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Fighting fired with FIRE

Fighting Fired with FIRE
Cody
Hit me up!

Cody

Creator at Fly to FI
Cody is a 22-year-old entrepreneur, life optimizer, and creator of Fly to FI. He is a personal finance junkie who constantly tracks his net worth with Personal Capital.

In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the globe for FREE using a technique called travel hacking!
Cody
Hit me up!

In order to tell this story, I have to jump way back to my high school glory days. Long story short … I used to rap (a lot). In my defense, I didn’t just rap about nonsense. I was always into lyricism and wordplay. Anyway, someone at work found out about this fun fact and the news spread like wildfire. This, in turn, led to several of my coworkers typing “Cody Berman” into Google in an effort to locate my musical masterpieces.

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What happened next was the beginning of the end…

I glanced over at my coworker’s computer and saw the page FILLED with financial-independence-related content! At first glance, I saw Fly to FI, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets Money, Get Rich Slowly, and more. Check it out for yourself!

Needless to say, I was terrified at first. One of my coworkers made a comment along the lines of “Wow you’re quite the podcast star, huh?” The last thing I needed was my boss to Google me out of curiosity as well.  However, the strangest thing happened instead… Nobody cared! It’s been nearly a week since the initial discovery and nobody has said a word since.

Maybe they’ve been secretly stalking the blog and listening to all of the podcasts I’ve been on (I highly doubt it though). The realization I made is that other people don’t care that much about what you do in your personal life. Most people aren’t curious enough to dig past the surface.

Even if my boss does find out about my involvement in this community, is he really going to fire me on the spot? Hell no! Although I talk about ditching the nine to five quite frequently, the cost to replace me is too high to find an immediate fill-in.

Even in the worst case scenario where my boss reads my blog, discovers my intentions and fires me in a stormy rage … how bad would it be?

Getting FIREd

After giving this idea a lot of thought, I think that getting fired would actually motivate me to bring my side hustles and entrepreneurship to the next level. I’m ready to fight fired with FIRE. This definitely isn’t a simple “that’s great” or “that’s awful” type of situation, so let’s analyze the pros and cons of my getting fired.

Pros

  • Forced to ramp up entrepreneurial ventures and side hustles in order to keep a roof over my head and not starve
  • Ability to work on my own schedule, ditch the 14-hour workdays (including commute)
  • Be my own boss, make more time for my girlfriend, family, and friends
  • Pursue my passions, add value to the world, have location independence

Cons

  • Lower earning power (in the early years at least)
  • Decreased job stability, infrequency of paychecks, healthcare/benefits
  • Unattractive to future employers … “Why the hell did you get fired 2 months into your first job?!”

Knowing my personality and my undying motivation to succeed, I’m fairly confident that I could make ends meet. Sure, I might have some 14-15 hour workdays as an entrepreneur, but I’ll be working on things that I’m passionate about.

Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week – Lori Greiner

A Look at the Numbers

I’ve talked about getting fired from the philosophical perspective, but let’s look at the financials. In the event that I get fired, in order to ‘stay afloat’, I will need to achieve Cash Flow FI. This means that the cash flow from my side hustles and entrepreneurial ventures cover my daily, weekly, and monthly expenses.

If I were to leave my job tomorrow, my total monthly expenses would come out to approximately $1,250. This is certainly not living my ideal lifestyle, but at least one that’s moderately enjoyable. In the absolute worst case scenario, I could move back in with my mom and cut back on groceries, food, and fun. That would bring my expenses down to approximately $800 per month.

I am reasonably confident that I could achieve these levels of cash flow through my blog, disc golf company, soon-to-be-revealed project, and upcoming Deep South real estate investments. Even if I fail to meet the cash flow floor in a given month through my ventures, I’d be more than willing to pick up some freelance work or participate in the sharing economy to make ends meet.

The lifestyle I plan to live is not focused on deprivation and spending as little money as humanly possible. No … that’s not what I’m saying at all. An essential piece of this puzzle is that my side hustles are scalable. I certainly don’t plan to scrape by earning $12,000-$15,000 for the rest of my life! Just long enough to scale up my businesses in order to add some meat back on to the bare bones lifestyle.

Looking Forward

Currently, my businesses are earning an average $600 per month. Some months are great and other months aren’t. Nevertheless, on an average basis, I’m almost halfway to my $1,250 monthly expense floor! If I were fired today I would double down on my side hustles and hopefully this increased effort would quickly bring my monthly earnings to $1,250.

I think I am mentally and financially ready for the next steps in my journey. I frequently mention quitting my job in July 2019 (exactly one year in), but I might go rogue and leave even earlier than that.

So, after assessing the entire situation, FIRE away! I’m ready.


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14 thoughts on “Fighting fired with FIRE

  1. My boss knows of my business but not blog. When we were talking about it though, he didn’t care and actually was a little bit supportive. He said, “life is more exciting if you are working on something on the side :)”

    People care about themselves and aren’t concerned with what other people are doing in general. I don’t think you should worry if you have a good relationship with your boss.

    1. Haha that’s funny, it’s the same situation with me. My boss knows about my disc golf business but not the blog.

      I’d agree that people generally only care about themselves (outside of the FI community), but it might be a slightly different situation since I explicitly say I’m going to quit my job so much lol. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens!

  2. Just by putting yourself in a position to continue on without fear, you’re ahead of 95% of people in the workforce. The highest form of control an employer has over their employee is the ability to control tgeir financial well-being… but FIRE folks don’t have to settle for that situation.

    1. Thanks Josh! I really appreciate the support. I agree that having this mindset is so powerful because my employer cannot control me by dangling a paycheck in front of my face. I’ll definitely keep you updated on what happens next!

  3. Wow getting ready to walk out already!? It’s only been a couple months! ?

    I feel you on how you’re spending your time, I mean 14 hours days are brutal (currently been doing that) and it’s tough to think you wouldn’t be able to come up with the additional income needed through doing other things you’re more passionate about.

    Tough call but can’t go wrong sticking to your original path or leaving early!

    1. Haha yup! This FIRE community can do some crazy things to you. It’s soooo hard to lay back and watch every day go by from behind a cubicle, no matter how long I’ve been doing it. If I include the gym, I’m looking at 15/16 hour days and by the time I get home I try to work on side hustles for an hour. It’s a crazy life and I doubt I’ll be able to maintain it for long.

      I’ll definitely have a blog post out when I reach my breaking point and pull trigger. Stay tuned! Lol.

  4. My clients/co-workers are also aware I plan to retire early, however my online presence is… non-existent 🙂 With that said it sort of ties in with the whole “more concerned with themselves” mentality. It’s like “yeah good luck with that” and on with the job. It’s amazing what keeping expenses low can do to your freedom, of course one day you may have a wife and kids or what not, but I have no doubt you’ll be Double Cash Flow FI by then 🙂

    1. Yeah definitely, Brad. People really don’t care that much about what you do in your free time. It’s more of a pat on the back like you said. Keeping my expenses low has been instrumental in designing my lifestyle. If I were inundated with debt, then I would be forced to stay in this W2 job until I reworked my financial situation. Hoping to hit cash flow FI in the coming few months, and then double, triple and so on! Thanks for reading.

    1. Thanks Cooper! I was definitely nervous at first … but I haven’t heard a peep.

      Who knows what will happen, maybe I’ll quit as my New Year’s resolution 😉

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