If you sleep 8 hours per night, you have 112 conscious hours per week. Throw in a job with a commute and subtract 50 hours. 45% of your time is now gone. Throw a couple children into the mix and BOOM, you barely have time to eat and bathe. It’s difficult to keep your head above water.
Mrs. 1500 and I did the two-kids-two-jobs dance for a short period of time and it was misery. Big shout-out to parents that manage this without going insane.
Without a job, life is a lot simpler. Perhaps my favorite benefit of FIRE, which I didn’t see coming, is that it gives you mental bandwidth. You have time to think, observe, create and collaborate. You also have time for nothing. I’ve come up with some of my best ideas when wandering around the neighborhood aimlessly on weekday mornings. A quiet mind is a creative mind and nothing often leads to something.
Bored? Hell No!
I was so silly to think that I’d be bored after leaving work. Once you have time to think, you start to live in an entirely different world. You notice opportunities everywhere. Some are fun projects like pulling out your grass, building modern planter boxes, and xeriscaping your yard:
Or designing silly clothes for your friend’s baby:
Or becoming a better photographer:
Or launching more projects on the internet:
I’ve been able to explore other investments too:
- Last year, Mrs. 1500 and I purchased part of a trailer park.
- We recently purchased part of a coworking space.
Let’s talk about the second one.
Honey, We Bought A Coworking Space
It all started when I noticed this tweet from my friend and neighbor, Pete (A Pete Tweet? Tweety Petey?? Peter the Tweeter???):
In case you notice any (hopefully minor) changes, I am going to try to raise the blog’s income for the next few months:— Mr. Money Mustache (@mrmoneymustache) November 7, 2018
Fundraising to facilitate a necessary buyout to take over the other half of the MMM HQ building!
My curiosity was piqued. I’m a member of the coworking space and it has improved my life. My daily routine is to go to the space every morning and do my blogging work (like right now):
Getting out of the home makes me more focused. I’m also better at sticking to my morning fasting routine (no food until noon) in a different environment. It’s also good to talk to other humans.
Anyway, after I saw the Pete tweet, I sent him a note that went something like this:
If you’re looking for investors for the coworking space, we have some spare change laying around.
I didn’t think he’d take me up on my offer. What do I have to contribute?
But, he did. As of January and Mrs. 1500 and I are now partners in the coworking space with Pete and another partner known as The Wolf.
Why Did We Do This?
There are four reasons why I bought this:
- Money, duh.
- Investing in community.
- Personal growth and challenge.
The coworking space isn’t a vanity project. It has to contribute to the bottom line and it will in two ways.
Building was a good deal
My little city of Longmont is growing and one of my favorite parts is the booming downtown where MMM HQ sits. Longmont has an old-school Main Street with independent restaurants, shops and even a couple of theaters. In between, the city has wonderful greenways and funky bits:
I’m bullish on Longmont and think that real estate is a good investment. I also believe that the value of property near downtown will outpace the rest of the city. It wouldn’t surprise me if we were able to sell the building in 10 years for double our purchase price (7% return).
Almost passive income
I think about investments frequently and the worst one I can think of is food service. I know people who own restaurants and they are a LOT of work. No thanks.
My favorite potential business is storage locker facility. I was talking to a local who owns multiple storage locker businesses in town and his experience has been overwhelmingly positive. He manages all of them by himself and they don’t take up much of his time. Plus, he rakes in huge amounts of money.
Similar to a storage locker facility, a coworking space doesn’t consume your life. I give tours occasionally, shovel snow and vacuum, but there’s not much more to it. Members let themselves in and out. The temperature is automated. So are the bills. Easy.
It all goes back to VTSAX
Whenever I evaluate an investment, I ask myself one question:
Does it have a reasonable chance of beating the markets?
I find that over the long-term, it’s very difficult to find investments that will outperform the markets. The ones that do require a lot of work which I’m not interested in.
Without growing membership too much, the space will return 10% annually. And there is plenty of room to grow after that. I love the potential and I think this investment will outperform the markets.
2. Investing In My Community (Crusty Building No More)
Main Street upgrade: In its previous life, the building was dilapidated retail space. Before I was involved, Pete made the eyesore into something great. Now that we’ve expanded, there is more work to do. We’re steadily making improvements as we figure out how to best utilize the newly acquired space.
Giving back: The nature of a coworking space is that it isn’t used much after core business hours. On nights and weekends, the space is mostly empty. It’s silly to let valuable space sit empty, so we hope to use it to give back to the community. We will donate the space to worthy organizations who need a place to meet.
To me, MMM HQ is an investment in my city. We replaced a struggling business with something that will build community for members and also serve Longmont.
3. Personal Growth/Challenges
I’ve never been involved in a small business, so making the space successful will be a fun challenge. I’ve started social media accounts for the space. See us on:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MMMHqCoworking
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mmmhqcoworking/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MMMHQCoworking/
I’ve also connected with some organizations in the city to let them know about the space.
Just because I don’t have a job doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy working. Meaningful work that you do on your own terms and according to your own rules is what life is all about. When you get to do it with friends, it’s even better.
What is a coworking space? On the surface, it’s a spot for gig-economy/hustler folks to get out of their home and work. Look deeper and it’s much more than that.
A successful coworking spot is about creating, collaborating and community. A good space creates an atmosphere where random people bump into each other, come up with ideas and then go on to collaborate on fun projects. A real-life example happened a couple weeks ago:
- Pete: Matt is stopping by HQ today to drop off home brew equipment.
- Me: Great! I can’t wait to try it.
- Pete: Have you brewed before? I have only done kits before, but I know we have a number of expert brewers among our midst and could do a big group brew day.
- Me: Yeah! The basement would be a great place to set up an operation. I don’t mind springing for some equipment. Equipment is on Craigslist all the time. I’ve never brewed before, but we’ll figure it out.
- Pete: Matt says he would love to be our Brew Coach!
- Me: Whoah, let’s get it done! Let’s brew up some MMM HQ Codrinking Pale Ale or some Stash’ Stout!
And it’s much more than that. The member have started collaborating. One started a real estate meetup. Another created one for entrepreneurs. Yet another is planning a weekly group meditation event. I can’t wait to see what else grows out of the space.
And we get to host some pretty great events at the space. Fun people are always coming through town and we enjoy throwing them parties. (Note: To learn about some of the fun events we host, join this Meetup group)
You’ve all heard about the Playing With FIRE documentary coming out soon. It will debut to the world next month at MMM HQ.
We also are happy to host PopUp Business School:
I can’t wait to see what other fun we host.
One of my goals is to have a wedding at MMM HQ. There are enough crazies in the FIRE community and I can totally see one of them getting married at our space. I would have! We have a full kitchen and a great back patio that would be an awesome spot to host someone’s midsummer nuptials…
More Than Money
Mrs. 1500 and I don’t need any more money. We’re set for life at this point. While I do appreciate that this adventure will bring in some income, that isn’t the main goal. The goal is to build something great that will in turn help others collaborate and do awesome things. I hope that some members band together to build something awesome. I hope that the work that we’re doing to the building inspires someone else on Main Street to start a business. I hope that Longmont is a better place because I helped run this space.
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
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