A Sloper Responds to Dutch’s Opportunities Post

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Dear Dutch,

I apologize in advance for the long email, but a simple "+1" was not
going to cover my gratitude.

I was a regular reader of Slope Of Hope, and am now a semi-regular
reader, mostly due to some changing work habits. I still enjoy the
blog quite a bit, and I think the world of Tim and the community. I
just happened to look at SOH yesterday and saw your post. Tim has some
very talented and prolific contributors, and then there is you. Your
posts tend to resonate with me for quite a while. This is the third
post that, in my mind, should occupy the top slots in the SOH Hall of
Fame. The others of yours are (only my opinion, of course): "Pay OFF
That Mortgage!" and "Which Type Trader Are You?"  Great stuff indeed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your "Opportunities" post. I want
to let you know how much that post means to me. While growing up, I
was not exposed to your kind of thinking. I certainly do not blame my
parents or other family – we grew up with strong Italian-American
ideals and ambitions. Education was the cornerstone of making one's
life better. Our family concentrated on promoting trades and
professions (concrete, plumbing, medicine, law) rather than the
entrepreneurial themes you wrote about. Oddly enough, the first
generation of my family in this country practiced what you preached,
although in a much more basic form. For example, my great-grandmother
worked a deal with a landlord in which she got a small payment and
free rent in exchange for maintaining the building (as a
superintendent). So she then found a guy to do the maintenance in
exchange for less money, and a small space to sleep. She was a
hustler. Of course, I never found out about this until I was well into
my 40's and she was long gone. Maybe part of the better life they
wanted for their kids was never having to be a hustler like that. That
was the same generation who would not speak Italian to the kids – so
the kids would grow up more as Americans. I get it, but it was a shame
to lose the language and the entrepreneurial spirit.

I've been challenged about ways to use what I do at work (business
development and research) in the rest of the world, particularly
without having to concentrate in the financial services industry (my
30+ year career). Your post laid out the road map. It is a very
serious "AHA" moment for me. And I realized I already am putting it to
use in baby-steps. I actually did a couple of projects like you wrote
about. They were very small, for friends and not for pay (I was happy
to do it, and would do it for them again). Going forward, I think I
can find others to work with and get a piece of the returns this time.
Some of the things you wrote about I never would have imagined, just
because I didn't think that way. But now I can, and will, see similar
mis-matches and work to match them up for mutual benefit.

Thank you again Dutch, for this post and for all the superb content
you supply to Slope of Hope.