Latest posts by FIRECracker (see all)
- How to Become FI with 6 Kids, Zero Privilege, and a Small Salary - January 11, 2019
- Our 2018 Finances - January 7, 2019
- Happy New Year 2019! - December 31, 2018
There’s something special about Chautauquans. Let me explain.
While Chautauquas have been going on for years now, this year was a bit different. In the past, all Chautauquas were held in one place (Ecuador), but now we’ve decided to change up the location each year. This had the effect of making it a cool and different experience each time, and one somewhat unexpected side-effect of that was that more past attendees came back to experience a whole new Chautauqua in a whole new country.
At first, I was excited to see our peeps, catch up with old friends, and see out what they’ve been up to. But what really struck me is how much their lives have changed since we’ve seen them.
Some had impressive salary increases, others jumped their savings rates while moving their retirement date decades closer, and others had completely revamped their lives and were fearlessly following their dreams. I was truly blown away at how much these exceptional attendees improved their lives in just over a year, and many of them credited those changes directly to what they learned at Chautauqua.
Which leads me to believe the people who come to Chautauqua are truly exceptional people. Here’s why.
Hanging out for a week with 25 people you’ve never met before? Taking 2, sometimes 3 flights to arrive in a city and country you’ve never set foot in before? That takes guts, and Chautauquans have plenty.
Chautauquans are some of the most curious and humble people I’ve ever met. Their natural desire to seek out new ideas and learn from other people keeps them hungry, and constantly growing. Attendees who were themselves insanely successful entrepeneurs who led multi-million-dollar companies told us this week how much they had learned from us speakers. That’s quite an honour.
And above all else, Chautauquans don’t just talk about doing things. They actually get out there and DO them. The change in people’s lives post-Chautauqua is mind-blowing, and one just recently announced to us privately that they were going to completely uproot their lives and move to Europe after we showed them that not only were they already FI, but extremely comfortably so. It also helps that they’ll already have a community of Chautauquans in their tribe who live in Europe.
Chautauquans are able to push past the fear. They get out of their comfort zone. And as a result, Chautauquas change lives.
Location, Location, Location
The old real estate (blegh) mantra of “Location, Location, Location” being the most important thing definitely applies to Chautauqua. Rather than being in Ecuador each year, we’ve now done the UK and Greece, and next year it’ll be somewhere different again. Just check out the pictures from this year’s…
The talks and speakers have also evolved over time, and this year’s lineup (on both weeks) had been especially awesome. Whether it’s J.L. “The GodFather” Collins’ talk about investing…
Mine on using F.I. as a way to build the life of your dreams…
Carl’s “Mr. 1500” talk on “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love FI” (week 1)
ChooseFI’s talk on “Building Your Dreams Before FI” (week 2)
And Alan Donegon’s talk on how to take concrete steps on how to make your dreams a reality…
There really was something for everyone. No matter if you are just learning what this whole F.I. thing is, or about hit their F.I. number and wondering what to do next, the answer is there waiting for you at Chautauqua.
One particularly energetic attendee who had been struggling with what to do after retirement stood up at one point during Alan’s talk and declared that she wanted to pursue a lifelong dream of starting an all-female long-haul trucking company, of all things. And the group ended up helping her sign up to get her trucking license right then and there.
Another alumni, Kathy, (you can read her review of Chautauqua here) got so many great creative ideas out of this session and so much encouragement that she not only decided to pursue her passion project of starting a YouTube channel about herbs, she ended up actually recording her first video before the end of the week!
Another started a blog about how to help people with family members suffering from disabilities achieve F.I. while making sure their loved ones were cared for. They couldn’t find a sufficient resource for people in their situation, so they decided they were going to become one themselves.
And as these people’s passion projects come online over the next months, you can bet we’ll bring them onto this blog to promote them, because nothing makes me happier when people become F.I., follow their passions, and create happiness in the world.
And finally, for those with FI-reluctant spouses, here’s a refreshingly honest write-up from a “dragged along” spouse.
And Let’s Not Forget About Finances!
Here’s something I wasn’t expecting. People get richer after Chautauqua!
Something about the infectious energy and confidence that happens at these events follows people back into their normal lives, and that energy manifests in their bank account. Several people gained the confidence to leave bad jobs and go after new, better paying ones. Others pushed themselves to get promoted or negotiated big raises.
One particularly memorable attendee sat down with us for our one-on-one and at the end of it we had figured out how to pull off F.I. in Japan! Another taught us how to pull it off in Dubai.
And another attendee told us they had a “life-changing” one-on-one after talking to Jon and Brad from ChooseFI.
Oddly enough, despite the expense of attending a Chautauqua, these events have such a positive effect on people’s finances after a year because of optimizations, life changes, and side hustles they start, attending a Chautauqua ends up being surprisingly cash-flow positive! Looking at their new and updated spreadsheets made our eyes bug out, because now they were positively swimming in money in just one year! Best money they ever spent.
So for those of you who are thinking of attending a Chautauqua next year, if you want to improve your life, build your dreams, and be cheered on by a whole group of exceptional positive people who get you, then what are you waiting for?
And if you’re on the fence, we’re going to be talking to some previous attendees on this blog over the coming months. You’ll be surprised by how much their lives have been improved as a result.
What do you think? Have ever been to and would you ever come to Chautauqua?
Update: Here are other posts from Chautauquans, talking about their experience:
- Findependent Woman:
- Brandon: https://tilaboutmyself.com/the-other-side-of-fire
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