On October 30th 2009 I wrote a post titled “Why I will be financially free in 5 years“.
I wanted to take a moment and look back over the last 3 years and assess what I have achieved and why I won’t be financially free in 2014.
Looking back on this article I can see how naive I was. But looking back I also think that the nativity I had drive me forward to achieve more than I could have otherwise.
In 2009 I wrote down 7 reasons why I would be financially free in 5 years. I want to take these 7 reasons again and elaborate on them with 3 years of hindsight.
1. I think in terms of cashflow not net dollars
This is something that has served me well over the last 3 years…but not something that would make me financially free on its own.
I have learned that cashflow doesn’t just come to you because you want it. It comes to those who earn it and can do something with it.
My cashflow has increased dramatically since 2009, but due to career growth NOT investments. I now earn about 5+ times what I earned personally in 2009 (I was only working 2 days per week then) and I am earning a lot more than my wife and I were earning combined at the time.
Passive income is around $100-$500/month depending on the month. This income is driven by online websites that are 100% passive. I do nothing to keep them afloat. This is no where near the financial freedom I desire, but it is nice to have a little bit of passive income backing us.
Cashflow is still #1 for me and when I invest I will always focus on cashflow. But my passive cashflow is nowhere near high enough to be financially free in 2014.
2. I am always learning
This still holds true, however as a field rep I have traded in the books for audiobooks and I now listen to approximately 1-5 books per week!!!
Books are so cheap and I listen to them on 3X speed that I go through them quick. As I keep adding to my knowledge I also add to my working income.
3. I am not just willing to take risks, I want to take risks to learn
In 2011 I took a huge risk, I took a new job when my old job had a better guaranteed income. This risk paid off as I was soon promoted and my guaranteed income is higher than my original job (and I get commissions).
The last big financial gamble I took was importing USB sticks to sell on eBay. I lost about $1,000 buying duds. Lesson learned…start small and take small risks.
My next investment cost me $155 (income which I earned online an reinvested). The website I bought tanked with the Google Penguin update but I only ended up losing about $100.
I am still willing to take risks and want to take risks, however I take smaller more educated risks. With 2 children and a wife to feed I can’t afford to lose $50,000 on a property investment gone wrong…but a couple of hundred dollars won’t break the bank.
4. Having financial intelligence attracts money and people with money
I still hold this to be true, however, I now believe studying money in books doesn’t automatically equal financial intelligence. It takes real life experience.
With my wage myself an my wife try to act with financial intelligence and this builds our financial base and our reputation.
At work, where I am in business to business sales, I get to speak to people all day long about growing the income of their business. I provide financial intelligence to my customers and I also learn a lot from them too.
I think I have learned more from my customers than I have taught them. But taking ideas from each customer makes me more and more valuable to everyone I serve.
5. I will use leverage
Something I haven’t really done yet. My focus over the last 6 years has been growing my income and maximizing the leverage of my own time.
In 2012 I did try hiring freelance writers for my site CashFlowInvestor.com.au, however I ceased this as it didn’t bring the returns I was looking for, in the time I needed it.
This is something I will look to begin doing in the next few years, leveraging my money to make more money.
I guess I do use the leverage of the Internet and I have multiple sites that provide a small amount of passive income for me.
6. I love the game
I do love the game, but I think I love the game of serving people more than simply just the game of money.
Currently I am playing the game of sales. Trying to find the best ways to serve my customers and deliver beyond their expectations, it isn’t an easy game but it is a fun one.
I love sales and marketing and it is so fun to learn. At the moment I am focusing my efforts on this and trying to push the boundaries of sales and marketing in my current company so we can deliver a better customer experience. It is hard, but I love challenging the status quo and thinking outside the box.
7. I know my ‘why’
The why I wrote 3 years ago wasn’t strong enough.
So I can have as much free time as I want to spend with my family, and so that I can have a platform from which to speak into people’s lives.
I don’t want to not work, I want to be able to work on the things that inspire me. Not working and having nothing but free time would drive me crazy.
3 years ago I felt like money would provide me with a platform, but the more I work and live the less I think that is true. Yes it provides you a platform to certain people, but what if your target market isn’t people wanting to get rich?
My why now more centres around being able to work on things that inspire me and make a positive difference in the world. Luckily I am in a job at the moment where I get to do that without being financially free.
So will I be financially free by October 30th 2014?
The answer is: Almost certainly not.
But will I be better off financially then than I am today? If I have anything to do with it the answer will be most certainly: yes!