Author Topic: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging  (Read 718 times)

ClippingChains

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« on: October 05, 2018, 07:11:36 AM »
Hey everyone,

I recently started writing about linking the personal finance world to rock climbers, who routinely blow off the traditional life check points to fully pursue climbing. The problem is that a lot of them face financial issues down the line, so Iím trying to promote financial independence to this community.

When posting some of my material to the popular Mountain Project forum, it was immediately marked as spam and my account was deleted! Iím writing anonymously and my account is new (which probably raised some red flags), which combined with discussions of investing and traveling with credit card miles got me flagged. I was able to talk the admins into reinstating my account, but no posts.

Does anyone have any recommendations for reaching out to a larger community where this message is a foreign concept? Climbers glorify the dirtbag/poor image, so concepts of investing and the like might be a tough sell.

If anyone is interested in more details, the philosophy is spelled out in these two posts, primarily:

 https://clippingchains.com/2018/09/08/the-goal-of-clipping-chains-linking-up-personal-finance-and-the-climbing-world/

https://clippingchains.com/2018/09/15/having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too-the-millionaire-dirtbag/

Thanks!

ďMr. CCĒ

plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2018, 06:06:25 AM »
When I was in CO for the summer, it was the dirtbaggers that looked like they were having the most fun. Agree that it's a subculture that has some interesting links to our own.

Bottom line though, you went into somebody's house and started to give them advice that they didn't ask for, probably just to grow your blog.

Consider going on climbing podcasts (good podcasts are always looking for guests), or doing guest posts on climbing blogs.


ClippingChains

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2018, 04:15:18 PM »
Good point pennies, I hadnít really thought of it that way.

To be fair, I really am most generally interested in messaging and not website traffic (I have no revenue  stream, etc), but youíre absolutely right that people have to come to this stuff on their own, if at all. My hope was that if the message was coming from someone in their own tribe, there might be more interest.

It seems that talking about this stuff is a bit of an impossibility in my experience, hence a platform to write and flesh it out a bit.

Thanks!

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2169
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 08:52:45 AM »
I think you're tilting at windmills, ClippingChains. Your messaging is not likely to reach true dirtbag climbers, for the very reason that trading the best, strongest days of your life (20s-30s) away for the promise of unlimited climbing in their 40s and 50s isn't going to resonate with that crowd. Legendary Yosemite climber and author John Long once described dirtbagging as such:

"Dirtbag, in any kind of substantive context, simply refers to young people more interested in immediate concerns like climbing or surfing or (fill in the blank) than with appearances, security, stability, and the other ten thousand things for which we later mortgage our freedom.

"In this sense, a "reformed dirtbag" is a corrupted notion, like saying an adult is a reformed adolescent. I feel for anyone who never went DB and experienced, for the moment, that it was their pleasure that counted.

"Fear, lack of imagination or slavery to conservative mores are the only things that can draw an energetic young person straight into adulthood. And such person is apt to be constipated with resentments, will rarely get to play in the sun, makes love but never really gets laid, never cranks the radio too loud or makes waves, and dies wondering how come."

Your message is -- put off the hedonistic pleasures of dirtbagging in your youth until you've made enough money to pursue your passion later in life. That's a tough sell to those committed to making the most of their youthful vigor.

That being said, I am in your camp. I've known climbers -- not dirtbags in the real sense, but damn close given how little money they make -- who've pursued guiding as their way of living the climbing lifestyle (I guide part-time as a side gig), and I've spoken with some of them who've been in the game a while and do have concerns about the future (retirement, health care, etc), but realize it's largely too late for them to do much about it. Most guides, as the old joke implies* (but is absolutely true in my experience) marry a breadwinner to cover those concerns.

I don't regret that I put off pursuing "dirtbagging" on the back end as opposed to the front end -- I'll retire in 7 months with enough money to live an above average lifestyle that will allow me to climb whenever and pretty much wherever I want. But occasionally I muse about what it would have been like to be a ski/climbing bum in my younger days, and it does leave me feeling a little wistful.

* damn if I can remember it right now, but here are a few related jokes:

What's the difference between a climbing guide and a large pizza....


....a large pizza can feed a family of four.


What's the difference between a professional climber and a mutual fund....


....a mutual fund eventually matures and starts making money.

ClippingChains

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 11:43:01 AM »
Dude (thank you for allowing me the opportunity to begin a reply this way),

Iím with you 100%.

My message will not resonate at all with the true dirbaggers, and frankly Iím not really targeting them (despite my post titles). Iím looking to catch that 20-something fresh college grad with a degree that can make an income. Iíve seen these types of forum posts many times before: ďIím 22, just finished my engineering degree, but I love climbing and just want to do that.Ē

If I would have caught wind of that message in at that point in my life I would be out climbing more years ago. I too am months away from pulling the trigger (current market withstanding), but could have been there 5 years earlier, in my late 20ís.

My mode for years has been to live close to climbing and do as much as I can in the margins, like most of us. Why not live that same life, but increase the margins decades sooner? It is a tough sell to someone pursuing  an athletic pursuit though, because as you pointed out, those years in your 20s and 30s are precious.

Thanks for chiming in, and hit me up if youíre around the Front Range!

Askel

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 08:31:20 AM »
I come from a biking/skiing bum dirtbag background, but I appreciate the effort. I've watched people utterly implode financially by pursuing the dirtbag lifestyle. 

Still, as the dude says, tilting at windmills and all that.

It would be interesting to accumulate the stories of those who've made the dirtbag lifestyle really work long term, sustainable on their income or savings alone.

I know a few people who've done it with varying degrees of "dirtbag success". I'd like to think I'm sort of there, but I still work a straight job. At least my employer has it's own ski hill and mountain bike trails. 

ClippingChains

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 10:02:17 AM »
Askel, great advice. Itís a friendly way to have the other side in on the conversation and weigh the pros and cons. Thanks!

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2169
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 09:54:36 AM »
Dude (thank you for allowing me the opportunity to begin a reply this way),

Iím with you 100%.

My message will not resonate at all with the true dirbaggers, and frankly Iím not really targeting them (despite my post titles). Iím looking to catch that 20-something fresh college grad with a degree that can make an income. Iíve seen these types of forum posts many times before: ďIím 22, just finished my engineering degree, but I love climbing and just want to do that.Ē

If I would have caught wind of that message in at that point in my life I would be out climbing more years ago. I too am months away from pulling the trigger (current market withstanding), but could have been there 5 years earlier, in my late 20ís.

My mode for years has been to live close to climbing and do as much as I can in the margins, like most of us. Why not live that same life, but increase the margins decades sooner? It is a tough sell to someone pursuing  an athletic pursuit though, because as you pointed out, those years in your 20s and 30s are precious.

Thanks for chiming in, and hit me up if youíre around the Front Range!

I've actually had great success turning many of my (mostly younger) climbing partners and friends on to FIRE principles, and several of them are pursuing it with both guns blazing. It's been rewarding to see them open their minds to the possibility of quitting the rat race early to enjoy climbing full-time.

I'll be in the Front Range this weekend, visiting a friend! And hopefully, if the snow melts, climbing!  Also keeping an eye on A-Basin in the hopes that they might open this weekend . . .

spartana

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 306
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 05:48:10 PM »
OP I'm going along with @dude on this. I don't think most young dirtbaggers are in any kind of financial position to even think about investing. Most are just scrounging around to earn enough to do their thing and eat.

My sister was a dirtbag climber/ski bum from age 18 to 30. Hit the Sierras the day after HS graduation and just worked enough to climb and ski all over the world from Alaska to New Zealand and everywhere inbetween. On her last trip she came back to Cali from Tahiti with 13 cents to her name planning to save $10k before heading out somewhere again.for a year or 2. However she got a good job she liked and settled. Started to save like crazy (easy after 12 years of living on a tiny amount) and investing. That was the age to get her with financial advise  - and probably most in her situation - rather than younger when she wanted to live her dreams. She still lived near places to do all the things but with the frugal mindset she developed when young, she was able to save more and still retire by age 50. Still young enough to continue to do all the things.

So nab them a bit older with a few years of living the dirt bag life and you'll likely be very successful turning them to the investment side.

mountain mustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Rock climbing, FI, and Messaging
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 06:05:29 PM »
I somewhat live this lifestyle right now, with mountain biking, not climbing. I've sacrificed a "good, stable" job for one that allows me to ride, train and race 7 days a week if I desire. I work in the bike world, and I work around people who are 40-50+ years old, with no retirement, who have been dirt bagging it since the beginning. I'm 27, and I know my time in this world is coming to an end. I don't want to be 40-50, still working in a shop because I have to. Now, if that's what you want to do after FI, great! But to know that I'll be working till 70+ is not something I want to become a reality. I have co-workers in their late 50s, who still spend the summer making money, just so they can take 3 months off in the winter, and then return to the shop completely broke to work again all summer.

With that being said, it's really hard to consider the sacrifices of getting a "real" job, one that means I may have to dial the training back, race a little less, come into work on time no matter what, even if I need to get a 4 hour ride in. But, what I've learned is that while money does not provide happiness, it provides stability. And when I feel stable, and secure, I enjoy riding, training and racing even more. I still would never change the years of my 20s that I've spent doing whatever I wanted...it's the best! But I have become much more frugal in the past year, and making changes in my life to move towards a more financially stable existence, while still maintaining a focus on my outdoor pursuits. I think it's a balance. One that I haven't personally been ready to even think about until about a year ago.

All of that being said, I think you've got a great idea, but you're preaching to a tough group of people. I'm the only person I know in my mtb world who even gives a thought to financial stability, and the climbing world is even more dirtbag than the mountain bike world.