Every week I can't wait for Thursday to come around so I can listen to a new epsiode of The Tropical MBA podcast. Being self-employed, the topics and mindset discussed on the show really hit home and often inspire me to keep travelling down the self-employed path, or entrepreneur road as some may call it. This week, Dan and Ian discussed the intersection and divergence of the cult of entrepreneurship and the cult of early retirement.
The early retirement movement is something that fascinated me when I first hear about it (on the TMBA ep with Mr. Money Moustach). The idea is that you strictly reduce your outgoings and lifestyle while increasing your savings to the point where you can retire early and live (frugally) off your savings and its interest. Many have suceeded, Mr Money Moustash being somewhat of a posterchild for the movement. On the TMBA podcast, Dan and Ian talk about how taking this route still means you need to follow the system and put up with working for the man until your savings reach a certain level and even at that, you still have to live a life of low outgoings to maintain your low burn rate. Their counter view is that spending the time starting and building a business can result in the same or more money available, while not having to penny-pinch and in parallel, learning a bunch of skills and doing something you love (if you pick the right business to start).
I love the idea of non-frivilous spending and since discovering the early retirement movement, I try to actively question any purchases (with variable consistency :-p). I think this is a viewpoint and skill that is important in battling the ever-present hyper-consumer world we live in. In saying that however, I'm as much of a sucker for the latest Macbook or camera as the next person but if you can be mindful of spending while also building a business, be your own boss and choose the work you want to do, that sounds like a win win to me. This week's episode was a good one and certainly resparked my faith in the self-employed path. I feel like both the early retirment and entrepreneurship options are secrets that everyone on the school->college->job life trajectory should know about. They are by no means easier options, but for some, may be more worthwhile.