3 Ways FirePreneurs Are Saving The World
Last week I threw you guys a curve ball and posted my own introduction to financial independence. This post delved into how to use your entrepreneurial skills to achieve financial independence within 10 years, and breaks down a sample investment strategy to start working towards FI right away. Don’t forget to check it out after this post!
FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) is a nerdy passion of mine. Last year I read The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau, in which he makes the case for having a quest in life that drives you.
While reading the book I didn’t actually come up with a quest for myself. I didn’t particularly want to bicycle across South America, or visit every UNESCO world heritage site in the US. (Those both sound plenty interesting, don’t get me wrong, but I’m raising an infant right now. Ha!)
Last summer I stumbled across Mr. Money Mustache’s blog and his personal account of how he and his wife became financially independent by the time they turned 30.
I quickly dived into the world of FIRE and realized that the principles there aligned perfectly with many of the thoughts I’d previously had on freedom, self sufficiency, and financial responsibility. My quest, as it turns out, is to FIRE within the next 8 years.
It was then that I realized that entrepreneurship and financial independence fit together perfectly. Sound interesting? Let me take you into my ideal world…
We All Benefit When People Are Doing Their Best Work
In my ideal world, people are productive, they love their work and they don’t struggle with money. Does that sound too good to be true?
The reality right now is that we have an enormous number of low-grade, essentially useless jobs that provide a measly income to those who work them and contribute to overall poor productivity in our country.
I don’t mean to pick on any job in particular, but in order to illustrate my point I’ll show you some examples.
Take cashiering for example. There has been a lot of ruffled feathers in the media and online lately about robots taking over basic jobs such as cashiering and computing. People are understandably worried about what that would mean for society as a whole. How many jobs would be affected? How many industries would it span? How would it affect the price of goods overall?
I say it’s a great idea. When I think about how many people there are cashiering for grocery stores, department stores, and franchises, I can’t help but imagine how much potential each of those people has that they aren’t using because their hours are going to their job.
Every single one of those people is really good at something, and has the ability to teach others what they know. In our world of fast technology, anyone can share what they know and turn it into a profitable business.
Of course, I understand that there would be some serious adjustment issues as we begin to transition from manpower to robo-power in entry level positions. It won’t be easy. And there is nothing wrong with taking an entry level job on your way up.
But if I can encourage you to look at the long term big picture, and imagine a world where people are doing work that is important and fulfilling to them, and making a solid living doing so, you might see that we would all be better off for it.
We need people to be doing the best work they can possibly do.
Imagine if we had the most passionate and knowledgeable people working on projects in every industry. What would our world look like? What would the best food, the best cars, the best medical treatments, the best books and movies and games and means of travel look like? What would everyday life look like when everything we touched was molded by someone who was deeply passionate about it?
I think it would revolutionize everything about our world. I think we’d be able to solve poverty and disease and environmental destruction. I think that we would quickly shape our world into a place that is safe and happy for everyone.
Financially Independent Can Change The World
If you haven’t been hiding out in a cave for the past few decades, you know that social (in)security in the US is in shambles. Many people are working into their seventies and beyond, unable to retire with any real quality of life.
The millennial generation and younger feels there is a slim chance of having any government backed social security without a new program being implemented in the future.
Not only that, but did you know that there are more than 67 MILLION Americans who are using various forms of welfare? To put that in perspective for you, that is about the population of California and Texas combined.
Now I’m not making any political statements on whether welfare is good or bad or who should use it or whatever. That’s not the point. The point is that we need more people to be financially independent.
Financially speaking, people who have achieved FIRE are a net positive in our economy. They are able to buy homes without debt, they are able to support local businesses, they invest in the stock market which supports the major companies in the US (and many abroad), and they are able to use their time and energy to make improvements in our world that they otherwise wouldn’t have the time to do.
How to Never Have to Work Again (Yes, Really)
The Financial Independence Road Map will show you how to use your business to drive simple investments and never have to work again.
Join the FIRE Hotlist and receive the road map as a perk of becoming a subscriber.
Entrepreneurs Are The Leaders In Positive Social Change
You know what I love so much about entrepreneurs? They have the ability to make changes in the world that almost no other profession can make, not even politicians. Whether we like it or not, our world revolves around money, and entrepreneurs have the ability to spin that in a way that makes our world better.
“But what about companies like ENRON!!”
I can already hear the roar of keyboards clattering. And yes, there are some CEOs and entrepreneurs out there who make the wrong choice. They put money above people or above preserving our environment, and they profit from it. Everything is a choice in life, and plenty of people make the wrong one.
But I would argue that many more people do the right thing. I think most people have an injustice in the world they want to see righted and given the opportunity to run their own companies, they would choose to help these causes.
Look at Google for example. Google has donated over 167 million dollars to support organizations that develop solutions to social problems. Not only that, but their employees have donated another 21 million just in 2014 alone.
There are thousands of smaller startups too that aim to make the world better. Have you heard of Imperfect Produce? This San Francisco based startup buys misshapen and oddly sized produce that doesn’t fit grocery store standards directly from farmers.
Perfectly good food that would otherwise be thrown away is then boxed up and sold to consumers at a discount on grocery store prices.
The creators of this company were shocked to find out that ⅓ of all food in the US, most of it produce, is thrown out before it even hits the shelves. Imagine what we would save on agricultural and transportation costs and resources, not to mention how many people could be fed, if food wasn’t thrown away.
In my opinion, entrepreneurs are the driving force behind positive change. With some creative thinking and hard work, they can take a problem, create a solution, create jobs for others, AND provide their own family with a good living all in one fell swoop.
Freedom Is The Ultimate Goal
When I was growing up, the message I got from the world around me was that you work until you retire at 65, and then you get to do whatever you want.
What a misguided concept. Why should you spend 45+ working years doing something you don’t like so that you can catch a break late in life? Many people don’t even live to 65!
I’m certainly not the first person to bring up this idea. Many people, especially us millennials, see the error in this logic compounded by the fact that traditional government backed retirement may no longer be in the cards for us.
Of course, if you love your work you may want to continue working for the long term. Financial independence makes that a choice, rather than an obligation.
But there is a flipside to this coin, and it is something I hear regularly. I’ll have to give up the prospect of having money and being financially free if I want to pursue my dream work.
It is amazing to me how pervasive this idea is. And I get it, I was told the same things growing up. Don’t become a starving artist. Choose a sensible career when you go to college. You can’t play all day and become successful.
You guys, this simply isn’t true. Even if the only thing you like doing is taking selfies all day, you can still earn a living from it. (Hellooo, Instagram!) The idea of having to give up financial security to do the kind of work you want to do is total nonsense.
I don’t believe in working a job you hate until you can retire, and I don’t believe in foregoing financial independence in order to do what you love. You can have both, if you are willing to work for it. You can have freedom in both your life and your career. That’s what this blog is all about.
So if you have a dream career in mind and you’ve thought about what your perfect life would look like, but you aren’t sure if it is possible, know that you aren’t being unrealistic. You don’t have to be stuck, and it’s okay to want it all. There are people successfully running their own businesses and achieving financial independence every day. Are you willing to work hard enough to be one of them?
Question: What is your dream career? If not, what is holding you back from getting started? Let me know in the comments below!