The last week has been A LOT. Between the global spreading of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the official end to a historic bull market, there haven’t been many feel-good stories lately. So in case you’re in need of a positive one, we signed a book deal!
rich & REGULAR, the book, will be published in 2021 by the world’s largest English language publishing company, Penguin Random House. Within Penguin, our imprint is Portfolio Books and their mission is to create non-fiction books for ambitious people. We are so proud to be joining culture-shapers like Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Ryan Holiday, Marie Forleo, and more. When we say this is a dream come true—we mean it!
The process that got us here was a long one (9 months to be exact). So, if you’ve noticed we slowed down a bit from our normal posting schedule, well, now you know why. We wrote well over one hundred thousand words, submitted twelve proposal versions, hired a writing coach, sent lots of emails and had several meetings to get to this point. We’ll share more of the behind the scenes soon, but for now we wanted to explain why we decided to take on such an ambitious project.
1. We’re not just blowing smoke up your a$$
We truly believe the principles of Financial Independence have the ability to improve quality of life for millions of people. So when we say we want to do our part to spread the word, we mean it. When we say we want to inspire better conversations about money, we mean that too. We enjoy writing on the internet and don’t plan on stopping, but we see reading online as a passive activity; easily interrupted by texts, ads, pings and dings from notifications. Books, on the other hand, are more immersive. They have a way of breaking through and touching nerves in a way blogs just cant.When someone buys a book, they're sending a signal that they are ready to change their life. Click To Tweet
Despite all the great advice we heard over the years, we both credit books as the catalyst that really changed our behaviors. And while we know people don’t like to talk about money, our goal is to respect the taboo, instead of ignoring it. We want to meet people where they are, give readers new language to replace outdated money advice and offer a better set of questions to help them navigate their emotions. This is especially true for couples because money is an often ignored topic of conversation and a leading cause of divorce.
2. We’re playing the long game
When it comes to FIRE, we don’t use the term “movement” loosely. As students of history, we’ve seen that the success of any liberation movement hinges on two things. First, its ability to teach people to think for themselves and secondly, its participants accepting that the fulfillment of some progress may not occur within their lifetime.
Part of teaching people how to think for themselves is explaining what the process feels like. Because our brains are wired to avoid uncertainty and will default to thinking something has gone wrong, even when it hasn’t. Whether it’s a market correction or an explosive argument with a loved one, we know readers will encounter life along the way that will make them question whether any of this is even worth it.
In those moments, you don’t need another one-size-fits-all framework or catchy phrase. You need to be emotionally equipped and empowered to answer questions for yourself. You need the confidence to keep pushing despite the conflict you’ll experience along the way. We want to lead readers to a place where they can trust themselves to make their own decisions with their money and believe it is the right one.While many books about money focus on the math, this one will be an ode to the stamina and emotional intelligence required to withstand the journey. Click To Tweet
Committing to create generational wealth and changing family patterns, is a long, intense and lonely pursuit. We were challenged with creating a body of work that offers our audience direction and encouragement along that journey and we’ve gladly accepted.
3. Representation matters
On the way to a dinner during FinCon 2019, Mr. r&R had an intense and impromptu conversation about privilege with a leader in the FIRE community, someone we both admire and respect. It started because the person admitted he wanted to do a better job of providing inclusive content, and asked Mr. r&R “what books or resources should I recommend that were written by Black authors”?"Privilege" Julien explained, "is the fact that I HAVE to know your personal finance gurus to be seen as credible, but you don't need to know mine." Click To Tweet
He went on to explain how pervasive that concept is, especially in the workplace, how Black people have had to carry the weight of wearing a mask to gain acceptance. We immerse ourselves in white spaces learning their favorite songs, reading the books of their thought-leaders and memorizing all the characters of their favorite shows— but that courtesy or intrigue is rarely returned.We HAVE to know who Rachel and Ross are but they don't need to know Kyle and Khadija. We have to read Vicki Robin, but they don't need to know Dr. Dennis Kimbro. Click To Tweet
So like our blog, this book will also be a bridge—a thoughtful and personalized gift to our community. We routinely receive emails with subject lines like ‘Isolated millionaire in Atlanta’ or ‘Young Black Male entering the World’. We wanted to create something that offers them a sense of belonging, something that invites those on the outside—in. Communities of color have to confront a number of obstacles on the path to Financial Independence, and there are few places where the struggles of that journey are validated. We know firsthand how life-changing it can be to finally feel seen and we want our book to do that for others.
Lastly, being inclusive means talking to EVERYBODY. If you’re Black, you’ll see parts of the culture reflected throughout our book. If you’re not Black, you’ll gain insight into a world you may not have ever been introduced to and perhaps gain a deeper sense of empathy. Through it all, everyone wins because more of us will feel welcome in the movement, encouraged to hold on throughout the tough times and equipped to support one another.
So there you have it. Of course, we could go on about why we’re writing a book and tell you what readers can expect but this feels like a good place to stop. Besides, there’s plenty of time to do all of that in the coming months. We’ll be sharing details of the writing process and bringing you along the journey as we revisit parts of our lives that have shaped our thinking about money over the years.
Besides having a baby together, we anticipate this “book baby” to be one of the scariest and most exhilarating things we’ve ever undertaken. And if the initial response from our followers is any indication, we know it’ll all be worth it. We’ve always said we wanted to be “rich” enough to tell our truth. Well, we got what we asked for.