It’s not about yellow Lambos or laptop broken dreams by the side of an edgeless pool in the Bahamas. Financial freedom equals the time to do whatever you want. Once you achieve it, make no mistake: you’ll crave work again. You just won’t crave work based on how much it pays anymore.
The traditional paths to financial freedom look like this:
- Win the lottery.
- Invest in real estate over multiple decades.
- Start a business and sell it for bucketloads of money.
- Buy the US stock market index fund and dollar-cost average into it every time you get paid.
The problem with all these strategies is they’re slower than a horse and cart. They’re old school. They’re out of date. And they don’t factor in new norms such as quantitative easing (money created by governments out of thin air), asset bubbles, record stock prices due for a correction, or an out-of-control global health crisis.
A tweet reminded me that paradigms shift happen. Technology has created side hustles and provided a faster way to financial freedom.
Don’t waste your days working on one thing but always thinking about another
This advice comes from an account on Twitter. It’s bang on.
If you sit at work most days and dream of doing another type of work then why do you torture yourself? If you only had days to live you wouldn’t accept this outcome. So why do you accept it when you’re not guaranteed to live for any fixed length of time?
It makes no sense.
Confession: I lived like that. Most of last year I sat in meetings and dreamt of writing online instead. It drove me nuts. As this year progressed I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It eventually consumed me. I stopped caring about anything other than my writing. I would sometimes even write in a meeting, with my microphone on mute. This is what I mean.
If your thoughts are always elsewhere at work then there’s your sign.
If you can make $20 online, you can make $100K+
It all starts with a side hustle. You need work you can do online and get paid for. You don’t just flick a switch and quit your job while being financially free. It’s a process. The quicker you start the process, the quicker you can stop wasting time at work, living like a zombie.
There’s a mental barrier I found. You need money that doesn’t come from a job to hit your bank account. Psychologically it messes up your brain.
Really bad side hustles don’t even make one sale. But a side hustle that has potential can make at least one sale. After that sale you ask for feedback from your first customer — pay them if you have to. Then find out what problems they have or what gives them value in life. Then you create more products and services around the learnings.
To make $100k online isn’t that much even though it sounds big. It’s 500 sales of a $200 information product. Or a handful of freelance customers who want you to be outcome-focused and deliver results. Or 12 months’ worth of money from a paid newsletter that you partner with other creators on.
The almighty transition
The money from a side hustle doesn’t firehose its way into your wallet. It takes time and patience, two things most people don’t have. In fact, if you have time and patience I’m certain you’ll build a successful side hustle. Why?
Google has all the answers. If you spend enough time and focus on one side hustle then you’ll find:
- Other people like you
- Additional income streams
- New opportunities
- Untapped places online where customers can be found
It’s easy to think a side hustle is too slow or to become impatient.
Consider the alternatives. Ask a real estate investor. They’ll tell you buying investment properties and waiting for renters to pay off the loan for you takes a lifetime. Ask someone who buys stock index funds. They’ll tell you after the devaluation of the US dollar and taxes, it takes years to get anywhere.
Or chat to someone who has sold their business for millions of dollars. They’ve likely had multiple failed businesses, and the one they hit the jackpot with took years to build and loads of frustration.
Side hustles are the fastest way to financial freedom if you’re willing to invest five years of your life. If not, try the other options that take decades of your life to achieve — just don’t complain.