Podcast | Michael Quan – Financially Alert

On board today is Michael Quan, author of the book The Fire Planner, and the man behind the popular Financially Alert blog and the Breakthrough Millionaire Podcast. Michael sold his IT company and reached FIRE in his early thirties and now enjoys raising his young kids in sunny San Diego.

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Michael Quan

On board today is Michael Quan, author of the book The Fire Planner, and the man behind the popular Financially Alert blog and the Breakthrough Millionaire Podcast. Michael reached FIRE in his early thirties and It was actually only after he sold his IT company to a larger provider and inadvertently found himself back in a nine-to-five corporate job that he decided he was going to pull the pin and FIRE at age 36, which is pretty impressive.

Post FIRE, these days, Michael is a stay-at-home dad in sunny San Diego. He loves raising his kids, spending time with his wife, and in his downtime, writing, podcasting, and financially coaching his students and readers.

Michael’s latest project has been setting up and running a real estate investor mastermind group, which he does a couple of times a month.

I really enjoyed my chat with Michael and he had heaps of awesome suggestions for learning resources and inspiration too!

Michael Quan, Financially Alert


Episode 67: Michael Quan – Financially Alert

Show Notes

“My mission is to empower individuals and families to take control of their finances, achieve financial independence, and live the life they truly desire through personalized coaching, education, and mentorship. Becoming Financially Alert is all about growth. It’s learning the language of money. How to use it as a tool to get what you want, when you want it. And, it’s about building a life of freedom for you and your loved ones.”

Michael Quan – financiallyalert.com


Episode 67: Michael Quan – Financially Alert

Michael Quan

Captain Fi: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.

G’day, and welcome to another episode of Captain Fire, the financial independence podcast, where I open the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember, nothing said here is financial advice, and you should always do your own independent research before making any financial choices.

With that being said, I hope you enjoy the episode and learn something new.[00:01:00]

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G’day and welcome to another episode of the Captain Fire Financial Independence Podcast.

On board today is Michael Quan, author of the book Fire Planner, and the man behind the popular Financially Alert blog and the Breakthrough Millionaire Podcast. Michael reached fire in his early thirties and It was actually only after he sold his IT company to a larger provider and inadvertently found himself Back in a nine to five corporate job that he decided he was going to pull the pin and fire at age 36.

It’s pretty impressive. Post fire, these days, Michael is a stay at home dad in sunny San Diego. He loves raising his kids, got a son and a daughter, spending time with his wife, and in his downtime, writing, podcasting, and [00:03:00] financially coaching his students and readers. . And Michael’s latest project has been setting up and running a real estate investor mastermind group, which he does a couple of times a month.

It sounds like a lot of fun. Michael, welcome to the blog, mate. Great to have you here. How are you going?

Michael: I’m doing fantastic. Thank you so much for having me, Captain Five. I really appreciate you taking the time to, just chat. This is going to be fun.

Captain Fi: Yeah. Hey, my pleasure. You’ve got a really interesting story and I’m really keen to, to learn a little bit more about you and your journey.

So I guess as a bit of an intro, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself? So maybe where you’re from, your hobbies, that kind of thing.

Michael: Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up in California mostly in the Los Angeles area as I was growing up. And I went to school in San Diego. So that’s about a couple hours south of Los Angeles.

And I just fell in love with San Diego. San Diego has got the best beaches, the best weather, and it’s a really great, chill city, I would say. We’d like to call it the, the big [00:04:00] city that feels like a small one, but the reason why I loved San Diego is because it’s not as busy as Los Angeles.

There’s a lot of traffic and smog and lots of hustle and bustle out there. But when it came down here for school, for college, I just was like, I love it here. And so after college, I wanted to stick around. So of course I tried to find a job. And after I graduated from school, I had studied economics.

And so this is, I’m going to date myself here, but back in the late nineties was during the. com boom. So things were actually really hopping in terms of technology companies. We had companies like eBay, we had companies like Google and all these tech companies that were blowing up. At the time. And so I was like, you know what, maybe I’m not going to use this economics degree that I just got, and I’m going to go into tech.

And so that’s exactly what I did. I took all my knowledge from just playing computer games and I went into the field of IT. So helping out companies with their networks and integrating [00:05:00] their computers and servers into their workplace. And so I worked at a company for a good year and a half or so.

And during that time, unfortunately we had the events of nine 11. So, the twin towers went down, we have the terrorist attack in New York. And when that happened, unfortunately, the rest of the economy just fell out. Meaning that, we just had an implosion. And so the tech boom that I just basically entered into quickly evaporated.

And so I was basically at my company and they started laying people off left and right. And I was just like, Oh man, things were going so well, things were going so good. And then I was essentially facing a layoff. We were about the sixth round of layoffs or so. And what happened was I was, just thinking to myself, do I want to stick around and just wait for the official pink slip to come to my desk?

Or do I want to take matters into my own hand? And so what I did was I actually got a couple of friends and I said, Hey, we’re the only profitable segment of our company right now.[00:06:00] What if we did this on our own, given that this, entire ship is basically a sinking ship. And they’re like, yeah let’s totally get out of here.

So I started up an it company in my twenties with a few of my friends and we basically left and, knock on wood, we were very blessed. We learned a lot of things along the way. We had lots of trials and tribulations like any good entrepreneur, but over the course of a decade, I was able to sell this company and then take the proceeds from that and buy some cash flowing real estate.

So in the process of doing that, it gave me that flexibility, that financial independence, so that I could really explore what I wanted to do. And even though I was helping the company, once we got acquired, the larger parent company, I didn’t want to work for anyone, as you mentioned in the , the intro, and I realized that my daughter was one at the time and, I could be really present with her.

And so knowing that, life is precious and dear. I had unfortunately just lost my mom recently. And so that was fresh in my head. So I was like, you know what? I’m never going to get to my deathbed and look back [00:07:00] and say, I wish I hadn’t spent as much time with my kids as I did. So I took the very conscious decision of, pulling the plug in and doing the whole early fire thing.

So that’s the start of the fire piece and we’ll just leave it at there for now. And then since then, it’s been another decade. So we can get into some of that as well and talk about, potentially what this looked like over the last 10 years.

Captain Fi: Yeah, mate, time it’s, it’s incredibly valuable.

I’ve gone through, unfortunately, similar events myself just with the, on the family side and it really does just, make you think yeah, time is our most precious non renewable resource and being a motivation for being able to be present, being an awesome dad is actually one of my huge motivations towards FIRE and I guess, we talk about, FIRE and it’s become this very popular acronym, but I mean, maybe not everyone’s interested in the RE aspect, the retiring early, but everyone does need to achieve financial independence at some point in their life.

Otherwise, you’re constantly going [00:08:00] to be living paycheck to paycheck, right?

And you’re not really in control of your life. So, I guess regaining control of life was a huge thing for me personally. And it sounds like maybe that was a similar motivation for you. I mean, , what does financial independence mean to you and what has it given you?

Michael: Yeah. In terms of financial independence, I definitely looked at it from a scientific kind of point of view for a while in terms of, just making sure that it was enough passive income to cover your ongoing expenses.

So you didn’t have to work for that money anymore, but more importantly, I think fi and fire and whatever you’re ultimately pursuing in that related realm, it ultimately boils down to one piece. And I think you touched upon it, Pete, was it’s really about the freedom. All right. The freedom to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

And I believe more importantly, it gives you the ability to tap into your own talents, tap into your own focus. And I [00:09:00] believe your own gifts to ultimately serve other people. And if you’re just working for a paycheck. And doing what someone else tells you to do, I feel that can get, constricted.

And so the great thing about fire and fi is that once you are able to have that freedom, actually, you may love your job. There’s actually some people that love their job. My wife actually, she still works. She loves her job. She’s a high school biology teacher and it’s her life passion.

And I say there’s no need to do the RE part of fire. Right. Unless you really wanted to go do something else. Right. And I think a lot of times in the fire space, there’s this misnomer that it’s, the single point in time that you have to reach and then life’s perfect, right?

Because that’s not necessarily how it works. However, the freedom that you get from it, I think is truly that magical. So I think that’s what it means to repeat is really, it’s an inflection point of just having this weight lifted off your shoulder that you have to work for money. Instead of, allowing your money to work for [00:10:00] you so that you can ultimately express yourself in your most authentic way.

Captain Fi: I think that’s very well said. You don’t happen to be a blogger or an author, do you, Michael? You definitely got away with words. Yeah, look, it’s interesting. I know you touched on it a bit before about the timeline. On your journey, but could you tell us a little bit more about that journey?

Sort of what kind of piqued your interest and maybe why did you do it? What sort of motivated you and where did you sort of learn about this

Michael: concept? Yeah, that’s a fantastic question. I’ll tell you, I was very lucky. I grew up in a family, a pretty large family.

So on my mom’s side. She had nine siblings on my dad’s side, he had nine siblings. And so it was a really big extended family. And within this family, there was a lot of, I guess, people that were doctors and lawyers and entrepreneurs. And what I noticed when I was growing up was that some of them actually didn’t [00:11:00] have to work.

And two particular uncles that I noticed, were always home with their kids. They were always doing, stuff whenever they wanted to do it. And I was like, How are they doing this? This doesn’t make any sense. Like my parents are going to work. My dad had a CPA practice. So he’s doing the accounting for businesses and different clients.

And then my mom was a school teacher. And so they were constantly working. And I was like, how come my uncles here don’t have to do anything. And they just, hanging out with their families and going to their properties. And, I realized over time that they were real estate investors, that they’re entrepreneurs.

And. They had figured out a way, ultimately to find financial independence. And I got really curious. I’m like, I want that when I get older, I would love to do that. And so I say that I’m quite lucky because you don’t get to choose who your family is, the environment that you’re born into.

And so now part of what I am driven by is my mission is to help teach other people. They don’t have that. You [00:12:00] know that luck, so to speak, right, but they can pick up my book, right. And realize that, Hey, there’s another way you can do this. You don’t actually have to work a nine to five job for your whole life.

You can work part of it, right? Maybe you grind briefly for a moment and you get very focused, right? And you just invest wisely, you’re going to be able to build those assets over time and then have that freedom. And most people don’t even realize that they have the freedom. So I think that’s first and foremost is really.

Knowing that it’s possible. And so, yeah, my uncles gave me that possibility. And so, in the book, I definitely dedicate a portion of that to them and just say that, they gave me the gift of possibility. And then from there, I just started learning as much as I could. I started reading different books on investing, real estate, investing, entrepreneurship.

The whole nine yards, right? And just getting very curious. And so, over time you start picking up different things and seeing what works and doesn’t work. Lots of trial and error as well, right? Stumbling around a little bit, but for the most part, right, if you find the right [00:13:00] strategies that are tried and true, then I think you’ve got a pretty good chance of, reaching that fire goal.

Captain Fi: Yeah, it’s awesome, isn’t it? And I guess, the other thing is you don’t have to necessarily do. The whole jumping off a cliff fire thing, you can be using that time to maybe initially go part time or, now that you’ve got your financial independence behind you, it’s awesome to be able to start businesses.

 It’s like this giant safety net or this cheap mode, life on cheap. But I guess, for some people that they do. May be there in a demanding job. Like I know personally, I was in a very demanding job. It was like, as a pilot, so highly technical role it was basically a shift worker on call and yeah, putting in like pretty much maximum hours.

And it. It became unsustainable for me with a whole bunch of things that were going on. And so pretty much the universe made the decision to RE for me. And, obviously since then I’ve been working on passion projects [00:14:00] and, writing … Blogging and podcasting.

Obviously maybe not everyone is interested in that, like the kind of stuff that we’re doing. But I guess what I’m trying to get at here is, after you sold your company, you essentially found yourself back in that corporate role. And you’re like, okay, maybe this isn’t where I want to be, how did you know when it was time to pull the pin on that and essentially fire from this new role , and then move on to some other form of project some other form of.

Using your time because a lot of people, they get stuck in this, Oh, just one more day, or just one more year, just another hundred thousand in the investments. How did you know that it was your time to move on?

Michael: Yeah, that’s a great question, Pete. And as you’ll see throughout our conversation, I like to say that I have had a very lucky life in the sense that I listened very closely, I think, to some of the signs that were around me.

So what happened was. To be honest, it wasn’t [00:15:00] necessarily that I had intentionally targeted this specific date to retire early. What had happened was once I had sold the business, I left myself a calculated risk. Either I stay in this company and I grow this new company and I had some equity in there from the sale, and I could have potentially done well if the, company took off on a national level.

Or, if I pulled the plug completely, I can pull out all my equity and go along my way. So, I had two different… Possibilities. And what happened was over the next two years, while I was at this new company, it became very clear quickly that the company that I was working for wasn’t quite up to snuff in terms of integrity.

And, or just common decency. And what I mean by that is I’ll give you an example. It’s pretty sad, actually. They took the company entity that we had, which was a corporation, right? And we had an and impeccable credit. So

, we paid our bills very timely every single time, on the spot, maybe even early sometimes. [00:16:00] So the company that acquired us, they were quite the opposite. So they actually would pay their bills late. Even if they had the money, they would string people along. They would say things that were flat out lies.

And so they would basically buy a bunch of equipment with the company that they acquired. Like our company that they had acquired. And essentially they bought I think a half million dollars of computer server, equipment, network racks, networking equipment, whatever it was. And then they just didn’t pay the bill.

And so they eventually just bankrupt the company and. So that’s, I mean, that’s borderline fraud essentially. So the reason why I tell you the story is because I quickly realized that, you know what, there’s no way I’m going to work with people that had no integrity. Right. This is completely opposite to like, how I operated.

Oh, a hundred percent.

Captain Fi: Yeah. You got to be on the same page with your morals. Yeah. Yeah. And so

Michael: that gave me basically yet another reason to basically exit. So basically I had a three year. Employment agreement. I was like, I want out, I didn’t want anything to do with you [00:17:00] guys. So they paid me out my employment agreement.

And I still had, the equity that I had from the company that when I sold it. And so that was an additional catalyst on top of me, just wanting to be home with my daughter. So I just look for. What my gut’s telling me at the time and, might say a prayer here and there and just say, okay whatever the right path is and let it fall into place.

And that’s how it happened. It just fell into place. And then even then at that point, I was like I think we had to like, maybe million in change like 1. 3 million or something and assets or whatnot. So it was. At the time, this is talking about 2013 or so. And so it was a decent chunk of change, but it wasn’t a huge amount.

Right. And so I was like I don’t know if this is going to actually last right into perpetuity. So why don’t I just see what happens? And so. I actually did exit. I did the retirement early, not knowing full well if I was going to be able to, do it into perpetuity. But here’s the thing.

I didn’t really care. Right. Because it was enough that it gave me that freedom so [00:18:00] that, I mean, I could go for decades right before I had to re up or whatnot. But thankfully, I was able to hit on a time right before we had a great bull run with the markets and real estate and whatever else. And I’ve been able to.

Do decently over the last decade or so.

Captain Fi: It’s awesome, man. It’s funny how sometimes like the universe, I know it sounds a bit spacey, sometimes the universe and just life, it does. move you in a certain direction and things just fall into place.

It’s interesting that you even say that though, whether you can do it in perpetuity with, 1. 3 million and , I’m just sitting here going, Oh my gosh, 1. 3 million. Of course you can. But I suppose it all depends on your burn rate. And what standard of lifestyle you’re accustomed to.

 And there are so many. Layers upon layers of like safety factors when it comes to fire if you did want to RE things like if you have a partner that’s working, okay, that reduces risk because there’s still income. I mean, you can always get a job in the future.

You [00:19:00] can always tighten your belt. Yeah, I’ve just. Found that there are so many like different tweaks and behaviors you can make, even if that’s choosing to work one day a week in, a relatively low skill role, you’re not going to starve, not when you’ve got a, an awesome investment portfolio behind you. But look Michael, that’s probably an awesome segue into my next question, because, when I look at my plans for the future I, I feel like you’re trailblazing a path that I have been planning to take. So, I guess I’m keen to hear about your transition, going from entrepreneurship and creating, your IT business and then becoming an executive to then basically leave all of that responsibility and.

Some might even say status behind to become a stay at home dad, how was that transition?

Michael: I love that you asked that question, Pete because it’s really something that is, I think, [00:20:00] unique to people that do the early retirement piece in the sense that it’s a total shift of identity. So what you just said exactly was the case.

Like I was going into an office. I had a team of a dozen people that reported to me and so forth and so on. Right. And then the next day I’m home with my daughter changing diapers and have the TV on in the background and it’s a completely different life. Right. And because you’re so used to what you did before.

 It’s this context that it’s like your brain can’t quite register it right for a while. And so I had to do a lot of soul searching along the way. Right. And even before I did pull the trigger, I definitely took some time to figure out what I want to do going forward.

And so I definitely wanted to, definitely manage the portfolio, manage my real estate investments, things of that nature, and make sure that those were in place.. But even then there’s a ton of time beyond that. And so part of what I found myself doing was missing this connection with other people. And, even though I loved obviously being home with my daughter, she was one at the time.

And [00:21:00] so there’s, only so much that I can. Wrap my brain around in terms of I wanted to still grow intellectually as well. So I started blogging. That was the reason for the blog was because I was like, I need to get back out there and just share something.

And I gotta be honest. Like when I did that, I was actually very fearful because I didn’t really want to put myself out there. But then I knew I was like, that’s selfish because I’ve been able to do something that I think a lot of people would, really love to be able to do themselves.

And so if I at least go out there and share these ideas and share the mindsets to share some of the strategies, and that’s at least serving someone, beyond myself. And so that’s where the blog came from. And then from that, the great thing about that is that you start getting connected to other bloggers, other influencers.

And, that’s how the financial coaching came about. That’s ultimately how the book deal came about and all these different, pieces that are connected along the way have happened, because of that. And so I say that, when you do. Retire early. It’s not really that destination, right?

It’s [00:22:00] almost like a new beginning, It’s an identity shift to be someone totally different and an opportunity to really dig deep. And see what’s important to you. And so for me, it was really about exploring areas that scared me. So in this case, it was, just putting myself out there on a blog.

And then because I was doing, I was like, forget it. Let’s just go all full out. Right. And then I started sharing all of my net worth stuff like you do as well, Pete. And I was like, just throw it out there. Right. And just trying to, just give it in that sense. And, from there.

There’s always been these new challenges that have come along, even till this day. Now it’s like public speaking because of all this blog and the book, then it became the podcast. And then I got TV opportunities, all these crazy things that I would never have imagined because I was terrified to even get behind a microphone, let alone a camera Pete.

And so again, I live a very lucky life in that I think all of these opportunities. Even though they’ve been giving me so [00:23:00] much, I feel like it’s really not about me. It’s about how can I serve other people with this information that I’ve acquired over time, and how can I help other people to use it for their own lives so that they can enhance their own life and ultimately create impact in their own life and, create that ripple effect, so to speak, the fire movement, right, it’s a spreading the fire, so to speak.


Captain Fi: I love that. That’s your takeaway. Because that’s it. Once you have enough for yourself and, arguably like your family yeah, it does feel like, what are you going to do with all this extra time and this extra money and so helping other people does become the sort of logical next step.

And yeah, I mean, you hear it so many times that, fire or financial independence is just the beginning. You have this existential crisis. You have to reinvent who you are. I know I had to really think about, Oh shit, what do I do? Who am I? , what do I want to be doing?

What are my principles? And yeah it’s just amazing. It’s a difficult thing, but it’s this amazing [00:24:00] thing that we actually have this opportunity for. And yeah and it’s, you just want to help people. You just want to spread the news, don’t you? So, I do want to talk a little bit about how you’re doing that and the Fire Planner, but just before that, I’d like to close off this little section and I guess just maybe talk about some of the drawbacks and challenges that you’ve faced in what’s now over a decade of early retirement.

Michael: Yeah, that’s a great question. I even wrote an article, I think at one point, this is now a few years ago called the dark side of fire. Right. And so it definitely talked about the, that identity shift and trying to figure out, who you are, what do you stand for? What’s next?

What’s important to you? And, also when you put yourself out there on a blog, right, there’s gonna be people that, support you fully and there’s going to be other people who just say a bunch of crap. Right. So I don’t even read the comments when it comes to certain, publications or whatever for good reason.

 I think that’s just comes with the territory. The other piece about fire that, recently I would say.[00:25:00] And you’re right. I mean, when I was talking earlier when I exited, I had about the 1. 3 million net worth, so to speak at the time it felt sufficient, but more recently we’ve had all this inflation, right?

And so things are, in terms of just food and, everything here around the world, right. It’s gone up significantly. And so , that puts a little bit of a, I don’t know if it’s a mental pressure or, I just see it right. In terms of cashflow it’s increasing, right. On the expense sides of things.

And so I kinda, in the back of my head, I’m like, Oh, do I have enough now? And, just full disclosure, right now we’re a little over the 3 million mark. And so most people will probably say, that’s sufficient, right. But it’s again, it really depends on like the lifestyle that you’re living.

And so, we probably eat out way too much than we should. But we’re, very aware of what that looks like. And so, if we had to, we can pull back. But the reason why I share that is because when you hit, that financial independence and you get into the retire early mindset, you do have to just manage that.

In the back of your head, because you’re going [00:26:00] to hit different cycles of the market. And so you’re constantly, like you said, earlier, you can always tweak it in different ways. And so, for example, I could significantly cut back going out to eat. I could, do different things to, reduce the expenses.

But again, it’s just like some of that comfortability of what used to be. There is not. As much as it was when we had super low interest rates. So that’s something as well. And then, I think the third thing in terms of, the downside of the fires, just You know, sometimes when you’re talking to people, it’s hard to relate because people are like, Oh, what do you do?

And after I answer this, I’m curious what you say, right now, when they say, what do you do? Because I have said in probably a dozen different conversations, a dozen different things. Right. Sometimes I’m like, Oh, I’m a podcaster.

And then in another conversation, Oh, I’m an author. And another one, I’m a public speaker. Another one. Oh, I run a mastermind. And then the other one’s I’m a blogger. I’m a stay at home, dad, I’m retired. [00:27:00] I’m semi retired all these different identities that you kind of take on.

Right. So it’s identity

Captain Fi: crisis. I think, which hat are we wearing today?

Michael: Exactly. What about you though, Pete? Do you typically stay consistent , when you’re going out there, just talking to people and how you introduce yourself?

Captain Fi: Yeah, look it’s been a challenge. So, initially I just, I guess, said, look I’m just taking a bit of time off, so, a lot of my friends and family, obviously they knew my flying career took me pretty much all over the world and, for pretty much most of it, I was away from my hometown of Adelaide and so it made sense.

Oh look, with family health issues, like parents with terminal cancer. It was like, Hey, I’m just going to take a break. And, I’ve got some savings, don’t have to worry about it. And then. Yeah, people like, Oh, so, it’s been 18 months. He’s still just having a break when you get back into flying.

And so for some of them, I do say, Hey look, I have started a couple of websites [00:28:00] and I’ve said, look I do a bit of writing online or I’ve got a team of writers and basically produce these blogs and can make a little bit of income from display advertising, and most people go, Oh yeah, I’ve been on a website.

I’ve seen the ads. Okay, so that’s how they’re making money. And that’s, usually where I leave it. I don’t really talk too much about Captain Fi or the podcast just because try and keep that kind of stuff a bit private. A few close friends and family members have figured it out, which I don’t know how I feel about it.

, it’s definitely changed some relationships, unfortunately, probably not for the better.. Just through the, I guess the perception about wealth and maybe wealth inequality. But again, I’d say it does come down to choices you make about your lifestyle. And I’m, always willing to try and help people.

And , if people like genuinely interested in it. I do open up a little bit more with them, so I’ll tell them, okay no, I’m not just, creating these websites and getting income. I’ve also [00:29:00] You know, been investing like 75 percent of my income on average of my career, I get money from dividends.

I get money from rental income and go a little bit more in depth, but I I have to just suss the vibe. You don’t want to just go delving into it, I guess. Someone who’s not really interested. And you start talking about financial independence and they probably just, I don’t know, think you’re a bit of a dickhead.

So, yeah, I just, I try not to overshare. I probably just err more on the side of privacy. And then, yeah, it just depends how hard people… Sort of push. I don’t know what else this sort of people joke about all different careers. Oh, yeah. What is it?

I put the red bits on the end of match sticks or I’m a dolphin trainer or something

mostly Michael was just saying, I’ve had a lot going on in my life, between deaths in the family and that kind of stuff and just taking some time and then, yeah, basically just saying, look, , I don’t have a lot of expenses, so I’m just going to work part time online.

So that’s it. And most people they go, Oh, okay.

Michael: That’s great. Okay.

Captain Fi: We will get back to [00:30:00] the show in a moment, but for now, I wanna ask you a question. Do you have a side hustle? And if you do, is it scalable? My side hustle is building and running websites a form of digital real estate. Now, it might sound tricky to make money online, but really they’re just small online businesses that have low overheads, high margins, and which you can easily scale by outsourcing.

If you’ve ever read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, then you’re on the right track. What I love about websites is just like my investments, they’re working 24 7 to make me richer and I can put as much or as little effort into running them as I like. I can pay a writer to produce a piece of evergreen content, which is then edited and posted by virtual assistant.

Then it can be viewed potentially millions of times and easily updated by my editors over the years to remain relevant. If you want to learn more about this lucrative side hustle and retraining for the Digital Workforce revolution, then check out my article about making money online [00:31:00] and read my review of the E-Business Institute and their online self-paced courses.

The E-Business Institute cover everything from total beginners. Right through to advanced web design and how to buy, renovate, run, and sell websites for profit. As a graduate of the E-Business Institute, I can’t thank Matt and Liz enough for the valuable web skills I’ve developed. And now I can enjoy growing my portfolio of websites for semi-passive income.

Captain FY listeners can register for free access to some of their resources by following the link in the E-Business Institute review article on captain fy.com. So what are you waiting for? Start learning how to build a portfolio of digital real estate and use websites to make money today.

So look I’m really keen to talk a bit about your book. So for anyone who’s listening, who isn’t familiar with Michael, Michael’s written a guidebook called the fire planner. So Michael, what is the fire planner and how can it help [00:32:00] people reach fire?

Michael: Absolutely. So the fire planner. Is the book that I wish I had when I was, first starting out and I just wanted to even figure out how this is even possible. So it’s an interactive workbook that you can actually write in. So I wanted to do a book that was a little bit different than most financial books out there.

So it’s actually a lay flat planner where you can open it up and it talks about. Not only a plan to help you to reach fire in the different ways and different strategies, but it also gives you the, time to think about different concepts and write it into the book. How do identifying limiting beliefs that you might carry that you need to work on as well as, when you finally do reach FI, do you want to actually do the retire early thing?

So it goes through that entire cycle and just gives a very I think great 30, 000 view overlook of fire. And then if you want to, then you dig deeper into the, different sections and there’s fantastic books on all these different sections. So for example, I might be talking about,[00:33:00] investing in equities, right?

And so I say, we’ll go check out JL Collins , a simple path to wealth. If there’s something about real estate and investing, then I might talk about Million Dollar real estate investor by Gary Kellar. .

Things of that nature, but I think for the most part, it’s for people that, they’re interested about fire. Or even people that I think understand what fire is and they just want to take it to the next level. It really gives you a place to put all your thoughts down and then stick with it.

Right. I think a lot of times, a lot of people get started in fire, but it’s very hard to stick with unless you have the right, why. Unless you have the right tools and the right community around you and the right resources. And so I just wanted to be one piece of that puzzle for people that are on that journey or for people that don’t even realize this journey is available.


Captain Fi: that’s awesome. It’s good to have something that’s I guess. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. And so by having it all laid out and it’s like a quick reference guide or handbook where you can farm people out to, okay, these are the overviews.

[00:34:00] And then these are the specialists to go to. I love it. I don’t know what it is about me, Michael. I think it’s just me personally. I have this aversion to writing in books, and I’ve had all of these books, and they have sections, and they, ask for critical reflections and stuff, self reflections, and I just, I can’t bring myself to pen.

The page, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Michael: There’s nothing actually wrong with you whatsoever. Ironically enough, I’ve never once written in my own fire planner. And it would actually bother me as well. So, but here’s what I have done in the past, because actually I don’t like messing up my books either, but here’s what I’ve done in the past is I’ll actually scan a picture in, and then I’ll write on it digitally.

So that’s a Yeah. Or you can literally, make a photocopy of it and write on it physically. I used to do that as well as a kid when I was like, had specific things I wanted to take very specific notes on. Yeah. So I’ve never actually been one to actually highlight, but I know a lot of people do and that’s the reason why I created this way for people.


Captain Fi: [00:35:00] No, it’s good. So where can people get a copy?

Michael: Yeah. So the easiest way it is to find it in an amazon. com, but there’s also. You can find that at some Barnes and Noble stores in the United States. Internationally, I believe there’s some places also on Amazon, because I think they have Amazon, international their websites.

And then there’s also a Vietnamese version, as well as a French version that just came out. And I think those are specific to , those respective countries. So, Oh, wow. Vietnam. And then I’m assuming France somewhere you could pick it up. But I don’t know the details of that because the publisher hasn’t given me all the details yet.

So I don’t even know how to ship it. Other than I know that they exist and I’ve gotten one copy of the Vietnamese version and that was interesting because I have no clue what it says, but it looks cool.

Captain Fi: There you go. Actually Adelaide has a very high, um.. vietnamese population. So, you might be getting some sales down here, mate.

 I’m definitely going to grab a copy and check it out. And I’ll have to do a review for the blog. So speaking of fire and planning [00:36:00] did you guys have a fire number? And what do your investments look like? What do you choose to invest in and why?

Michael: Yeah, that’s a great question.

When I was first. Building my company and starting to invest in real estate and build, my portfolio in my head, I didn’t have necessarily a specific number, but I knew that, it would have to. Easily cover our ongoing expenses and then some, right.

And so to me, it was this kind of nice round number of 10, 000 a month. It was always, it was in my head as far as what we needed. And so that was always the target. And so whatever that looked like in terms of a dollar amount, depending on what the interest rate looked like on a very conservative, you just started into CDs or if you had a, in a portfolio and you just conservatively got to pull out seven, 8 percent every single year, or it would grow seven, 8 percent every year.

And you could just pull that off of the top. I think for me, I never prescribed completely to the idea of the 4 percent rule where you [00:37:00] would draw down on the principal over time. I’m more of the person that likes to be a little bit more conservative. So the reason why, , even at 1. 3 million, I exited, The advantage that we had in the back of the pocket, right. Of course, is my wife was still working. So because of that, I can still maintain the portfolio without drawing down on anything, There’s still dividends. There’s still real estate coming in. So we never had to touch that.

And so that’s part of why I was able to grow over the next 10 years. So I would say, If we didn’t have that if my wife wasn’t working, I would have potentially kept working in the space. Cause I would have wanted that number to be probably two X that. , and again, everyone’s, a little bit different now.

That’s what I write in the fire planner. You have to figure out what’s right for you, but I just like, I to be a little bit conservative in terms of. How much so called passive income you’re going to have relative to, what your outgoing expenses are. So in terms of a specific planning, what I did, to be honest, Pete was, I was just throwing things at the wall, right?

I knew that I wanted to invest early on. And so I was [00:38:00] investing in Roth IRA. So, in the States, of course we have this Roth IRA component. I’m not sure what you guys have. Out there in Australia, the superannuation or something like that. Yeah.

Captain Fi: Yeah. That’s it. Yep. Yep.

Michael: So, taking advantage of some of those tax advantage vehicles and containers so that you can ultimately build slowly.

So I always knew, just throw things as much money as I could. So I was at certain points we were investing probably upwards of 60, 70 percent of our income and throw it into there. And then over time. As your income grows, the amount of it also grows as well. So you just keep pushing it in there.

And so if you keep doing that, eventually you’re going to be able to build a nest egg, that’s, pretty nice overall, but then I wanted to accelerate it. So that’s when I started investing in real estate and I think real estate is really where I tell people

if I were to do it all over again, I would start just investing first and foremost in equities, just setting it on autopilot investing, however much you can, [00:39:00] that makes you comfortable, whatever it is, 30, 40%, if you’re able to maybe more and just set it and forget it. Right. So that you’re just doing whatever you’re doing and it’s just taken off the top and it’s going, and that’s going to guarantee that you’re going to have, nice nest egg by the time you retire in traditional years.

Right. And then if you want to accelerate that though. I say the next piece is going to be real estate investing or entrepreneurship. And so I talk about that in the book is like, those are two fire accelerators. And the third one is if you want to be super aggressive with your equities and portfolio investing, then you can definitely do that as well.

And you can invest, 80 percent or more or whatever, take it to the extreme. Right. And so everyone’s a little bit different, how they go about doing that. It sounds like you obviously got very concentrated. Obviously you put a lot away other people, they might do it. Through entrepreneurship real estate investing.

And so I did a little bit of all three, right? So I guess you could say I took a shotgun approach, right? I did a little bit of all three kind of saw what [00:40:00] stuck. And then in the end, ultimately they all served a part of the greater good of creating this, fire environment that gave me the ability to retire early.

So long winded way of saying I wasn’t super intentional, . About picking a very specific number early on, other than knowing that I needed this kind of $10, 000 of recurring, passive income. And then, I felt comfortable, just doing whatever I wanted to do , outside of that.

Captain Fi: that makes sense, mate. And I’ve done a very similar thing with the investments. Obviously, chucked a bit extra into my super, which is like the Roth IRA you spoke about. And then, yeah, just chucked heaps into a brokerage account, just basic index funds globally diversified Portfolio.

And yeah, property. I did a property development. And so that was stressful, but I’m glad it’s finished. And so we’ve got a, duplex bringing in rental income. And , I guess you’d say I. Did entrepreneurship to o I don’t feel like I’ve got a proper company,[00:41:00] these blogs that get to advertising revenue, I guess they are a company.

Maybe you’d call it an IT company or a media company. But that’s definitely been a huge fire accelerator for me. And actually, I really like that term, Michael fire accelerator. That’s cool. You’re right. If you are someone that doesn’t have the skills to do real estate investing or the time or maybe the serviceability and you’re not really interested in setting a company or business up, then yeah, index funds are almost like the slow guaranteed way to retirement over time.

And then yeah, I love it. If you want to accelerate that, you can either bump up your savings rate and invest a lot more of your income. Or you can look at using leverage in real estate or starting a company. Yeah. Awesome. So Michael, we’ve spoken a little bit about it. About your first 10 years of early retirement being a stay at home dad, I’ll use the inverted comma, early retirement what does that look like for you now?

Because obviously you’ve still got your kids , but now [00:42:00] you’ve got obviously the podcast and you’re doing the property mastermind. So what is a little bit of your day to day life

Michael: look like? Yeah, that’s a great question, Pete. And yeah, it’s interesting. Now it’s literally been 10 years since this specific year, because 2023, I did the whole early retirement in 2013.

So it’s really fascinating to see over this last decade, how it’s panned. And if you asked me where I’d be today, like 10 years ago, I would have had no clue that I’d be doing what I’m doing now. And in some regards, I think that’s a good thing. I think I go through life and like I said, living lucky in the sense that I don’t necessarily want to know exactly where I’m going because I want to be able to grow into areas that are brand new and explore.

And so on a given day to day, it looks very different every single day. Some days I’m actually just playing tennis. other days, it could be working on the blog and the podcast. Other days it could be coaching someone. There’s definitely kids and family stuff involved in every day pretty much.

But [00:43:00] interlaced throughout the day. Now that the kids are older, I don’t have to spend as much time, right? I’m not changing diapers anymore. They’re off to school. They can do their own thing. And so I have a bunch of time back to myself. Let me take a quick step back as I was mentioning over time, with the fire thing is that it was really been a journey of trying to, ultimately find, who I am , in these last 10 years.

And I will tell you that when I first exited, right, I just. Even though I had, exited a company and I’d grown this, great company and I’d sold it and it was, pretty cool. I was still very unsure of myself, which is interesting but in the back of my head, I felt very unsure and I still very timid and wasn’t quite as vocal.

, no, I take that back. I wasn’t vocal at all back then before I even had the blog, but the good thing about this whole journey is that it’s. Pulled me out of my shell in the sense that I’ve learned to communicate much better writing verbally with my hands. Now that I, do stuff on TV, I’ve done some speaking like on, at conferences and breakout sessions [00:44:00] and the mastermind and whatever else.

And so now I’m looking at doing even more of that. And I mentioned that a little bit earlier before, one of the biggest things along this whole path was realizing that once there’s enough and you feel like you have enough, then all of a sudden. You realize that you have more time and more effort, energy.

And when you focus it on other people, that actually is very fulfilling. And so to be honest, I’d never really done that before in my life. Cause I was very selfish early on in my life. I, I was trying to do things for myself. I was trying to build that nest egg for me and the family and whatever.

And it was really all about me. And now it’s more about, okay, how can I serve other people? And , so it still scares me to go out there. I’m trying to, do more public speaking and things of that nature. And at the same time, it’s very exciting. And so there’s this constant growth that still happens.

And so I get very excited cause I’m like the next 10 years, I don’t know what that’s going to look like. And I get to try different things. I get to try different companies, explore different vehicles of communication, whatever it [00:45:00] may be. And there’s been countless random things that haven’t worked. So let me tell you some things that haven’t worked, Pete, and you’ll appreciate some of these, in addition to the blog.

I started an Amazon business where I was selling these little plastic frames that you see on like a restaurant, like little beer menus. And so I did that for some time and it’s not that it failed, but it didn’t make that much money. So it was a lot of learning effort. And then I also had businesses with some of my cousins where we would go out and we would review restaurants..

So we were food bloggers essentially, and that was fun. You get invited to lots of restaurants and get to eat lots of food, but unfortunately it’s not super healthy. And so after a while it catches up with you. So

Captain Fi: I think my girlfriend would love having that job. Eating out is her favorite activity in the whole world.

Michael: It’s quite fun. It’s quite fun. But the interesting thing is you do anything long enough [00:46:00] and. I think there’s this like human nature, right? That you just start to feel like, okay, what’s next, right? That this need to have variety. And so at least for me, I would get bored of things.

And so I want to keep moving along. And so the reason why I’m telling you this is that in fire, with the freedom that I’ve had, I’ve got to explore probably 10 different side hustles and talking about some of the negatives that we talked about earlier. One of the negatives is because if you have that much freedom.

You actually don’t have to stick with anything that long either to actually see it through to complete success, if that makes sense. So it is a blessing and a curse in that regard. And, again, I wouldn’t change how my path has gone so far. However. So just keep that in mind is that when you do realize that you don’t need the money, you have to find a deeper why to actually push yourself to, I guess, the longer finish line.

Yeah. Yeah.

Captain Fi: No, a hundred percent. It relates to that. It’s one of the things my mentor says to me is he talks about the smorgasbord [00:47:00] of life. And he says I know it sounds silly, but he’s you got to go out. And sample from the smorgasboard of life. And it sounds like that’s exactly what you and your family have been doing.

And so he’s been like encouraging us to travel to different countries, like even just try different foods, try different lifestyles. And yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. I feel like I’ve been able to dabble in a bunch of things as well, but yeah, you bring up a super important point is that , when you’re not motivated by money, it’s

hang on why am I doing this sort of thing? And because I sometimes I feel that way with the websites, right? Because I’ve got all these blogs and, together they make a decent amount of income to, to live off. And I’ve, I’m thankful I’ve been able to continue.

Sort of saving and investing that money and haven’t had to had that, little existential crisis where you have to start drawing down your portfolio. and obviously I love podcasting and I love blogging. And I’ve just been writing up my net wealth update for this quarter and just going [00:48:00] over all my investments and it takes.

Ages, like it takes me like probably a couple of days to do it properly. And obviously the podcasting takes ages, but I do it cause I love it. I’m really interested in fire. But then yeah, some of these other websites that I’m maybe not as interested in writing for or. Working on, I’m like, Oh, why am I doing it?

So I guess I’m lucky I’ve got outsourcers. But yeah, Matt’s always pushing me. He’s okay, you need, up the tempo, you need more traffic, add more sponsors. And, he’s trying to get me to do a course for the aviation site. And yeah, like I do want to do it. And I can see it’s got like a huge business potential, but yeah, it’s just interesting that from a mindset point of view, I do sometimes find myself lagging and I think probably you’ve hit the nail on the head.

 It’s the whole financially independent thing. It’s Oh, I don’t have to actually do it. Which gets you think why am I doing it? Oh I have to find some other motivation. So There’s like a cheeky thing. The F’s why people do things. [00:49:00] It’s like fame, fortune, friends, fun, fornication.

I think maybe that’s it. The five F’s. I think, you’ve got to try and figure out why people motivated. Then yeah, I guess when you take away the fortune aspect you have to really either love it or enjoy it, or maybe it’s a social thing. So, yeah, I don’t know.

What have been some of your favorite things that you’ve done post fire?

Michael: So one of the things that I’ve always been into, I think is personal development. And so I’ve always read. A lot of different books on, not just entrepreneurship and investing, but also self help books like Tony Robbins, I picked up one of his books when I was 13.

And that was a direct,, I think directly related to my uncle that had given it to my mom. And so, I love what he says because he really talks about understanding, I think ourselves as humans and how we’re wired. And then ultimately being conscious on, how we want to direct ourselves, going into this world.

And so [00:50:00] he likes to talk about, there’s the science of achievement, right? So this is figuring out how to, create a result. And so, for me, that was the business and, building the portfolio. And then there’s also the art of fulfillment. And so there’s the kind of two pieces that are very important in life.


Captain Fi: that’s another F.

Michael: Fulfillment. Yeah. The fulfillment. I think that’s where it’s at. I think for me at this point, it’s really tackling that and figuring out what that looks like for me. And, he says that’s an art because everyone’s a little bit different.

Right. So, what you value, Pete is going to be a little different than what I value, right. Versus what’s going to be different than Tim and Larry, right. Everyone’s going to have their own different idea of what they value and what. It was really important to them, but he talks about these six human needs that we all have.

And it’s really interesting. He says, first and foremost, we all have this need for certainty, right? We all have the need to want to know that there’s a place for us to live place for us, to go and eat and, be comfortable, right? There’s this need for certainty and [00:51:00] consistency. That’s everyone needs.

Captain Fi: That’s a huge thing in the fire community, isn’t it? That’s cool. Right. One of the

Michael: reasons we’re in that, I mean, for most people, that’s the number one, need that people are pursuing is , that desire to have that certainty. Right. But on the flip side of that, is once you have enough and once you are certain enough in a specific area of your life, Then all of a sudden, you could eat the greatest thing ever, but after a while, there’s this law of diminishing return where the, fifth bite of your amazing steak is not going to taste as good as the first bite. Right. And so the second need is uncertainties. We need some variety.

We need some variety, some change of flavor, right? And so, that could look like, just changing it up, doing something different. And so everyone has that need. And then third is that, people have to feel that they’re significant in some form or fashion. So we have to feel that we are doing something that’s impactful, right?

We have to feel like [00:52:00] what we’re doing matters. And, so that could be of course, tied to a job that could be tied to, side hustle that could be tied to, who we are and how we show up and, our personal. view of ourselves. So that’s number three. And then fourth is the need for connection or love.

And so not everyone actually gets love. So they’ll settle for connection. This could be connection with self. This could be connection with a partner. This could be connection with God. If you’re religious whatever it may look like, right? We need this. To have this connection outside of ourselves or even with ourselves.

Right? So that’s the fourth need. And then he says the top two are what he likes to call the spiritual needs, which he said, a lot of people never even really explore or get to, but those are number five is growth. The need to grow and expand and be more. And then fifth is contribution, which is the ability to create impact and share and be more.

And so [00:53:00] the reason why that these elements are important, the reason why I want to share this with you guys that are listening is that if you think about it, every person’s different in the top two needs. That you express and that you value. So I will tell you that when I was running my business and I was trying to, reach FI, I was completely certainty driven, right.

And I was also significance driven because in my mind, having a business meant that I was significant and it was doing something, really cool. Right. And so for me, that’s how I built my self esteem. So certainty is significance. But someone that has a different set of values, someone that values uncertainty more and they value relationships, their life’s going to look totally different.

Right. They’re not going to necessarily have a business. They’re going to probably be going out and jumping out of a plane, doing some skydiving with their lover. Whatever that may look like. And so you [00:54:00] can see that depending on how we’re wired and what we value in these different needs.

It’s going to control the way that we show up in life. And so a lot of the community that he’s created, he’s gives these different ways that you can, refocus if you want to have a different set of values consciously. So for example, now, instead of certainty and significance, now I pursue growth and connection.

And so those are things that I had not ever considered before. But during this whole fire journey, once I finally had the freedom, I got to go to some of his seminars and do a lot of, I think, deep introspection and work in that regard. And so I would say, that’s been a really important part of my journey.

In the fire space. Ironically enough, it has nothing to do with necessarily money, but it has everything to do with understanding who I am and how I’m fulfilled and what I was ultimately looking for with fire. With fire. I was [00:55:00] looking for the ultimate insecurity and I was looking for. Significance, right? That I could just do that and just, F you money, right?

Captain Fi: It’s really quite profound, Michael. And I can relate to what you’re saying so much. I was again exactly the same. I was searching for security with stability with fire, knowing that the food’s going to be on the table and it’s going to be a safe place to sleep.

And I think also. I had a big ego, there’s a lot of status that come with my job and, you want that kind of that significance and , I think it’s been really destabilizing as I’ve switched and I guess my values have changed very similar to yours big focus on self development and health Yeah, I’ve been reading, not just about fire, but yeah, reading a lot more about different relationships, psychology, community philosophy, philanthropy, it’s been awesome.

It’s like a new sort of chapter in my life. And I’m probably seeking, yeah, as you say, probably self development and maybe connection and [00:56:00] community is, I don’t know if you can combine those two, , I think that’s probably what I’m prioritizing the most now. Yeah, it’s really cool.

And what’s the name of that book? Actually, I’m really keen to

Michael: read that. Yeah, so he’s got a couple of books. But the first one that I picked up was this book called Unlimited Power.

Captain Fi: Yes, , that’s on my bookshelf. Yeah,

Michael: that was the first one that I just had ever read. And so that’s the one that stuck.

But, ultimately I’ve gone to some of the seminars and one of the really cool things, actually, I think he comes to the Down Under quite often. He’s quite popular in Australia. But if you ever go to one of his seminars. What’s really cool is that he talks about engaging your body. So using emotion, he talks about an emotion is just using your body in different ways so that you can actually get in these so called power states and you can.

Shift your focus. So you can shift language and meaning. And he has all these different tools to basically step up when you need to step up, or if you need to get into a certain frame of mind, how to do it quickly. And then ultimately not to suffer, right? Sometimes [00:57:00] people get into these suffering states where they’re like.

Have a pity party or they’re complaining this and that. And he has these different tools of getting you snapped out of it. So it’s really cool. So at his events, you go there and it’s just, it’s almost like a rock concert. Cause it’s all this crazy music, people are jumping up and down, but , it’s madness for a reason.

And it’s to rewire the brain. And it’s a way to. Really open your eyes that, there’s this whole other, I guess, universe of. experiences that for me, at least, that I didn’t even realize was out there. And again, a great thing with fire, right. And getting to a place of financial independence, like you have is you get to explore these things.

And , I think you see a lot of the influencers out there, right. As they go along their journeys, They had these moments of introspection and just. What does this all mean? Why am I even here? I figured this piece out, but there’s so much more to figure out.

Captain Fi: I always thought to be honest, the back of my mind, I always thought it was like the Tony Robbins thing might’ve been like a bit of a cult following, but, no, there’s been a lot of really [00:58:00] positive talk about him and his books. , and I know Matt My mentor Matt talks very positive of him.

So yeah, I’ve got to re get into some of those books. Now speaking of books, I mean, obviously other than the fire planner, of course, do you have any favorite reads?

Michael: I’m definitely a big fan of the rich dad series for people that are just starting out. I think Robert Kiyosaki does a wonderful job of just giving it to you.

At a high level of understanding the mindset, getting outside of that employee mindset, getting more into the entrepreneur and investor side of things. And then I think outside of that, JL Collins, right, if you want to get very specific into investing and understand what a invest into indexes, I mean, that’ll change your mindset forever in terms of how to invest and it’ll save you a ton of time.

And in the sense that you won’t go chasing the rabbit hole of trying to day trade and all these different things, which side note, I did try that for a while and it did not work.[00:59:00]

Captain Fi: We’ve

Michael: all been there, right? And they’re all specific to, different areas, again, Gary Keller’s the millionaire real estate investor, I think is great. If you want to become a real estate investor for entrepreneurship, there’s a book called the E Myth.

By Michael Gerber, and he talks about how to build a business that is not dependent upon you as the operator and how to create it more using systems and processes that you can scale. That’s a really great book. And yeah there’s so many good books out there. Although I admittedly, I don’t really read too much these days in a traditional sense I do most of my reading through Audible.

In a sense that I’ll just listen to something and it’s, then I can multitask. I can wash my dishes and learn something at the same time.

Captain Fi: Yeah. Audio books are bloody awesome. And same as like podcasts. So, obviously other than the Captain FI Financial Independence Podcast and the Breakthrough Millionaire Podcast, which are clearly , your top favorite ones, right?

Michael: Indeed.

Captain Fi: What else would you put out there [01:00:00] that you listen to that other people might enjoy?

Michael: Yeah. So first and foremost, captain FI, second breaking millionaire, third, I would say school of greatness, I love that one Lewis house does a great job of bringing in, really bright minds and just having conversations with people.

Impact theory is another one that I like to tune into occasionally. This is by Tom, Billieu, another entrepreneur does a similar format. And man, there’s so many in between there that I listened that are totally unrelated to fire. But I would say in terms of entrepreneurship and business, those are the two main ones, but I’ll occasionally listen to things that are, about meditation.

And then the next day I’ll be listening to something about NFTs. So it’s all across the board.

Captain Fi: Satisfying that need for the variety, right? Indeed. Yeah. That’s awesome, man. Hey, look, it’s been an awesome chat and we found ourself at the last question, which everyone hates this. But hopefully you may have done a secret prep [01:01:00] for this question.

Cause everyone knows it’s coming up, but what are your top three bits of advice for someone pursuing financial independence?

Michael: Yeah, that’s a great question and I don’t hate this one. I think I love this one actually. And no, I did not prep for it. So that’s even better.

Captain Fi: Yeah. It’s good when it flows. It was like off the cuff. It’s nice. Indeed.

Michael: Indeed. So we have to revisit a little bit of our conversation of what we said already. And first and foremost, for someone that’s first starting out with fire is I want you to know that you can do it. Plenty of people have done it before.

It’s not something that’s brand new. Even before the term fire existed, my uncles were doing it before them, other people were doing it. And so. The strategies and the blueprint of how to do this is out there. Pick up a copy of my fire planner. It’s in there as well. And first and foremost, though, once you realize that it’s possible, you have to realize that you’re worthy to go out and be able to [01:02:00] pursue it.

A lot of times people say, okay, great. I understand that it’s possible, but who am I to go out and pursue FI, right? This isn’t the card of, the hand of poker that I was dealt. So I can’t play these, this terrible hand of cards in my life. And I say, BS, right? That’s simply a story that you’re telling yourself.

And the truth is that, if you can listen to this podcast, if you can think, if you can grow, you have the ability to go out and create this for yourself. And then the second piece is you need to find a really compelling why, right? Why are you even doing this? All right. We talked about it on this podcast.

What’s important to you, right? Is it that you really value that certainty that you want to just know that everything’s taken care of so that you can have complete freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want with whoever you want. I think that’s a pretty compelling reason, but everyone’s different.

Right. And so. Take some time to, I think, introspect and understand that [01:03:00] there’s a reason why to do this and go on this journey. And I will say to other people, even if you never reach Fi or Fire, I still think it’s a worthy goal to go after because in the process of doing that, you’re going to learn so much about yourself.

And what you’re capable of and be able to, I think, appreciate things that you never knew existed before. I think there’s a really great opportunity. Once you do something outside of your comfort zone, when you grow, you become someone different. You start evolving who you are. And then the third part of advice that I just like to put out there is, to listen to that gut internally, right.

And what is it telling you to do? Because a lot of times I think we get pressured by society to do what, what sounds sexy, what looks good, what other people… Are going to think of us. And so I’ll share a quick story. Back when I was younger, I told you I had a very big family [01:04:00] and.

All of these aunts and uncles and cousins. I was on the lower end of the cousins, but there’s, 30 different cousins. Right. And they’re all very highly accomplished academics and doctors and lawyers. And so I was like okay, that’s just what you do. Right. You become a doctor. And so.

That’s something that I initially thought that’s what I was supposed to do. And so I went out and I, put my hand out there and got to a certain place, but I realized at a certain point in college, I was not going to make the marks for becoming a doctor. And, I really beat myself up for it for a while, but I’m so glad that I didn’t hit that path because my gut always told me that there was more for me to do beyond that.

And when you. Almost surrender yourself to your gut, to, and if you’re religious, you’re turning it to God. If you’re someone that, believes that the universe has things in control and whatever it is that you believe, right. If you, I think surrender yourself to this greater outside influence [01:05:00] for the greater good.

And you have this belief that things are working for you, not to you. Then all of a sudden, I think life becomes significantly easier. And then you’re not so worried about what the outcome is. And you can start trading expectation for appreciation. And when you do that, I got to tell you, life becomes incredibly amazing and you don’t have to wait for fi in order to experience that you can experience that today, right?

If you just look at your life right now, just your ability to listen to this podcast and, have a resource like captain fire, your hands go online and, pick up books that have. Thousands of years of wisdom stacked upon each other. I mean, that’s an amazing gift and an amazing world that we live in today.

The technology that’s available, utterly amazing. But what are you going to do with this gift? Right? And so I think those are the three things, Pete is just to, be really [01:06:00] mindful and be very clear why you want to go on this journey. And I do believe it’s a worthwhile one and I hope you, you go on it and enjoy the entire process and not just the end.

Cause there’s no end, just FYI, there’s no end.

Captain Fi: Absolutely. It is. It’s the journey. And it’s just the beginning. Awesome, mate. I think that’s a brilliant way to wrap up our conversation. But I guess before we head off is there anything you’d like to mention today or anything new that you’re doing that you want to shout out?

Michael: Yeah, if you’re interested at all in a real Estate Wealth Builders mastermind that I’ve created, if you want to go to wbmm.org I do a, yeah, real Estate Wealth Builders mastermind where several of us get together every month and we’re going out there using real estate as a vehicle to build financial independence and then also build wealth in all aspects of life.

And that’s why we call it the Wealth Builders Mastermind is ’cause it’s not just about. The money, right? The money’s the one piece of it. The other pieces of relationships, health and [01:07:00] vitality, creating impact, spirituality, the whole bit. So if that’s of interest to you, definitely check it out.

Wbmm. org. That’d be great. And if you happen to have any needs for a public speaker to share how to live, luckily I just created a website at MichaelQuan.net where I’m going out there and I’m sharing. Ideas and stories and yeah, check

Captain Fi: it out. Yeah. Awesome. And other than those new sort of businesses you’ve set up where can listeners learn more about you or contact

Michael: you?

Yeah, you can definitely find me on my main website at financiallyalert. com. And, there’s years of content in there that I’ve, I haven’t been as active recently, but there’s definitely years of content in there that you can find out more information and Yeah, you can find me randomly on different other websites, different media channels.

And more recently this last year, I was lucky to get. Featured on Good Morning America. So that’s cool. So if you want to see me at my house [01:08:00] and how I live, you can check that out as well.

Captain Fi: Ah, awesome. Look, I’ll put links in the show notes to all of those sites. And yeah might even have to splice in a bit of a YouTube video.

You can put a face to a name. Cool. That’d be great. Awesome. Hey, Michael, it’s been my absolute pleasure to have you on today. Thank you so much for your time and sharing all of your experience, knowledge and wisdom. It’s been awesome for me. I’ve got a lot out of it, particularly because I’m, I guess I find I’m following a path that you’ve already Set some 10 years ago.

And I’m really looking forward to it. So thanks so much for sharing some of the the tips and pitfalls and yeah, I look forward, to tuning in to the podcast, , the breakthrough millionaire podcast in the future. And I think I might just have to swing by the the property wealth builders group and.

Maybe get some real estate tips. I’m a bit of a novice real estate investor myself. And always on the lookout for advice.

Michael: Awesome. I love it. Thank you so much for having me. Captain Fi, this has been fantastic and your listeners are awesome. So [01:09:00] thank you for having me and look forward to listening to more great guests, that come after me and looking forward to following your journey as well.

You’ve got a bright journey ahead, Pete, and this is just the beginning. So, so excited for you to embark on this as well.

Captain Fi: Hey, me too. Thanks so much, mate. We’ll chat later. Sounds good.

Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain Fire Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcript or check out the show notes, head over to www. captainfire. com for all the details. If you have a question for the Captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves.

You can reach me online through the Captain Fire contact form. Or get in touch through the socials. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram as well as a number of online finance and investing forums. And finally, remember, [01:10:00] the information presented on the show and the links provided are for general information purposes only.

They should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal


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