Helping Others: It’s NOT All About Me!

by FI Fighter on November 13, 2013

in Thoughts


One of the great joys of having a blog is being able to reach a wider audience. In my everyday life, quite frankly, there just aren’t that many people I come across who are into achieving early financial independence. So, it’s not only hard to find someone to share the journey with, it’s even more difficult helping others who aren’t asking for any help.

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time on some wealth building forums. I’ve received some e-mails from folks who are around my age and interested in investing. Of course, I’ve always been the type to want to offer a helping hand, so I do my best to respond to each e-mail inquiry detailing my learnings and experience. This has been a very enjoyable experience so far! It’s so satisfying to be able to help someone else out in any way that I can.

A Different Mentality

You often hear the quote, “treat others the way you would like them to treat you.” But how many people really make a conscious effort to do that? In my own life, I’ve usually found that the more successful someone is, the more arrogant they are in their approach to giving advice. Even worse, if they achieve success easily, or very rapidly, they often frown upon those who aren’t able to replicate the same results.

When I see this, I always think, “just because things worked out well for you… it doesn’t give you an excuse to be an asshole!” And I’m always reminding myself not to turn into one of these people.

For instance, some of my friends have been wanting to get into real estate investing. They look at my success last year with admiration and respect. They want to achieve the same results for themselves. So, rather than me just telling them, “yeah, it’s not so hard. Just go out and buy a Bay Area property and it’ll appreciate $100,000 by this time next year,” I force myself to face reality first.

Why was I successful? What did I do right? Are the same results still possible in today’s market?

When I ask myself these questions, I am most certain that luck had a huge role to play in my fortune. Yes, I was prepared to seize the opportunity when it presented itself, but there’s no way I could have foreseen everything else that’s happened. Who knew that local real estate prices would rise over 30% this year? Had I known this back then, I would have tried to buy even more properties!

So, be real about things. It’s how you learn and grow as an individual. Don’t ever delude yourself into believing you know it all. When I talk to local investors who want to get started, I tell them the exact same advice I’m trying to follow myself — I’m investing out-of-state. The local market has dried up, the returns are minimal, and it’s making more sense to invest that capital in a cheaper location. Keep it real. Being smug about things helps no one!

Why Help Someone Else?

A lot of people are selfish. If they know the “secret” they sure as hell don’t want to share it with everyone else. Why would they? But that’s such a deprived way to live life! Where’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t it be so much more awesome to make a friend? To know that you played a role in inspiring someone else to success?

Here are some reasons why you should help someone else out:

  • It’s more fun to make friends than enemies.
  • Someone else succeeding doesn’t mean you have to fail.
  • Be humble. Remember when you were in their shoes. How would you have wanted someone to respond when you were the one asking for advice?
  • Make the world a better place!
  • What goes around comes around. The universe has a way of correcting things. If you don’t believe that, just know that karma is a 5 letter word.

Don’t Be Insecure

It’s funny, when I first started a new job in Orange County, one of my more senior co-workers said to me, “I notice you spending a lot of time with that intern over there. Just make sure you don’t teach him too much… he may take your job someday.”

I just laughed at that remark. In my mind, I thought, “I know how much time, effort, and dedication it took for me to build my skills up to this point. If he has that same drive and burning desire to succeed, then by all means he should!”

That’s also why I love following other bloggers!! I get inspired seeing others on the path to early financial independence. Rather than competing, we all push and support each other. It’s a great network that I’m proud to be a part of.


Be the change you want to see. I’m trying… With that said, I have some e-mails to catch up on… and tomorrow night, I’m going to a meet-up with some local investors. I anticipate meeting a few new ones who are wanting to get started in buying property. I’m gonna keep it simple… keep it real… and just tell it like it is!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 writing2realityNo Gravatar November 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Pretty awesome that you are reaching out to others looking to start investing. Providing yourself and your experience as resource will be beneficial to both others and yourself. I hope it goes well tomorrow evening and perhaps you will have opened some doors to expanding your business network as well. Doesn’t hurt to have partners in growing your business.


2 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 17, 2013 at 10:22 am


Yeah, for some reason I’ve been getting a lot of contacts lately for investing advice, particularly as it relates to real estate investing. Just got off the phone with another investor from Chicago, and kind of just made a new friend. Go figure… He’s inviting me out for pizza next time I’m out there!

In the future, you’re right, the more contacts you have, the better your chances of partnering up and growing your business. All good stuff!



3 FI PilgrimNo Gravatar November 14, 2013 at 5:11 am

That’s great perspective, and it’s one that more financial gurus need. Yes, there are a lot of people out there looking for success stories, both to be inspired by and to get ideas from, but those successful people don’t have any need to be jerks about telling their story.


4 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

FI Pilgrim,

Yeah, there’s no need to be a jerk. Everyone starting out is just looking for honest advice to better their lives… something we are all after. If I can help, I’d be glad to. Actually, I just attended a local meet up event and learned quite a few things myself. What goes around, comes around.



5 The Fast WeeklyNo Gravatar November 16, 2013 at 7:43 am

Hey FI Fighter. We’re all in this together, and it’s great you’re helping out some of the newcomers. I think information is power and that the information (from our experiences) that we pass along to others can help make their lives better. Helping others is also why I volunteer at my church and with the needy. Honestly, it makes me feel really good to contribute….but I don’t think the people we help mind :o)
Have a great weekend


6 FI FighterNo Gravatar November 17, 2013 at 10:31 am


That’s awesome that you make time out to volunteer at church and with the needy. Very admirable stuff.

It does feel good to contribute. As my mother always used to say, “you can’t take this stuff (wealth/possessions) with you when you’re gone”, so what’s really the point in dedicating your whole life to accumulating it? Besides, a lot of us aren’t into wealth building just to get rich. We simply want to buy freedom, which is such a worthwhile pursuit. I’d like to help anyone who’s end game is that.



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