Friday, March 20, 2015

Fearless Friday | Journey to Financial Freedom

Today we're bringing back the topic of financial growth.  As I mentioned in my 2015 intentions post, this is the Year of Abundance!  Lately, in my conversations with others, most share how they are unhappy at their current job. Almost all of them dream of doing something on their own and becoming financially independent. Yet most of them haven't taken any action to achieve that goal.

Back when was in my early twenties, I still worked at my dad's business.  It was a little shop where he sold merchandise and trinkets to tourists.  The work wasn't at all glamorous and I dreamed of the day when I could finally get an office job in corporate America.  At the age of 26, I finally got a "real job." A very entry level position in my field earning less than $10.00.  But I was elated.  Finally, my path to financial future was set.

Once at my new company, I set my sets on learning as much as possible so I can prepare myself for greater responsibilities.  My dad taught me the value of working hard and I was ready to show the decision makers how hard I was willing to work.  Then one day, I read this article which changed everything.  He talked about passive income and making money 24/7 instead of during a few working hours.  He called us morons for thinking that a job equals security.  I worked in the HR Field so I know first hand that job security is all smoke and mirrors.  Once I was awakened to the path called financial freedom, I was hungry to learn more.  Books such as the 4 Hour Work Week inspired me to create a muse that could generate income and free me from the trappings of corporate life.
The entire time I desired freedom, I also strived to increase my income.  In a few short years, I was able to grow my income substantially.  Here's a tip, if you want to earn a high salary, you've got to be willing to move around.  Meaning, if you stay in the same position for years, you are robbing yourself of potential income.  By the time I left my first company, four years after being hired making $9.75 an hour, I received several promotions and was earning just over $50k a year.  Not bad.  But not enough.  So I keep my eyes/ears open for other opportunities.  Soon I was with another organization which provided even more financial opportunities.  Everything seemed to be going great!  Except for the fact that I consistently heard that small voice urging me to create other income streams.

I realized that I didn't have the skill set to magically create a viable outside income stream so I started at the bottom.  At the time, online banks were offering great interest rates on savings accounts so I began saving as much as I could.  I'd read the bank statements and see that I was making money every month just by having money in the bank.  Finally, I was making money while I slept.   The realization that my money was able to generate more money was key.  But I wanted more.

So finally, I decided to set some savings aside and invest it.  Not like mutual funds, I had my 401(k) for that.  No, I needed to invest it into an asset that would generate income for years to come.  I was completely sold on the idea of having financial freedom (and time freedom) in the present, not when I retired.   I didn't know anyone in real life who was on a journey to financial independence so I learned from individuals online.  I flooded my mind with stories of people who left their jobs and found success as a way of building up my belief.  I stopped looking at my paycheck as solely an income source and started to see it as funding for investments.  I saved, but I also invested in my business.  I did this for years.  Some years, I lost money.  Most years, the "business" behaved more like a hobby.  But I stayed consisted no matter what.  Finally, I was able to achieve the dream of freeing up my time to focus on building assets that will generate financial freedom.

If you're one of those people who aren't happy with your current financial situation, or your current job, you have an asset, a tool, that can help you change the situation.  Stop thinking of your paycheck as just a way to pay bills.  Sure, you've gotta pay the bills, but you should also be paying yourself.  Save until you have a comfortable cushion, then utilize a portion towards acquiring or building assets.  An honorable goal would be to earn your first $1.00 from a means different from your employer.  A dollar may not seem like much, but it represents the potential you have to earn outside of your employer.

I know some really smart people who are miserable at their jobs, yet they do nothing to alter the situation.  I worked 50-70 hour weeks and still believed in my dream enough to wake up early and give up my weekends so I can finally live the life that I wanted.  Looking back, I'm glad I never gave up when all the hours put in produced little results.  I'm glad I didn't get discouraged when I was only earning a few dollars a month from those hours of effort.  I'm glad I didn't stop when someone asked how much I was earning on my side projects and responded "oh" (disappointedly) at my response.

If you are reading this post, and you desire a life different from the one you currently have, fight for it.  And when the results are small, get excited!  To me, the tiny result was a seed. If someone gives me apple seeds, am I frustrated because I didn't get an apple? No! I get excited because the seeds will give me an abundance of apples for years to come.  Your paycheck is like a bag of apples.  It's finite.
The other income streams you create have the infinite nature contained in one tiny seed.

It does you no good to feel trapped in your job and do nothing about it.  I was watching a movie on Netflix about these people who travel through parallel universes.  When you believe there's another version of you....of your life, it allows you to break free of the mentality of working for a check.  I believed in the version of my life where I wake up and have complete freedom to create the day so I did what was necessary to make that reality.

If you need some inspiration to begin your journey to freedom I'll recommend some books that helped me along the way.

+ David Bach ~ The Automatic Millionaire :  This book convinced me to make saving money an automatic ritual.  It allowed me to see my savings account grow which helped my mind get comfortable with seeing thousands in an account and not just hundreds.

+ Tim Ferris ~ The Four Hour Work Week:  After reading The 4HWW, I released the theory of saving until retirement, then enjoying my life.  I then moved towards creating a muse that would bring time freedom now.

+ Grant Cardone ~ The 10X Rule: Building a business requires hard work and greater level of results.  Grant does an amazing job of helping us elevate our efforts to 10X levels!

+ The Secret Full Movie ~ I watched this video a bijillion times.  One phrase that I always repeat silently to myself is "checks in the mail!" I've been doing it for years and I actually still receive checks in the mail.  ;)

+ MJ Demarco ~ The Millionaire Fastlane ~ This is a mindset book that helps us break free of "slow lane thinking."  One of the best books on financial freedom on the market.

Miscellaneous Actions that kept me motivated:

+ Keeping a spread sheet of my assets and debt. Updating it monthly and establishing goals to grow my net worth.

+ Constantly listening to stories of people who created their ideal life.

+ Keeping a record of every dollar earned outside of my employment.  And being grateful for all it (even the losses).

+ Working with a Life Coaches who helped me expand my level of thinking (and my actions).

+ Enjoying small glimpses of the life I wanted to live.  For example, instead of eating lunch in the drab break room with no windows, I'd drive a couple miles to wealthy neighborhood, sit at their cafes and eves drop on their conversations about their businesses.

+ Creative visualization exercises to increase belief and clearly define goals.


If you'd like to work with me 1on1 to help you reach your lifestyle goals.  Feel free to send me an email and we can connect.

  1. This was such an inspiration and eye opener. Book marks this post.

  2. Loved this. I've read the four hour work week 3 times and watched the secret on Netflix. I will check out the other sources you've listed. There's definitely nothing like making your own dollar. I started my company because I hated the ritual of going to work and sitting in traffic 5 days a week. Might I also recommend "Think and Grow Rich" and "The Richest Man in Babylon"

  3. Thank you so much for sharing aspects of your life - it is a source of great encouragement, insight, and guidance. I am amazed at how what started as a hair-care journey for me has turned into a "life-care" journey. Thanks again for your contributions, and may God multiply you a thousand times more than you are, and may He grant you the desires of your heart. Shalom.

  4. Thanks for the book recommendations. I am listening to The Millionaire Fastlane as I type this. This book is powerful!

  5. Wonderful read! I'm still in the beginning stages of my journey but it's nice to know I have the right mindset and I'm on the right path. I'll definitely be checking into those books too! Reading books and articles like this has been a huge inspiration for me. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I'm really excited that you guys are inspired by this post. I'm really passionate about this topic and will write more on this in the future.

  7. And let the church say........AMEN! As usual this is an incredibly timely post. What an inspiration. To see how far you have come and motivation for others including myself to create success. It really does start with yourself. Trust me no one is going to push you and often times people are pushing you to stay at that 9-5 and just be thankful you have a job vs taking control of your life's destiny and being the very best you that you can be. being the very best you does not include working a dead end job where you feel stuck. Thank you so much for writing what all of us were thinking and now need to actually do.