Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Financial Freedom Is Not the Fairytale You Read About Online

Content that sells the fantasy of financial freedom makes me vomit.

Content that sells the fantasy of financial freedom makes me vomit.

It’s a lie.

The dream life of financial freedom portrayed online leaves out all the important parts. The benefit of financial freedom is you don’t have to work for money anymore so you can focus on work you love.

It’s a great feeling. But there’s a lot more to it. How do I know? I’ve done it.

I’ve made more than $300K as a writer and don’t have to work another day in my life if I choose.

Yet, despite the financial freedom fantasy, I am working harder than I have ever worked. Because financial freedom is a strange myth.

You Will Cry. A Lot.

You want financial freedom? Okay, well, here’s what the gurus don’t tell you: you will cry a lot. You will cry like a freaking baby.

I’ve copped lawsuits, had friends cheat on me, walked away from kind partners who loved me, battled mental illness, and had my ego thrown on the floor (twice) thanks to two social media bans.

If you want to be financially free then be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster. Anything worth doing — like being financially free — requires a huge metal farm silo full of emotional reserves that you can draw on.

The Work Required Will 10X Your Expectations.

The work that gets you to be financially free is the hardest work of your life. I wish people understood that and stopped letting Instagram become a compass that leads to broken dreams.

The schedule for financial freedom is exhausting. My friend Tom Kuegler is hard to reach. You can email the guy freaking ten times and he’ll miss you. He doesn’t do it on purpose. He’s just hustling a lot to ensure everything he has worked for to become financially free doesn’t implode.

Michael Thompson is free too. But he has kids. They need their daddy and so he’s not sitting on a beach sipping mojitos either, regardless of his passive income dreams becoming true.

I don’t even want to show you the behind the scenes of my version of financial freedom. I’m working seven days a week to keep my financially free lifeboat afloat. One unexpected wave from the internet and it could capsize. Add a devastating recession to the mix and you’ve got a challenge harder than making it to the end of the tv show Survivor without getting eliminated from the competition.

The work required to be financially free is 10X more than you expect because it’s a huge privilege. And privileges don’t come easy unless you were born with a trust fund to bankroll your future. If you were, then clap clap. I’m happy for you.

For the rest of us, we’ve got to actually work our face off to get anywhere.

4-Hour Workweek? Haha… not even close.

Bless Tim Ferriss. He started the financial freedom movement, but not intentionally. People took his book “The 4-Hour Workweek” and took it literally. His message was far from “get rich and work four hours a week.”

You don’t work four hours per week when you work towards, and become, financially free. You know why?

The work you do to become financially free is addictive. Even if you could give it up you won’t want to.

This big idea is what is missing from all the Youtube ads of influencers living their best life and shinning their washboard abs with coconut cream.

Being financially free is life-changing because you will fall in love with a type of work that gives you purpose.

A genuine purpose will give your life meaning. And when your life has meaning, well, everything changes. You stop existing and start living. So, why not you?

Your Surroundings Will Be Simple.

The images of laptops and Lambos are far from the truth. Here is my financially free prison:

My home office. (Image taken by author.)

There are no Picassos on the wall.

I didn’t do a two-hour gym workout with hot yoga to relax the mind. To become financially free you’ll need to start with very little. Otherwise, you’ll have one less reason to become financially free.

The real surroundings that build passive income aren’t beaches and exotic car interiors where you can put your laptop on your knee. The surroundings are similar to what you have now. There will be a computer. There will be internet. And there will be you using one room of your home to create something.

Your financially free surroundings are the same as what you have right now. The moment you think you need an exotic location to inspire you to get to work is the moment you never get started and waste your life “hoping.”

Start with what you have right now.

You Will Face Random Punch-in-the-Face Moments — Regularly.

I get knocked out roughly every four weeks.

Out of nowhere some huge pain-in-the-ass problem finds its way into my financially free life and causes an earthquake. I’ve learned to get used to these moments.

The moment you try to make a dent in the world, people will get upset with you.

So instead of expecting fairytales, it’s easier to think of being financially free like a battle arena. You’ll have to duel others — and yourself — a lot. Some battles you will win and other battles you’ll be left in the sand, bloody.

When you learn to bleed for your work your life changes.

There Is Still One Last Problem.

Even if you consciously understand everything I’ve just said there is still one hidden problem with this financially free fairytale.

It’s not how much money you make.
It’s not how many followers you have.
It’s not how much money you save.
It’s not how much money you invest.
It’s how much money you have leftover that makes you financially free.

If you don’t understand how money works then everything you work for will turn into a life-sized treadmill. You’ll keep running on the treadmill to earn more money and have it taken out of your backpocket while you’re not looking. Because buying stocks or real estate to create more passive income is littered with traps.

This is where financial education comes in. If you understand how money is created out of thin air, how money loses value over time, and how money dies, then you’ll have the blueprint to ensure there is money leftover.

Earning a heap of cash and buying Tesla stocks is probably a bad idea.

And then…

It’s what you do with the money that makes you financially free. If you spend all that cash on yourself then you’re going to become unhappy real quick.

I’ll tell you a secret: I’ve met many of these financially free gurus. I’ve been to their events. I’ve spoken to them via video chat. Many of them are deeply unhappy and they don’t know why. They project happiness onto your device’s screen, but deep down they are pissed off with life and can’t work out why.

Becoming financially free is such a small part of life. What really matters?

  • Understanding yourself
  • Understanding how the world works
  • Understanding and experiencing higher states of consciousness

Financial Freedom Is 4% of What You Need to Live an Outstanding Life.

If you’re financially free and haven’t explored what lies beyond money, laptops, and Lambos then you’re missing out.

You will find burnout and treat people badly by accident, without even realizing it. To only chase financial freedom is to be unconscious. Unconscious people have a high chance of never waking up again — and therefore missing everything life has to offer outside of the fairytale of being financially free.

I’m not saying don’t be financially free. I’m saying it’s not the fairytale you’ve been told it is. It’s not the answer to all your life’s problems.

Being financially free is 4% or less of what life contains. The other 96% of life is found in relationships, reading, doing work you enjoy, finding a meaning for your life, and being conscious.

It’s life-changing to know that being financially free is only the beginning, and not the end, of what lies beyond sustaining yourself.

To survive is in your DNA.

You thrive when you look beyond the fairytales and go deep to discover the meaning of it all.

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