FI or bust; FBeyer.

Where are you and where are you going?
Jason
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Jason » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:36 am

FBeyer wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:07 pm
A clatter of keys and rustling of clothes at the front door.
"Honey, I'm home."
"Me too."

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:57 am

I am yet again contemplating rerouting my life.
After a few very enlightening exercises in life design I've found out that what I truly want to do is to help people. It's the one single thread of motivation that has run through my endeavors in both carpentry and science.

So for the moment I'm prototyping what it's like to coach people who have a problem they want to solve. For now I've offered a 100% free helping hand in a facebook group that deals with financial independence so any potential lurkers can get a leg up. I've offered that anyone who feels like they need help can contact me, and we'll get in touch.

So far the reactions have been:
1) PM: YES PLEASE. (I'm setting up a skype call with her and her boyfriend soon)
2) What are your credentials? Post them in public plz...
3) Him: Indexing is best!

What I've learned:
Appearances matter. (I knew this already, but it's always nice to get a reminder)
No matter how you phrase a free offer, someone will misunderstand it. (Not a problem, just learn to keep cool when someone insists on being obtuse)
Free is not good enough (Valuable lesson!)
Financial independence = investing.


Stay posted[1] as I draft potential clients and learn about one-man-entrepeneurship!


[1] You don't really have to. You can always tell when this thread has new posts because the forum icon changes accordingly.[2]
[2] Just so you don't go looking for a mailing list[3] opt-in.
[3] I need a mailing list. Or a website...

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:16 am

Update: The Indexing-is-best-guy is now a buddy! I'm working on my people skills you see :D

prognastat
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by prognastat » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:30 am

FBeyer wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:57 am
Free is not good enough (Valuable lesson!)
People often undervalue things if given for free.

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:00 pm

That's one aspect. People will assume you're incompetent if you're not charging for a service, but in this instance it's merely a matter of prototyping a possible course of action for me. It doesn't cost me anything but time, but it's something that I'm learning a great deal from. So: win-win!

However! If 'your' free stuff is not valuable, then you're setting an awful precedent for future transactions; that's bad advertising!. You can't skimp on quality, not even if it's free stuff.

jacob
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:59 pm

I saw that.

Fair warning: This may take different/unexpected/unappreciated forms. According to jacob's simplistic model of coaching, there are two different kinds: Open vs Selective. The open model tends to be easy to join. I find that in that case you'll be focusing a lot more on convincing and persuading. The selective model is hard to join. Here you can expect people to abide somewhat better to your suggestions.

Better pick the right one for you because the strategies are completely different!

And yes, most people have absolutely no clue what kind of value they're getting. This is inherent to the problem of teaching. Before you've fully understood what you're learning you have no way of valuing what you're getting as a student. For the neophyte it's thus determined in a context-free way by e.g. what the price is (buy my 96 page e-book for $299, value $766); how well you dress, how smooth you're talking; etc. If context can be provided, you can be selective ... in that case, there are different ways of signalling value.

Anecdote: During my initial phd interview, I was asked why I wanted to join the program. Because I wanted to become a professor so I could teach students that were actually interested in the subject they were studying [unlike say teaching high school]. Several professors on the board sniggered.

Add: Many years ago (2010?), I tried starting an "apprentice program" for ERE. The idea was for people to follow the program and FIRE in 5 years. In retrospect that was far too open. I think when pursuing the open strategy, one should maybe be satisfied by making incremental improvements so that it's sufficiently satisfying to leave the problem a bit better off at step N+1 than at step N.

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:33 am

Thank you for the heads up, but my strategy is a little bit different.
I'm offering coaching, not training, not advice. Practicing the distinction between the two is really what coaching is about. I'm offering up my 'services' so the client can discover for themselves why they're interested in FI and how they'd like to go about it. I'm not going to tell them to do what I've done, but what they intuitively know they should do. I'll question assumptions and faulty reasoning and get them to explore their own ideas.

It's not how I act on this forum, it's not how I speak when I'm with friends or at meetups (except for the workshop we held last summer). It's a different way of communicating and I find the idea incredibly stimulating.

I'm doing this solely for the sake of broadening my horizon. Of course -marketing wise- it's ass-backwards because I'm coming to people, rather than someone with a specific problem coming to me. It's all for the sake of learning. It's free. It's instructive. It's annoying but also useful.

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:23 pm

Aight...

Six people have now signed up for absolutely free coaching. I've given them all the agreement on what kind of service I intend to provide and what I expect from them.

This life/job prototyping business is exciting!

prognastat
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by prognastat » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:31 pm

Good luck, let us know how it goes. Both for yourself an those that have signed up.

Jason
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Jason » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:37 pm

Six people is an extremely healthy start. I'd also be interested in how it progresses i.e. how many people are willing to put in the work, as opposed to those who just want to drink a tall glass of elixir.

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:24 am

I've had to re-boot my exercise. Double Kettlebell clean and jerk is so demanding that I've chosen to scale back to single-kettlebell C&J and working my way towards 12 min of 24kg C&J before starting 2*16 Long Cycle. Right now it's just a matter of doing a stripped down version of an actual program every other day. In time I'm sure it'll be okay. It's funny how one can feel the old habits kick in once you're over the initial activation barrier. Starting exercise is hard, but once you've been exercising regularly for at least some extended time in your life, you fall back in the old groove and habit takes over.

I've been on sick leave and unemployment benefits and I'm still clocking in around 50% SR for 2018. That's absolutely fine by me!

My portfolio looks like it doesn't dip as much as the indexes, but still goes up when 'the tide rises' so so far it's doing what I thought it would.

I've signed up for swing dancing lessons, so starting Wednesday next week I am officially a Lindy Hopper! I'm really looking forward to have something to do on a weekly basis. And meeting new people. And dancing…

Coaching is going well. I'm REALLY enjoying it!
One client: has more employees, arranged meeting an experienced sales-mentor, is developing a daily sales-habit, and is a year and a half ahead of his own schedule. After ONE session. The client just had the second sessions so we'll see how far the client's gotten now :D
Client is flabbergasted at his own motivation and productivity. It's been years of sitting on the fence getting this shit done...

One client: Has a sales-target for a creative business, is building a system that will help alleviate drudgery and stress, and has a much better priority of tasks than before, after two sessions.

Shit's amazing yo!

Jason
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:05 am

I watch lindy hop competitions on you tube and some of the moves those people do are astounding. It's like mixed figure skating - combination of art and athleticism and when they really get going there's a slight sense of danger. I've actually gotten pretty proficient at predicting who will in elimination events.

I could see it as being fun as it's kind of a culture thing as well with people dressing up for it.

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:23 pm

I've been to Lindy classes before twice. The kinds of people who dance lindy are special somehow. There's an openness and joy about them that I really appreciate. Social dancing are the antithesis of feminism: The man calls the shots, and the woman has to follow. It HAS to go like that, or it doesn't work. You can't dance if someone doesn't call the shots and the other one follows. However, the 'Oppressive Dancing Patriarchy' comes with a caveat. So the rules are really like this:
It's the woman's job to do as the man says.
It's the man's job to make 100% certain she is having fun AND looks good on the dance floor.

I think it's a fair trade off and I can tell almost immediately when someone is a good fit, in spite of only having danced for a sum total of 5 hours. That feisty redhead? Nope! Couldn't follow if she was paid to do it. That portly woman in the flowery dress? She was smiling through every single swingout and had not a single pretentious care in the world when we danced.

Lindy is called The Three Minute Love Affair for a reason. It's true and I recommend social dancing to everyone who likes people, and/or likes music, and/or likes to have fun. It's chemistry and culture on such a basic level.

jacob
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:35 pm

FBeyer wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:23 pm
It's the woman's job to do as the man says.
It's the man's job to make 100% certain she is having fun AND looks good on the dance floor.
Just a comment:

The two rules are not of the same kind. The second one is key to an interdependent collaboration. The first one is just a convention for dancing. It's easy to imagine other kinds of choreography (e.g fight choreography which I'm somewhat familiar with) where the first rule to "follow my move" switches back and forth from attacker to defender as the "dance" goes back and forth. If the effort is collaborative (positive sum rather than zero or negative sum), the result is best if both follow the second rule and strive primarily to make the other person look good. This is often more challenging but also more rewarding than just looking out for number one. Also see, prisoners' dilemma.

Quadalupe
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Quadalupe » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:40 pm

So nice that you are going to try Lindyhop! I also took some classes and loved it. One addendum though, Lindyhop is one of the dances were lead and follow erare that fixed to gender (compared with say Salsa). I have seen quite some female leads and male followers at lessons and dancing events.

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:50 pm

Quadalupe wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:40 pm
So nice that you are going to try Lindyhop! I also took some classes and loved it. One addendum though, Lindyhop is one of the dances were lead and follow erare that fixed to gender (compared with say Salsa). I have seen quite some female leads and male followers at lessons and dancing events.
You're absolutely right. The local dance school has several videos of teacher's balls where the students 'steal' a dance with the teachers and several leads are women.

The dearth of men in the dancing community apparently pushes women to lead. It's all fine by me, but I guess I should get used to saying lead and follow, rather than men and women. :oops:

Jason
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:59 pm

I only watch competitive lindy hop because I don't like it enough to watch average lindy hop. If they had you tube video "people falling during lindy hop" I would watch that because falling = funny.

But what I like about the competitions as opposed to other competition is:

(1) They start out all together;

(2) When they move to one couple, those couples not dancing watch and clap for those competing;

(3) There is overlap between the couples i.e. one couple starts just while the other ends which makes it friendlier so it retains its "old fashioned fun" concept. I think it's the dance equivalent to what cutting was in Jazz where you were good naturedly trying to destroy your competition;

(4) There is no ideal body type. People of all shapes and sizes can rock that shit out;

FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:26 pm

I joined the forums about three years ago. This is my 1000th post and an overview of what I've learned in those three years.

From FI to FU with ERE.


Money - FI comes as a side effect of better living. It's a side effect of grand-scale common sense. Focusing on FI as an ERE adherent is about as productive as anti-vaxxers harping on the side effects of measles vaccines; it's there, sure, but it's hardly the thing to focus on here, now is it?

Money has given me the opportunity to break away from society for a while in order to find balance in all things. Financial independence is going to happen, but happiness won't unless I actively do something about it.

To me ERE represents harmony, rather than optimization, as befits a philosophy. I'm not optimizing my savings rate, I'm harmonizing my life. Maybe it's because I'm a westerner who've come experientially face-to-face with the disjoint between our mind and our bodies, but I don't actually think that we have to plan for Pareto efficiency, I think we can feel it just fine if we ever learned how to listen. There are holes in ERE as a catch-all but I think those holes are so ideosynchratic to each and every one of us that it's a completely negligible problem. Discovering what we need to make ERE work might turn out to be one of the defining features of our individual lives. I do feel like it some are still approaching ERE like a panacea and sit and scratch their heads when their lives don't improve like they thought it would when their stash grew to 25x.

Skimming across suicidal ideation taught me that I needed to find a way to come to terms with my suffering, my labels, and optimizing. An far and away ERE has given me the tools to do so. I am no longer doing, I am learning. I am learning how to be whole in a world that doesn't want me to be whole. A world populated with people who actually intend me no harm; people who've lost control of the rampant machine we've collectively built and collectively refuse to take responsibility for.

Money is a tool, not a cure. Money will not help you until you learn how to use it. Even ERE forumites get so myopically focused on money it's driving me NUTS! ERE as a philosophy is about life, and yet somehow, this bastion of reason still gets into arguments like: money won't make you happy. Well of course money is not going to make you happy. Money is a tool. Thinking money will make you happy is sort of like expecting that a buzzsaw is going to make you happy. WHAT DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO WITH IT DOOFUS? Do you have money skills or do you only have saving skills? What are you doing with your money? Looking at it? Caressing it? Displaying it in a lit glass cabinet?

Whenever you feel like talking/discussing/complaining about money, try to substitute the word 'money' with the name of a power tool and see where your line of thinking takes you.

"I have all these hammers and chisels I inherited. What should I do with them?"

"My colleagues are making fun of me because I live like a pauper. They don't appreciate that I've got way more tools at home than they EVER will..."

etc. etc.

Maybe I'm just a real pissy mood right as I type this, but I tend to think that if what people notice about you is your tendency not to spend money, rather than the full life you live, it's because you ARE a stingy, uninteresting working stiff, who spends every waking hour grinding out sausage and hoarding monetary investments without letting the real life -that is supposedly inside you- out where it actually mo'fuggin' shows!

If you're able to live; live! If you are truly full of life it WILL show through. You don't actually have to post on social media for people to notice your surplus. If you were really that full of FU, why do you fret so much? That fretting is your inner voice trying to tell you something. Listen, acknowledge it and address it, whatever it might be.





Web of Goals - A ninerfive[@] job produces more side effects that I'm willing to deal with right now. Common sense and Design Thinking(TM) says I should experiment with different job constellations to see if something else works out for me.

So that's what I'm doing. Currently I'm prototyping coaching. The exact niche is a WIP.

Basically my life has been stripped down to: Morning walk with my daughter Mon-Fri, meditation, exercise every other day, prototyping a coaching biz, compassionate and present interaction with my GF every night, and social dancing.

I'm not fretting about learning, developing, extending, competing or optimizing. It feels like just 'being' where I am now gets me places I want to go in time.

Like a life on a well-aimed autopilot.



Social Life - I am extroverted so the isolation of the last two years' sick leave has taken quite a toll on me; it's no longer just the feeling of failure since I can't work like I used to, or the crushing disappointment in a vocation that I've worked towards for almost ten years. I don't have colleagues and I don't see my friends nearly enough. I'm hoping that at least weekly dancing lessons/weekly practice sessions will fill some of that social need as well as give me some exercise. Extending my network, developing a mastermind group and seeing new people is a definite spot to work on. I've been to Lindy dancing a couple of times before, and it's always -ALWAYS- an occasion for laughing out loud.

Basically I keep a calm and autonomous schedule of love, laughter, purpose, and appreciation. Not once in my life have I lived as well as I do on a day to day basis currently.



On Getting to Know Myself


Willpower - I already mentioned willpower in another entry. But it's worth getting into again. You won't know how much habits run your life until you free yourself of external obligations. I'm almost (almost) willing to suggest that the 6 months cooldown after becoming ER is actually a manifestation of habit adjustments.

I'm currently deliberately building constructive habits so I can function at my best. I have all the time in the world right now to work on those habits so I'm in a good place. I'm not at work, I'm not ill. I'm about as free as any single human on the planet can possibly be right now. 99.999th percentile at least.

But in spite of this extreme fortune, I'm still stuck with basic human biology. Just like everyone else, I have to work with what I've got, and I'm certain that being skilled in handling and manipulating one's own habits is a top priority for many who aspire to ER.





Mental Surplus - After the last couple of years of tribulations I have come to accept that killing myself in order to live is really not the way to go. Whether I've become gun shy (pun not intended) to the point where I'm unable to function normally out of fear of stressing out again I don't know. The suffering that came out of rationally trying to plan my death in a way that wouldn't traumatize my daughter clings to me like a tar that doesn't dissolve with neither time, water, nor alcohol. It's a profound shame, suffering, a scare, and a lesson I bear with me from now on. It's obvious that I don't/didn't understand the concept of sustainability when it came to my own health and I'm growing emotional baby legs that I'm not certain will support me yet. But I have no where else to go except forwards.

In my experience life is suffering. I bottled up immense loneliness as a child. I plowed headlong through soul crushing boredom, stress, and alienation as a carpenter. I toiled through way-too-many misguided years of immense stress, defeats, and inner turmoil as a master student. I suffered immensely from the alienation, hostility, and loneliness of the PhD project. Which brings us from little FBeyer -6 years old- to current FBeyer -approaching 40.

We cannot avoid it. It's not a sob story. It's not a rhetorical trick. We all have similar stories; the reason the pain sticks is that we've never learned how to deal with it properly. What we have learned is how to avoid the suffering, and how not to address it at all. We don't actually learn to live with our pain, it just accumulates like mercury in predatory fish. We gobble up the world at the pace of life and it all just clogs us up. But avoiding suffering is just another form of suffering so the real trick is to develop a sustainable coping strategy.

Humans do not adapt well unless there is a clear and present crisis.
It's a common tactic in politics and business to extend a crisis to impose drastic change. (Like say a terror attack 17 years ago that is STILL used as an excuse to violate people's privacy. In other words: Keeping the threat up for so long that we condition the population to accept deeply fascist movements to interfere with our lives for our own good. We're malleable as long as we're scared.) But when the crisis is over we have to step out and get moving once again.

I've been sheltered from work, office politics, and corporate bullshit for a long time now. I've stood under an umbrella for quite some time, but I'll have to get out in the rain sooner or later, and when I do, I have to be equipped to deal with getting soaked in bullshit once again.[$]

Bipolar disease and depression is present in my family. I'm starting to slowly accept that I might be crazy too; but I can't change that. What I can change is the environment in which I have to function. Society around me feels deeply pathological. I have to interact with the world, it's a fundamental drive in me. My task must therefore be to only immerse myself in those parts of society to which I can still subscribe.

I can still give talks at big corporations, I just have to make sure that I'm teaching people how to love in the workplace, not how to sell ketchup ice cream to narcissistic teenagers.

Hiding from suffering is to hide from life, which is probably the greatest suffering of all.

Life is suffering, so get your shit together.





My Intelligence - Compared to other physicists and mathematicians I'm not certain my IQ is high enough to compete, either that or my focus is too wide. Either way there is a mismatch in relation to my STEM peers; IQ or grit. I'm competing in shark filled waters, and I'm not one of the sharks. It hurt -and hurts- as all fucking hell to realize that what I've been labeled as, taught, dreamed of, and slaved towards since I was 6 wasn't so.

It's good advice to try to find a work niche where you are the top 15%. If you're too far in the bottom, you'll be left in the dust by your peers, but if you're too far towards the top, you should look elsewhere because you have nowhere else to grow to.

I'm sitting at a weird junction where one hand I'm pretty sure I know a lot of stuff, that even high-ranking people don't know, but on the other hand I'm afraid of starting yet another venture where I'll work myself down to the bone.

The challenge here is then to learn to rely less on my intellect and learn to lean on social skills, connections, environmental changes, reflection, prototyping, cooperation, and acceptance. I can't do anymore, I can only learn.



Desires - My desire to work for money is almost completely gone. Like at 5% capacity compared to what it used to be three years ago. I've almost lost my appreciation of investing in a business that will sustain me. I know that I will have to put in work and hours to build a business that will pay me, so that I won't have to work in someone else's business in order to get paid, but still I drag my feet.

Motivating myself is a work in progress, and 19 years of quiet desperation tugs at me, screaming that it's all going to hell again, because that's how it's always been.

But I've stopped doing now.
I'm learning instead.


Thank you.






[@] Pronounce with thickest yokel accent y'all can muster.

[$] There is an implicit assumption here that life must be full of bullshit. I think it's definitely worth prototyping whether it's possible to cut back on the amount of shit I have to deal with. Declaring the world so-and-so without testing it is a fallacy after all.

Cheepnis
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Cheepnis » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:54 pm

Wow, powerful post.

As someone a decade and change younger and just starting out on the ERE path a post like this is sobering. Particularly the first few paragraphs. I've read the book and know full well FI is a byproduct, yet it's still easy to get it the other way around in your thoughts.

The rest of your post and introspection were great too. Lots of new angles to look at my own life from. The portion on intelligence struck a chord with me as I had a very similar experience not being one of the sharks. I'll count my blessings my journey on that road ended when it did and didn't drag on, but it still sucked realizing that giving up part of my identity was the best course forward.

Thank you for your candidness.

Crazylemon
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Crazylemon » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:30 pm

Incredibly Candid post.

I am glad to hear you are slowly moving from a very dark place to a place of growth.

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