Carl met Alan and Katie Donegan in Ecuador at one of JL Collins’s Chautauquas in 2016. They’ve been friends ever since. In this interview, we discuss:
- Alan’s childhood struggles
- How to build confidence
- Family trauma
- Rebel Business School
- Discovering FIRE
- Real estate
- Becoming digital nomads
- The Donegans’ perfect day
Meet Alan and Katie
Katie and Alan are an accomplished, fun-loving couple who have taken the world by storm with their radical approach to starting a business. Alan was someone who yearned to start his own business but was vehemently opposed to the idea of taking on debt to do it. Thus, The Rebel Business School was born.
Through the courses taught at Rebel Business School, Alan began teaching people how to launch businesses without taking on any debt. To Alan, the phrase “you’ve got to spend money to make money” is sheer bunk.
Both his own successful businesses and the many businesses started by students of The Rebel Business School are proof of it. Katie is a former consultant who left behind the corporate world after achieving Financial Independence. She and Alan now work on The Rebel Business School together.
This couple is ambitious about teaching, helping others, and loving life. They are now full-time digital nomads – a feat they managed successfully even during COVID-19!
We kicked things off with something that felt pretty basic – we asked Alan and Katie to introduce themselves. But Alan reminded us that this can actually be quite tricky when you’re “retired” early and can’t simply rattle off your name and a one-word description of what you do all day.
We then took a dive into the deep end and talked about overcoming bullies in childhood. Although Katie’s wit and penchant for sports kept her from being bullied, Alan faced some difficult hurdles in his youth – but the wisdom he now takes away from those early challenges is nothing short of inspiring.
Alan told us about how he has learned to build confidence over the years and how helpful it is to go into any situation thinking about how things could go right, instead of getting stuck in a negative feedback loop of fearing how things could go wrong. Alan now thinks to himself: “What if I went into this room full of people and found an amazing friend or an exciting new opportunity”? We also went in depth about public speaking.
Carl, Doug, and Alan have all had very positive experiences with Toastmasters and view it as an incredibly powerful confidence-building tool. Alan also highly recommends Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds and Craig Valentine’s 52 Speaking Tips for fine-tuning your presentation and PowerPoint skills.
We then talked in depth about the Rebel Business School. Alan is passionate about debunking the myth that starting a business requires debt, and that passion shines through.
We discussed some of the success stories from his business and how the school got started. Alan also told us about the power of taking action – right now!
He’s seen so many of his students in the school who want results but hesitate in making the critical moves that would get them there.
Katie and Alan then told us how they discovered the FIRE movement. Like many people, their introduction came through blogs. But Alan was also inspired by Tony Robbins’ book Notes From a Friend, which set him on a path towards better financial decision-making.
After becoming enamored of the concept of financial independence, Katie and Alan began looking at others all around them and wishing they could help them make better financial choices. So they took action! They started the Rebel Finance School to help people get to full financial literacy and hopefully pursue a path towards financial independence themselves.
We wrapped things up by going full circle – back to Alan’s story of his childhood bullies. When asked what he’d say to that bully today, Alan had the best possible answer: he’d simply move on. He no longer has any need to impress anyone or live life on anyone’s terms but his and Katie’s. That’s a pretty powerful way to live your life!
Alan and Katie were excellent guests, and we highly recommend you check out their courses, their blog, and their podcast! You’ll walk away with an armload of wisdom, and an earful of their delightful English accents!
★ Let’s hang out at the EconoMe Conference! ★
Carl is speaking at EconoMe and Doug is attending. You can save 10% by using this coupon code: 1500
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