OPT OUT by Dana Bennett  Robinson


Rethink Success. Reinvent Rich. Realize the Life You Want.
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A captivating, contemporary rendition of the get-rich-quick genre that offers an unusual strategy for living life differently.

Of the countless books that promise to increase one’s wealth in a short period of time, most are either a sales pitch for a “system” of some kind or reliant on a one-dimensional approach, such as real estate investing. Robinson’s debut is refreshingly different. This lawyer-turned-entrepreneur shares a shrewd yet uncomplicated plan for “opting out” of a traditional lifestyle through “a series of life hacking strategies.” He follows a tried-and-true formula and weaves his own success story into a self-help guide that neatly lays out his unorthodox plan in three sections: the “Opt Out” philosophy followed by “income pillars” and “expense pillars.” For some, it may be the philosophy that is the hardest to swallow. It requires an unconventional way of thinking, or as Robinson writes, “you no longer define wealth in the terms that society uses,” and you opt out “of the traditional approach to making money and spending money.” The author’s own contrarian story demonstrates how he “opts out” of a traditional livelihood. His accounts of other people following novel, alternative lifestyles are inspiring and enticing.

The intriguing philosophy is expanded upon in the second and third parts of the book. Three income pillars—starting a “side gig,” buying or bootstrapping a business, and investing in real estate—are each described in detail. Robinson relies on his own experience, supplemented by the stories of others, to validate his methodology. His side-gig brainstorming ideas and explanations of side-gig requirements, including “low capital outlay” and “low liability, low risk,” are helpful. Robinson acknowledges a higher risk is associated with buying or starting a full-time business, but he shares strategies for doing so with a minimum of cash, such as trading time or using promissory notes. Always the nonconformist, Robinson advises, “Good ideas don’t make good businesses….You don’t need a creative idea. You need a business that is generating cash.” He adds, “You should avoid trying to raise money from investors.” Such statements may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but that is the point, and Robinson makes a convincing case for deviating from the norm. Likewise, the intriguing discussion of real estate investing doesn’t downplay the risks but offers some daring methods of squeezing income out of real estate, such as flipping a house and house swapping. When it comes to the “expense pillars,” the book is no less bold. One of the author’s ideas is scavenging, such as buying furnishings from thrift stores; “I furnished a classy house with classy things,” writes Robinson. There is a certain fascination in observing how Robinson developed his own quirky strategy for becoming a “subversive millionaire,” and he writes with such infectious verve that it is hard not to opt in to his way of thinking. Still, his enthusiasm is breathless at times, and some of his ideas may appeal only to confirmed risk-takers.

Engaging and emboldening; a way out for the truly adventurous.

Pub Date: June 5th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-73228-721-1
Page count: 274pp
Publisher: Opt Out, LLC DBA Opt Out Media
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2018


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