Life can feel like a hamster wheel.
The same thing every day. The value you create being captured by someone other than you. And a quiet threat of a recession that could take away your job at any point.
There are two ways to live:
- Wait to be chosen.
- Choose yourself.
Financial freedom is option two. It’s the choice most people don’t make even though the option exists for everyone.
Financial freedom isn’t as sexy as you think
I spoke to a fellow writer today.
We were just casually chatting when they said, “Yeah, this online thing is wild. I met two people you’ve never heard of who make $1M+ a year from their $ubstacks.”
I looked them up. Both newsletters were unsexy. You’d never know that behind the scenes they were making a small fortune off it and had reached financial freedom. From writing.
Both of them just look like normies.
When people hear “financial freedom” they see images in their minds of Lambos, beachfront homes, and holidays to Europe. The truth is people who have financial freedom are right in front of your eyes every day.
We simply don’t know it because true financial freedom is boring — and invisible.
Takeaway: choose unsexy ways to make money.
The outliers get all the rewards
In the corporate world I got told to fit in.
This earned me what everyone else had. Then I realized I had the illusion of job security and a safe career that’d last me until 65.
My real life underneath was one of quiet desperation.
All it took was one wrong move or one bad performance review and I could be fired. That’s what happened in 2019. I got the ass. Kicked to the curb.
Now, you may think “But you can get another job, right?” Not quite.
The people who would refer me to jobs or be my references for jobs I applied for heard about my firing. Most of them didn’t want to be around me anymore. They saw me as a poison chalice. A once great man.
So my ability to get a new job became much harder because my reputation was harmed. Most employers don’t blindly hire. They speak to people who know you — and know if it was my fault. My employer fired me due to financial struggles.
That’s what you get when you fit in, when you follow the path everyone else walks down.
Financial freedom is a contrarian decision.
It means you do what most don’t do or what many are not even aware of. It’s an option disguised as a clickbait idea that a Youtube guru would spread.
Takeaway: become an outlier.
Consumer debt is the modern devil in a Prada dress
There’s no financial freedom if you’re drowning in debt.
How can you be free if you have to show up every month and pay a debt payment on a purchase you made a year ago? You can’t. The repayment equals stress. It determines what decisions you’ll make.
The worst form of consumer debt is buy now, pay later. Here’s how it works: with normal debt you borrow the money and pay it back monthly with interest. When the debt is paid the interest stops.
With buy now pay later, you’re told there’s no interest. You just get what you need to buy and pay it back in convenient installments.
It’s a scam.
The merchant or business you buy from pays a hefty fee upfront, which they build into the price of the product/service you buy. That means you pay the interest payments upfront.
That’s worse than a credit card. You’re prepaying the debt. And you’re paying the full interest on a debt you might pay off sooner than the term of the loan.
Takeaway: stay clear of consumer debt.
Herd mentality is secretly robbing you in your sleep
When a new iPhone comes out people run to the shops to get one.
This herd mentality is the result of a secret desire to have what everyone else has, or to fit in socially and not feel secretly left out.
The problem is you end up playing status games. You buy new things you don’t really need so you’ll feel validated.
I don’t care how smart you are … we all do this.
We’re human. The key is to be aware of this behavior. Once you are … you stop it, or at least minimize its harmful effects. Keeping up with the Kardashians is an expensive hobby. It costs you your freedom to buy it.
Takeaway: don’t worry about what everyone else is buying
Find people who already have financial freedom
Financial freedom looks like a scam. Or like a pyramid scheme.
I’m a dumb-dumb and there’s no way I would’ve found out how to escape normality and reach financial freedom if I wasn’t surrounded by people who already have it.
But a saint from heaven didn’t ride on down on cloud 9 and bless my life with the knowledge.
- I proactively got around people who were already free.
- I watched them without asking them for anything.
- I found simple ways to add value to their life. Then over time I asked them about their businesses, passive income sources, and opportunities they were excited about.
Eventually the path to financial freedom becomes obvious. You can take a role model’s freedom and make it yours.
Takeaway: use social media to find financially free people. Find clever ways to hang out with them online, or better, in person.
The principle that’s easy to forget
Financial freedom is a formula.
You reach this position in life when your passive income pays your bills without you having to invest more hours in work.
To get to this place you have to spend less money than you earn. Sounds simple but you’d be surprised how few people do it.
The second part is you invest the money left over in passive income-generating assets — stocks, bonds, real estate, crypto, etc. If you do this and buy the right assets, financial freedom becomes the default.
You can obviously speed up this process (if you want to) by starting a business or taking more risks.
Takeaway: Spend less than you earn. Invest the rest like the best.
Financial freedom isn’t what you think
The goal isn’t to retire and be a beach bum.
Yep, passive income could do all the work for you. But that assumes you hate the work you do and derive no meaning from it.
The point of financial freedom is to use money to explore and find work that you do enjoy doing. Work you don’t need a holiday from, and work where nobody tells you what to do.
The people who are truly free do work they love every day.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.