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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.
The FIRE Ignites
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?
Can FIRE put out a fire?
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.
- 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
- Lower earning power (in the early years at least)
- Decreased job stability, the 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.
Currently, my businesses are earning an average of $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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