Everyone desires financial independence. Having the money to travel, experience the world, enjoy friends and family, pursue interests, and live life on your own terms is an awesome goal. But like anything worth having, it takes hard work and planning. As an entrepreneur, and someone who has taught and worked with a lot of individuals who have achieved financial independence, I’ve noticed a few common traits among those who attain financial independence. Here are my tips!
Keep your cost of living reasonable
If you increase your standard of living every time you get a raise, you will never be financially independent. I fell into this trap for years. I was making good money, but every penny of it went out the door – new clothes, watches, car leases, etc. Most of that stuff wasn’t making me happy, and it certainly wasn’t getting me closer to the kind of independent life I wanted. So I cut it out, and you should too. If you get a raise, or if you have some fluff that you can cut out of your budget, do it! Then stick that extra money in the bank.
Invest in yourself
You won’t find a more die-hard supporter of financial investment than me. Whether it’s starting a business or trading stocks, the way you get ahead is through investment. But the best investment you can make is in yourself. Businesses can fail. Stocks can flop. But an education? That doesn’t fail or flop. No one can take knowledge and skills away from you – you will carry that with you for life. It doesn’t have to be a college education. Nor does it have to be expensive. Figure out what you want to learn, and invest the time and money necessary. And if what you want to learn is how to invest in the stock market, send me an email.
Find a mentor
Few things will fast-track your advancement more than finding a mentor. I spent years trading on my own, with some serious ups and downs, before I found a mentor. In a short period of time, he was able to identify a few key mistakes I was making and lead me in the right direction. It made an enormous difference in my trading. A good mentor shares not only her skills and experience, but objectivity. We are all blind to our own issues, to some degree, and need someone to show us what we are missing.
Follow your passion
If you want financial independence – something that most people don’t get to enjoy – you will need to work both harder and smarter than most people. Working at a mindless desk job 12+ hours a day will kill you. But working 12+ a day on something that you are passionate about? That’s a different story. I frequently work long hours, but it’s doing something I love, so it doesn’t feel like work. I’ve built a life from which I don’t need or want a vacation – work is part of life, and that’s how I like it. You need to find that thing you are passionate about, and then figure out how you can make money doing it. After that, everything else gets a lot easier.