If you want to know how to become financially free, check out this post.
Money… such a controversial topic.
Some say they hate it, some say they love it, some love it to death and crave it but won’t admit it… the truth is, money is a vital tool that plays a main role in the lives of every single human on the planet.
“Having money isn’t everything, not having it is.”Kanye West, Good Life lyrics
When you have enough money to pay for the things you need and want, you barely think about it. You can devote your time to improve yourself, learn new skills, spend time with the people you love. When you don’t, money becomes everything.
Not having money (or not having enough) places a burden on your relationships and mental health; an unexpected car repair or any other solvable problem can spark off your anxiety when you take a look at that bill.
How to become financially free in 3 years or less
Being financially free means different things for each person. But, in general, it can be defined as:
Financial freedom is about much more than just having money. It’s the freedom to be who you really are and do what you really want in life. It’s about following your passion, making choices that aren’t influenced by your bank account, and living life on your terms.Kim Kiyoyaki – What is Financial Freedom?
Financial freedom is a topic I find fascinating and I’ve recently devoted my free time to read everything I find about it.
So, in this post, I’ve gathered the most powerful tips I’ve been able to find until now.
It’s important to highlight that this is in no way a get-rich-quickly type of thing. Every step and process outlined here is difficult on its own. So imagine doing them all at once… and doing them right.
Get rid of money blocks
In order to get financially free, you need to master your mindset in many areas.
One of them is obviously money.
The way you think about money and everything related to it determines to a large extent how much money you make and accumulate.
So, first of all, you’ll need to get rid of your money blocks.
Money blocks are negative beliefs about money you’ve learned through your entire life.
These negative beliefs include things such as:
- money is the root of all evil;
- money doesn’t buy happiness, so I don’t need any of it;
- making money should be hard.
Before you jump out and say money blocks aren’t a part of you, think twice.
Believe it or not, these negative (unconscious or conscious) beliefs can actually prevent you from getting what you consciously desire.
And getting rid of them to get financially wealthy is a key process.
Believe it’s possible
How many times have you heard the story of an ultra-rich guy who used to live on his parent’s basement?
There’s no need to pay tons of attention to realize that a lot of the people who are very wealthy today didn’t have millions from the moment they were born.
This is because struggling to make ends meet can teach us valuable lessons about money. But it’s up to you to get the best out of that struggle and use your drive to propel you out of financial lack.
Get real about your reasons
Why do you want to be wealthy?
Most people associate money with a specific lifestyle.
How does that lifestyle look like to you?
Do you want a fancy home or do you want to travel anywhere you want to, whenever you want to? Or do you want both?
Being clear about the reasons behind your desire is key to design your plan.
Have a profitable idea and design a plan
Money doesn’t grow on trees unless you start planting the right seeds.
You can do everything else on this list perfectly, but if you don’t develop your own thing, it’s never going to happen.
You won’t get extremely wealthy by saving on lattes every day and you certainly won’t get as wealthy as you wish if you keep trading your time (a limited resource for you) for money (there’s more than enough of it, it’s just unevenly distributed) or if you keep working for somebody else’s empire.
However, there’s no need to worry if you don’t have an idea yet. There are plenty of free resources on the Internet, like blog posts and videos, where you can learn everything you need to learn to start having profitable and exciting business ideas.
Once you have a promising idea you like, develop a plan using SMART goals to get there.
Develop 7 income streams
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Relying on a single source of income is the worst rookie mistake you can make when it comes to money.
And sadly, it took me a few years to learn that.
As exciting and promising as your idea or job may seem, you’ll probably fail in one or more of your entrepreneurial endeavors.
However, in order not to spoil your wealthy future self, you’ll need to have more than a single idea. And more than a single source of income.
But listen, having 7 different income streams doesn’t mean you need to work 7 different jobs or build 7 businesses.
There are many income streams you can develop that can work for you (instead of you working for them) in the future, even though they may require that you invest a lot of time at the beginning learning about it and actually building it.
Some of these are:
- interest income;
- passive income like affiliate commissions, sale of digital products, etc;
- side hustles.
If you want to learn more about multiple income streams, check out this article on Medium written by Dan Todd.
You’ll probably have a main income stream (your passion project, your day job or your most important business), and the rest could be smaller side hustles you can devote a very small portion of your day or week.
For profitable side hustle or microbusiness ideas, check out these posts:
Learn the specific skills you need
Once you have a plan for your business or side hustles ideas, it’s time to get to work!
Make a list of all the skills you need in order to get your business up and running.
Be aware that, as much as people like to say everything’s possible and you can learn whatever you want if you’re willing to put in the work needed, your time will be better spent and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you leverage on skills you already have or things you’re naturally good at.
Read more non-fiction books
Daniel’s Ted Talk is one of the most inspirational things I’ve heard this year. When I watched it, I was in the middle of an exasperating situation I went through this year and it managed to give me hope.
I owe my reading habit to this Talk; before that, it never occurred to me what type of books successful people read.
From Daniel I learned that:
- Books can solve all the problems in the world because there are books for every single subject and situation in life. Whatever problem you have, somebody else probably already had it (and wrote a book about it). The good news: you don’t need to read all the books, because you don’t have all the problems. Read books to solve your specific problem!
- You are what you read. If you read miscellaneous texts, you’ll get miscellaneous results (or none at all, if you ask me). However, if you want to get better at something, you need to read books about that subject.
- Saying you don’t have time to read = saying you don’t have a life. If you read 10 pages a day every day, you’ll read 300 pages a month. Devote 10 minutes of your time to read every day and, by the end of the year, you’ll read more than the average adult.
Let me take the opportunity to recommend 3 more books I’ve read this year:
- The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea, by Bob Burg and John David Mann. This is a fiction story of a man who learns about the power of giving. Dialogues aren’t the best, but the lessons I learned from this one will stay with me forever.
- Not nice: stop people-pleasing, staying silent, & feeling guilty… and start speaking up, saying no, asking boldly, and unapologetically being yourself, by Aziz Gazipura. That’s quite a long title (a long title for a very long book). If you’re a chronic people-pleaser, you need to read this now.
- Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, by Chris Guillebeau. This is one of the greatest books about business I’ve read. If you’re interested in being financially free but don’t want to learn old-school business lessons, then this book’s for you. I would change the title to “27 steps” instead of “days”, though. Some of them will take you more than one day to accomplish. However, it’s an amazing book.
Assess your relationships
“You will be judged by the company you keep.”
Did you know that we become the average of the 5 people we spend the majority of our time with?
Take a moment to study your closest friends, colleagues, family members.
Chances are you’re being influenced by them, their lifestyle and their mindset as well.
If you realize your closest relationships are hurting your mindset and consequently you’re whole life, you may want to ponder about those relationships:
- Why are they in your life? Are you still friends with them out of habit?
- Do they contribute to your life in a positive way?
- How much do they influence you?
- How much do you take what they say to be true?
- Do you want to be like them? What about them do you find to be an example to follow?
- Do they make you feel bullied, frustrated, betrayed, rejected?
- What are their habits? What do they talk about?
- What do you think about them? (REALLY)
I know it’s hard to realize people we love aren’t doing us any good and it hurts to find out they’re not contributing to your life in a positive and meaningful.
However, chances are negative people are affecting your money mindset, making you believe it’s impossible to have more and actually making you spend more money on things you don’t really care about.
Surround yourself with the right people
We’re social animals. That’s just the way it is.
Having a great support system, people who can help you in meaningful and various ways is key to success.
However, if you live in a harsh or abusive environment and can’t seem to find positive people close to you that you can be friends with, leverage the positive power of social media.
Engaging with successful and uplifting people on LinkedIn or following inspirational people on Twitter can be a temporary solution in extreme cases.
In my experience, this worked very well some months ago when I felt lost and completely detached from the love I used to feel for my career.
I couldn’t find anyone around me capable of making me understand that what I do is beautiful and useful.
But engaging with professionals like me on LinkedIn gave me hope, inspiration and tons of motivation to keep going.
Design the right environment and systems
If you work from home and have all the necessary freedom to change things around, design the perfect space for you to feel productive and ready for work.
For some people, this means a nice desk with enough room for your laptop and stationery, a comfortable chair and enough natural light.
For others, it may mean a custom system to keep themselves accountable and keep their goals and tasks perfectly organized.
Think about your goals regarding your big idea, side hustles or passive income sources.
Then paint the bigger picture about what you want to achieve in a specific amount of years and then refine your micro-perspective and plan your monthly, weekly and daily tasks to get there.
Plus, you’ll need to add a way to keep track of your progress.
Reevaluate your values and your definition of financial freedom constantly
The only constant is change.
Our values and definitions change as we grow. To avoid working towards something you no longer want, make sure you’re not out of touch with reality.
Keep a journal to help you make sure your daily life and long-term goals are aligned.
Being financially free doesn’t mean you need to become a millionaire or work day and night.
Reflect on what it means to you to live worry-free when it comes to money:
Think about your perfect day and life and then about how much money you need to finance that lifestyle. Build your business and income streams from there and don’t forget to reevaluate those ideas.