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I started this blog nearly 5 years and exactly 112 articles ago.  I still can’t believe I have written that much.  My original purpose was to share what I have learnt in life, to help you make progress and to challenge some of the traditional bullshit that stops us all making progress.

Has much changed over the last 5 years?  Am I still writing the blog for the same reasons?  Do I have the same why? The same purpose?

Alan Donegan writing his first ever blog post back in 2018 in Basingstoke

Alan writing his first ever blog post back in December 2018

Recently, Katie and I have been inspired to create a mission statement and to start thinking more broadly about our why, our purpose.  That lead us to write about travelling with purpose and about uncovering your why/purpose.

In this article we will share our why for the blog and give you some ideas as to how you can identify your why, uncovering your purpose.  Not only that but Katie also shares why she is now joining me full-time in the blog and why we are rebranding as the Donegans not just AlanDonegan.com

Why am I still going?

With a big enough why any how is possible.  One of my favourite expressions!  You need a purpose, you need a why to keep going at the things that are tough.  There was no way I was going to write 112 articles without a good reason.

In my first ever blog post I talked about the four reasons for writing the blog:

  1. Share what I have learnt
  2. Help you
  3. Challenge traditional bullshit
  4. Build a platform to share future ideas

I like to think I have been doing all those things over the last 5 years and more, way more

Current Alan’s mission hasn’t really changed, it has just maybe got a bit more specific.  I want to help you create your version of an extraordinary life.  Whatever that means to you.

We have been doing that through the Extraordinary Life Course that Katie and I created together, through Rebel Finance School that we built together in lock down (5,000 people attended in 2022 alone!), through Rebel Entrepreneur podcast and through the articles we write here.

The goal is to help you identify your version of extraordinary and build it.   Sounds simple!

​Over the years that I have been doing this, Katie has become more and more involved.  In the early days Katie had her job and I built my business but since we have retired Katie has slowly got more and more involved with the different things that we are doing.

Katie’s why

Katie is officially joining the blog and we are doing it together.  So I will let her take over here to tell you why……..

Hey everyone. Wickwock here. What’s my why for writing this blog with Alan? Well, let me tell you where it started. Picture the scene. It’s deepest darkest lockdown in the winter of late 2020 (sorry to send you back there). You’re huddled on the sofa over your laptop learning about index investing and working out how to visualise which companies our index funds are invested in (ok, maybe you can’t relate to this bit particularly well). I created some cool visualisations, even if I do say so myself, and Alan was like “we should write about this on the blog”. I was very confused and a bit freaked out. I thought “that’s a bit weird, can’t I just quietly spend time with my charts?” I’m a thrill at parties.

Alan can be pretty convincing at times and I thought “well what else have I got going on” so together we wrote the Investing series of articles to explain to people what index funds actually are based on the visualisations I made! I loved writing the articles with Alan. I loved sharing my creations with the world and we got lots of positive comments about how helpful the articles were. I thought to myself “wow, I can really help people with this stuff, what else can I do”.

But it hasn’t been a smooth ride since then. I’ve noticed a general pattern when it comes to creating things with Alan

  • He has an idea of something cool we could build together, whether that’s Rebel Finance School, this blog, our YouTube channel, the Extraordinary Life course we ran at the end of 2022 or anything really.
  • I think “that could be fun BUT…” and then I come up with excuses, avoidances or reasons not to. This kills Alan’s energy and makes him stop wanting to share his ideas with me let alone create with me. In our last article Alan talked about people that come up with the reasons why not first. That has been me for most of my life. It doesn’t lead to a happy life let alone a harmonious relationship!
  • The next step is that I begrudgingly get involved but I’m not really in because I could be doing ALL the other things (not even being clear on what these are!) and this is “Alan’s thing” that I’m helping with. Cue plenty of kicking and screaming from me as we start creating the thing that I’ve agreed to do together. Alan gets frustrated and wonders why I’m sabotaging the thing I’ve agreed to do
  • After a fair amount of arguing and friction, we do the thing. IT’S ALWAYS AMAZING. I get such a buzz from creating, presenting and helping people. We change people’s lives and I feel truly grateful for the opportunity to do that for you.

Alan called me a commitment-phobe recently. And he’s right! Since I “retired” I have been reticent to commit to anything because that means I’m not able to do EVERYTHING else (and I don’t have a clear idea of what everything else is by the way). A family member used to do this.

She would wait around, not wanting to commit to doing anything on her own in case the rest of the family was around and available to hang out. She ended spending her time waiting ….. and waiting…. and waiting. It was frustrating to watch. With the fear of missing out she wouldn’t commit to anything and spent her time bored and lonely. I wanted to scream “Just do something!”

And now I need to scream that at myself! I know that the joy comes from committing. From throwing yourself into something. Seeing what happens. You can always change to something else later. Consider it a mini-experiment. You’re not committing to this one thing for the rest of your life. You and your purpose will change over the years. Even writing this now and telling the world that I’m committing to doing this with Alan makes me feel 17% uncomfortable (I’ll draw you a graph if you like). “What, you mean I actually have to follow through on this?!”

I want you to know that you’re not the only one that agonises over picking the “right” thing or the fear of committing to something. Just pick! It doesn’t matter!

Ok, minor therapy session over! I’m meant to be telling you my reason why for writing the blog with Alan rebranding to the Donegans! I was chatting to a friend recently about purpose and how to spend your time when you no longer have to work for a living. I told her all about how much I LOVE Rebel Finance School (RFS) and creating all the resources around it. The tools, the charts, the articles, the follow-up emails. When we’re running RFS I am so pumped! We spend all week thinking about how best to serve our Rebels that attend the course. We constantly ask ourselves “What other resources do people need? Where are people still stuck? Where haven’t we explained something well and need to re-explain or give more”. I go to bed on a Monday night after the course, buzzing and excited to improve things. I jump out of bed on a Tuesday morning ready to create more, help more.

And that’s my why right there for making the Donegans website. I get to help people which gets me buzzed and pumped to wake up in the morning. I LOVE the bounce and energy I get from creating things for you. And alongside that I get to improve my own skills and confidence. I get to learn and grow through learning how to present better, how to write better and how to make better data visualisations! My confidence has grown so much since that first RFS course we ran in 2020 (it was called Take Control of your Finances back then before we rebranded – shout out to the 150 people who came to that original course xx). So thank you Rebels for giving me all these things and more.

The future of the blog – The Donegans

Alan back! I just read what Katie wrote and got a bit emotional.  I want to create with my beautiful wife and I am so glad she has said she is in.  It is so much easier when we are working together not against each other.

Katie has created such amazing things with the Return on Equity calculator for property, the retirement calculator and the first YouTube series with me.  And we were doing all this when she wasn’t even fully in!

I am SO excited about the future of the blog and the courses we are doing.  In the past I have had some friction with doing my blogging, writing and podcasting.

There are a few reasons I have had friction:

  1. I enjoy spending time with Katie and every time I did one of my projects it took me away from her and adventures together
  2. Katie had some weirdness on joining me on my adventures because she didn’t come up with them and didn’t want to just “follow Alan”
  3. I was doing it on my own and making it up.

Now I feel a renewed lease of life.  Katie and I are building things together, working on this year’s version of Rebel Finance School, writing our first book together, travelling with purpose and finding cool adventures to go on around the world.

​I am so excited about the future.

The new brand

One of the things that has given my huge joy over the last few years is that our friends call us the Donegans.  They ask “What are The Donegans doing now?”  They say “What would the Donegans do in this situation?”  I love that we have a joint identity and brand and I am starting to LOVE what the Donegans stands for.

To celebrate Katie becoming part of the blog and everything we are doing we are re-branding.  I wanted to do it to help her feel part of it.  I am working to buy the domain TheDonegans.com although that isn’t moving along that fast (I got turned down by the owner last night so need a new plan here!)!

Our incredible friend Laura Poole has been creating  brand for us and designing our new blog headers.  She has done an amazing job.  THANK YOU Laura.    Laura is a coach, graphics designer and a presenter at Rebel Business School.  She impresses me so much with what she is doing.

​Here are the first few parts of the new brand for you to look at!  We have a new Donegan “D” designed like the Rebel “R” and our own colours!

Over the years I learnt to design pretty impactful slides, I started running courses on it and loved designing them.  Recently Laura has helped take our slides and design to a new level and I am so proud of what we are creating.  Things are getting far brighter and cooler around here.

The big announcement

Katie is formally joining the blog and we have a new brand to represent our character.  I am so excited how things are heading.  This week I have written about 7 articles for you on finance, purpose and more.  I got SUPER excited.

We have so much more to share.  Make sure you are on the mailing list and we will tell you when Rebel Finance School 2023 is coming, the new YouTube series and new articles.

Thanks for being a Rebel with us.  It is an exciting time to be a Rebel.  We are committed to helping you rebel and create your version of extraordinary.

The lessons we have learnt

What lessons do we, the Donegans, want to share with you from reading this article?  Lessons that we have learnt again and again (sometimes we learn slowly) and from a lot of pain.

  1. The joy is in committing.  People don’t want to commit because “what if something better comes along?” so they don’t commit and they wait. I want to tell you that all the joy is in committing and making it happen.  If things change you can always change your mind later but for now just commit and make it happen
  2. Your purpose is whatever you decide it to be.  Don’t wait for it to hit you, don’t go out there searching and hoping to find  it.  Just choose something and do it for a while.  You aren’t committing forever you are just having a go for now
  3. Don’t judge your purpose. It doesn’t have to be original. It doesn’t have to be grand. And do NOT, I repeat NOT compare your purpose with someone else’s. If it gets you juicy (there’s  a cream for that) and jumping out of bed then great!
  4. What you throw yourself into doesn’t have to be your idea. Maybe you know someone who has lots of ideas and energy (like Alan!). You can join in on their purpose or what they’re building. You don’t have to be a lone wolf or be the one that came up with the idea. Creating something usually requires teamwork from a variety of people with different skills,  energy and experience. Just make sure you come up with your own why. At this point it feels appropriate to include a quote from the Netflix movie Enola Holmes. I love the bit where Enola’s mum says to her….
You will do very well on your own, Enola. But with others, you could be magnificent

So pick a purpose and go and be magnificent!​

​Thanks for reading the blog.  Please let us know what you think by writing a comment, sharing, sending us a message through the contact form here.  We LOVE hearing from you.  in fact it is what drives us to create and do more for you.

Love

Katie and Alan xx

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