These are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself.
What does financial freedom mean to me? Why do I want to be financially free?
If you have no idea what the term “financial freedom” means, how will you achieve it? It can mean different things to different people. And even more so, the “why” is different for everyone. My challenge for you is to ask yourself those two simple questions each morning for seven days straight. I say seven days because if you haven’t ever thought about it and attempt it only once, it will not be clear. Give it a few days and notice your results.
What did you learn growing up?
From a young age, I knew I wanted to have the resources to help my parents, help my church, and give my family incredible experiences. I remember thinking to myself that “someday, I’m going to make it.” But, I asked myself, “how do some people make all that money”? No one taught me how to make money or how to become wealthy within my schooling growing up. And in my house, we didn’t positively talk about money, nor did we talk about building wealth. Instead, my parents talked about money from a scarcity mindset. There was never enough of it, and if someone did have a lot of money, it came through evil means. The more I talk to people; it becomes a common theme.
So, I did what I thought was the surest way to get ahead in life. I got good grades, went to college. Attained a doctorate in physical therapy, all the while accumulating an enormous pile of student loans. I was very employable, got a very safe and secure job, took a job working at a privately-owned clinic with an offer to buy in and become an owner. Following the plan from the time I entered PT school. So why wasn’t I fulfilled? This was everything I wanted and more.
Right about this time, my wife, Leah, and I met with a financial advisor named Jerry Fetta. Jerry challenged me to start writing out my goals and to think about the life that I wanted to live and the impact that I wanted to have. Our mindsets began to shift. Leah and I would dream of being able to help others, to give large amounts to the church, to take care of our parents without it being a burden to them or us, but never knew how to make it happen.
Here is where you must start. It’s simple but necessary. Take some time to think about what your world would look like if you couldn’t be told “no.” What if the universe would give you anything you truly wanted? My clients call this the “someday goal.” What does your world look like if money wasn’t an issue? Travel? Work, maybe part-time? Not work at all? Who are you visiting? You could live anywhere, do anything. Answer these questions, and don’t limit yourself. Once you have an idea of that near-perfect life, then we can start working on building that.
For me, buying in as an owner at that clinic would have meant that we would have to give up some of our “someday goals.” I’m not saying all PT jobs are that way, as I have met some amazing PTs since then who have built their practices allowing them time flexibility and increased options. And if those people were my mentors at the time, I might still be in that field of practice today. If you genuinely want to achieve your goals, you must start by figuring out what those goals are.
The reason it’s essential to achieve financial freedom because it’s all too often that money is the reason we can’t do things. Right? We can’t take that vacation. We can’t buy that property or go on that hunting trip. We can’t take off work. The list goes on and on. If we can get our money right and start producing income that comes in whether we have a day job or not, this would free up our time and allow us to do things currently limited by lack of money or lack of time.
So why financial freedom? Financial freedom is most important because we only worry about money if we don’t have enough. Becoming financially free is more than just becoming wealthy. It’s becoming free from having to worry about money. It will allow you to focus your attention on things that bring you true joy in life, like family, community, and having an impact on others.