I’ve really enjoyed the time sharing with you my thoughts, feelings and insights these many months about my journey to financial independence. I always appreciate the effort you’ve taken to get to know me and the wonderful feedback along the way. From financial enlightenment to discovering the power of living a positive compounding life, I’ve gone through a rapid maturity and growth process in getting my family’s financial house in order. But all is not well in the house of PFC.

Don’t Be Fooled By The Hype

I always want to be honest with you about my situation. Sometimes there can be a misperception that by having a public platform like a blog talking about personal finance means that I have my stuff together, all orderly and neat. Some of you must think “Oh Mr. PFC must be an expert and his financial life is perfect”. With a well detailed plan and knowledge, he must never worry about money. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We Are All Messed Up In Our Own Special Way

Here’s the problem: people think money is all about numbers, spreadsheets and bank account balances. To use an old cliche, “Personal finance is personal”. This statement is true, but it does not go far enough in my humble opinion. It really doesn’t address the deeper issues we face, and that we are flawed human beings. We are all messed up in our own special way, especially yours truly.

The Good, Bad & Ugly Mr. PFC

Over the past 15 years I’ve been on a personal, spiritual and most recently financial journey. This journey has been filled with suffering, pain, joy, love, romance, heart break, enlightenment and growth. I’ve taken the time to know more about myself, including the good, the bad and the ugly. I better understand now my limitations, my personality and also the pitfalls that come naturally to who I am. It has been far from perfect and downright messy.

Personality Frameworks

I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity through work and through church to learn about my own personality and how it directs my behaviour. Personality frameworks are great ways to discover more about yourself and also others. Below is a great TED Talk about how personality and self-awareness can lead to good things:

I’ve been using two distinct and useful personality frameworks to get to the core of who I am and the issues I need to address:

DiSC (Click here to learn more)

DiSC is a common personality typing framework that classifies people in to 4 types of Personalities:
DISC Video:

Enneagram (Click here to learn more) )

Enneagram is a much more dynamic and fluid personality type framework. They have a total of 9 personality types:
1.The Reformer
2.The Helper
3.The Achiever
4.The Individualist
5.The Investigator
6.The Loyalist
7.The Enthusiast
8.The Challenger
9.The Peacemaker

My Personality Traits

I’ve found out some interesting and not so great things about myself when engaging with personality frameworks.

DiSC Profile “S” – Steadiness

The “S” characteristic profile is one based on steadiness, stability and predictability. I am an “S” because I love routines, am a very loving person, and more social by nature. Like most personalities there are both strengths and weaknesses associated with me being an “S” personality.

Strengths (Click Me)

Below are some of the positive traits of the “S” profile”:
– Steady/Reliable/Dependable
– Peacemakers
– Good listeners
– Great to deal with one-on-one
– Natural helpers
– Good team players

Weaknesses (Click Me)

Below are some of the weaknesses associated with the “S” personality:
– Oppositional to sudden and drastic change
– Avoids conflict
– Holds grudges
– Have trouble standing up and speaking out for myself
– I am sensitive to criticism
– Have trouble saying “No” to people

Enneagram Type #9: the Peacemaker

In the Enneagram framework the “9” is known as the peacemaker. The 9 Type is known to be trusting, stable and accepting of others. We also have a keen sense of empathy and ability to see other people’s point of view. We are strongly motivated to achieve inner peace of mind through stability. Though we can be creative and optimistic, we also fall pray for being passive, complacent and not quick to act.

Below are some of the strengths and weaknesses of the “Peacemaker – 9”

Strengths (Click Me)

9’s major strengths lie in our ability to be good mediators, referees, and supporters for others:
– Ability to empathize with others
– Ability to be at one with ourselves and achieve inner peace
– Very other focused
– Provide stability and peace in relationships
– Ability to see other points of view
– Ability to bring people together and heal conflicts

Weaknesses (Click Me)

In moments of weakness and unhealthy state of mind, 9s can be our own worst enemy and block ourselves from realizing our own potential:
– Avoid conflict
– Do not deal with issues right away
– Productive and creative procrastinators
– Low energy when we have too much thrown at us all at once
– Not aware for ourselves/Forget ourselves when helping others
– Always going along with the flow and saying “yes” to everything and everyone

Dealing with the Ugly Side of My Personality

As I’ve said before we are all messed up in our own special way. What this means is that there are parts of ourselves and our habits that work in our favour, and against us when it comes to reaching our financial goals and building wealth. Below are some of the things I need to look out for when it comes to my own limitations and bad habits that relate to my personality:

Avoiding Conflict (Click Me)

Peace and harmony are my driving motivators and I have a horrible habit of avoiding conflict. This has real life financial impacts within the PFC family. For example if there is a major issue around finances (for example going over budget), my tendency is to avoid talking about it with my partner. The result has led us into getting further into credit card debt and resentment due to not being accountable to each other. This is a constant issue for me, but I have gotten better at sharing my thoughts feelings and plans with Mrs. PFC. It is still a work in progress.

Not Knowing What I Want (Click Me)

What I’ve discovered is that I have a very strong ability to empathize and take on other people’s point of view. So much so there have been many points in my life where I was never sure whether the things I wanted in life were my own, were expected of me, or something I took on by being around others. This discovery has led me to really evaluate my own values, mission and goals in life (which includes finances). The result is a clear plan and outline of how I want to live my financial life.

Aversion to Risk (Click Me)

Change, risk and loss of control keeps me up at night. For the longest time I avoided risk, because I thought it was better to be safe than sorry. This included investing money in the stock market. Since discovering the FI/FIRE movement, I realize it is best to be in the market than not at all and to keep things simple. I am not longer afraid or put off by sudden dips in the market thanks to my research and foundational pieces of literature that have given me confidence that risk is part of life and not always a bad thing.

My Greatest Financial Fears (Click Me)

My biggest financial fear is not being able to provide for my family. As a result I am a natural saver (Mrs. PFC may say I am a money hoarder), always thinking about the future and all the things that could go wrong. This is a problem, because it stops me from enjoying the present, providing for my family today and putting strain on relationships that really matter to me.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Now that I am more aware of my own personality, I have come to understand that when I am at my unhealthiest I tend to wander off on creative tangents with any real direction (AKA productive procrastination), slow things down to a snail’s pace when it comes to financial decision making and do not deal with issues head on. Also because I like  love stability, I really don’t like change or being rushed to make a decision. Life as we all know constantly changes, especially when it comes to how much money is going in and going out of our lives. The ugly part of my personality is that I run the risk of being so passive that I end up falling asleep at the wheel of my life. All because of my inability to deal with conflict, face my fears and deal with my anger issues.

Moving Towards Transcendence

What I am trying to say is that none of us are perfect. Especially when it comes to our relationship with our personal finances. But there is hope! We are not chained to our personalities and have the ability to free ourselves from them to be our true selves.

It takes a lot of hard work, but it is worth it. I’ve gone through the struggle of getting to know myself better, seeing a counselor when I know I am in a bad place and, connecting with my community (both online and in the real world) to help me move forward and transcend my own personality and discover new things about myself.

I hope that you too can start your road to self-discovery and use what you learn to better understand your relationship with money, family, community and life.

All the the best my friend,

Mr. Prairie FIRE