I'm traveling through Southeast Asia right now and I'm writing this blog post from Singapore. In fact, Deena and I were just up on the 56th floor of this crazy-looking hotel and I thought I have to create a blog post to my peeps. :)
On the top of the world! The 56th floor of the hotel Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
There we are in the picture below: I'm drinking some Stella Artois and Deena is drinking some crazy fruity drink (which I think she ordered because it matched her finger nails). :)
From the 56th floor of the hotel Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
It really felt like we were on top of the world here. From way up here, the boats in the water looked like toys floating in the bathtub!
For me, THIS is financial freedom! Doing what I want when I want wherever I want with the ones I love. How about you? What does financial freedom mean to you?
I recently posted a radio interview I did with Marc Pearlman where I talked about how I became a virtual deal maker. (If you haven't listened to it yet, go listen to the interview right now. I promise you'll get some really good ideas and tips from the interview). In the interview, I told Marc's listeners that my first real estate investing efforts resulted in financial success but not financial freedom. I was working long hours and although I made a lot of money, I wasn't enjoying myself.
Everything changed when I realized that a truly successful life wasn't about money, it was about living the life you want to live. People who aspire to wealth often aspire to a specific dollar figure in the bank (i.e. someone might say: "I wish I had a million dollars in the bank"). But if you have to give up most of your life and your free time to get it, is that million really worth it? (Let me clarify: There is nothing wrong with a million dollars in the bank... but that shouldn’t be the thing that you strive for in life. Having the financial and time freedom to spend with your loved ones is far more valuable and achievable!)
Although most people assign a dollar value in their bank account as the mark of success, what they are really dreaming about is TIME freedom. They want to be free of the working-day grind and the bosses and the coworkers and the customers and the alarm clocks.
Here's the real secret to time freedom
If that's what you want (and that's what most people want), the secret is not a specific amount of cash… it's cash FLOW. You want to have a constant stream of income coming in all the time. It might surprise you to learn that you don't need a million dollars to be financially free.
Not even close to that actually! What if you had all of your monthly expenses covered without having to work? Wouldn’t that be a great first step of freedom?
Do this quick exercise:
First, take a minute and write up your monthly expenses include your mortgage, food, insurance, utilities etc. Let’s use $5,000 per month as an example, and you may work at a job that pays you just enough to stay there, so let’s say $5,100 a month.
Now, shut your eyes shut off the Fergie song in the background, and concentrate for 30 seconds... what would your life look like if you had $5100 coming in every month without going to that JOB?
Come back in 30 seconds...
Can you imagine how great that would feel? You have $5,100 rolling in every month no matter what you’re doing… AND you don't have to go to work for you it? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Did you see how that felt? You started thinking about how you would fill your day: Wake up and make your kids breakfast maybe, or make your spouse breakfast in bed, or simply just sleep in for once. Then pick the kids up from school, or take them to dance class, maybe even coach a sport at the school; maybe just going golfing or fishing with your friends whenever; or maybe improving your health with the extra time that you now can give yourself. Whatever is your cup of tea it’s up to you but you're getting the picture.
Not sure if you were aware but this doesn’t take $1,000,000 in the bank to accomplish that... NO WAY at all. Actually, not even close. It only takes a TOOL that allows you to generate a monthly income.
Many will NEVER REALIZE the power in this, meaning most make money in there lifetime without working or not but they never realized the major lesson in it:
- Maybe you bought a stock when you were younger and it’s gone up in value. In essence you made money without working.
- Maybe you bought your house (in what seems like forever) and now it’s worth double or triple (or heck, even more) due to appreciation. In essence you made money without working.
But most of the world does this without any thought. What if you used the same idea yourself to intentionally build a lifestyle that gives you the freedom you want?
Using the example above, do you think it’s possible to create a $5,100 a month income without working?
Instead, you can become financially free by just buying a small handful of properties that put daily cash in your pocket. Heck, even a couple of properties might be enough to replace the income you make at your job right now, freeing you up to do whatever you want.
The two questions you need to figure out
For me, the big switch came when I realized that there was a difference between a big bank account and ongoing cash flow that allowed me to travel to cool places around the world. You need to come to the same realization yourself. And you need to answer these two questions to start the process.
- What does financial freedom mean to you? (Put another way: What would you do if you had the time and money to do it?)
- How much are your monthly bills right now?
Now here's the best part
This is the part I'm most excited about. Most people work hard for most of their lives to try (but often fail) to get a big amount of cash in their bank account. But with ongoing cash flow, you actually need much less than you think you do. (Hey, don't get me wrong; there's nothing wrong with a LOT of cash flow but it can be less than you think you need).
I've laid out a way to become financially free in 12 months or less.
The hardest question I've asked yet
Do you dream of being financially free? If so, what are you doing about it? What action are you taking today to make it happen?
Here's an idea: In the comments below, tell us what the next step you are going to take to become financially free. Commit to it in the comment and then do it (then come back here and tell us about it). When you publicly commit to massive action, you're more likely to take it.
Signing off from the 56th floor of the hotel Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Your world-traveling friend and mentor,
Mark Evans DM,DN