Debt is, by definition, the opposite of an asset. But it doesn’t have to be.

A few years ago, I built up a substantial amount (almost $30K) of credit card debt traveling the country in an RV. With that piled atop my student loans, I was in one hell of a mess. This all climaxed around the time I lost my job and started my video production company.

I’ve come to view my debt not as a liability but as an asset.

As I was getting on my feet with my new business, my monthly debt payments raised my baseline. I thought of it as just another mandatory monthly life expense, like rent, food, or car insurance.

Instead of setting my baseline of monthly expenses at $1500 or $2000, which is fairly normal for living expenses, mine was up around $3000. This was really difficult at first, don’t get me wrong. But when you need to find a way, you find a way. And I did.

The debt forced me to set my financial goals much higher than normal. Out of necessity, I had to make more money quickly. It helped me grow my business much faster than I would have if I was debt free.

I’m still paying it off. But I’m close.