Recently, I went to a networking event in which there was a keynote by Doug Hall. I didn’t know who Doug Hall was at the time, but I found out that he’s a famous inventor who was on TV about 10 years ago.
Doug’s presentation style is electric. He’s racing across the stage, excited to be sharing a systems-based approach to innovation that’s he developed. Doug’s mission is to help companies fix internal systems that negatively impact the ability to innovate. In short, Doug engineered a system for innovation that helps companies create new products quickly and cheaply. It’s AWESOME!
Doug’s keynote made me realize the incredible opportunity I’ve missed and I’m afraid that if I continue on this FIRE journey, I’ll miss a whole lot more.
We’ve all had those ideas. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all invented something…bottled water, pie bites, the spork, [fill-in-the-blank] app — you name it. How many times had you had an idea that you’ve failed to act on?
Personally, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed to act, so let’s say it’s more times than I can count.
With our limiting beliefs and poor financial situation, I was even convinced that we couldn’t take action on any one of the countless ideas we’ve had. To bring a new product to market takes just too much time and too much money…or so we assumed.
Post-FIRE, all we have is time and money. What excuse will we have then to not act on our new ideas?
Conquering limiting beliefs has been a challenge, but I’m wholly committed to defeating these limiting beliefs that I know limit my creativity.
Focusing on FIRE as the end game became a limiting belief and it was/is killing my creativity. All these ideas I have can’t come to fruition if all I’m thinking about is the end game; it was the same situation when we were in debt because all we could think about was getting out of debt.
I think of brain power like a cell phone battery. Am I wasting my battery each day thinking about FIRE when I should free myself to be creative?
Fortunately, we’ve acted on a couple of ideas. What we’ve produced (so far) are products of our environment and past experiences. Having spent 10+ years in digital marketing, it wasn’t a stretch to start a side hustle or even to start training others. Digital marketing is what comes naturally…what’s most obvious…what we have experience doing.
Recently, we decided to grow beyond consulting for a limited number of businesses and launch a digital marketing agency in a particular niche. Guess what? Even this niche-focused agency is well within our wheelhouse!
New experiences generate new ideas, new opportunities to be creative. FIRE will certain lend itself to the creation of new experiences, but do we have to wait?
Pursuing FIRE (and even getting out of debt) is all about problem solving, so you could say we’ve become especially adept at problem solving.
What I’m concerned about is that pursuit of FIRE alone removes creative, innovative, and hardworking people from the workforce. If you’re able to retire at 35, what else can you do? What life-changing technology or service do you have to bring to the market?
Heck, if you’re able to retire at 65, I KNOW you have more to offer the world, too.
So are we focused on the wrong goal? Should we focus instead on applying ourselves now rather than focus on the pursuit of FIRE in an effort to craft a life worth living?