but is it chocolate bars that she’s particularly fond of?

Mr CC / Guest: (01:16)
Oh, she’ll eat anything. She’ll steal your food. She doesn’t discriminate.

Eugene / Host: (01:23)
I think that we have in common is I also have a, have a mutt as well adult that we adopted at seven years old who’s a, who’s a poodle terrier mix. So

Mr CC / Guest: (01:36)

Eugene / Host: (01:42)
Yeah, so, you know, one of my favorite podcasts, I think we were sharing before the recording that we’re, we were both fans of, of podcasters in general. One of my favorites in the past couple of years that I’ve been listening to is one by Patrick O’Shaughnessy called Invest like the Best. And you know, one of my, one of my own interest is, is certainly on the investing side as well, which I think is one leg and one pillar of, of achieving FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). He’s part of more of a investment management company and his podcast generally is about, you know, just thinking and getting the best minds of investing to start talking about their thought process, their mindset, et cetera. That’s interesting. But one of the things that he, he’s, he said that in the interviews that he’s done in the hundreds that he’s done is that he finds one of the interesting things is that the, the, the nuggets of things that comes out of his his podcasts that are the most interesting are the intersections between a couple of different fields. And I think that’s where I found your site and your, your writing to be particularly of interest to me. You know, being the outdoorsy type and, and being part of that community and the climbing community and also marrying that with the financial independence side. Maybe you could talk a little bit about that and maybe your background in, in climbing your interest in that and you know, how, you know, maybe why that intersection is, is a particular interest to you.

Mr CC / Guest: (03:13)
Yeah, you nailed it. I mean, like when I first had this, when I launched this website, send it out there, you friends and family. And I was like, I know this is kind of a seemingly weird kind of intersection of climbing and personal finance and you know, half the people will kind of like, what, what is this exactly? Which drives me, right? Oddly enough. So I started in my career and climbing it almost to that point about 10 years ago. I just moved from Flagstaff, Arizona, which was this beautiful mountain town. And I grown up in mountain towns and here I was in Houston, you know, working a corporate job and kind of dissolution and not really knowing what I was doing with my life. Had a good salary. And it was like, by many metrics, like a very good place to be where you’d want to be.

Mr CC / Guest: (04:00)
But I needed more and so I kind of discovered climbing again at the same time and kind of fell in love with this world of rock climbing. So much so that very early in my career I was seriously debating, like I’d kind of fallen in love with this dirt bag culture, you know, just like loading up a car and just rock climbing it and then hopefully the rest will come together. Right. And you can just go on a seamless road trip and kind of a lot and the pieces will fall into place and you’ll be fine. And I’m really glad I didn’t do that in hindsight. I kind of just started to find ways to optimize my time and I was able to move to Colorado after two and a half years. I’m kind of working really hard to progress my career and get up here and pursue rock climbing more fully.

Mr CC / Guest: (04:42)
But meanwhile having your career, which I thought was a very, you know, completely honorable way to do it. And then in 2015-ish, yeah, early 2015, I worked on oil and gas, I’ve got a major collapse in oil prices. They just sent a shockwave through an entire industry and there were many rounds of layoffs and I was fortunate to survive pretty much all of those. Well I did survive all of those, but it was just a really nasty time and it really made me question exactly what I was doing and just sense of job security. And at the time a friend of mine introduced me to Mr Money Mustache and the rest is history. I mean they have immediately struck a chord with me, because climbers absolutely have your sense of a simple life. That’s where climbers have no problem.

Mr CC / Guest: (05:31)
Like a lot of people in personal finance struggle with spending too much money and have good salaries and spend all their money. But climbers kind of go the opposite way. They’re taking this kind of hard line stance and that making money is kind of a bad thing. I mean there’s this whole aura or a dirtbag culture coming back to Camp Four and Yosemite where people just live there and you know, a dumpster dive and just live on wherever they could to climb. And that’s, that’s the best path, so climbers kind of have the frugal part nailed. But when you start talking about investing and you start talking about building wealth, that’s where I really struggle to reach that community. And that’s actually been a harder journey for me is to try and get into the climbing community which I, you know, it’s still important to me, but has this staunch like keep life simple, money is kind of taboo. Best. That’s kind of been hardest stance. That’s kind of a long answer, but it’s a little bit of whirlwind history of how this came to be.

Eugene / Host: (06:27)
No, that’s, that’s a great and succinct answer and kind of shaped sort of the direction that we wanted to talk about in the intersection of of those two communities. Maybe we’ll expand on that a little bit too. Is that I think what I want to repeat back what you said is that, that the outdoors-y kind of climbing culture there, you know, you mentioned that money is taboo. May you can expand on that a little bit. is it harder to sort of reach out to that community? I think you were, you were saying that a little bit to kind of change the mindset to, to tell people that maybe the money part is a means to an end rather than a perspective that they, that they have.

Mr CC / Guest: (07:11)
Yeah, exactly. I mean, and obviously I’m generalizing, there’s lots of people in the climbing community, lots of partners I have who are just like me, you know, working jobs, trying to get a salary and trying to climb as much as they can. I mean very few of them are thinking about leaving their careers, you know, drastically early. But yeah, I mean there is this glorification of climbing. We’re on this again, kind of breach from decades past of, of that. A lot of our climbing heroes from the 90s, 80s, 70s and earlier, it’s fully in pursuit of this sport. Like the best climbers, are the ones doing it the most and that’s still true. But now the sport is kind of transgress in, they’re bounded from the Olympics and people are curating and it’s a lot more like a quality over quantity. And so I’m hoping that there’s going to be this movement more towards you know, maybe being out climbing every day, you know, sleeping in the dirt endlessly is not necessarily in the best path or the only path or even the other way of looking at this says you can do it with a position of financial stability instead of, you know, doing until the money runs out and then trying to have to catch up later.

Mr CC / Guest: (08:19)
Well, why not just worked for a little while and maybe, you know, don’t get a job that’s just terrible, just to slog through it for just something you enjoy. It pays really well. Save a lot of money, just you see simple investing and then you get to a point where you can do this and worry free. I mean, so I wrote up an interview with Chuck and Maggie Odette, and they’re pretty much professional climbers and they’re in their forties and 50s. And so they’ve done this sort of in reverse and now they live in a trailer. They’re kind of doing this dirtbag life, but they’re doing it. They worked for decades, retired early and they, they’re not necessarily financial independence advocates or anything like that. They just kind of got out a little bit early and now they’re kind of living this life in reverse and, and they’re, you know, very happy that they can do this from a position of financial strength. And so that was one of the first interviews I did. That was really inspiring story and I kind of want to reach out to them for a while to talk about that. I don’t know if that answers your question, but it’s a pretty broad, wide-ranging subject.

Eugene / Host: (09:19)
No, it does. It does. You know, you’re taking a different, different path on that. Like, it seems to me that there’s, there’s a lot of natural behaviors and traits that climbing and in some ways climbing toward financial freedom in a way. It, you know, there’s a lot of things that are shared or that like, I think you know, conscientiousness about, about the climb. Discipline. You know, you mentioned that a lot of climbers maybe do this as a daily thing or even a weekly thing. Do you also see that as some of the parallels that maybe attracted you to wanting to the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early)? And maybe you could, maybe you could tell us a little bit in our listeners about, you know, what, what sparked the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) for you? You know, on this journey for, towards FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early),

Mr CC / Guest: (10:09)
To pursue financial independence.

Eugene / Host: (10:10)
Yeah, that’s right.

Mr CC / Guest: (10:11)
Yeah. So, yeah, it’s a good question. I mean, so I’ve always been kind of naturally on the frugal side. I mean, even once, once I got a good salary, far more than I ever expected, you know, in my career path, we kind of let it slip a little bit in early days. I think if you’re in Houston’s you would go eat. And so we were like eating out every weekend. And so we had a little bit of lifestyle inflation creep in, but largely we just didn’t really see the point. You know, getting too materialistic and buying nice cars. It just like my wife and I, we’re just not those kind of people. And so that part was simple. And then, you know, obviously once we discovered I’d already started investing a little bit. Let’s just keep her around, didn’t really have a game plan.

Mr CC / Guest: (10:54)
But I do think that, you know, I don’t know what leads to what, I mean, I, I love climbing because it’s such a simple and pure sport. You don’t have to, when you’re in nature, you know, I climb a at gym, but that’s more for training by like, what I do it for is to be outside. And I’ve always been very outdoorsy. And once I discovered climbing there was kind of this like this wonderful mixture of of it. It’s very technical, it’s very physical, it’s very mental, mentally stimulating. Whether it’s just your super scared and you’re in a semi dangerous position or it’s like performance anxiety and be very, I’m a very goal oriented climber. Like I push myself physically didn’t have you know, goals that I want to achieve that to be very mentally demanding. And you put all that in like a beautiful place.

Mr CC / Guest: (11:38)
Right? And so that’s why I think it’s like the coolest sport ever because what, where can you combine all that? And nothing was for like I say maybe surfing or some of these other lifestyles forms for the closest. Okay. You know, so I get this like total magnetic pole to go to pursue this full time. And I get why people like blow off careers, blow off having kids, you know, move to expensive places cause the climbing good. I mean it’s amazing what people will do in pursuit of climbing. Don’t quit almost everything in the back burner. And I’ve been 100% guilty of it many times. It’s so easy to prioritize. Yeah. I don’t know why, but this client, this, this sport breeds obsession and I ended up being obsessive. And so getting back to financial independence, like we love like delving into spreadsheets.

Mr CC / Guest: (12:22)
Like as soon as we discussed, I figured this kind of path out man. I mean the first thing we did was get all our accounts together, start adding them up, you know, start looking at our spending to the nth degree. I don’t know. I mean, it’s just something about me and to a lesser extent my wife that we just like pursue everything with just absolute purpose. I mean, don’t, I don’t do really anything half-heartedly and I don’t know why that is. A lot of times it’s to our detriment that I just have to, I pursue mastery of whatever I try and attempt to do and it doesn’t always work, but I’ll always try.

Eugene / Host: (12:56)
That’s, that’s awesome. I think that there’s those parallels, right? You know, being able to reach those goals both in FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) and also to the summit where you, where you’re going on your climb is are, I think it takes a similar skill set.

Mr CC / Guest: (13:13)
You got to have some name for it, you know, that’s how I am. I have to have something on my ride building for whether it’s climbing or finances, career. I mean, I don’t know. You have to have something you’re aiming for somewhere down the line.

Eugene / Host: (13:25)
Right, exactly. You know, you talked a lot about how it’s natural in a way for that community, the community, the climbing community or the outdoorsy community to be naturally minimalistic and frugal. You mentioned that also like that that’s something that you’ve always been like that was it. What, what do you feel like came first? Was it sort of, it wasn’t one or the other? Or maybe it was, it was just sort of natural for, for you to gravitate toward both financial independence and climbing that way?

Mr CC / Guest: (14:01)
Oh, man. Well, so yeah, as far as we being on that, it’s always been that way. I mean, I credit my grandmother for it because we either my wife nor be like, or necessarily be raised by fruit from people. It’s not really the case at all. But my grandfather, I don’t know Depression-era woman, I mean she would save your scratch if you didn’t finish the Rhine on your bread. She wouldn’t let you eat by, you know, any further meal until you finish that piece of bread. That was, that was it. Nothing was wasted. You know, there was a sale, she’d buy a whole refrigerator full of milk and freeze it, you know, like if it’s no cause on sale, that’s what she did. And I’ve talked a bit about that. So she’s, I mean, I think where I get it from personally. Now how that comes into con, I mean maybe in, I grew up in the mountains, so I had just spent my whole childhood wandering around the woods and I just, I’ve just always strive for simplicity. I guess. It’s just a little bit of just where I come from and the people who, you know, it’s environmental, you know, I know people who mean very well financially, but if they grew up in a materialistic environment, they are more likely to go buy nice things and nice clothes. I don’t know, I just didn’t grow up that way. I just grew up in the woods bashing around in the dirt. And so I guess I’m a little bit of a dirtbag at heart. I just want to do it financially responsibly, I guess.

Eugene / Host: (15:16)
I definitely see those, those parallels being being really interesting about both from both of those communities. They know what the other thing that I like to explore too is, is is, you know, you know, climbing also, you know, I watched ’em like many other people, I watched one of the screenings Free Solo. With alleys and I actually watched it at the Toronto International Film Festival and Alex was there and so was the directors and things like that. And and it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating too. I think, you know, certainly I think people knew there was a culture like that, but I think it kind of broke the mainstream, especially after winning the Oscars. I think for sure I became, became a much bigger deal than that he thought of. But it was, it was also an interesting interesting documentary of a biography into someone like that as well.

Eugene / Host: (16:17)
But you know, the other thing but w where I was getting to about that was, you know, climbing isn’t without its risks too, in a way. Kind of like, you know, trying to think about FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). I think all of us that are trying to achieve it, we also try to think about how do we mitigate against risk both in diversifying our income but also knowing when that time it is that we can say, okay, you know, we can dust everything off and say we can, we can actually hit the RE part, the retire early part. You know, how do you, how do you approach that risk? You know, w when it comes to both the climb and, and also in your the financial independence journey.

Mr CC / Guest: (16:58)
That is a really good question and pretty relevant to what we have going on. I mean, so for climbing, I’m not that risky. I’m not like Alex Honnold. Full disclosure: I always climb with a rope. So, you know, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t have any know. And you could argue that he’s not that risky cause he’s, you know, he’s so calculated and what he does and you know, we’ll go into that. I mean, I don’t, I don’t, you know, he’s gotten a lot of flack for what he does. I don’t, I don’t either condone or disapprove, but whatever. But, you know, I actually feel like I’m a pretty safe climber. I mean, I think people think climbing is dangerous a sports would actually has a lot the mechanisms built into it. It’s just the margin for error. You know, obviously if you don’t take those mechanisms seriously, you can die.

Mr CC / Guest: (17:39)
I mean, if you’re on a road and if you’re bouldering, you know, you might break an ankle or something, but I’d say the risks are a bit overstated in the climbing world, but certainly when you know, and IMAX in watching Honnold, you know, 3000 feet under him and the rope, I mean it seems like a very risky sport. So to be clear, I don’t introduce any order of the kind of risky does. On the financial independence front, it’s a totally different discussion and it’s one of my wife and I have daily, cause she’s got a different risk tolerance than me. I mean, if there were, I probably would because I don’t really want early retirement in the strictest form. And I’ve written about this quite a bit. Mainly because I just know I’ll get bored. Like I have to have, like I’m kind of interested in kind of pursuing my own ventures and some sort of entrepreneurship, like what that is.

Mr CC / Guest: (18:23)
I don’t know which I to kind of the “fog of work”. I, I’ve linked it, I think it’s a Doug Norman post. Just this concept that when you’re working, you don’t have time to think about what you want to do next. I mean, when your whole life is built around a 40 to 50 hour work week and getting ready for work, commute to work and recovering from work, I mean, who’s got time to think about building a next life? And that’s so that’s understandable. But to me I would have probably introduced full risk said, Hey, you know, knowing full well and that will make money somewhere down the line, whether that’s two months or two years from now, like do we really need to be adherent to the three and a half, 3.25%, which all rain, you know, those sort of metrics. Whereas my wife would like things very stitched up and that’s totally understandable and that’s just the difference in her and I, so we’re kind of always evaluating like, when do we pull the trigger?

Mr CC / Guest: (19:20)
Like I’m, I think I’m a much more much more comfortable with, with leaving my corporate job behind doing full out. Then I’m wearing something that will probably make a buck. You know, does it need to be right? You know, 40, 50, $80,000 a year. Now it could be five, it could be 10, and that would greatly reduce your risk of running out of money, right? But my wife just like, why, why introducing a risk at all? Why don’t we just work a little longer or do this, that and the other and to really shore it up. And I just don’t want to fall victim to one more year syndrome. So I mean, this is what we’re living right now and I don’t have a final answer for you. We’re still trying to, you know, I’ve given a little bit, she’d get a little bit and we’re trying to find that right after cause it’s coming up real soon.

Mr CC / Guest: (20:04)
You know, we’re, we’re pretty far along our journey and you know, we have to make this decision sooner than later. So you know, I think you just have to, you both have to be on the same page if you’re doing this with another partner. As hard as it is for me to admit that I have to take in her level of risk and I have to multiply and to fit hers and hopefully she’s willing to meet me somewhere in the middle, probably not the middle, maybe a little in my direction. But so yeah, I mean to give you specifics: I was ready to leave my corporate job without our mortgage pay down, which somebody will go, well that’s really risky and but we’ve mostly paid it down. So I, I’ve kind of attended my philosophy and said, okay, we will aggressively, instead of putting our money into what I, Dave, we’ll probably be better investments on term.

Mr CC / Guest: (20:51)
Let’s just pay down this three and a half percent mortgage. Unless you’re getting gone, let’s just know that we have that big expense gone out of our life. And and then we’ll see where we are at once that is knowing full well, we’re not putting much money in our other investments, let’s just kind of let that be on autopilot. We’re still investing like 401k and all that stuff. But otherwise, I mean, so that’s kind of one of the specific specifics on how I’ve kind of met her in the middle, cause I would’ve probably left honestly. So we want to make sure we’re in good shape and I, you know, I want her to be happy and comfortable that she’s not just pacing around the house, worried about money and that’s just where we’re different. And you just got to, you got to find a middle ground with who you’re with.

Eugene / Host: (21:33)
Right. I mean that, I think that’s, that’s super important to, to have a shared goal, I think in a way. And also I think one thing you mentioned was,

Eugene / Host: (21:46)
And, and I think is really important because I, I hear from a lot of people and from a lot of other people, both whoever, each FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) but also other people in general is sort of, you know, what, what does it feel like afterwards? Because I think a lot of people who are in that grind looking to reach that goal, I think that’s, that’s their, that’s their goal. But I think looking beyond that and what to do is something that I think a lot of people that I’ve spoken to have reached their, did not expect because now they have all this free time and they think that that, that not having anything to do is actually a better thing. And I think there’s actually some parallels to that with climbing too. Cause I maybe you certainly know more, more, more about it than I do, but I think certainly climbing, you’re, you’re in the moment. I would imagine.

Mr CC / Guest: (22:33)
I don’t think about anything when I’m climbing. That’s great. Except climbing. Yeah, it’s totally true. Sorry, go ahead.

Eugene / Host: (22:40)
No, and but yeah, and I just wanted to draw, you know, kind of draw back parallels to. You also see them as well is is you know, sort of having like a great career too or, or having a career that you like as well, or doing something you like, whether it’s, it’s whether you are in FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) or not. You know, being in that moment, knowing that you know, the thing that you, you have a goal, you know what that is and you’re kind of reaching for it. I guess you also mentioned about you, you don’t really have any you don’t have too many thoughts into what you’re doing next, but have you, you, you know, have you put some more thought into other goals that you would set, cause you, you mentioned that you, you are, you wanted to have some goals to AF after you’ve, you’ve retired.

Mr CC / Guest: (23:27)
Yeah. No, and it’s a great question and yeah, you’re absolutely right. I mean, the beauty of being a climber or having some obsessive hobby is that that’s an automatic, you know, easy go to time. I don’t have to worry about being bored per se. I know I can, I mean I climb or training for climbing four days a week, then do other supplementary things on other days that are still related to climbing. So, I mean, there’s something, it’s like one of those classic like weightlifter t-shirts or something like every day, the training day, which is kind of true. I mean, even when you’re not climbing, you’re thinking about it. And so mean I have that for me, but I also don’t want, you know, the same reason that I talked about it. I don’t want to just be a climb. Right? I mean, I think I try and interview people on the site and some of these guys are professional climbers.

Mr CC / Guest: (24:11)
Some of them just built a business around climbing. Because I feel like at the end of the day, there’s a point of diminishing returns on just, you know, climbing is a very selfish sport. I mean, you climb with partners, but it’s usually it’s just you and the rock. I think that a point of diminishing returns, I’m just doing that endlessly. So I want to do that for awhile. I want to finally have this place where I can get a lot of rest and not worry about balancing, you know, meetings and like, like today I climbed, I work half day Fridays and it’s very stressful in the morning getting up early, going to work and you’re picked down for work. And I’m always like, this is not going to go well, but then I get outside and it just all melts away. It is one of those all-consuming sports where it’s really hard to think about. Anything else, have cell service around that I can’t check. Yes. Okay. There’s beauty in that. Absolutely. We want to keep doing that.

Mr CC / Guest: (25:42)
So like Friday morning I work and everything feels very stressful and like this is not going to go well. I’m going to try and squeeze in climbing before my wife gets off. But once I’m out in nature, I mean everything kind of just melts away. I mean, it’s just one of those all consuming activities where, you know, even if you want to be focused on something else, you really can’t be. It’s just, it requires absolute focus. And so I want that to some degree when I’m, you know, not in a corporate job, but I know I can’t do that forever. I need something that motivates me in some other way. So the website obviously is a big thing for me right now. I do that every morning and I’m really enjoying that and I’m sure that’ll fizzle out at some point where I’ll just get to a point where I can, you know, feel motivated or inspired to do that.

Mr CC / Guest: (26:31)
Right. You know, and I, I take inspiration from, you know, the people I interviewed live this life, but also balance it with other medical work. And I suspect I want to kind of use the things I’ve learned in corporate America about businesses and you know, using capital to produce some sort of result. And I kind of want to flex those muscles a bit. Now what that is, I’ve known like I’ve kind of got half baked ideas on things I could do as a business, but I don’t want it to be all consuming either. I just want to balance, I want to be able to, you know, work an appropriate amount, but not too much, not let anything, any one thing kind of take over my time. So yeah.

Eugene / Host: (27:10)
Yeah. No, that’s, that’s great because I think once you have achieved FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), I think you don’t, you know, don’t you want to, I think that’s the part of the goal and a, is to free up more of your time to do the things that you want to do. So, and make that make sense. You know what, I remember one of the, one of the things that happened in Free Solo, Oh, besides Alex Honnold’s journey up the up the wall and I think he was one of my favorite scenes was I think he was giving a talk to some of the kids in school and someone asked him if he’s rich and he said he’s I think he said something like, he’s a moderately successful dentists.

Mr CC / Guest: (27:53)

Eugene / Host: (27:55)
So that was pretty funny and also very funny also telling about the way that he responded as well. And you know, it’s interesting that sort of leads into some of the people that you interviewed in the climbing community. Also people that have entrepreneurial ventures in that community to do, do you see that a lot of people who in like the entrepreneurial spirit and people who are climbers or our kind of fall into it naturally because they want to keep doing the climb?

Mr CC / Guest: (28:27)
Yeah. I mean, I can only speculate because I’m not inside their head, but I suspect knowing myself that they’re just as obsessed with I am and they’re like, man, I can’t go to an office. I need to build a life around climbing. And so some of them are traders and coaches and you know, I paid for these services. It’s great. I’m glad somebody’s doing it. There are people out there who, yeah, on the coaching and training side, that’s kind of my thing. And not everyone in climbing is all ended the whole training thing. But there’s been a huge explosion of people that are trainers and coaches. That’s, that’s been a thing that I think people are making money doing, which I’m really happy to see. And then, you know, there’s obviously like gym employees and gear shops and guys, I mean mostly people and you’ll hear it, another client podcasts, they just want to call them a lot and they want to, life is built around this as you possibly can.

Mr CC / Guest: (29:18)
And that’s how obsessed with this sport can get. The first day I’ve met. And just like I said, like two years into my, you know, very good corporate job, you know, all right, I almost went for that. I’m like, man, honey, we’ll figure it out. Let’s just hit the road. You know? And that’s what a lot of people do and some people make it work, but unfortunately people don’t and they end up having to get a real job anyway anyway, eventually. But I suspect that, I mean obviously people just like anyone, anywhere in life, have an entrepreneur, entrepreneurial spirit, they want to build their own business. They don’t want to work for somebody else or answer to somebody else. I get that. I’m a bit of a rebel myself. I struggle with authority. You know, some people just don’t belong in an office reporting to a boss, you know, for quarterly production metrics.

Mr CC / Guest: (29:58)
I mean, I completely understand that. So I’m actually amazed I made it as long as I have because I’m not so different from those people. I just, I guess I’m a little less risky getting back to risk. I just didn’t want to, I kind of commend people that will go and build a business and have hardly a dollar to their name when they start, you can be successful. I was like, man, if I’m going to build a business, I almost need to never make money again. I mean, that’s kind of literally what I’m doing. I want to know that I don’t need money before I actually go and take a risk, which sounds silly, but maybe I’m not gonna risk it after. All right.

Eugene / Host: (30:34)
No, that’s, I understand that I resonate with that too. I think I’m pretty naturally risk averse. I think both I both my educational training as well and, and the job that I do, but also just also in general. And I think, you know, being, having been part of some of the smaller entrepreneurial communities, I think the, and also listening to other podcasts that talk about that, I think a lot of times I find that investors or are the good entrepreneurs are the, are the ones that actually mitigate the risks the most actually that they become successful or they’re able to grow something from nothing. Simply really actually if you dig into it, it’s actually, you know, being able to mitigate the risk. Cause if you know for a fact that it’s something that’s profitable and successful, you know, that’s the thing you should do versus the other 99.9% that, you know, is not gonna work out very well.

Eugene / Host: (31:30)
So so that, that makes total sense to me. Yeah. So you know, I’m just a, I have a few questions that I three questions at the end that I usually usually ask everyone that at the end of the podcast. But but before we get there, like, you know, anything that you’d like to share on your journey that you learned, you know, you talked about being frugal and you also talked about, you know, as that naturally being part of you you also talk a little bit on your site about your blueprint, sort of three pillars that you have for success. You know, finding joy and simplicity in a memorable experiences above material possessions you know, significantly less expensive lifestyle, which is part of the frugality part as well. And then investing the investing side too, which I think will w I, I’d like to dive a little deeper into is is, you know, primary, you mentioned the (exchange-traded funds) ETFs and 401ks and having all that being, being sort of the passive side of things,

Mr CC / Guest: (32:35)
Right? Yeah. I mean, so there’s obviously many ways to invest. I think I fell for the classic, like the early stages of kind of defined financial independence community. It was almost all talk, a passive investing, which I was already doing and understood and read about a little bit. Cause when I came into a good career, you know, being naturally frugal, we were saving a good bit of our income without even knowing about financial independence. Just, we’re kind of fortunate in that regard that we didn’t really see a needed to spend it all and I actually didn’t think most of them did that for the long. The more I write about it and the more I talk to people, I’m like, yeah, actually most people and you’re going to give them gifts only money if they spend it. And it’s just natural that people do that.

Mr CC / Guest: (33:15)
So yeah, I kind of went to the passive investing. I just kind of doubled down on what I was already doing and kind of moved my money into more, you know, efficient, low cost funds, you know, away from a little bit more higher funds. I’ve done some like really bad, like tried to pick my own stocks a few times. Those were all pretty much entirely terrible investments, but I put like 200 bucks in so we’re not talking like, betting the farm on it. I, you know, I think that’s actually not that it’s, you know, I obviously encourage everyone to research about it. You’ll find that you spend maybe a few hours researching that and as long as you don’t overcomplicate it, it’s actually really simple. I mean, just buy mostly stocks in a broad base, low cost index fund and you contribute to it every month, like you will be very happy with the results.

Mr CC / Guest: (34:06)
I can promise you that it’s been our case. I know we’ve only been at it for about a decade or so, but historically speaking, you’ll be very pleased with those results. And then I think at that point, it’s kind of just like make your life good now. I mean, that’s like my, that’s the biggest lesson I’ve had when I discovered this. It was just like, oh my God, how, how can I do this fast as possible? Like, how can we actually went too far? We tried to save too much of our income. We went too far down the frugality. I know, and I talk about it in the post. You know, we, we kind of — we went overboard. Basically we, we just kind of like took the joy out of life for getting that by far the majority of your expenses are usually 20% of your line items.

Mr CC / Guest: (34:47)
Like don’t cut out like the occasional latte if you’re spending far too much on your cars. You know, kind of misplaced priorities. So really the key for me, the biggest transition last year too is just like make life good now. I kind of do like this movement. There’s some people in the fine years now, there’s talking about this move over and SlowFI they call it where it’s about like, Hey man, no, no hurry. You can probably still retire plenty early if you want, but, and do totally me like now. And you would already like, Oh, you know, maybe my job at corporate American on gas is not what I like now. And that’s somewhat true. But man, I’ve made it so much better just by kind of taking a step back and saying, you know, you have that kind of F-U money. Like you have the power to kind of make to a career as you want it.

Mr CC / Guest: (35:33)
You can say no to things. You don’t want to go to meetings you don’t want to go to or assignments that are just busy work and you can kind of assert yourself a little more. I didn’t know I could do. I thought if I asserted myself I’d be fine. Like I thought if you stand up for yourself really anyway, that you’re really questioning your boss, it truly is the “office space” effect. I mean, once you feel confident in your role and feel competent that you don’t actually need this job, like good things come your way without even really trying. And that’s kinda been a magical process for me the last couple of years. Honestly, like some days I wonder like, do I even want to quit this job? Like I’ve actually made it kind of nice. It’s a great source of income. It’s not the worst place to be every day.

Mr CC / Guest: (36:12)
So there’s, my suggestion is to really, you know. Get the financial pieces in order early on. Spend some time researching since you know, don’t just read my website, don’t read just Eugene’s podcasts. I mean, go, go, go look around for lots of sources of information. I think you look fine. There’s a lot of overlapping well ideas, put those into place and automate it. Taking your brain out of it. And then just finding ways to enjoy the journey as you go. I mean, that’s, that’s like the biggest piece of advice I can give you. It’s been a wholesale shift in mentality over the last three years or so. There’s no hurry, there’s really no hurry, you’ll be fine.

Eugene / Host: (36:48)
I love that. I think just at a slow FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement kind of taking over a little bit, but also just enjoying the journey and I keep imagining back and making those parallels for you. But I, you know, I’ve done a little climbing myself, so I wouldn’t call myself a climber, but only indoors, but but but yeah, it’s, you know, enjoying that journey along the way. I think is super important. Yeah. Yeah. It’s crazy, right? Yeah, exactly. So get, get, get out, get outside, I think is, is, is, yeah. Yeah, so like I said, I think there’s yeah, there’s a standard set of questions I’d like to end off all our podcasts. So so you know, what, what is one item I know in the, in the thinking about frugality and the spirit of frugality you know, not having material possessions, but you know, what does that one item or service that you’ve, you’ve purchased in the past that you, you feel like has the highest value or the return in investment for you?

Mr CC / Guest: (37:56)
Oh, man. Like ever.

Eugene / Host: (37:59)
I guess that’s hard. Yeah, I know, but I guess the one,

Mr CC / Guest: (38:03)
Okay. But I wrote about this. There’s this, there’s a company. So like I said, any, I’m climbing, I’m a really big advocate for me, train and I, I watched from the sidelines for years and years and years and watched. I’m reading every form I could just like financial independence, I read every forum and listen every podcast and try and like design my own training plans. And I bought some books and those are great. But I finally reached out to actually have a real coach and it was very much against my frugal sensibilities. I’m like, this is a totally waste of my it’s 100 dollars for a few months, which probably seems like nothing to most people, but it felt like a lot to me. And I talked to my wife, like this kind of a big decision for me and I went forward with it.

Mr CC / Guest: (38:46)
I won’t name the company cause I won’t give any endorsements. It’s on my website. I know that was totally worth of money and I’d plateaued for years. About two or three years, I’ve kind of been climbing at the same level. I could get in shape and just keep paying the same level and I wasn’t really progressing. And so they really helped me see some weaknesses I didn’t know. And that’s all. Maybe another thank like have someone else went out with what’s wrong with you. I mean, in life, you know, it kind of helps to have another set of eyes on you. Just in general. And so paying for that service, you know, watching videos and coaching me and just like making me face crap that I didn’t think was really a weakness, but I just kind of been avoiding. It was critical. And so I kind of broke through that plateau and I’ve kind of moved on with what I learned there and that that was, was that worth it!

Eugene / Host: (39:32)
That’s a great answer. Wow. I didn’t expect that. But also I think just a metaphor for life too is just yeah, having a coach. That’s great. The second question on the series of three is and I I kind of stole this from one of my favorite podcasts as one of their last questions, but I’ve always loved this is, you know, what is one of the kindest thing that someone else has done done for you?

Mr CC / Guest: (40:01)
Oh man. The kindest kind of someone else has done for me?! Oh, boy. And I don’t know. I always go back to, yeah. I don’t know if I can give you specific examples, but you know, I think my parents, no matter what I’ve decided to do terrible ideas. Like I just wrote about this recently. Like I approach the Dean at my college in the past basically to have my capstone geology course way because I thought I knew better and I was going to go be a chef and just like looking back, I was like totally half-baked idea. I had no idea what else to really do that. My parents all on the way, no matter what I decided to do, no matter how crazy it is, they’re 100% supportive. Everything I’ve decided to do, including this. I when I told them about financial independence, I thought they would think I was crazy and short sided and all this stuff and they have 100% that my biggest fan or whatever I do likewise from my wife. I don’t know what happened. So, I can’t give you a specific example, but man, I can’t tell you how great it is to have people on your side to support you in what you do. In my parents obviously go back to farthest. But now I live with my biggest supporter every day who puts up with all my crap and all that stuff in climbing. And so that’s probably the kindest thing. It’s all they’ve done for me and support my crazy ideas.

Eugene / Host: (41:22)
That’s, that’s the best answer. And then lastly, you know, what’s next for you and And also maybe tell us our audience where people can you online and follow along your journey.

Mr CC / Guest: (41:36)
What was the first part about what’s next?

Eugene / Host: (41:38)
Yeah, what’s next for what’s next for you guys?

Mr CC / Guest: (41:42)
Yeah. Well, I mean for us, we’re just going to keep kind of living our life where we are and kind of working and doing everything we’ve been doing the last five years. And I think we’ll be facing that kind of decision here. Come springtime. I dunno, it depends on world market and you know, everything else. But we’re kind of considering some ideas on where we might want to relocate, get out of big city. We’ve got some big decisions on housing and I don’t know, we’ve been toying with the idea of real estate investment and things like that. So I think there’s a lot to come in the next year, but I’m kind of sitting on our hands for the next six, eight months to kind of just let, let the process play out as it has for the last several years till we get to a point where we’ve mutually agreed upon or then as far as what his reach me, obviously I’m at a putting I’m on Instagram and Twitter, same. I think if you just search clipping chains, you’ll find me. I think one of, I think Twitter’s like chains clipping or something like that. But and I’m absolutely a hundred percent willing to answer questions. I’ve got a contact page. I love when people email. I like talking about people’s specific situations. I won’t ignore y’all. I’ll definitely write back. So please reach out. I’ll get back to you.

Eugene / Host: (42:52)
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on our program. I appreciate it.

Mr CC / Guest: (42:56)
Thanks for having me. This has been great. I really appreciate it.

Eugene / Host: (42:59)

Categories Delayed Gratification Financial Freedom Financial Independence FIRE Frugality Mortgage Personal Finance Podcast Retire Early Rock Climbing

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  • […] Hi, good morning. This is not a regularly scheduled broadcast. However, I wanted to quickly let you know that I was featured on a brand-spankin’-new podcast hosted by Eugene Ting, The Financial Independence Forum. […]

    • Love to have Mr. CC on from This was a fantastic interview that hopefully helps us highlight our common goal to help people in all niches find their own financial independence with slack to do whatever it is they choose to do. Self actualization on Maslow hierarchy is the attainment we all want to reach and that’s what we want to happen for everyone looking for FI or to FI and RE.


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