The Declaration of [Financial] Independence part 2

Episode 35: The Declaration of [Financial] Independence part 2

In this new episode of The RevolutionFI Podcast, Tim talks about The Declaration of [Financial] Independence part 2.

“So, the question is this: How can 50+ folks like us, honest and hard-working, how do we manage our current responsibilities and still plan for retirement? 401ks alone won’t be enough and we don’t have 40 years to save, so how do we leverage our experience and wisdom to gain financial independence? That is the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Tim, and welcome to the Revolution. The RevolutionFI podcast.”

The Declaration of [Financial] Independence – https://revolutionfi.com/declaration/ 

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Music: Cool Rock by Kevin MacLeod

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3552-cool-rock 

License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ 


Beautiful Sunday morning to you. I hope you enjoyed my reading of The Declaration of Financial Independence from yesterday. I thought today with our cup of coffee, maybe a bagel or an Egg McMuffin if you’re Jim Kukral, we can sit down and dissect the declaration, and I can explain to you what I was attempting to do with that. Hopefully, this is something that you will find useful if you want to create a tribe, clan, or a community to build upon.

First of all, let’s talk a little bit about the revolutionfi.com website. I had a few people message me and say, you know, your branding, it doesn’t quite work for money, your colors, green is money and it looks very patriotic, it doesn’t necessarily look like money, and I said I appreciate that observation. You’re absolutely correct, but that is entirely intentional, so let me explain.

American Revolution

I was trying to think of a way to tie in RevolutionFI, or even the concept, before I had the name. I was trying to think about how it was going to tie my new venture into things that were uniquely me, things that were unlike anyone else, and one of the things that I’ve always loved is history. Specifically, I’ve loved the Revolutionary War, American era of history. In fact, I majored in it at the University of Pittsburgh.

I’ve studied and read and watched so much on the Revolutionary War, and despite some of the misgivings that we have about the people who lived at that time and their values, I still believe some of those people, and yes, they were mostly men, because of the way the society was at the time. Some of the most influential and powerful thinkers who have ever lived and continue to impact our lives today have tremendous amounts of respect for guys like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and George Washington. Regardless, like I said, of what their situations were at the time, and we can debate those historical faults in another episode, but the point was, by creating a website and a brand that reflected my love of the ideals and the values of the American Revolution was important to me. That’s why I went with red, white, and blue.

The Declaration of Independence

That’s why I had my designer create me a logo that reflected that too, but at the same time, it had to tie into this idea of financial independence. It kind of hit me one day when I was looking through some of my history books, and in the appendix of one, I came across the Declaration of Independence. I thought, that’s it, because what I’m talking about here is financial independence, so it worked. Well, at least I think I did, and I think it worked, you’ll have to let me know. Secondly, I think giving it the branding in the way that it’s set up, it’s a very aggressive tone, and I don’t mean that in a negative connotation. I mean, it’s aggressive versus passive. It’s encouraging action. It’s encouraging transformation. I’m not interested in having people get slightly better at stuff that doesn’t change your life.

In order to have a transformation, you have to have a revolution. You have to completely alter the way you’re doing things because if you keep doing things the way you are, you’re going to keep getting those same results. I’m not a fan of incremental or slight tweaks when you’re looking to make a major life change. I think you need a revolution of some kind, so the sales copy, the pictures, the branding, the color, all of that is meant to convey a tone of action versus inaction.


Now let’s talk about this term firebrands. This is also very deliberate. I wanted to name the audience, and I wanted them to identify with a certain set of values, the ones that I’m espousing here on revolutionfi.com. The firebrand was a term that really rose to prominence during the American Revolution. Guys like Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry who were making incredibly moving speeches and trying to motivate the people for change, and they became known as firebrands, stoking the fires of revolution, and I love that imagery.

It just so happens that FIRE is the acronym for Financial Independence Retire Early, and FI is the acronym for Financial Independence. If you look at FIREbrands, it works on all those levels. It connects my love of US history and the FI, or FIRE, movement. It all works, at least from my perspective, it does. Now, one final note here, what I’m really trying to do is create a small community of people who feel the same way.

Creating a Family

I know that there’s some negativity around using the word tribe, and I recognize that it’s probably not a good idea, so I would say a clan or family is what I’m interested in. As I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s hard to get 1000 true fans, as Kevin Kelly described it, I would rather go for 10 like Seth Godin does. Make something for 10 people and see what they do with it. Hopefully, you’re one of those 10 people, and I’ll be curious to see what you do with it. If you tell anyone about it, if you engage in any way. It’s hard to tell on a podcast because you’re talking into a microphone with a wall behind it, but I know you’re listening because I can see the numbers. Think about that.

As you start to create your business, your idea, as you start to think about the people you want to help, what is it you can do for them? What kind of transformation can you make for them? Can you give them something to rally around? A name, an image, an object, anything? Hopefully, you’ll identify as a firebrand, and The Declaration of Financial Independence can be a rallying call for you. I am certainly no Thomas Paine. I’m certainly no Patrick Henry, but I give it my best shot.

Alright. That’s it for this Sunday episode of revolutionfi.com. Hopefully you’ll have a nice, relaxing rest of your day, and I will see you back tomorrow morning with another segment of My FI. Until then, have a great rest of your weekend.

Transcription by Otter.ai, please forgive the bot for typos and mistakes.
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