One of the wisest things to do early on in your career is to know upfront if you will achieve financial freedom. And to then assess what kind of financial freedom you will achieve and what your chances are of achieving total financial freedom. This is because not everyone that sets out to achieve financial freedom will achieve it.
Research shows that out of every 100 people, only 20% achieve financial freedom. And out of every 100 working professionals, only 15% will end up in retirement financially free. The big question is, where would you be at the end of your career? And what gives you the confidence that you will achieve financial freedom?
Thus, the goal of today’s article is to show you some of the factors that will affect your ability to achieve financial freedom. And to then show you how to increase your odds of achieving it if your current odds are low.
But before we begin, let us first define what financial freedom is and what it means to be financially free. Financial freedom is the ability to fund your life from passive income. It is your ability to move from a life that is funded solely by active income to a life that is funded by passive income. To achieve financial freedom, you must separate your physical presence from your income such that your absence is no longer a disadvantage. This means that your income must come regardless of where you are, how you work, and whether you choose to work. This kind of financial freedom can only be achieved when you have investments whose investing work can be completed before retirement and whose cash-flow can last for a lifetime.
Judging from where you stand and the time you have left, would you be able to achieve this kind of financial freedom? The best way to know is to look at your current life. If 100% of your current life is still dependent on an active income, you still have a long way to go. The only way to achieve this kind of financial freedom is to create a stable passive income that is worth the size of your current income and then transfer your source of livelihood to it. Only then can you achieve total financial freedom.
The truth is your current active income only has one purpose. And this purpose is to provide you the resources that you need to be free from depending on active income. If you fail to wean yourself off your active income before retirement, there will be unprecedented financial consequences awaiting you in the future.
So, now that you know what financial freedom is let’s see how to know you will achieve it without fail?
There are three factors that will show you if you would achieve financial freedom. And your understanding or ignorance of these three factors is what will determine your financial success.
The first factor is how you interpret your childhood experiences
The second factor is who you are modelling.
And the third factor is discipline.
How you interpret your childhood experiences
One of the things that will affect your financial decisions in life is your childhood experiences. Your childhood experiences will affect how you spend, save and what you invest in and prioritize as important. Yet your background and childhood experiences only play a little role in determining your overall success. This is true because successful people come from poor backgrounds, and successful people also come from rich backgrounds. So, no matter your background you can achieve financial freedom. But there is one thing that can determine your success to a greater degree. This one thing is how you interpret your background and childhood experiences.
There are only two interpretations that you can derive from your childhood experiences. The first is a positive interpretation and the second is a negative interpretation. Positive interpretations see the good in your background and experiences and uses this good to propel you towards success. It also helps you make more wealth-creating decisions. Negative interpretations see the bad in your background and experiences and uses this bad to demotivate you from success. It also uses this bad to help you make more wealth draining decisions.
Thus, the most rewarding positive interpretation to have is to see your background as the reason why you will be successful. And the most negative interpretation to have is to see your background as the reason why life is hard for you.
A person with a negative interpretation sees themselves as deprived and disadvantaged. The moment they begin working, they will make decisions that drain their income and give them only little room for savings.
For example, they will use their financial freedom money to put their children in the kind of schools they couldn’t go to. Even though they became successful without going to expensive schools. And even when success is no respecter of school.
They will use their financial freedom money to stock their houses with foods items, that make them feel rich and special. Even though these foods are unhealthy and will land them in the hospital in retirement.
They will also create an easy family environment removing any kind of pain, discipline, or delayed gratification. Even though success require pain tolerance, patience, and resilience.
The results are children with queens’ English, fancy University certificates but with no real skills to help any employer. Parents are having to carry the load of their graduate children longer than necessary.
Children are now sicker, fatter, entitled, and lazy
And worse of all is that they are now more emotionally fragile in a world that requires toughness to survive.
All these happened because we are trying to run away from our childhood experiences. The same childhood that made us who we are.
Your childhood and background may not be perfect, but it gave you a gift. Today you are the hardworking, resilient, and responsible Breadwinner and Provider even without a Queen’s English, fancy certification, or unhealthy foods. All these did not fall on you from heaven it came from your background. Until you begin to see the good in your background and rid yourself of your expensive childhood deprivations and cravings, there will not be any money left to pursue financial freedom.
Successful people never look at their background in a negative way. They celebrate their humble beginnings and use their backgrounds as the motivation to strive towards success. The less material things you need to feel happy, important, and accepted the faster you will achieve financial freedom. Similarly, the more you know why you do the things you do the faster you will achieve success.
Who you model
The Fastest way to achieve any goals is to find a role model and tap into these three things – Their Knowledge, Their beliefs, and their actions. You must Learn and model what they are doing, what their core beliefs are, and how they are thinking to get the same results.
The problem is most of us never grew up around wealthy role models. We grew up around the middle-class. This means that without the extra effort and commitment to find a wealthy role model you won’t make it. You must be able to always ask yourself-What will a wealthy man do in my situation and what will a Poor Man do? And to then ensure that you are making more of a wealthy man’s decisions than a poor man’s decision. Unfortunately, it is easier to model a poor man’s decision than a wealthy man’s decision. Because poor men decisions are easy and poor men are all over the place. But until you model the wealthy man you cannot achieve financial freedom.
Thankfully you can easily find wealthy role models today. There are several of them online and there are also at least three presents at your office 24/7, Every day, from Monday to Friday. But rather than connect with them and model them you are busy resenting, hating, or judging them. Only a successful person can show you how to become successful and only successful people can help you achieve financial freedom.
If you keep modeling your middle-class colleagues and the people you saw while growing up, you will end up in retirement dependent just like your parents.
There is only one thing that makes a person willing to act, even when they do not feel like it or are afraid to do it-it is Discipline. Discipline is the only way to achieve financial freedom. And without discipline, you cannot achieve financial success. The reason discipline is important is because success requires tough level decisions and the commitment to a future that is worth fighting for. Discovering a purposeful future and taking disciplined action is not a fun thing to do. So, most people spend their adult life doing the easy things and postponing the hard things that lead to success. But until you do the hard and high standard things you will not achieve financial freedom.
Knowing what to do to achieve financial freedom is easy-now you know. Doing what you know is the hard part-and frankly this is what is holding you back from achieving financial freedom.
Perhaps you need help to achieve financial freedom. We are the best to help you. To see if you qualify for our help Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Your background is a Rich Background as long as you learned something from it and this something made you successful.” Grace Agada.
About the author
Grace O. Agada is the most sought-after Financial Planning expert in Nigeria. She is a renowned Author, Financial Expert and Keynote Speaker. Grace is Popularly known as the Predictable Financial Freedom Advisor and Her goal is to help working professionals escape middle-class poverty and transition to the upper class. Grace is the Author of three books and possibly the most widely read financial articles. Her articles are spread across seven national newspapers and four of the most popular Nigerian Blogs. Grace is also the Founder of the University of Wealth, The Rich Retirement Bootcamp, and the Wealthy Business MBA Program. Grace has been featured on BBC Africa. Business Day TV. Inspiration FM. and inside Naijatv. And she consults for Numerous Top Organizations, Company Directors, CEOs, Senior Executives, and High-Income Professionals.