The Other Side of FIRE

By Brandon | October 30, 2018 | 14 Comments

Last year I flew to England and attended Chautauqua: UK 2017. I was so inspired while I was there that, among other things, I started this blog. It was very early in my current relationship so my girlfriend didn’t attend with me. While I was there I couldn’t stop thinking about how valuable it could have been to our relationship if we had attended together. One of the number one causes of disagreements in relationships is money. Because of that, it’s important to have an open dialog about money as early as possible. But when do you start talking about net worth, credit card debt, and investment strategy? First date, sixth date, engagement…? I figured that attending Chautauqua together could not only facilitate our communication but we could talk openly with other couples about how they handle money. My mission was clear. We needed to attend Chautauqua as a couple. After…

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Hard Work is Stupid

By Brandon | June 11, 2018 | 6 Comments

Fear rushed down my body like an avalanche of battery acid. I froze and my heart went berserk. I spotted another person through the window on the treadmill. I scampered back to my apartment and the comfort of my chair and TV. Crisis averted. I was safe. I would rather die fat and wheezing than let somebody see my lazy body fumbling around the gym. But wait, I’m in control of my life and I make the decisions around here. Why do I give an f what some bro on a treadmill thinks about me? Because I didn’t want to feel stupid, that’s why. Personal Development I’ve always been interested in personal development. It first started when a friend of mine recommended Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Since then through countless books and blogs I noticed that all my heroes had similar habits. 1.) Journaling and 2.) Taking care…

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Center of the Universe

By Brandon | April 9, 2018 | 2 Comments

Nobody cares about you. They don’t want you to succeed because you’re not worth it. You have nothing to offer them because you are not unique in any way, shape, or form. All your positive qualities and skills add up to zilch in their eyes. Unless you are a tool they can use to better themselves everything you say or do is going to go in one ear and out the other because It’s just meaningless babble and you are wasting their time which is more valuable than yours. Don’t even think about asking for help then you’re just nagging and nobody likes a whiner. Keep that stuff to yourself. Brutal. Let me explain. People are self centered. I am, you are, and everybody around you is. There are very few of us that have the ability to care about others as much as we care about ourselves. Yes, I…

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I’m Famous Now!

By Brandon | March 28, 2018 | 2 Comments

Photo left to right: Mad Fientist, Ms. Mad Fientist, Katie Donegan, Alan Donegan (PopUp Business School), JL Collins (jlcollinsnh.com), Mrs. JL Collins, Wanderer (Millennial Revolution), FireCracker (also Millennial Revolution), Vicki Robbin. I went all the way to bloody England and all I have to show for it is this appearance on the famous Mad Fientist Podcast! We laughed, we cried, The Mad Fientist spilled beer on himself, and we took everything way too seriously (not really). I discovered the financial independence community about 3 years ago because I unwilling visited on a clickbait headline that went something like this “This couple retired in their 30’s and now they travel the world.” Jeremy and Winnie at gocurrycracker.com got me started and as I’ve gone deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole I learned that there is an annual event called Chautauqua where all the crazy FI people meet up. Being a crazy…

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How to Cheat at Life

By Brandon | March 19, 2018 | 4 Comments

As a child when my mom gave me instructions, I would always obey. Mom: Brandon, go get the shirts off the clothes line. Me: Okay. Me: *returning to the house with a load of clothes in my arms* Mom: Where are the rest of the clothes?! Me: You only told me to get the shirts! I was a frustrating child. My mom didn’t appreciate my attention to detail in her instructions but I see now that it was going to be a pattern for me. Doing the bare minimum I think I can while still getting what I want. You know who else is lazy? Mother Nature. Take lightning for example. It takes the path of least resistance to get to the closest negatively charged object. It’s not as simple as that though. It actually takes all paths available until it realizes that it’s not on the most efficient path.…

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Cheaters Always Win

By Brandon | February 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

“This game cheats for people who are good at it!” my sister screamed as she threw her controller at my face. I ducked quickly, narrowly avoiding disaster as it smashed against the wall, denting the plaster. She was only thinking one thing, “Why is the world out to get me?!” as she got up off the floor and stomped out of the bedroom. Her reaction didn’t surprise me. We played video games at my dad’s every other weekend and no matter how hard she tilted her head to the left and right or lifted the controller up quickly she couldn’t defeat the evil mushrooms, turtles, and other creatures on the screen. Beating her was easy for me. I always rescued the Princess from the castle. In my sister’s mind she was a victim of Nintendo. They were out to get her. They didn’t want her to win. As far as…

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Why Do Dreams Turn into Nightmares?

By Brandon | January 20, 2018 | 2 Comments

Look at that cool punk drummer! Ahh… the dream of every young angsty musician, to make a living playing music. That’s the life I thought I wanted while I was drumming away on the back of that flatbed semi trailer in Jonesboro, Arkansas, circa 2000. I travelled the continental United States with Annie’s Apology for about 2 years, 2000-2002. Living in a Volkswagen Jetta, performing at coffee shops, festivals, youth centers, and even homeless shelters. Sometimes we slept in the car, or not at all, or if I got lucky I would get to share a single bed with one of my band mates (something that happened on more than one occasion). When I first joined Annie’s Apology it was all about the music. I envisioned being on stage lauded by screaming fans, in the studio making history, or hanging with other musicians and music lovers just living the good life. I…

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Life in the Left Lane

By Brandon | September 4, 2017 | 10 Comments

If you follow this blog you know I was recently in England where I experienced a ton of personal growth at Chautauqua UK. While there we rented a car for a road trip to Stonehenge and Bath. Stone Henge is a 6,000 year old…stone henge and Bath is a city built up around an ancient Roman bath house. Despite the city’s name I was unable to bathe there. Don’t make the same mistake I did and disrobe before the tour. I get bored when I’m not challenging myself so I welcomed this opportunity to drive a car on the left side of the road for the first time. Usually I choose challenges where one of the possible outcomes isn’t death by starvation while trapped in a roundabout, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and I’m glad I did. Left, Right? So you sit on the right, shift on the…

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Chautauqua UK & Self-awareness

By Brandon | August 25, 2017 | 9 Comments

Chautauqua UK is a magical place where people at all stages of the journey to financial independence meet to discuss ideas, validate numbers, play football in the pool, and fly drones (check out the video below). I just spent the last 2 weeks in bloody England. I started out at the first ever Chautauqua UK hosted at the beautiful Ettington Park hotel near Stratford Upon Avon (birthplace of Shakespeare) and the second week exploring London with my girlfriend and another couple. During Chautauqua I felt empowered like I could do anything I wanted as long as I put in the time. I was burning to get back to my day to day life and apply all the inspiration from my experiences. There were so many ideas running through my head.  Maybe I would start Spanish tutoring on the side, get my savings rate up to 50%, live more intentionally, or…

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