“Why would I need a travel budget? I’ll just end up going over anyway. And besides, money isn’t the most important thing! Happiness is!” *starts flitting about the room like a butterfly*
Comments like this from my friends used to drive me nuts! Here I am laying down a concrete, easy-to-follow plan for them to get rich but all they want to do is talk about their disgusting feelings until I want to puke all over them.
And then one of our valiant Revolutionaries Eugene sent us to this “16 personalities” personality test in a comment. Now normally, I ignore these things since I already know what Ninja Turtle I am (Raphael, due to my love of the colour red) and I already know what Sex and the City girl Wanderer is (Samantha, due to his sexy mile-long legs).
But this test is based on the Myers Briggs personality test which is a really famous psychology test that I had taken before as part of various training sessions while I was still a corporate drone. I didn’t remember my exact result, but I remembered it being eerily accurate, so I figured what the heck. Let’s give it a shot.
How the Myers Briggs test works is that you answer a bunch of questions about yourself, ranging from:
(HA! Guess which answer I picked for those ones? )
From your answers, the test determines which of the 16 personalities you fall into, as denoted by these adorable little avatars.
Why 16? Well if you look below the personality type, you’ll see 4 letters:
Each of these letters represents a category. Within each category there are 2 types:
1) Where you focus your attention – Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)
2) The way you take in information – Sensing (S) or iNtuition (N)
3) How you make decisions – Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
4) Your approach to work, planning and decision-making – Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
So if you take 2 of each type and look at all possible combinations, you get 2 ^ 4= 16.
Now, what does all this have to do with financial independence?
Well as it turns out, financial independence, like any other goal isn’t just about planning and execution. It’s also about motivation.
This is why some people make 6 figures and only manage to save 10% while others make $30K/year and save a whopping 66%. Some people aren’t motivated by the same thing as others. And how they achieve their goals are also vastly different.
Some people are driven by feelings, others by logic.
Some people are conservative, while others love taking risks and trying to hit a home run.
Some people are detailed planners; others prefer to fly by the seat of pants.
This is why when I write, I like to write detailed outlines, which are almost entire novels themselves. My author friends, on the other hand, would rather pound the keyboard until something that vaguely resembles a chapter comes out. This is why my stories are completed faster but my friends have to go through many many iterations. For them, the “magic” only happens when they start writing and their story moves in unexpected directions.
That’s why it was no surprise when I saw this result from my Myers Briggs test:
As an ESTJ (Extrovert, Sensing, Thinking, Judging), I’m relentless when it comes to goals. Once my mind is set, all I want to do is get shit done. And that’s why I’m holding a ruler. Whoever gets in the way of my goal is going to get their ass spanked. HARD.
And guess what Wanderer ended up with?
“Always finding a way — or making one”. Wow. That’s some scary ass accurate shit right there. As an ENTJ (Extrovert, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging), Wander likes blasting through problems with the force of a thousand hurricanes and doesn’t like hearing “there’s no way”. If there isn’t a way, he’ll MAKE a way, figure out a plan, and then execute it.
Funny how out of the 16 types, we ended up being the only ones holding make-shift weapons. Coincidence? I think not.
While not everything in this test is accurate (I love tradition and rules? P-LEASE. I’d be happy as a manager or administrator? HA!), it does explain why Wanderer and I work so well together.
He plans for the big picture, and I dive right into the tasks, making sure we get it all done. Neither of us have ANY patience for feelings.
This is probably why when a friend shared this video with us with the obnoxious caption “Ha! Women, amirite?” We literally had NO idea what he was talking about.
After scratching our heads and firing up our keyboard to reply back with our confusion, the Facebook thread got clogged with replies that went “OMG so true!” “My GF is EXACTLY like that!” “That’s like my life every day!”
Huh. So apparently I’m NOT like most girls. Good thing I’m not a yoga instructor or therapist. I would be the WORST therapist EVER! “What? You want to tell me your feelings?!? EWWWWWW! *throws patient out window*
The main reason why we succeed at FIRE-ing at 31 is because we love getting shit done and don’t give a crap about precious “feelings”.
And this isn’t surprising. Most FI bloggers fall under INTJ (30%), ENTJ (15%), or ISTJ (15%). The theory here is that the “TJ” trait tends to be good with money. Money doesn’t care about your feelings, and financial independence is about careful well-thought out planning rather than flying by the seat of your pants.
Which explains why the ESTJ and ENTJ are the highest earners of the bunch:
I guess that makes sense. Extroverted people generally tend to make more money. And as “planning” and “logic” types, we’ll tend to pick practical careers to maximize earnings rather than cater to our “feelings”.
Which gets reflected in this graph, where I’m only in the middle when it comes to job satisfaction. More money doesn’t mean more happiness:
This does explain why FIRE worked out so well for us. As ESTJ and ENTJ’s we optimized our earning potential by getting jobs that were high-paying but not necessarily fullfilling, then Wanderer used his “NT” future-planning traits get us on the path to FIRE and I used my SJ traits to become a Budget Nazi. Neither of us were interested in buying a house as a “feelings-based” lifestyle decision. Nor were we in the LEAST bit concerned about following the herd just for the sake of fitting in. We preferred to crunch the math and made money our bitch. Hence that ruler my avatar is holding there (“Oooooh! Can be used as a weapon AND to measure things!”)
However, and this is important, your personality type is not a pre-destiny. It’s simply a snapshot of how you make decisions right NOW. It CAN change if you want to change.
For example, if any of you were to meet me back in high school, you would have met a very VERY different person indeed. In fact, I re-did the test as high-school me and I got this result:
A FLOWER?!? You can’t use that to stab ANYTHING!
That’s right. I was a completely idealistic hippie flower-power girl back then. I know, I know, the thought sickens me to my core too. And if you look at all the letters, every single one is literally the OPPOSITE of the letters I have now.
Interestingly, the test results describe Mediator personality types as “virtually all Mediators dream of becoming authors.” And that part is SPOT on, which I’ve retained to this day. So weirdly enough, I am now a combination of an Executor get-shit-done-hit-people-who-are-in-my-way-psychopath with the cuddly innards of idealistic flower child who thinks she can change the world using the power of her words.
What a fuckin’ weirdo.
Which really goes to show that your personality is not fixed at birth. You can change a lot over time, especially if you want to change.
So now the moment of truth: What personality type are YOU, my fellow revolutionaries? Take the test below:
Don’t sweat it if the results don’t match up to the “common FIRE types.” All that means is that you need a different motivation (rather than logic like the “TJ” types).
What do you think? Does this test shed some light how you or your friends and family think? I know that after taking this test, I no longer roll my eyes at my “Campaigner (ENFP)” friends when they talk about their feelings for hours. Nor do I try to give advice. I simply shut up and listen.
They may take longer to get to FI, or take a completely different path, but in the end, we all need to find the best path for ourselves.
What’s yours? Let us know in the poll below (Hey! That rhymes! *Pats self on back*)
Update: Click here for Part 2, where I breakdown your results.
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