One of the cornerstone ideas of Mustachianism is that at it’s most basic, it can be embraced by anyone, in any situation. I’ve interacted with all kinds of people, from all walks of life. That provides a unique challenge, and a unique opportunity with this show, and with this blog. Based on a poll that MMM did, it seems that Engineers of one kind or another make up the largest group of Mustachians. This is usually the kind of occupation that pays well, and seeing as how MMM (who started the “Mustachian Movement”) was also an engineer, some of the specifics are subconsciously targeted to those people. So with this show, my goal is to reach a much wider audience, in a format that is somewhat unique in the Early Retirement community. Blog posts and articles are awesome when it comes to time sensitive content, and they are one of the more succinct ways of presenting information in a somewhat dynamic way. On MMM’s blog, he provides the basic fundamentals of his philosophy, and then you get to follow along with different experiments he does, and see Mustachianism in action during the day to day of early retirement. For just the static fundamentals of an idea, a book is a great way of making sure that those ideas can be preserved and distributed. Just take a look at Jacob Lund Fisker’s book, Early Retirement Extreme . He took things in an extreme direction, but the book was more about the underlying thought process. Unless you count audiobooks, these methods of communication and content creation are a solo endeavor. Since no (wo)man is an island, solo pursuits can wind up creating a disconnect among friends and family, and this is a challenge that needs to be overcome to get everyone on board with any lifestyle changes.
Since no (wo)man is an island, solo pursuits can wind up creating a disconnect among friends and family, and this is a challenge that needs to be overcome to get everyone on board with any lifestyle changes.
And then there are podcasts, like those done by the MadFientist, which are chock full of information, and very well done, or the slightly more informal (but still super fun) ones that Madge does. These are kind of cool, in that you can play them from your phone, and anyone within ear shot can hear and learn as well. One of the things I’ve personally experienced with podcasts (or audiobooks) though, is that it’s a very rare instance when one is fully engaged in what they are listening to. This can be a benefit, though. One can listen while they commute, workout, take walks, cook dinner, clean house, or any other activity where hearing isn’t required to do the actual task. But again, some of these become solo pursuits. Some of the concepts I am going to be discussing in the show are way easier to implement when you aren’t doing it alone. All too often, I’ve been part of discussions in which one member of a family starts trying to implement changes, but not everyone gets why, so they don’t fully commit. Shoot, even the 2nd episode (Frugal FIRE 003) of the previous iteration of the show was Dealing With Pushback. Obviously, it’s important enough that we wanted to get it addressed early. Even though I’m not a huge fan of TV in general, I do know that watching a show, or watching a movie is less often an activity one does alone, and something that people can do as a group. So I chose the Hangouts-On-Air format so that, hopefully, as I strive to introduce people to these concepts, and show what is really possible through some perspective shifts, people can watch it together. Maybe I’ll say something that doesn’t make sense to one party, but the other person can explain it better. Maybe I’ll mention something that will be considered way too extreme, or not extreme enough. A conversation can happen (since you can pause a live broadcast) with those involved, and conversations like that, regardless of the outcome, always provides some kind of benefit. Hopefully that sums up why I chose the format I did.
Now onto the subject matter. I apologize in advance if I get a bit preachy, as that is something I try to be aware of and prevent, but when it comes to Mustachianism, I have a tendency to apply some of the principles to society and humanity as a whole, so it’s kind of a big deal to me. So the show is called Frugal FIRE for a reason, even if it’s not entirely accurate. The first reason this was the chosen name is because I’m a fan of alliteration. It just rolls off the tongue. FIRE is an acronym. It means Financially Independent, Retire Early. It’s a common phrase in some of the circles in which I travel. Now frugal is a somewhat polarizing word. Some equate it with cheap, others equate it with being responsible with money. It can give a sense of wondrous simplicity and minimalism, or a sense of monk-like deprivation. Or maybe some combination of all of these. It’s a relatively common word, and very few people who watch my show for the first time are going to approach it without some kind of preconception. This means that I’m going to have to create a sense of curiosity right off the bat. It’s challenging, but like most challenging things that I start, it will probably be fun. So essentially, I chose the topic because it’s something close to my heart, something I know a lot about, something that can provide value to everyone, and something that can possibly change the world (I told you I think big). And even though this kind of stuff is getting a touch more mainstream, it’s still not completely common. Part of that is due to some inherent biases that we all have, part of it is that it’s much easier to communicate with people we can relate to, part of it is finding something that is awesome and wanting to shout it from the roof tops, and part of it is the inherent difficulty in fully understanding situations which may not be familiar to us. I may have a slight advantage over some people in this area, because most of my empathetic tendencies were not something I naturally developed. I studied, I practiced, and I strive to always be aware that I don’t know everything about a given situation, the thought process of people I’m talking to, or their experiences. This usually winds up manifesting itself by searching out and identifying root causes, and being able to truly and accurately address the actual concerns and issues.
I also have the benefit of being closer to the beginning of my journey towards Early Retirement. People like Mr. Money Mustache, RootOfGood, GoCurryCracker, and Dr. Doom are already well into enjoying the fruits of their ‘labor’. The FrugalWoods are well on their way, and have crafted their life while still working (kind of). Since I have no guilt, no shame, and am dedicated to transparency, I am happy to share my journey as I go through it. Maybe I will cause someone to start down this path, and they wind up doing even better than me. Also, these ideas are bigger than me, the community is bigger than me, and I’m not selfish. I know every situation is different, so not only will I document and share my steps starting from where a good chunk of the world is, I will also be reaching out to other people who are starting this journey, with different goals, different lifestyles, different hobbies, and different jobs. I also plan to do a profile piece on those who volunteer for this part, with check-ins down the road. Maybe I’ll even be able to find someone who will let me do a real life Guinea Pig experiment.
This is going to be an interesting, fun, and probably silly journey. I hope I did a good job of explaining why I started it.