In early April of 2011, I started a blog. Although I secretly hoped that lots of people would end up reading it, it was partly just a form of personal therapy – a place where I fight back against a world that had obviously lost its mind, by sharing some financial and living advice that should have already been obvious.
This weird hobby ended up being a pretty good idea, as it has blown up my life in many ways and made it even more satisfying. Early retirement is already a great thing, but enjoying a long, youthful retirement where you get to feel like you’re actually helping other people is far better. This website has served about 25 million unique visitors, and even the regulars are now in the seven digits. On top of that, I’ve had the honor (and sometimes embarrassment) of showing up in several bigger bits of media (some of them listed on this Media page).
But it’s tough to have such a big opportunity and still maintain a mostly-retired life. When you do the math, even a small bit of extra research and work on my part to make these articles more accurate and less haphazard, would provide much more benefit to these people than any inconvenience it would cause me.
Side note: The most powerful media boosts were not those stories in The New Yorker, TV News shows, or the Wall Street Journal like you’d expect, but rather an unscripted and rambling conversation on the Tim Ferriss Podcast – a sign of how much the world is changing beneath the feet of the old establishment.
Logically, this means that I really should be working on MMM project full-time, and have a big team of dedicated helpers. An even bigger site could create plenty of money to allow this and the work is very rewarding. That extra money could benefit a whole lot of people.
But I really don’t like sitting down and typing indoors all day. So instead I constantly choose to slack off by indulging in low-wage DIY construction work and spending time with family and friends. In the time since my last blog article, we bought an old building downtown and embarked upon a major renovation of it. But this construction project has in turn been interrupted by several visiting guests, a four-day snowboarding trip, and a flurry of local meetings. This week, my son and I spent about 4 hours developing some homemade rifle scopes for Nerf guns. There’s just so much to do in life besides the most “important” work.
The self-imposed pressure to always do more is a nag, but it would be ridiculous for me to ever complain about a life like this. So instead, I will just say “Thanks” for this first amazing six years, and here’s to our next sixty years of changing the world together.
And by “together” I mean, “You doing all the hard work of shifting to a a more badass, efficient, wealthy lifestyle while also converting your friends, while I hang out here in Longmont and occasionally type some shit into the computer to egg you on.”
Useful Stuff and News:
1: How to Find Stuff on Mr. Money Mustache or Anywhere else:
Many people send me emails asking for advice, not knowing I’ve already written about the subject in the past. To find past articles, try typing stuff like the following into your web browser:
and so on. You can do this with any web site and find useful information in their old stuff very easily. For example, let’s search the entire “forum” section of this blog (since it has about 1.4 million different posts from over 32,000 registered members) for conversations about scholarships:
Or search every city in the entire US and beyond (via Craigslist) for used Nissan Leafs:
Tangential Pro Tip: you can buy a car from someone you trust in another state, negotiate the deal however you like, then then get it shipped directly to you via companies like Uship – typically for under $1000. A great trick for casting a wider net!
2: Stuff I’ve been doing besides Writing Blog Posts:
Writing the Foreword to the upcoming “Your Money or Your Life”
Through good fortune and the Magic of the Internet, Vicki Robin, the author of the original book that brought Financial Independence into the consciousness of the modern world, has decided to write a new edition of the book and ended up joining forces with today’s happy circle of FI writers. She invited me to write the foreword to the new edition, which is obviously an amazing honor. I’ll let you know when the new version of Your Money Or Your Life comes out – it will surely become the new standard by which all other books on personal finance are judged. You can listen to Vicki’s moving story of a lifetime of activism in her interview on this podcast from our mutual friend The Mad Fientist.
Reading the Foreword to “The Simple Path to Wealth”
Yet another friend and all-around-good-guy Jim Collins wrote a great book on how simple stock investing is, and it turned out to be a stunning success. So successful that Jim told me he has been forced to massively increase his charitable giving program, which made me very happy. And so successful that the publishing industry came back to him to do an audio book version of The Simple Path, for use on Amazon’s Audible.com library.
Now, this book also happens to include a foreword from old Mr. Money Mustache. Since Jim is doing his own narration, they asked me to narrate my own foreword. I gladly agreed, and this has become yet another small but important task piled upon my Jenga tower of a life.
Pop-Up Business School Comes to America
On the last group Ecuador trip, I met a high-energy entrepreneurial British fellow named Alan Donegan who runs a school that trains people to start their own businesses – with very little money. He gave an impromptu session to the 25 or so of us on that trip, and we were all impressed and entertained.
So far, it has helped thousands of people in England, and he was thinking of trying it on this side of the pond. If we can get our act together quickly enough, we’ll host him here in Longmont this summer, and maybe in other cities as well. If you want to add your town to the list of stops, or support our effort here in Stashtown, you can find Alan through his Pop-up Business School website.
That’s it for the Birthday Edition. I’ll be back with new, better-than-ever articles just as soon as it’s time to take the next break from real life. I hope your Spring is going just as well.
Related Reading: How to Start a Blog