On this week’s show, we have a wonderful conversation with Alan and Katie Donegan, who have reached Financial Independence and are now doing work that brings them happiness and fulfillment.
Alan and Katie tell us steps you can take to find that happiness for yourself.
Discovering the FIRE movement…..
Alan and Katie initially thought they would achieve financial independence through real estate investments. They read Rich Dad Poor Dad and began purchasing real estate.
However, while Alan was becoming more involved in this own personal development, he read Tony Robbins book, Money – Master the Game. This book introduced to him index investing. When he mentioned his investment plans to a friend, he introduced him to Mr. Money Mustache and, and one of his favorite books, JL Collins – The Simple Path to Wealth. It’s one of our favorites too!
Coming together to share a passion for FIRE….
As is often the case, one spouse finds the FIRE community before the other and is super excited to have their partner on the same page. Katie eventually came on board with the plan to achieve financial independence but not without first wrestling with some internal conflict.
Alan was always more open and entrepreneurial – able to try unchartered ideas – so jumping in with both feet came easy. Whereas Katie needed to learn, digest and understand before coming fully on board with the FIRE concepts. Once she did – she consumed everything.
Likewise, Wendy identified with Katie’s desire to thoroughly dive into learning about new concepts. Curtis, on the other hand, is more hands-on and learns by experiencing and doing.
By implementing their plans and saving and diligently investing, Alan and Katie were able to reach Financial Independence in about four to five years.
Alan’s TIP: On subjects that are important – you have to go on the journey together. Go to conferences together. Read books together.
DESIGNING A HAPPY AND FULFILLING LIFE
Have you been dreaming of a business idea but have found multiple reasons not to? Perhaps you are afraid of the risk.
Instead of going all in and putting yourself in a position of risk, Alan suggests conducting Mini-Experiments. He encourages people to try things out before you diving in 100%. It is a great way to avoid risk, test your idea and decided whether or not it is a viable business.
CONDUCTING MINI – EXPERIMENTS
Lots of people view entrepreneurship as a risk.
Alan likes to conduct low-risk experiments instead.
For instance – set up a website, sell a service. If it sells, you have a business.
If you have an idea – what’s the ZERO financial risk version, ask people to buy and do the experiment to get a result.
What about being perceived as flighty – or as someone who cannot commit to one thing? Alan suggests changing the language to experiment.
If you endlessly plan without starting – you are going to be stuck forever
With an experiment – you are looking to see the result. It doesn’t matter whether it is successful or not
It makes failure more palatable – more an UNsuccess.
SUNSHINE – AVOCADOS – AND CREATIVE PROJECTS
Now that Alan and Katie have achieved financial freedom, do they ever worry about wasting time and not doing anything?
Fortunately for them, they have the opposite problem. Alan says the more scary thing is unlimited choice.
What keeps them busy and happy is by pursuing creative endeavors. By doing this it does not feel like work.
For now they are spending time in Los Angeles. They say – “if in doubt – go to L.A.” They find the creative energy and sunshine in Southern California has been very satisfying.
The solution to being overwhelmed by choice once you have reached Financial Independence is to understand, there’s more to be done than you can ever do and it’s deciding what’s important and trying some balance of having fun.
The traditional mindset – Work is Work and relaxing is relaxing.
For Alan, work is fun. Now all of their work is projects that they want to do.
HOW DOES FIRE CHANGE THE RELATIONSHIP
It has forced them to confront things. Now there is no distraction – to avoid conflict. It’s learning to communicate better.
Alan gives some great advice – Put your thinking on the outside.
ALAN AND KATIE ON THE FINAL QUESTIONS
Katie’s one lesson from childhood she has carried over into her FIRE journey, don’t spend everything you have and to pay of your credit cards in full every month.
Alan learned from his father what was possible in business – but also what NOT to do.
Favorite Life Hack:
Being on the same page about projects, creating an action list, doing the action, then coming back after the step is complete. This has helped their relationship but also their productivity.
WHERE TO FIND ALAN AND KATIE
– ALAN AND KATIE’S FAVORITE READS
Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod
Six habits to make your life better:
4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferria
Simple Path to Wealth – JL Collins
Quit Like a Millionaire – Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Plutus People Choice Award is still taking nominations!
WE HAVE A NEW WORKBOOK!
This workbook is based upon out 7-Step Money Foundations course and can be used as a companion to the course, or on its own.
It is a NO NONSENSE designed to take you step-by-step through your finances and build a solid money foundation so that you can reach your money goals.
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Connect with us and each other. Our group is full of other parents on the same journey. We built our group to share and support one another and grow our House of FI family!