Finance

My New Audible Course On Financial Independence And Early Retirement!

Nearly two years ago, I received an unusual email at an address I rarely check anymore. The author wrote:

I am writing to you today because The Great Courses in partnership with Audible is exploring the possibility of creating a high-quality series on Financial Independence. We believe that you may be an excellent candidate to teach such a series. I’ve read many articles at Get Rich Slowly and I’m always impressed by your writing and how much excellent content you create.

At first, I thought this was spam. Before I deleted the message, though, I checked the sender. Sure enough. The sender (and the message) was legit.

I wrote back:

Thank you for reaching out. I get a lot of requests for my time and typically turn them down. Not this one. I feel like this is a terrific idea and well-worth exploring. I am a long-time fan of both Audible and the Great Courses. I’m not joking.

I included screen captures to prove that I owned 72 Great Courses and nearly 372 audiobooks from Audible. Those numbers have since grown, naturally.

My library of audio learning

Discussions ensued, a contract was created, and in December 2019, I began the work of creating a five-hour, ten-part course on financial independence and early retirement. I finished that course last April. I recorded it in May. And last month, at long last, How to Achieve Financial Independence and Retire Early made its way into the world!

FIRE in 40,000 Words

Writing a blog about financial independence and writing a course about financial independence are two different things. A blog is open-ended. It’s personal. It’s informal. But a project for Audible and The Great Courses? Well, that sort of project has constraints and requires a different tone.

You folks all know that I am on a personal-finance journey. You all know that I’m constantly learning about money, and that my understanding and opinions tend to change with time. With this sort of project, though, I have to present myself as an expert. The info I provide has to be self-contained in one neat little package.

In this case, I had some very specific parameters.

The course had to be roughly 40,000 words in length, and the whole had to be divided into ten smaller “chapters”. Why 40,000 words? Because 40,000 words is roughly five hours when read aloud. Essentially, my task was to encapsulate the most important facets of financial independence in ten half-hour (4000-word) lectures. So, that’s what I did.

I also had to decide who the course was for. Was this meant for folks who already knew about FIRE (financial independence and early retirement)? I’m not the best person to offer deep, technical advice (as you well know), so I decided against that. I decided to target folks who were FI-curious: those who has heard about the concepts but needed a crash course in what FIRE entails.

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