FOUR Sides of FI?

Yep, you read that right! Two Sides of FI recently doubled our numbers as we finally got to meet up in person after too long since our last visit together. Did Eric + Laura and Jason + Lorri do anything for the YouTube channel while they were together? Well…we did. But we also had to repeat the exercise once the trip was over due to some technical difficulties. We think the outcome was really great! Check out the video and the rest of the story here.

Lessons Learned in 7 Years Earning Passive Income – A Path to FI (Part 2)

Passive Income Flatlay

Diversifying your sources of income is an important step on the path to financial independence. On average, millionaires have at least seven streams of income. In part 2 of our series on passive income (click here for part 1), Eric shares the lessons learned and mistakes made as he created passive income streams for his architecture practice. In 2020, 90% of his small business revenues came from passive sources, bringing him closer to reaching financial independence. Join us as we explore these topics and more in this second episode in our series about passive income.


Show Notes

For more details on all the sources Eric is employing today to achieve this 90/10 split between passive and active services income, the best source is his website: 30×40 Design Workshop. There you’ll find examples of his current offerings, including courses, digital assets, books, videos and even a few of the physical products he’s experimented with.

Eric’s Current Passive Income Streams:

Video content is at the heart of this passive income strategy. For an introduction to Eric’s YouTube content – made not just for architects – his studio + desk tour is a great choice:

To set the passive income flywheel in motion Eric relies on YouTube’s native function as a search engine and positions the video at the center of a hub-and-spoke approach popular with content marketers. The YouTube video captures search traffic, provides information and builds community. As viewers consume the content, the passive income earning assets are positioned contextually to support the information. In this way, a video can show a process and link out to all the tools necessary to recreate the results shown in the video. Some of the assets are products Eric has created, others are more integrated into the ecosystem, like ads. Each video will earn advertising revenue as it’s watched over and again and will also natively link out to content he’s created on his own site, see his blog for an example. The blog post contains even more helpful details and information as well as embedded affiliate links which earn commissions, and links to products he has on offer. They also crosslink to related video content which, in turn, sets the process in motion once again.

Passive Income-Earning Products:

For those unfamiliar, affiliate marketing is where vendors offer content creators a small commission – generally a small percentage of cart sales – for product referrals. Amazon Associates is one of the largest affiliate programs online and, once the content is created, is one of the most passive forms of income you can create. Joining is easy and direct and they offer commissions of up to 4% of total cart value, making the holidays a particularly lucrative time (see below). The Learn section of 30X40 provides a good introduction to how Eric approaches this key opportunity – one appropriate for all interest areas and content types.

Amazon associates revenue page from Nov/Dec 2020
Eric’s Amazon Associates Dashboard from Nov/Dec 2020

Each piece of content he creates aims first-and-foremost to be helpful and points to resources created to complement the information he’s sharing. From short form video lectures, to digital templates, courses, podcasts, products and everything in-between; he converts the by-products of the active design work he’s doing each day into assets which produce income even when he’s away from the studio. This income is then directed toward hyper-saving for his FI goals.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Passive Income = A Path to Financial Independence (Part 1)

Earning money while you sleep is the dream of passive income that few realize. In part, that’s because it requires a significant upfront investment of active work and time to build the assets necessary. For those seeking financial independence, passive income can be both an accelerator and a plentiful source of cash once you reach FI, and leave your primary career. In this show, we discuss Eric’s experience gained over the past eight years intentionally creating a diverse array of passive income streams. Today, 90% of his small business revenues come from passive sources, bringing him closer to reaching FI each day. Join us as we explore these topics and more in this first episode in a series about passive income.


Show Notes

Eric wrote some extensive show notes in the blog entry for Part 2 of this series on Passive Income. Be sure to check them out!

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Financial Mistakes We Won’t Make Again (Part 2)

We all make mistakes on the path to financial independence. Learn from ours as we chronicle the poor choices, bad habits, and missteps we’ve made on the road to FI. In this episode we talk about big ticket items like cars, student loans, and mortgages. Mistakes made in these areas can certainly have a large impact on your FI journey! Join us as we explore these topics and more in this second episode in a series documenting our financial mistakes and missteps on the path to FIRE.

Part one of this series can be found here.


Show Notes

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Don’t Make These Financial Mistakes on the Path to FIRE! (Part 1)

We all make mistakes on the path to financial independence. Learn from ours as we chronicle the poor choices, bad habits and missteps we’ve made on the road to FI. In this episode, we share our own experiences from our teens through our 30s, reflecting on what we’ve learned in hopes of helping our children avoid repeating them. Join us as we explore these topics and more in this first episode in a series documenting our financial mistakes and missteps on the path to FIRE.


Show Notes

Watching this episode reminded us of a resource we’d seen The Money Guy Show share previously. This table is a really powerful example of the value of saving and investing early. It summarizes the amount you need to have saved by a given age (or made a lump sum investment at that same age) for it to grow to $1M by age 65. And on the topic of helping out your kids, if you invest $1544 in your newborn’s UTMA account and never touch it again, it will grow to $1M by the time they’re 65. Wow!

Jason also decided to blog on this topic, given how common of a financial mistake it is to get a late start on investing – it’s not only him and Eric making this blunder after all! Head on over to the next phase is NOW and be sure to invest early and often to ensure your financial goals are met!

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Discussing our FI Numbers : Changing our minds, talking to family

Things have changed: attitudes, spending habits, withdrawal rates, what we’ve chosen to reveal to family and friends. In this episode, we discuss how our early FI goals and calculations underestimated today’s needs and move beyond the math of financial independence to discuss the psychological aspects, including important conversations with family and friends. These discussions can be challenging and touch on deep-seated ideas about money, entitlement, and often guilt. It’s common to overlook the importance of these conversations and this side of FIRE when you’re focused on the financial side. Join us as we explore these areas and more in this second episode focused on the math of financial independence.


Show Notes

A few months after posting this episode, Jason wrote a blog post on one aspect of this show – talking about the “RE” part of FIRE and what retirement actually means. The inspiration for the article was a chance encounter at a winery tasting room. What was discussed there and how did it inform his thinking? Read on to find out why we at Two Sides of FI think “retirement” is a word that is perhaps overdue to be redefined!

You can find information on the tools we mention in the episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

So, What’s Your FI Number? Sharing Ours Here!

How much do you really need to achieve financial independence? We decode the math used to calculate our FI numbers, talk about the different flavors of FIRE and you’ll learn where our FI numbers fall on the FIRE spectrum. All finance is personal but it’s difficult not to compare your financial situation to those around you. The pragmatics of calculating your FI number are easier to comprehend and address than the psychological ones and this episode touches on those too. And, the closer you get to financial independence the more these conversations impact your day-to-day life. See below for key resources mentioned in the episode to help you establish and chart your own FIRE path.


Show Notes

You can find information on the tools we mention in the episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site! To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Slides from the episode:

Financially Independent. Retire Early? Let’s Discuss!

You’ve reached financial independence, but are you really ready to retire? Join us as we discuss what FIRE means to us, why traditional retirement isn’t very interesting, and the challenges of speaking to friends and family about it. Whether you’re already on the FIRE path or simply interested in learning more about it, Eric and Jason bring perspectives from the two sides of financial independence.


Show Notes

You can find information on the tools we mention in the episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site! To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.

Two Careers, Two Paths to Financial Independence

Our path through life is heavily influenced by the career choices we make early in adulthood. Learn how we leveraged our chosen professions in science and architecture to chart our respective paths to achieving financial independence. One of us employed a job “leveling up” strategy to accumulate wealth, while the other started their own business and became a successful content creator. There’s a lot to learn from our journeys and we walk you through how we did it!


Show Notes:

Given the length of our episodes, it’s impossible to cover all of the depth we’d like on any topic. As a follow up to this installment, Jason wrote a blog article diving into his “career leveling up” strategy. The piece concerns how he approached advancement in the workplace. Irrespective of your own FIRE status or chosen career, we believe you will find information you can use!

You can find information on the tools we mention in the episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site! To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.