Being a source in a major media outlet requires taking off the mask of semi-anonymity I’ve been wearing since starting I Dream of FIRE in June. Since the main reason I went that route was to keep my blog separate from my work identity — and my mini-retirement makes that unnecessary — I guess that means I’m going public.
My name is Scott. If you’ve followed some posts of the infamous FinCon mohawk incident, you already knew that. I had already been considering whether to drop the anonymity once I left my job, and the opportunity with CNN Money just made that an easy choice.
I had already shared that I was behind this blog with some friends and other people around Utah with an interest in personal finance. Some of my co-workers recently learned about it, as well. I plan to redesign this site in the next couple of months, and I’ll add more of me into it.
Things have been a bit quiet around here while I wrapped up my work duties and tried to make the transition as smooth as possible for my replacement. All in all, I feel like I mentally understand that I’m not going to work on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday. But honestly, it hasn’t sunk in yet emotionally what that’s going to be like.
I’ve gotten some great advice so far from bloggers at Life Zemplified, Retire Before Dad, Keep Thrifty, Montana Money Adventures, and Shift Upwards, among others. I’ve heard positive things from people outside the personal finance space who have taken time off and found it to be an important time in recalibrating their lives.
I have some plans for stretching my comfort zone to grow and learn new things, and I’m going to be open to opportunities that I might not have had plugging along in my IT position. One word I’ve heard thrown around a lot is courage. That what I’m doing takes a lot of courage that many people don’t think they have. For me, this decision didn’t feel right immediately. I had to sit with it, think about what it would look like and what it would mean.
It took many months for me to get here.
If you think this is something you want to do, but that you could never have the courage, I challenge you to really examine that notion. What would it look like for you to take a sabbatical? What would your finances have to look like? How could you cut your essential spending to make it happen if you really wanted it? How much would you have to save to feel confident to take a break for three months, or six months, or a year?
Once you put plan to paper, all you’re left to figure out is the way to get there.
You never know where that might get you. Somehow it got me on CNN.
P.S. – It turns out I’m not the only one in my family getting some press today. My brother is the lead source in this story on Nerdwallet about making professional connections on airplanes. Pretty cool!