The Proprietist: The Ultimate DIYer

I debated purchasing a bicycle recently, but opted instead to fix up an old Huffy road bike that had been collecting dust in my parents garage. I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere without helpful sites all over the Internet like Park Tools. Maybe I would have gone to the library and gotten a book on bicycle repair. Probably I would have just ended up paying a bike shop to do it.

Fixing a bike is the tip of the iceberg of what you can teach yourself to do on the Internet. You can use it to teach yourself how to start a business, build a nuclear bomb, or make ice cream using a fire extinguisher. DIY sites all have the same motif: they show you how to achieve some desired end goal with cleverness rather than money.

Mr. Money Mustache, Get Rich Slowly, Early Retirement Extreme, and 4-Hour Work Week are blogs about personal money management, but I see them as extreme DIY sites. Rather than narrowing in on a specific task or DIY project, they discuss and share experiences that empower readers towards more independent, productive, and enjoyable lives. They are embodiments of a kind of DIY lifestyle that is taking hold in our society.

This new sense of self-empowerment is a sign of the rise of proprietism within our society. As our culture begins to popularize the DIY lifestyle, we will feel increasingly compelled to use social media tools to share our own thrifty habits. In other words, promote our brands.