My old friend John Greaney, owner of the RetireEarlyHomePage.com web site, has finally (I only had to remind you about 10 times, you bad boy!) gotten around to writing a review of my book Passion Saving: The Path to Plentiful Free Time and Soul-Satisfying Work.
I hope you won’t consider it bragging if I mention that Greaney kicks off his review by observing that “Mr. Bennett evidences an unusual skill.” That’s a kind thing to say. But we go back a long ways, fella. So what’s with this “Mr. Bennett” business? So far as I’m concerned, I’ll always be just plain old “Rob” to you and I hope that it will be okay with you if I always think of you as just plain old “John.”
I like to think that John was not too influenced by the fact that his name is the first name mentioned on the Acknowledgments page of my book. He was one of the posters who helped build up the Motley Fool board during its Golden Age. As I note in the book,”During its Golden Age (December 1999 through January 2001), the Motley Fool discussion board at which I first went public with the ideas in this book was the best resource on Planet Earth for learning how to win financial freedom early in life….That community’s ability to develop mind-bending insight after mind-bending insight showed the potential of properly administered discussion boards to do a lot of good for a lot of people.”
The gushing praise gets even more embarrassing in the next two paragraphs of the review. That’s where my old friend John describes my ideas as “extraordinary,” and flatly informs the many readers of his popular web site that “you’ll have to buy a copy.” Aw, shucks.
Perhaps John is overstating things just a wee bit. Still, it does my heart good to know that I lived up to the faith he put in me when he said in his review of my Secrets of Retiring Early report that, if I ever expanded the treatment of the Passion Saving concept put forward in that report into a book, “it’s sure to become the Bible of the Retire Early movement.” I said then that John’s assessment had special meaning to me, and that only goes double today.
I don’t feel comfortable quoting too much more from the review. Please read it for yourself.
Lest you think that John is totally lacking in objectivity when it comes to my work, though, I want you to know that he does include a few less complimentary passages to give the review at least the appearance of balance. For example, he notes that: “He’s been banned from most of them [the various Retire Early discussion boards] for posting in a demonstrably false and misleading manner.” He also observes that: “Few people bother reading or posting anything on his site.” So I don’t think it’s entirely fair to dismiss the review as a puff piece from the lead voice in my fan club.
Truth be told, though, there is a certain mash-note quality to some comments that John quotes from a poster on his discussion board who told me in one of our conversations held there that: “You give advice on budgeting…You give advice on career changes….Agree with you 100 percent.” I’m blushing.
After reading those words, I became a bit concerned that all this applause might go to my head. So I went looking for some suggestions for improvement put forward in this poster’s comments. In all honesty, these words were the closest that I could find to anything that I think it would be fair to describe as constructive criticism: “I’ve taken a look at your blog from time to time, and concluded that it is a massive heap of crap. I can’t find a bigger pile on the web.” So my friend “Disgusted in California” made at least a bit of an effort to tell both sides of the story too.
It’s really too much, guys. The only word I can think of to express my true feelings about all this is — “Extraordinary!”