Mr. Hobo Millionaire Observations on Life and Money

AuthorMr. Hobo Millionaire

I blog about money, financial independence (FIRE), life, and entrepreneurship. I got rich slowly (over 20+ years) with a niche software business. I also failed at a number of other things (and mild success with a few others). I share what I did right along the way, and a lot of what I did wrong, with a goal to encourage you think differently about life and money.

Don’t Screw People Over


A lot of people will do anything, or more specifically, say anything to get a deal done. It doesn’t matter if it hurts the other party. As long as I get the sell or close the deal or win the negotiation… as long as I “win” that’s all that matters.

You reap what you sow.


Don’t screw people over. You’ll eventually get screwed over, and then you will know how bad it feels.

Mr. Hobo Millionaire

No, that isn’t all that matters. Karma matters. The Golden Rule matters.

There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone.

Sylvester Stallone

Have you ever been sold something you really didn’t need? Has a car salesman gotten you to do $2,000 in upgrades that you really had no business buying? I’ve had banks and other financial entities mess me over with fine print… sure it was my fault I didn’t read it closer, but I trusted them… and they betrayed that trust.

I’m a true believer in karma. You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good.

Sandra Bullock

Don’t betray people’s trust. There’s nothing cool or smart about getting one over on someone.  It’s easy to “con” someone if you have their trust. That’s where “con” comes from… “confidence”. You build someone’s confidence/trust in you, and then you take advantage of them. Again, it’s really easy to win a deal once you get someone to trust you. If you’re an honest person, this is a wonderful sales technique. If you’re not honest, or simply trying to sell something to get a commission, there is nothing smart or honorable in that.

Don’t only look out for yourself in a business transaction. How the other person feels about the deal later matters. Even if you don’t offer a money back guarantee, treat every deal as if you do. What if you had to give the money back or undo any deal if the other person wasn’t happy. Try to do every deal like that.

March 17, 2010, AP Photo/Journal Times, Scott Anderson, File
March 17, 2010, AP Photo/Journal Times, Scott Anderson

Remember Blockbuster video? A lot of people think Netflix put them out of business. No. Blockbuster put themselves out of business. Back in the old days, before Netflix, you used to have to go to a video store to rent movies. Blockbuster became famous for screwing over their customers. If you were one minute late, 12:01 midnight, dropping off your rental, they would charge you another day of fees. Not 25 cents… the full $3.50 or $5.00… whatever the rental cost was. They did this for years. They made big money for a little while, but just as soon as customers had a choice (Netflix) … they fled in droves. It was not really the convenience of Netflix… it was the bad will (bad karma) Blockbuster built up over years of abusing customers.

I’m not saying don’t win something in a negotiation or business deal. I’m saying, when it’s all said and done, the other person should not feel like you took advantage of them, lied, cheated, or abused their trust. It’s even OK if they are unhappy with THEIR decision later… as long as their decision wasn’t based on deception from you. And lastly, if you ever have your own business, you’ll make WAY more money taking good care of people over the years, than you will simply closing one deal. Think of all negotiations as a life long partnership that you want to keep positive. Treat others always as you would want to be treated.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

The Golden Rule

Tell me about a time your trust was betrayed. How did it make you feel? Please comment below.

Hard Work And Getting Ahead


I am so thankful my father taught me (and led by example) the value of a strong work ethic. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment hard work gives a man (or woman). A sense of pride, self esteem. I am all for helping someone down on their luck, but I want to see genuine effort from them to improve their lives, too. For THEIR sake, not mine. I’m fine whether they improve their lives or not.

Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas Edison

Success (and wealth) looks a lot like hard work.

Mr. Hobo Millionaire
(with a hat tip to Mr. Edison)

A lot of people complain they just can’t get ahead, yet they work 40 hours or less per week. News flash… you’ll never “get ahead” working 40 hours a week. You must put in extra effort/extra time to get ahead. If 40 hours were all that was required to get ahead, nearly everyone WOULD be ahead.

There are 168 hours in a week. Do you realize 40 hours is less than 1/4th of the total hours in a week? 1/4th!!! Throw in sleeping 8 hours a night and 3 more hours for driving, eating, and bathing per day… you still have 51 hours left!!! What are you doing with your 51 EXTRA hours per week? Oh… and that’s 51 hours per week… Over 2500 extra hours per year. Do you realize if you simply decided to work these extra 2500 hours a year for 10 years, make an average of $10/hour… you could save $25,000 a year for 10 years. That’s $250,000 in savings in 10 years. If you did that from age 20 to 30, invested the $250,000, and went back to a normal 40 hour work-week at age 30, for the rest of your life, you would be set for retirement if you never added another dime.  By age 65, that money would turn into 1.3 million at 5% interest or 3.6 million at 8% interest. Again, that’s if you never added another dime to it. Oh, and if you got a 5% return over the initial 10 year period of saving $25,000/year… that would actually be $355,000 that would compound for 35 years, not $250,000, making our age 65 numbers 1.9 million at 5% and 5.2 million at 8% interest.

Oh, and you say you don’t want to work an extra 2500 hours a year for 10 years, then work half that. The numbers are still pretty incredible. If you’re young, work HARD and SAVE. The compounding interest math is CRAZY. It will pay off for you in the long run.

What do you think? Is it insane to work more than 40 hours a week to get ahead? Please comment below.


Wealth, Not FIRE


FIRE (“Financial Independence Retire Early) — “retiring early” is a strange goal. But the ability to “Work On (your) Own Terms — WOOT!… that’s a worthy goal.

WOOT! or Retirement?

The idea of saving for retirement can be boring. If you’re 50 or older and haven’t saved, saving for retirement can feel like life-or-death, but when you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, and early 40’s, retirement is the last thing on your mind. I’m hoping to help change your mind by not making saving about retirement, but about building wealth.

Too many people spend money they earned… to buy things they don’t want… to impress people that they don’t like.

Will Rogers

Focus on building wealth, not retirement.

Mr. Hobo Millionaire

When you think about saving for retirement, you think about not dying broke. Not being dependent on government support. Those are valid concerns, but building wealth is so much more than that.

The sooner you build wealth, the sooner you have more peace of mind of your future. You have choices about where you want to live. You have choices about where you want to travel. You have choice about your kids college and future. You have choices period. Other than stuff you imagine buying or experiencing, you also have the choice to GIVE, to help others. Broke people can’t afford to help others, and there is no bigger reward in life than to be able to help someone out financially that’s down on their luck.

Wealth or FIRE?

Building wealth is SO much more than growing old and retiring. Some folks who are into building wealth refer to it as “financial independence” (FI). FI is more of a term related to saving enough money (building enough wealth) that you can, in theory, never run out of money. “FI” is also referred to as “FIRE” or “financial independence retire early”. I’m not much for retiring early, but I am for working on what you want to work. We’ll talk more about FI and FIRE in an upcoming article.

The main goal of this initial article is singular. Don’t think about saving as money for retirement and old age. Think about saving money as building wealth (and the freedom it gives you at ANY age).

What do you think? What is financial independence to you? Please comment below.

Mr. Hobo Millionaire Observations on Life and Money

Mr. Hobo Millionaire

I blog about money, financial independence (FIRE), life, and entrepreneurship. I got rich slowly (over 20+ years) with a niche software business. I also failed at a number of other things (and mild success with a few others). I share what I did right along the way, and a lot of what I did wrong, with a goal to encourage you think differently about life and money.


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