It’s official. All bets are closed.

We’ve been getting up before sunrise and writing this letter for four years… and nobody has shut us down.

Somebody, somewhere has lost some money.

The odds were against us. The truth doesn’t get much respect these days.

But we’ve found a way to tell it… and we even picked up a few misfit pals along the way.

If you’ve been with us for the past 1,250 or so essays, well, thank you.

Your loyalty means the world to us.

If you’re a bit newer to the page, our gratitude is just the same. Like-minded folks need a place to gather.

Heavy Lifting

Over the last four years, we’ve come to think of this daily column like a morning trip to the gym.

It’s where folks serious about exercising their most powerful and unique organ can stretch their muscles, flex in the mirror and pick things up that may feel a bit too heavy – at least at first.

We focus a lot of our attention on money.

It’s not because we’re greedy or selfish. No. It’s because that jingle in our pocket truly is the root of all evil.

If we don’t learn the right way to treat it… know the smart ways to earn it… and understand all the forces that come after it… its evilness will rule.

Just look around.

But like all powerful things, if we can harness those forces, money can do great things – like set you free.

That’s why, if pressed to sum up what we do in a lone word, we wouldn’t even think.

It’s “Liberty.”

Freedom in All Forms

It’s why we were so excited to bring Joel Salatin into these pages. He’s not a money guy. At least not at first glance.

Instead, he sees Liberty through the lens of a farmer.

It’s a timeless vocation that, of course, money has corrupted to its core.

The government got involved. The little guy got shoved aside. And most folks blindly walked away from their connection to their food in search of what’s cheap.

The same thing is happening to our freedom.

Most folks are walking away… looking for the cheaper alternative.

They have no idea what consequences will follow.

Let the government deal with it, they say. Let somebody else pay for it all.

Not on our watch.

If we could all think as clearly and pragmatically as Joel, the world would be a much better place.

That thing in November that everybody is talking about? It wouldn’t even matter.

What a dream it would be.

The Powerlifter

But what fun would it be if we all thought the same way and did the same things?

Not much.

That’s why Mark Ford’s weekly contributions to this column have been such a blessing.

He’s got a rich worldview that brings a deep and deserved sense of wisdom to his pen. A conversation with Mark is a thorough mental workout.

That’s what we respect most about him.

He knows if we lift the same heavy object each day, it won’t do us much good. We’ll be weak in other places.

Instead, we must challenge all of our muscles. When we believe something to be right, we must find another viewpoint and argue it.

Lift the weights.

You can always put them back down.

From building businesses and mastering martial arts to challenging himself to become a world-class art collector, Mark’s perspective is strong and unique.

He’s a mental powerlifter… and we’re proud to publish him.

Dare to Think Differently

But if we’ve learned anything during these four short years, it’s this.

Don’t do what everybody else is doing.

We’ve called it the “curse of mediocrity.”

If you do what everybody else is doing… you get what everybody else gets. And that’s not very good these days.

It’s downright lousy.

Again, just look around.

The average person is stuck in a rut. They have lousy relationships. They’re angry at their community. They’re going broke. And they blame everybody else.

But if we are everybody else… we must not expect anything different.

That’s why we’ve worked so hard over the last 48 months bring together such a motley cast of characters. It’s why we’ve covered a lot of ground over the last four years.

But best of all… it’s why we plan to be around a lot longer… and bring in a lot more oddball voices.

We’ve got work to do.

We all do.