Financial freedom. It can sound like a nice theory. But the truth is, anyone can achieve it.
Every week, I talk with friends, followers, colleagues, or even family members who reach out to me to learn how to earn six, seven, or eight figures per annum.
So, what exactly is financial freedom?
Financial freedom means connecting to your deepest values and having enough money in the bank to support those values without worrying about paying the bills.
Is achieving financial freedom possible?
For many people, true financial freedom seems like a far-fetched dream.
When I was younger, and without a family, my dream life and the idea of financial freedom was far more worldly than it is today.
When I was in my 20’s, it was all about money and owning flashy things in line with my perceived definition of ‘success’.
Much of that came because I was brought up in an environment where more value was placed on material things. After all, we grew up not owning anything and in the “poorer” part of town.
However, I can tell you, after going through two nervous breakdowns in the last decade – the first in 2012 and then the second in 2019 – that money does not buy you happiness.
In my opinion, when you look at what exactly does financial freedom mean to you, try, and look at it from three different contexts:
- Your relationships with yourself and loved ones.
- Your physical and mental health.
- Your material wealth and possessions.
If you can do that, I have no doubt you will be able to live a more balanced and fulfilled life without going through additional stress and heartache that I have gone through and am very lucky to have come out the other side of!
I break financial freedom into five questions that I ask myself:
- Do I have a lifestyle that gives me the freedom to connect with myself and my family members emotionally and on a deep, meaningful level, allowing me to show love, feel love and receive love from those dearest to me?
- Do I have a lifestyle that enables me to take care of my mental and physical fitness and overall stress levels to be the best version of myself every day?
- Do I have enough money to give my family opportunities in life that I never had, both now but also in the future, from what they inherit?
- Can I own a home in an area that resonates with me? For example, in my case, right on the water.
- Do I have enough money to be able to buy and do things without having to stress too much about whether I can afford it or not?
Now for you, the concept of financial freedom might be different. For example, it could mean that…
- You want to buy your girlfriend a 10-carat diamond engagement ring or
- You want to buy a nice car, a BMW, Audi, maybe even a Lamborghini one day or
- You want to buy a lovely handbag from Dior, Chanel, or Louis Vuitton or
- You want to wear luxury fashion labels such as Prada, Versace, or Gucci or
- You want to travel to exotic locations and stay in the very best hotels around the world, the Maldives, the Greek Islands, or Hong Kong
- You might even want to live a comfortable lifestyle, debt-free and with the capacity to enjoy the time given to you, through the ability to pay for employees etc.
Ultimately, it would be best if you determined what is suitable for you, your family, and your overall goals in life and not be motivated extrinsically or based on what someone else has done or recommended that you do.
Why would you want more financial freedom?
Firstly, whatever you choose in life, you must do it for yourself – and you alone!
There truly is no right or wrong here, so please don’t compare yourself to others, do it for yourself.
It needs to be intrinsic, so from a place of fulfilment for you personally, otherwise you will never be happy – and trust me, I talk from previous experience here!
For you, it could be something as simple as having a roof over your head, being able to feed yourself, and being able to spend the weekend wining and dining. Whatever rocks your boat!
I could go on with this, but no doubt, you get my point. As you can see with me, much of what financial freedom means is around my lifestyle and ability to have a greater level of choice within my life.
So how can you achieve greater levels of financial freedom yourself? Please read on below as I break down three key steps you can take immediately to begin your road to financial freedom!
Step 1: Establish your Dream Life, then go for it!
If you want to set yourself up for achieving a level of financial freedom, you need to set parameters on what that looks like. Some goals posts that we measure success by.
However, I think the mistake many people make when it comes to their goals and dreams is that we don’t stop to think about them at length.
We don’t stop to feel what life might look like when we achieve that goal, which for me, combining the two is where the magic happens.
If you can’t feel your visualization when experiencing it, you are not sending the signals your body and mind need to start putting that into action.
From my experience, success in any walk of life – whether that be family, fitness, or finance – is about approaching every day with a set of habits and behaviours that facilitate your end outcome or dream life while accepting that there will be setbacks along the way.
Figure 1 outlines this below.
So how do you go about setting the intention towards building your own dream life?
This is going to be different for everyone, but some practical examples could be:
- Write down your dream home and location.
- Write down how many kids you want to have. If you want kids, what type of school do they go to? Private, public? You need to factor all this in.
- Write down the type of experiences you want to have every year. For example, I want to vacation at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora for four weeks every year with my wife. Or I want to vacation for two weeks out of every year at Uncle Joe’s farm in Albuquerque.
- Write down any material possessions you would like. A car, clothes, gadgets, whatever floats your boat!
With all these points above, make sure you do two things:
- Be as specific as possible!
- Take time to close your eyes and feel into them; how would you feel if you achieved them? Happy, euphoric?
As I mentioned previously when I have thought and emotionally felt what that achieved goal would be like, it has come to fruition over time, through hard work, repeating habits, and being consistent.
For me, everything I have done in my career has involved both thinking and feeling into that thought, and so far, it has done well by me.
Step 2: Become a Master of your Craft
It is all well and good to have a dream life and purpose. However, you need a vehicle to take you from point A to point B.
You know what you want in life, great; now you need to execute on it. That is generally where your career/work will kick in.
So how do you become the best of the best in your chosen field, and why is it important?
Well, results leave clues. So, by results, I am referring to how you have helped people achieve their goals or solved a problem for them in your chosen niche and career path.
My top strategies for mastering your chosen field can be broken down into three simple principles:
- Put in more work than your colleagues and competitors, so maintain a higher level of motivation.
- Put in a higher quality of work than your colleagues and competitors, as standards and competency matter.
- Have patience because mastery isn’t achieved overnight; it occurs over time spent doing whatever you are doing and learning along the way.
Now let’s look at that in context.
You may have heard the saying that it takes 10,000 hours spent on one thing to master it; well, that is closer to the truth than you realise.
Let’s deep dive into that and go through it layer by layer.
Layer 1: Time spent putting in the work
If the average person works 40 hours per week 48 weeks of the year, that is 1920 hours per annum.
Now, if they stayed in the same career for 5.3 years, they would have totalled 10,000 hours in their chosen field.
I found in terms of time spent in the trenches doing something 10,000 hours is the minimum; 15,000-20,000 is where the real fun begins!
Layer 2: The quality of work
Quality over quantity matters. Let’s look at an example as shown in figure 2.
As we can see, sales rep one is, simply put, better at his job than sales rep two despite having spent less time in the trenches. So how is this possible?
Various factors can be hard to measure; however, a common theme I see from entrepreneurs or employees who have worked for me is a growth mindset.
Meaning that they:
- Seek constructive criticism and then take massive action on improving their weaknesses.
- Spend their spare time learning how to become better people, which then translates into their job.
- Spend their spare time learning about their specific niche so that they can master it.
So, as you can see, just because you work hard doesn’t mean you get results.
Layer 3: Setbacks and learning experiences
The final layer for mastering your craft is dealing with setbacks and turning them into learning experiences.
Rather than having a mindset of ‘What did I do wrong’, change that to ‘How can I improve’ and grow as a human being and businessperson.
Ultimately time will separate the excellent from the great.
So, understand that even if you read every book, attend every seminar, or watch every YouTube expert, you need to build up a track record in the trenches of every industry you’re in to become a true master in your field!
Step 3: Build up The Power of Your Inner Circle
It took me a few years to realise that some of my very own family members were holding me back from achieving my dream life.
My wife one day told me something I will never forget ‘You can’t change where you come from, but you can change where you end up.
Never was a more accurate statement said!
The power and influence that the people within your inner circle in life, your family, friends, partner, and work colleagues can have on your physical, mental, and financial well-being are immense!
Energy exchange in any area of life should be met reciprocally and even in nature; doing it any other way is doing yourself a disservice.
You can choose how much time and energy you put into people who give that same positivity and good vibrations back.
How many times have you had friends, family, and loved ones tell you that you are ‘Crazy, work too hard or will never do that?”.
Now they don’t mean you harm (in most cases), but by making those statements, they project their limitations which is fine.
Figure 3 below will give you some context.
As you can see, two people aligned are more potent than two people that are not.
With pathway 1, two aligned people can accomplish as much as 10, 20, 100, 1000, even a million people if they are aligned within their purpose and have the resources to accomplish things.
Now with pathway 2, this is fine if you want to celebrate mediocrity. It is okay if you don’t want to achieve your life goals.
As a practical example, I am not close with my childhood friends from school anymore, even though I am still grateful for them and my lessons.
However, as I have discovered who I am and what I want, those same people don’t resonate and put out the same type of energy and intention that I do as they value different things.
There is nothing wrong with that, but that is not me, assuming you are not reading this!
So don’t be afraid to spend less time with or, if needed, as an absolute last resort after communicating openly and honestly with them – cut off loved ones if all they do is bring you down and suck the energy out of you.
This is never the desirable outcome, but you also need to protect your household as you grow, have a family etc.
I always try to help coach people and give them the benefit of the doubt, but there is only so much you can do.
Now outside of family, what are you doing to grow your networks and mingle with people who have what you aspire to?
They may have more money, a better job, a happier life, whatever gravitates towards them, appreciate them, and learn from them.
The concept of proximity to power is something that many talk about, such as Tony Robbins and Grant Cardone.
Well, when you know what ‘power’ looks like to you, run towards it!
You want to attend seminars, workshops, eat out at places where these people mingle and socialise.
This is why members of my DM Inner Circle program get so much more of it than just business growth, they also get to grow as people. Click the image below for more information on my Inner Circle program.