Financial freedom is measured on calendars not calculators — Jack Butcher
That’s what we’re talking about in this article. Not getting F.U. money to buy Lambos and sip mojitos in Las Vegas.
These are the things that will help you reach financial freedom.
A freezing cold dip in the ocean
That’s what it feels like when you try to get your head around financial freedom. So many versions of it are total nonsense.
Before you go anywhere you need to know why you want it. Let me give you the piss-easy answer:
Money sets you free from doing things you don’t want to do. (The more times you ask why, the better.)
Because when you’re free from doing things you hate, then you can choose to do the things you love. It’s that simple.
As Tony Robbins says, “Complexity is the enemy of execution.”
For me, sitting in my home office cubicle on back-to-back Zoom calls is a prison with a slightly nicer toilet. No thanks.
Financial freedom allows you to get away from this nightmare if it’s something you hate. Or maybe what you hate is different.
Pinch the strategy I used to reach financial freedom
My approach was simple. I don’t see too many people do it.
Step 1: Use your 9-5 job to pay the bills. Keep your expenses relatively low.
Step 2: Start a side hustle. Do it for free.
Step 3: Get good enough with your side hustle that it can help you make money online.
Step 4: Take the money from your side hustle and channel every dollar into financial assets. Let your job keep paying your bills in the meantime.
Step 5: Repeat the process for long enough that your investments and side hustle can replace the salary from your job.
Understand the definition of retirement
Traditional meaning of retirement:
Work for 65 years with 4 weeks holiday per year so you can retire and do what you love for 10 years before you die and they put you in a wooden box under a tree. That sounds terrible.
New definition of retirement:
Make enough dollars to retire from work you do to earn money, so you can permanently transition to work where getting money is secondary, or entirely redundant.
Working to solely pay bills is how we all start. But it’s not a goal we should keep for the rest of our lives.
Financial freedom is work you do by choice without money on the brain.
Money makes you feel like you need a shower
That’s how I feel. Financial freedom can feel like your whole life revolves around money. Like money is the most important.
It’s not the case.
You don’t want to be so obsessed with money that you tie your life to status games, so you can one day become a billionaire and still not have enough money to rule the world. By then, anyway, ‘trillionaire’ will be the new status not billionaire.
Money isn’t the most important thing — your goals, legacy and family are.
But money affects every part of your life. From the food you eat, to where you live, to the learning you have access to, to the books you own, to the lifestyle you live, to the impact it has on any children you might have.
Rich Dad Poor Dad author says money isn’t the most important thing but it does affect the most important things.
Okay, a little heads up.
I hate when we stick labels on people that say rich and poor. So pay attention to the information, not the labels that need a trigger warning.
Take some or all of your income and buy assets. That’s how you reach financial freedom faster. It’s that simple.
Incentives run the world
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it — Upton Sinclair
It’s impossible to reach financial freedom if you don’t understand incentives.
Take writing online. Someone can tell you the world is burning and we will never recover. But if they get paid to say that and gaslighting you gets more clicks that earn them more money, does the meaning and value of their words change?
Follow the money trail. Yesterday a friendly company rang me up to help connect gas and electricity at my next home (a shack).
I looked through the detail and saw that, yes, using them is quicker. But when I looked at the electricity rates they were inflated. That’s because the rise in electricity price is their commission aka incentive to help me get connected.
Incentives drive behavior.
Understanding human behavior is a fast track to reaching financial freedom.
Don’t tell yourself this common lie
Those who create successful businesses or side hustles think they’re going to cash out or turn it into an entirely passive income stream.
The money you earn from a successful project you start is a game. When you win the game and make a lot of money, it’s highly unlikely you’ll quit. Instead, you’ll use the money to invest in a new game.
Drop the fantasy and get addicted to a game that can transcend selfishness, and help the greater good.
Play the game to help others win the game.
What happens when you build financial freedom skills
A skill is how you earn money to become financially free.
You may decide to learn a new skill after reading this. A roadblock will eventually stop you. A new skill is hard to master. It can take years. It can be a real struggle and grind.
Inevitably, you’ll think “I’m bad at this.”
That’s incorrect. I see it with online writers all the time. Steph Smith nails the solution beautifully:
You’re not bad at something. You’re new to something.
Keep practicing the skill until the habit automates the results and gets you on the customized path to your own version of financial freedom.
How to know you’ve reached financial freedom
There’s one sign I use as a gauge:
If I love what I do to earn money, I am financially free.
Break the rules. Experiment. Exploit side hustle income to invest in assets. Let your assets take the focus off your job. Fire yourself from a job when it starts to take up the same time as a part-time side hustle.
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.