If you are following my blog and have read my about me page, you will know that I am blogging under the name of Carl, but it is actually not my real name.
Everything else on the blog is 100% true. The stories, the numbers and the thoughts are all mine.
I was recently interviewed by the largest Norwegian business newspaper, DN, and the interviewer wanted to know why I (and many other FI bloggers) was blogging anonymously.
It was a good question and not something I have thought a lot about since starting the blog, but it was great to reflect a bit more on.
So, when everything about me is already out there, why don’t I just put my real name on it?
In my work as a management consultant I have many clients across industries.
These clients usually pay a decent amount for our services, and I do not think they would understand how my FI blog and the work I do for them can work together in the long run.
I do not want them to think that I do not care about their business (because I actually do care), since that is what this blog might indicate.
Furthermore, the concept of FIRE is hard for many people to understand and I do not want to engage in those discussions with clients.
If people at my work knew about this blog, I do not think it would heavily impact my career. As long as I do good work and deliver impact for our clients, I am quite sure nobody would really care.
If they followed my blog, they would know that I do not intend to stop working, but that I rather want some more flexibility in life to take periods off work and work part-time or freelance in other periods.
However, in a very ambitious environment, as management consulting is, I honestly just find it a bit tedious to explain the concept of FIRE to people, as I am not sure everyone would understand and I don’t want to run the risk of being misunderstood – yet.
FIRE is a great news story. People “retiring” in their thirties is a sensational story and there’s not a lot of us out there.
I am quite sure that my story eventually would be picked up by a Danish media outlet and then my face and name would be all over the press.
I am not sure I am quite ready for that yet, although I do want to become a public figure at some point to spread the concept of FIRE even further.
Security is only a minor concern.
However, I do have all my financial information out there and if it was combined with my name and photo, I could fear that somebody would take advantage of it somehow – both online and offline.
Friends and family
I don’t mind that my family and friends know about this blog.
I haven’t told them yet because I didn’t want to show off my blog before it actually was something and I was sure I could keep it running.
Since I have now kept it running for nearly two years (with only just a few weekly posts missed), I believe it is soon time to tell my close friends and family about it 🙂
So, when will I start using my own name?
Eventually, I will become public because I want to grow the following of the blog to spread the important thoughts that make up FIRE; avoiding debt, living below your means, focusing on happiness maximization, being free from the shackles of money and living a minimalistic life to the benefit of our Earth’s environment.
I also realize that it would probably be even more interesting to follow my journey if I could disclose everything about my week and my followers could put a face on me.
Your turn: Do you think I should stop blogging anonymously? Would it be more fun to follow my blog if I had my face and name on?