How to start financial independence retire early (FIRE) strategy is all the craze. It’s an admirable goal, and I personally recommend striving for financial independence. No boss, job free, zero rules, life on your terms, freedom to travel – I mean, who wouldn’t want this.
PS – Before you read on, I am not a financial advisor, and everything in my post is my opinion and not to be taken as financial advice. Ok, let’s keep going.
Often most people don’t pursue it because they don’t believe it achievable. Or they don’t. Believe it’s achievable.
However, if you follow the common advice on this subject – FIRE – you’ll find that it’s doable.
Here’s the typical step by step game plan to become financially independent and retire early:
- Paying off your debts.
- Paying off your mortgage (or being close to doing so)
- Enough income for your daily needs (e.g. from your pension)
- Additional funds so you can enjoy life.
- Sufficient savings for emergencies.
I credit all the blogs and books on the list above (and my own personal wealth mentors).
The first thing that strikes me when I look at this plan is it’s unexciting.
The second more important thing that strikes me is the mindset this plan encourages.
Following a plan of saving, scrimping and sacrificing comes from a place of scarcity.
What is scarcity?
Scarcity is sometimes a taboo subject because 99% of people operate with this mindset. So talking about it often leaves you looking arrogant and superior.
To better understand scarcity, imagine you’re sitting around a dinner table with a group of strangers, and there’s a big pie in the middle.
Scarcity creates an internal dialogue amongst these strangers.
A little voice in their heads says: There’s only one pie. Once everyone’s had their piece, the pie will be gone.
Let’s zoom out for a second. In other words, what this thinking creates is a feeling that there are limited resources in this world. Let me grab my share and hold onto it, take care of it, and hopefully, I won’t run out.
That’s what the typical FIRE strategies encourage.
Whereas there’s a quicker (more fun) way to start financial independence retire early.
Abundance is just as taboo as scarcity. But rather than people label you as arrogant, they’ll label you as woo-woo. A lover of the universe and all things mysterious. Which ironically makes them look arrogant and superior.
Putting that aside. And getting back to our earlier example – the pie.
Abundance promotes the thinking that this pie isn’t the only pie.
In other words, someone with an abundant mentality would stand up at the table and announce to the group of strangers: I know how to bake more pie, It will take a little while and some hard work, but I’ll be back in a bit with more.
This doesn’t just mean more for that individual. It means more for everyone.
So how do we translate the mindset of abundance to start financial independence retire early?
Focus on income
As mentioned, common FIRE advice focuses very much on battening down the hatches and focusing on you.
And I do agree to an extent. There’s great value in some of the advice. Your income must be higher than expenses. It’s just as important that you don’t keep up with the jones’s and increase your expenses when you earn more.
So absolutely keep your expenses low.
But here’s the big difference I want you to note down. Focus on increasing your income.
And start to think of your personal household income as a business.
In turn, increasing the gap between your expenses and income. In business terms, this is referred to as profit margin.
For example, if today your monthly income is £2,000 and your expenses is £1,900.
In simple terms, that’s a tiny gap (or margin).
The aim is, therefore, to keep expenses at £1,900 and increase your income. Let’s say you began freelance working part-time and managed to increase your monthly income to £3,000.
The gap (margin) is getting bigger.
I personally take this approach because it’s way easier to increase your income than to reduce your expenses to zero.
Plus, I want to avoid living like Ebenezer Scrooge. In other words, If I want a £3 coffee, I’ll get a £3 coffee. I don’t want to feel guilty for treating myself to a coffee because I want to retire in 10 years.
Instead, I want to treat myself to a coffee because I increased my income this month.
The distinct difference here is a scarcity vs abundance mindset.
Create and add value
Once you’ve understood, it’s easier to earn more than it is to squeeze your expenses to zero and live eating canned soup out of the back of a van (out of choice).
This isn’t an exaggeration. I’ve met people who spend their 20’s and 30’s secretly living in their workplace or sleeping on park benches to save to clear their mortgage.
Anyway, the next question is – how to increase my income?
This is where online business comes in.
Online business is my suggestion, not only because I’m biased and our blog is about this. But because if you’re already of the FIRE mentality and have a desire to retire early. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of pounds starting a business.
That will genuinely set you back decades in your goal to financial independence retire early.
Most conventional businesses will require this kind of cash injection.
Whereas online business doesn’t. One of the major advantages of online business is that you can start it for relatively little cost as long as your willing to put the work in.
You’re already willing to sacrifice your lifestyle by sleeping in a van. You’ll now sacrifice time to get your online business started.
Once we’ve established the what, ie. Online Business.
My final point is to highlight how Online Business will help increase your income whilst keeping expenses low.
Online Business (and business in general) creates income (revenue) by adding more value to the world.
This comes in many shapes and sizes, but your goal will be to solve people’s problems in simple terms.
The larger the number of peoples problems you solve or the bigger the problem you solve for a smaller group of people – you unlock higher income.
A hidden byproduct of you building an online business with an abundance mentality is what you’ll learn and how you’ll grow along the way.
It’s your choice
Ultimately financial independence retire early can be achieved in two ways:
- Through a scarcity mindset
- Or an abundant mindset
It’s your choice what you want the next 10-20 years on the FIRE road to look like.