When I first discovered FIRE six and a half years ago, my first thought was:
This is bullshit!
No one retires in their 30s. You’re supposed to work until 65 or 67, move to Florida and die. End of story. What were these crazy people on the Internet trying to sell?
But then, I read a little more. The 4% Rule made a lot of sense to me. So did a simple life built around frugality and smart investing. It wasn’t bullshit after all. So, my next thought was this:
I need to tell the world about FIRE! I’ll start with my friends!
Silly me. I thought my friends would be like:
Holy cow! This is awesome! We’re gonna do it too!
And then I found out that it didn’t work like that…
About The Time I Preached FIRE And Went Down In Flames
Most of the folks that I told about FIRE rejected it outright:
I’ll run out of money.
I won’t have meaning in my life.
I like to spend.
I also tried to send random links:
Hey friend, remember that Mr. Money Mustache dude I told you about? You should check out this post from him.
Did you have a chance to read the post?
At this point, I realized how silly I was. FIRE was obvious to me because I was always frugal and liked to save money. FIRE put a name to what I was already doing. I was on the extreme side of a wide spectrum. I was foolish to expect FIRE to quickly resonate with those on the other side of the spectrum.
But I also acknowledge that part of the problem was with my presentation. I’m not a motivational speaker and emailing random Mr. Money Mustache posts wasn’t a good strategy.
How does one get through then? What do you do when you see someone you care about struggling with money?
Playing With FIRE: The Gateway Drug
This was my first time seeing the film and I loved the story. Scott and Taylor Rieckens were living a fat life in Southern California. Scott had a membership at a boat club. Taylor leased a BMW. Spending was north of $10,000 per month. One day on the way to work, Scott listened to Tim Ferriss interview Mr. Money Mustache and was hooked. The rest of the story is about how Scott and Taylors’ lives changed.
The heart and soul of the story
It’s short-term thinking on my part.
And Taylor is what makes the story so great. People like Mr. Money Mustache, Scott and myself aren’t the best role models for many. We’re on the extreme side of the money/optimization spectrum.
Taylor is warm and relatable. People who see this movie are going to connect with her. They’ll see Taylor’s thinking evolve, appreciate it, and perhaps be changed by it. The power of Playing With FIRE is Taylor’s journey.
I can’t think of a better way to introduce someone to the FIRE movement than to show you Taylor’s life. And I encourage you to do the same. Next time you hear a friend say something ominous like:
I don’t know how we’re going to make the car payment.
We’re having a tough month with money.
We skipped this month’s mortgage payment.
Invite them over. Show them Playing With FIRE. It just might change their life.
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
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*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.