Being Your Lame Self

One of the main components of early FI is that you have a lot more free time than you once did when you were working THE GRIND

I guess there are pros/cons to that… Without having to follow a set script, life can really go in any direction that you wish… You can elect to work harder than ever before, chasing a new set of goals… Or, on some (many) occasions, you can simply elect to spend a day(s) doing nothing at all…

Since you no longer have a boss/superior in the way, you’re more free to “embrace” your true identity, more or less…

As long-term readers of this blog know full well by now, much of the content featured on here is extremely random in nature, and I’ve never really stuck to a “set structure”…

Call it “organized chaos” if you will…

Obviously, this type of approach isn’t for everyone… The folks who don’t like my work probably all left a long time ago… Those who remain, well, I’m really not sure why you’re still here?

LOL

No, I’m just messing… I really appreciate the support from the hardcore followers, and to me it’s quite AWESOME that in this day and age it is a lot more possible to “just be yourself” and know that regardless, there’s people who’ve got your back and want to stick around.

Recently, I read a post from my good pal Sharon over at Digital Nomad Quest, and it forced me to re-assess my own approach to life…

How Being Yourself Can Lead to Success

In particular…

Can “being yourself” really lead to success?

Well, I guess for starters, we have to define just what exactly “success” even is…

For example, from a certain point-of-view, one could even make the argument that this blog right here, FI Fighter, has been “successful”. I mean, after all, I’ve been blogging since 2012 and this site hasn’t gone bankrupt yet (just barely)…

Does that make me a successful blogger?

Well, on the flipside, I’m sure a million other people could chime in and say that for the minuscule amount of web traffic I get, not to mention zero sponsors, this blog is a dismal “failure”, instead…

Like, there are thousands of new blogs popping up everyday, and they can ramp up and exceed my traffic stats in only a few months time…

So, yes, most definitely from a marketing/monetary point-of-view, this blog has been a total abomination…

Anyway, all this stuff isn’t lost upon me, and obviously if I want to make improvements (which I do), I’ll need to figure out how to improve upon things…

But as is probably already implied, you all know there are certain techniques/tactics that I just would never want to employ… because it wouldn’t be “authentic me”, as lame as that might sound.

So what is “authentic me”?

In my case…

This be me:

  • I don’t like wearing suits/ties… (I feel fake and pretentious).
  • I’m more into raw content creation than trying to sell a “pretty image” (this blog layout has needed an overhaul for years now).
  • I can’t do self-promotion (makes me want to throw up).
  • I like networking and connecting with other like-minded people regardless of their economic stature/sphere of influence in society (I never judge someone based on their net worth).
  • I value meaningful relationships infinitely more than surface-level connections (I’m not into collecting as many Facebook friends as possible).
  • I’m just a very unassuming/low key guy (girls have told me I am bland and boring).
  • Etc.

As you can see from the above, from a marketing perspective, I’m just about hopeless, right?

I mean my own pathetic catchphrase is — “I don’t know jack shit about anything” for crying out loud…

No wonder I’m still single…

Like, I’m sure it’s still possible to succeed without sticking to the more popular narrative of…

The smooth operator:

  • Pound one’s chest all the time.
  • Act like the Big Cheese and total know it all.
  • Dress like you da boss.
  • Brag about one’s accomplishments (no matter how insignificant) over and over again, ad nauseum.
  • Hide all failures/losses from public view.
  • Network your ass off and make connections with other “big shots” so you look even more important/credible/knowledgeable, making sure to display photos for the entire world to see, of course.
  • Etc.

No, I’m not saying everyone does the above… It’s a gross generalization of things… But If I had to guess, I’m gonna say that 90% of people who want to make a lot of money and be “successful” (with less overall effort) are gonna take the latter approach…

 

It’s just fucking easier that way…

Swim with the tide…

The path of least resistance…

 

Up until the most recent Social Media Age (the world we live in now), people generally thought they preferred hearing: fairytales/shameless self-promotion, and know-it-alls…

 

Have I been tempted to “sell out”, stop being myself, and just join the masses, instead?

 

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t at least entertained these type of thoughts…

 

I mean, everytime I’m in Hong Kong and walking through Central, I know I look like a total scrub (relative to everyone else), dressed the way I do…

Here’s a pic from the last time I stepped foot in HK…

For better or worse, that’s just lame me being lame me…

Anyway…

Yes, absolutely, at some point in the future, I would like to figure out a way to grow the traffic on this blog, expand my reach/influence so that I can help more people reach early FI, and to monetize my work (as Ross Beaty taught me, money is a means for keeping score and ultimately my end goal is gonna be to give all my wealth away to charity anyway, so yes, having mo money is a good thing and I desire lots more of it, from this angle)…

Getting to early FI was a very solo endeavor for myself, but as someone else recently reminded me…

Thanks friend, I needed that…

Indeed, I’ve now got the means to chase my true dreams now!

Fear of failure, yes, that is a very serious mental roadblock for me, and something I struggle to overcome on a daily basis…

I’ve always lacked self confidence… In the deep recesses of my being, I just don’t think I’m all that good… or anything special at all…

Hah, there’s me being honest shooting myself in the foot again!

Luckily, as mentioned earlier, I think we now live in an age where it’s entirely ok and acceptable for someone to admit their shortcomings/challenges/difficulties/struggles in a public domain… and not feel like you’re going to alienate people and distance yourself even further away from everyone else…

Shoot, the more “raw” and “authentic” stuff makes for a way better story, doesn’t it?!?

The times are quickly changing, I believe…

But yeah, even better still, it’s reading posts like the one that Sharon recently shared on her site… with her own thoughts/struggles… that inspires me to stick to the current script.

So, without trying to overcomplicate things too much, I’d say that my plans/goals post-FI are to eventually figure out a way to grow this site, my own influence on the web, make money, and obtain real wealth.

Although I haven’t mentioned this in awhile, I still do struggle with chronic fatigue on a daily basis, but hey, it is what it is… It’s not an excuse and I’m not gonna let it hold me back and prevent me from achieving what I want out of this life.

We all have our own personal demons that we are battling with, so whenever possible, just be nice to other people… You really have no clue what the other person could be going through… And besides, there are more than enough douchebags in this world, as is…

With that said…

I tend to over-think and over-analyze things to a fault…

From time-to-time I need a friendly reminder (and perhaps kick in the ass) that it’s perfectly ok for me to just be me…

 

So, I need to learn to overcome my fears/self-doubt and just keep on doing that…

 

And let the chips fall wherever they fall…

 

Thanks for reading! Your support really means everything to a no-confidence guy like me.

 

Fight On!

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Midwestern LandlordFI FighterThecowsaysmoo Recent comment authors
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Thecowsaysmoo
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Thecowsaysmoo

Thank you for being you.
I have read a lot of personal finance blogs and yours is one of very few that I still read religiously.
There is so much good content, the way you touch on the emotional side of investing in stocks/real estate, travel adventure, sharing your thoughts on sectors, your wins AND losses and providing your thesis on certain stocks has certainly helped me step up my game.
I’m not sure about your catchphrase though…..you’ve made some serious moolah. Hopefully one day, I too won’t know jack shit about anything.

Midwestern Landlord
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Midwestern Landlord

This is an excellent post. One of the best gifts that reaching FI brings is the opportunity to just always be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. I always tried to to that, but being FI makes it even easier. No bosses, etc.

Just about everyone that is successful has a fear of failure. So that is completely normal. But I do think some people miss the point on what money really is. It is a tool, nothing more, nothing less. None of us live forever. So hoarding it and always trying to make more money (at the expense of personal enjoyment and meaningful relationships) misses the point. There are countless examples of people that became extremely rich at the expense of meaningful close relationships with family members (specifically their own kids). Maybe making more money is what was important to them, but how did that make your immediate family feel when working was more important then spending quality time with them? No thanks. Relationships to me are far more important then making more money.

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