“Living well is the best revenge.”  – George Herbert

Hi, I’m Mike.

It’s nice to meet you. Really, it is.

A little about me. I grew up in a first-ring streetcar suburb where I fostered my love of public transportation. I spent many years working on various musical and auditory pursuits, and learned all-too-well how working hard does not necessarily mean working smart.

I went to multiple colleges where I fostered my love of physics, math, and other manifestations of nature’s poetry. I moved to New York City, where I learned (by counter-example) how it feels to have a strong sense of community. I got very good grades, but learned that school didn’t prepare me to think for myself.

I’ve fixed computers, and learned that one’s relationship to technology is not much different from one’s relationship to others. I’ve had various relationships, and I’ve learned that our connections with each other are bounded and restrictive only if we let them.

A few years ago I decided to start a new life in Portland, Oregon. If there ever was a chance to start over and do things different and hopefully better, this was it. It has turned out better than I could have expected on every possible level.

I’ve spent a lot of my life being anxious: anxious toward the future, anxious toward the risk of being destitute, anxious toward being alone, anxious toward failing, anxious toward success. And all the while, I continue to throw myself against these walls, to push through them, and to help others do the same, because it always seems to work out for the best.

In everything I do, I want to help people build more meaningful connections with themselves and with each other. I have a responsibility to work to my own happiness, and I take that seriously. Though I don’t really think I take myself all that seriously.

These days, among much else, I help people get out of debt and build positive relationships with money, I’m working on my own financial security, I’m writing in various forms every day, I’m meeting new people and having new experiences all over the place, and I’m generally trying to live up to the responsibilities I have given myself: to live with integrity, to help make the world a better place, and to find ways to creatively stick it to the man.

What I’m Building Here

This site is a place for those who want to share ideas on how to bring people together, to create a stronger sense of connection with others.  A place for those who feel alive when they are in motion, seeing the world, moving forward. A place for those who want to support those people and causes that make us healthier. A place for those who want to be wealthy in all the right ways. A place for those who want to make the world better place, but who don’t identify with traditional idea of what it means to be a “radical.”

Most importantly, this site is about living with intentionality.

I named this site Unlikely Radical because I believe that it’s possible to change the system from within. I want to redefine the word “radical” to mean anything that shakes up that which needs shaking up. The more people we get involved, the better. I want us to be able—to be strong enough—to reach out to others, to ask for help, to work together, but also to be joyful for what we have. It takes strength to be joyful, it takes confidence to be fulfilled, and it takes a village to be truly happy.

Plus it’s fun to be a little subversive.

What I’m offering here

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be something sustainable. I knew of so many blogs where the author started out strong, and then the content trailed off over time.

But that’s not how you build community.

So I made a commitment to publish twice a week, Monday and Thursday, every week, no matter what. And to date, I have never let me—or you—down. (No joke: if you want to see what I posted on, say, Monday, February 11, 2013, you can.)

But I know that there’s only so much you can learn from a blog. And I know that people are hurting, and many of them are hurting financially.

I’ve long believed that if you can heal your relationship to money, you are more likely to succeed in all areas of your life.

This is why I offer personal, one-on-one, financial coaching. Not just the how-to-get-rich stuff, though that’s a component, but we tackle the heart as well as the head, a technique I call “integrative finances“. After all, so many of us know what to do, but we have emotional blocks that keep us from doing it. I can help with that.

And for those who aren’t yet ready to take that step, I also run a Meetup discussion group in Portland, Oregon, where we get to together to discuss our struggled and successes, and build community along the way.

I have lots more plans too. For now, please connect on these pages, say hello, comment on a post, and let’s work together. I don’t have all the answers, but I have learned a lot, and am happy to share what I know.

Thanks for being here,