I’ve been thinking: though I’m on a solid track toward financial independence, I want to make sure I’m preparing myself for my post-FI life in the real way, not just financially.
For instance, after I reach financial independence I’d like to write a novel, get it published. But, as any writer would tell you, your first novel is like a first pancake. As in, it’s probably going to s-u-c-k. What makes a good writer, like most things, is intention and practice. Or so I’ve read.
Therefore, it makes sense for me to start writing now so that when I finally hit financial independence I’m not just starting and struggling. I want to have gotten through that first part of the S-curve. Like my financial front-loading I want to have built the foundation emotionally and skill-wise for a successful fauxtirement. Soon as I put in my notice, I want to be rolling.
But before we get to the point of preparing myself for post-FI, I need to look at the possibilities. Because, while it’s still abstract, there are so many ideas of what my life could look like. Getting a survey of my goals first will help me figure out what skills I should be preparing for later.
So here they are, my what-if-I-didn’t-have-to-work-anymore life paths:
I love to outline stories. Character development, plotting, scene development. But here’s the deal: when it comes to actually writing as in can I put a string of words together I am very much a work in progress. My sentences are either too long or too short, I use too many commas, and half the time I’m like what the hell are words even. Don’t even get me started on writing dialogue. I remember once my creative writing professor said that one of my pieces read “like it was written by a third-world dictator, maybe North Korea.” I’m still not entirely sure what she meant by that, but I assume it was bad (and also kind of racist).
I’ve had some practice in the past few years writing on blogs, theater-y work, and general report writing for my job. But if I wrote novels or short stories, they’d probably fall somewhere between science fiction and literary fiction.
Unfortunately, as much as I think governmental intervention is important in creating safeguards and rules for a just society, it seems the only way to make an impact quickly either for the betterment or detriment of people’s lives is to use the most flexible institutional structure available in our country. That is: start a business. I’d like to found a B-corporation, build it up, and then transfer the ownership to the company’s employees, giving labor the financial benefit it’s due and starting afresh to found new companies in different areas.
As to what my businesses would actually do? I’m not entirely sure yet. I think I’d like to provide services that make zero waste living more viable (think, e.g. Go Box which provides businesses with reusable takeout containers). Or maybe I’ll buy up foreclosed property (to compete with exploitative buyouts like what’s happening in Detroit) and resell to previous owners under a rent-to-own model.
Sometimes I feel like I just want to make things. Play around with an Arduino, learn how to do basic carpentry. This life path feels the most amorphous, in part because I rarely do anything with my hands and wouldn’t even know where to begin. But it also seems like it could be a lot of fun. Just having adult play. And if I come up with something useful then maybe I can spread it to the masses.
What would you do with your life if you didn’t have to work? How are you preparing yourself for post-FI?