Shaving Ounces Before Financial Sobriety

Financial Advisor, Wealth Management,
Posted by Matthew Grishman
· 25 July, 2022

I was thumbing through some old files recently and I found a blog post I never published. It was written 4 days before I said NO to drinking alcohol once and for all. I was probably drunk when I wrote it! But it put such a smile on my face to read something I had written when I had all the intention in the world to be better, yet lacked the sobriety to execute on that intention. It’s important for me to never forget where I was and what it felt like fall off the horse facing the decision as to whether I got back up or not.

You know the punchline – I’m here. I’m alive. I am sober in all aspects of my life! Who knows, that may all change tomorrow, but thankfully this one day at a time life that I’ve been living has taught me how to be grateful for what I have now; in this moment, the only moment that really exists.


January 17, 2017…

We all prepare for arrivals, reaching the summit, the finish line, the goal. There is only one arrival, finish line, summit … Death. All the others are false summits

Ask yourself how you felt 24-48 hours after your biggest win in sports, school, work, relationships, self-awareness … that’s when it becomes the false summit. We’ve arrived into such a euphoric state of victory … but why is that feeling temporary? It tricks us into believing we failed and that the real summit is the next one. We’re back to square one preparing for the next arrival. The next finish line.

My friend Bo Eason taught me to eliminate timelines. He also taught me that champions schedule Championships; literally writing them down on their calendar. Maybe not as ostentatious as ‘Feb 7 …. Goodyear, AZ …. win Super Bowl’; perhaps something more like ‘End of season Feb 7 … start of (next) season Feb 8’.

Therefore, preparation never really stops. It becomes an incremental process – Not about winning today, but about winning every day and being in shape to have as much positive impact on others as you can

It means being in the strongest mental and physical shape possible so your expressions and intentions are authentic genuine and impossible to misunderstand.

It’s overwhelming to think this way. So many authors, doctors, scientists, and whole bunch of smarter people than me started studying mindset and how huge a role it plays in success, purpose, and ultimately happiness.

I hate exercising always have always will.

I convinced myself it was the part of my job the part that I despised the most, but I figured out how to love it, respect it, cross the threshold of it with my game face on, focused, grateful, confident, and intentional.

It changed my life

It worked so well I stopped doing it!

But why?

Bo tells me it’s harder not to go than it is to go after 66 days of habit-forming behavior. What about 66 days? I still fell down. What the heck?

Back to compartmentalization or as I like to call it ‘apathetic procrastination’.

My parents and teachers called me lazy and a procrastinator. I never felt motivated. School didn’t roll my socks up and down. In fact, I rarely wore socks being a child of the 80’s.

I call it compartmentalization. Either way it’s an intentional action that I’ve gotten good at. I’ve used it to ignore tax bills I couldn’t afford; relationships I wasn’t in the mood to deal with; any problem that I could put off I did. And if I put it off, I compartmentalized it, shut the door on it, and tucked away the key.

Never entered my psyche until I chose to go get it.

Or maybe now I’m just starting to care less and less. Maybe I really don’t care if I owe people money. I respect their money very much and I will honor my obligation to repay any and every dollar I ever borrow. But I can no longer live in fear, anger, scarcity, or anxiety, because these debts exist. Respect and honor are VERY different than fear and anxiety.

My goal has become a daily goal. It’s called shaving ounces. Every day I’m getting older and slower I’m also getting kinder, smarter, stronger, steadier, clearer, simpler. To have maximum impact I cannot afford to set huge goals and fall off the wagon every 12-18 months with my spending, drinking, exercising (or lack thereof).

The reset hurts too much.

It has to become a daily way of being. A constant shaving ounces approach to life. If I shave ounces, I become more impactful gradually every day for the rest of my life to where the day I have the greatest impact is the day I die … how many will I impact on the day I die?

Tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions?

If I shave ounces every day and I live until the day I turn 90, that gives me just a hair over 16,500 days of shaving ounces until the biggest performance of my life (assuming, of course, a baby grand piano doesn’t randomly fall out the sky today and take me out Wiley E. Coyote-style.)

At the end of every day, how did I impact someone? How did I help someone become more capable and confident in themselves? Better at forgiving and loving themselves? How did I get better at that myself? What were my wins and what were my losses? I shaved ounces and became a leaner meaner fighting machine by getting smarter, using my discipline muscle, using my empathy muscle….

To be continued ……

Back to today. As I read this, I was definitely onto something with Shaving Ounces. It has become one of the most important tools I recommend for anyone looking to make change in their life. I’m sure you will hear lots more from me on this concept of Shaving Ounces!

book cover of financial sobriety
Financial Sobriety: Rebuilding Your Relationship With Money One Step at a Time

Have you ever had challenges in your relationship with money? Have those challenges affected your relationship with the people in your life? Have those challenges affected how you feel about yourself?