Start Before You’re Ready – What I’ve Learned In The Last 18 Months

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Start Before You’re Ready

This other day I was thinking about starting another blog, or maybe even recreate Route2FI.com. The reason for this is that financial independence means so much more than just money and hustling (at least for me).

When I’m financial independent I dream about spending my days slowly. Write an hour or two, read a couple of hours, go for a walk, ride on my bicycle, spend time with my wife, start a business (for the fun of it, not for the money) etc. 

Now I’ve been blogging consistently for 18 months, publishing a blog post every single sunday (it’s 96 posts included this one so far).

I’ve evolved incredibly much in that period of time as a person and consequently my thoughts, habits and hobbies has evolved as well. So what have I learned and how have I evolved during the last 18 months?

Writing

Since I started to write weekly on this blog, I’ve pushed myself a lot. There were a lot of times “I didn’t have time” to write or that I just didn’t felt to write. But I did it anyway. I showed up with a new article every week. And the great thing about it is that the more I write, the more I want to keep on doing it. Even if I’m scared of saying it, I should start saying it more: “I am a writer”. I want to keep up my habit on writing weekly. I want to evolve as a writer.

And the reason that I want to be financial independent is simple: I want to write.

That’s it.

I don’t dream about millions of dollars, because those millions wouldn’t change my life.

The thing that would change my life is more time

More time would mean more time writing.

You go to your desk with an idea or subject you’d like to write about. Then you start writing.

Your first sentence must make the reader want to read the second.

One line, two lines, a paragraph, one page. What you thought you were going to write about isn’t always what comes down to paper. You’re going into a deep thought process and the mind wanders freely. It’s like traveling, just better. And also what I love about writing is that the reflections I make while I write are priceless. No amount of money is worthy of those.

The equation is easy.

More time = more words.

I want to develop myself as a writer. I want to explore more philosophical themes about simple concepts. I’ll start by blogging. One day those words may end up in a book, who knows?

The best blog posts I’ve written on this site has been a result of time. Actually there’s only a handful of them I’m proud of, feel free to check them out:

How Minimalism Changed My Life And Saved Me Tons Of Money

Why You’re So Damn Afraid To Follow Your Passion

Stop Trading Your Time For Money

Experience the Hard Years of the 9-5 Before You FIRE

When To Walk Away From The Rat Race – How Much Money Is Enough?

How Financial Independence Will Make You Find Your Passions In Life

A Perspective On Minimalism And Financial Independence

Personal development

So the reason I mentioned that I considered starting another blog is because I’m starting to get a little tired of money.

I still love to write, and the topics I’ve enjoyed the most to write about on this blog is about simple living, time management, how to be content with less, personality, goals, my dream life, minimalism, how to find your passion , motivation ,work ethics , deep questions about life and success.

Somehow I managed to relate all my topics to financial independence, but what I’ve discovered through this blog is that what I’m really passionate about is personal development.

It doesn’t matter if it is personal finance, fitness, career, business or developing of new habits.

So the question to my readers is: can I use this blog to write about that? Or should I start another one? 

I’ll contine writing about investing, stocks and personal finance, but I’d like to expand my topics if possible.

Financial Independence Mindset

I started this journey in january 2018 with $800 invested. I was 30 years old. Now I’m 32 years old and I’ve invested $300,000. Sometimes I just don’t understand how I got there. How did it happen so fast? It’s funny, because I wrote in my journal the day I started my investing account: “Hopefully I’ll save $250K before I’m 40 years old”.  At that time I didn’t thought it was possible to go further than that. I was thinking small. 

So what changed and how did I get there so fast? 

I read a lot of books at the time and there was particulary one book that started to change my mindset of what’s possible. The book’s name is “The magic of thinking big“. 

Some great quotes that inspired me:

-“Successful people are just ordinary folks who have developed belief in themselves and what they do.”

-“Look at things not as they are, but as they can be. Visualization adds value to everything. A big thinker always visualizes what can be done in the future. He isn’t stuck with the present.”

-“People who tell you it cannot be done almost always are unsuccessful people, are strictly average or mediocre at best in terms of accomplishment.”

-“Don’t wait until conditions are perfect. They never will be. Expect future obstacles and difficulties and solve them as they arise.”

-“When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But, when you believe, really believe, something can be done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you to find the ways to do it.”

So after reading that book I started to question everything. Is it possible for me to reach financial independence faster? Is it possible for me to save more money? Can I earn more, and if so, how?

One thing led to another, and since mid 2018 I’ve switched jobs 3 times and I’ve raised my initial salary by aprox. 65%. 

I started with a plan to retire in 15 years, then reduced it to 8 years, then 5 years and lately I’ve reduced it to aprox. 2 years

So I’ve increased my salary, but I’ve also bumped up my savings rate to 70-75% every month. According to Mr. Money Mustache you’ll be able to retire in only 7-8 years with that savings rate if you’ve started with $0. But since I already got $300K invested, I’m far nearer than that.

Another book that highly inspired my financial independence mindset is “Your Money Or Your Life“. 

Stock Market Psychology

Since I started investing in early 2018 we’ve already seen two minor “crashes” in the stock market. The december 2018 bear & the COVID-19-crash feb/march 2020.

Two books that highly helped me sitting fully invested through both crashes is “Your Money And Your Brain” by Jason Zweig and “Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakesby Gary Belsky.

Both author have great advice about what to do when a stock market crash occurs and why it’s totally irrational to sell of your portfolio when stock are at a discount. 

Minimalism

Less is more. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. In the last couple of years I’ve definitely bought less.

I’m done with clutter. 

What do you need to live the good life?

Our basic needs as humans are few: shelter, food and clothing.

Everything else, in reality is a want. However, distinguishing a want from a need is not so easy.

In addition to our basic human needs, these are the things I see as an absolute necessity to live a good life:

-my road bike
-doorway pullup-bar
-laptop
-cell phone
-books (Kindle/library)

That’s it.

Time And The Circle Of 5

Another thing I’ve discovered is that I’ve started to value my time more.

A childhood friend I’ve haven’t seen in several years asking me for going a night out for heavy booze? No thank you. We’ve grown too far away and getting shit-faced is not something I value. 

I’ve also learned that I thrive very much in my own company in deep solitude. 

@OrangeBook said it best with this tweet:

I’ve got several friends, but there’s only a couple of them I feel close to. And I have my partner as well, so I don’t need to hang out all the time anymore. 

My circle of 5 now consits of two good friends, my brother, my partner and Twitter/blog-connections.

Twitter has influenced my thinking in a lot of ways, and it’s a perfect platform for connecting with some of the brightest minds out there. I wouldn’t be the same person without it. Maybe I’ll dedicate a later post to what I’ve learned from Twitter.

Anyway, I feel like I value my time much more now than I did 2 years ago. I focus my time on reading, writing, working, working out, quality time with my partner. I’m trying to say no to everything else. 

Blog

Wow, where should I start? This blog has meant so incredibly much to me. I’ve learned so much and connected with similar people who has the same thoughts.

Because of this blog I’ve forced myself to write more and to share my thoughts online. 

Having a blog is like having an online mentor.  A mentor that always watches which steps you take. Therefore I’ve taken my goals more seriously, holding myself accountable by sharing everything here.

By blogging I feel like I’ve discovered myself. I’ve seen more of who I am and what I want to become.

I’ve learned to value time.

I’ve learned how I’ll be financially free so that I can focus full time on pursuing my philomatic hobbies. 

I’ve made myself the person I want to be.

At least I’m going in the right direction.

My advice for you is therefore to start before you’re ready.

There will never be a more perfect moment than what you have today.


Read all my posts in chronological order here: Archives


Have questions, comments or suggestions? I would love to help you with your FI-journey.

Feel free to reach out directly at @Route2FI on Twitter or email me at post@route2FI.com


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3 Replies to “Start Before You’re Ready – What I’ve Learned In The Last 18 Months”

  1. Hi Route 2 FI!

    Been following you for a while now but I never realised how incredibly similar we were in terms of interest (FIRE, writing, personal development, minimalism, etc.) and introversion. Reading your post made me smile! Congrats on your 18 months of blogging, and I hope to see much more of your stuff in the future.

    As for your question regarding blogging, I think you could continue writing here, even if you want to discuss more about personal development. Many personal finance blogs do discuss a lot about personal development. FIRE is a form of personal development. (But that’s only my opinion! I’m not sure how valid it is; after all, I’m only a newbie blogger who just started blogging again.)

    1. route2fi says: Reply

      Hey, Liz.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      Yes, I’ve read on your blog before as well. Incredible story about your wealth that suddenly disapperead. Seems like you’ve handled it in a really good way though 🙂 What personality type are you? I’m INFJ btw.

      That’s great advice. I think I’ll just continue on this site then!

      Actually I was in Singapore for 2 weeks in january 2019. Really loved it there.

      Keep up the good work 😀

  2. […] Start Before Your Ready – A nice post summarizing what he has learned in the past 18 months of blogging. Some commonalities in the struggle with keeping to a schedule, but realizing that by continuing to make it a priority you can create some great articles. I’ll also cheat here a little bit, because he links all of his top articles in this post! 🙂 […]

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