If financial freedom takes effort: Forget it.
How to get past ‘busy’ and get the results you want…
It’s happened many times in the decade or so I’ve had my network marketing business.
Someone answers an advert for a home based business, and under their reason for looking, they state they want ‘financial freedom’.
I call and talk with them about what financial freedom means to them.
The answers vary. I believe there are as many descriptions of ‘what financial freedom means to me’ as there are people on the planet:
- Being able to fire your irritating boss
- Having the flexibility and money to travel several months of the year
- Being able to buy your parents a new car
- Meeting your household expenses with residual income so you don’t HAVE to work unless you want to (this was my own original – the thing I wrote on my goals worksheet when I started my business)
- Being able to choose where you send your children to school
The people who told me their reasons were fairly excited at the prospect of these things.
And then I tell them a bit about the company I work with (I am not a fan of secret network marketing – see the blog on Secret Squirrel’s Social Suicide).
I ask them if they’re a determined self starter. People say ‘yes’.
And then I tell those determined self starters how they can start their research proper.
It probably involves something like watching a video clip before being available for an hour online, or driving for 20 minutes to the company headquarters or a café so we could meet in person.
Then come the reasons why not.
I’d like to but…
This behaviour never failed to blow me away.
Sometimes I’d feel judgmental.
Sometimes I’d feel resentful.
Sometimes I’d feel despair – is there ANYBODY out there that really wants to be free of their money worries?
People put more effort into planning their holiday abroad than they put into working on the things that are going to impact their lives in positive ways today and tomorrow.
Think health, career, finances, relationships.
So many of us have just put all those things on lay away ‘until’.
Until it’s enough of an emergency that it becomes a priority?
Your health fails and so you pay it attention in a desperate bid to be well again.
Someone new arrives at work and eclipses your performance – you step it up because it dawns on you they could get that promotion you had assumed was yours if you waited long enough, without any truly focused effort on your part.
You have a financial crisis – mortgage rates go up, you need to find an insurance excess because of a car accident or health crisis. So you pay attention to what you’re spending, you are careful with your money, you get creative on ways to increase your income.
Why are we wired that way?
I don’t know.
But Napolean Hill talks about it in Think and Grow Rich.
That humanity coasts down the river by default, and only paddles upstream to destinations of their choice in rare circumstances.
Why wait to be driven by fear and panic?
Why keep relying on that reactive state?
It’s so painful!
If you have children, if you play a sport in a committed team (or your kids play a committed sport), if you have a job, if you brush your teeth twice a day and take a shower every day…then you know how to do something consistently over time.
You know how to make other stuff stand aside so you can meet those commitments.
Make charting your life a priority.
I’m not talking about bean-counting your life’s activities down to the last minute. Or being so focused and inflexible you are not having a good time on the journey.
But pick some things that matter to you. Things you care about where you end up with. Then make the effort to make them a priority in your life.
And stop complaining about how it’s too hard.
There is such a thing as too hard.
Working for 40 years in a job you feel apathetic about, missing major milestones in your children’s lives – in your own life come to think of it (if I’m tired and distracted I miss a lot of stuff that’s happening with me) and then retiring and praying you don’t live longer than your money lasts. That’s hard.
But my dad did that because it crept up on him. Day by day by day. His blinders had him totally believing he would retire if he waited long enough, and happiness would be bestowed for work hard done.
He died at 50 years of age from a heart attack that killed him instantly.
He sold his life by the hour in a job he hated in exchange for money that kept his family running.
No second chances.
No pay off for the job he hated.
No win on the Football Pools* – he did the same numbers every week for twenty years.
I was 17 years old, and the way the trusted education-job-retirement system betrayed my dad stayed with me like some kind of fire brand on the inside of my forehead.
Most of us don’t get that kick in the pants quite so early. Most of us wait til mid life before that creeping panic, that deep frustration with how much control money has over us, sinks in.
You have choices.
You have the time.
You are surrounded by opportunities.
But only if you reach for it.
Only if you stop saying you’re too busy and embrace the fact your goals are in reach. Only if you will actually reach for them day after day after day. Just like you brush your teeth. Just like you eat your meals. Just like you go to work.
Not having the time, not having the energy, being too busy – these are all the death knell for those ‘reasons I want financial freedom’ lists.
Heck your job probably isn’t giving you financial freedom money.
It’s probably giving you mortgage, food, clothes, car, insurances and the occasional holiday or meal-out money.
And for that you donate 40 hours of your life a week.
Not passively, but actively.
You show up, you pay attention, you focus. You give someone else 40 hours of you each week, so you can get by.
Staying focused in the Daily Grind looks at how overwhelm crushes your creativity, and it shows you some ways out from under that.
You’re already getting results. How about applying some focus, every day, on things you want more of in your life?
Remember, you only know what to reach for if you pay attention to what you want.
Not in a wistful ‘that’d be nice’ kind of wanting.
But acknowledging a desire for what really matters to you, and taking responsibility for how you can bring it into your life.
You can carry on in your busy-coma and get to that later.
Or you can really put your mind to discovering what actually matters to you – what you need in your life – and what it feels like if you keep putting it on lay away.
Your network marketing company will have some kind of dream building worksheet. Go through it, pay attention, unearth what you want.
And then set about bringing it into your life.
*(The Football Pools are an English way to gamble on football results, believe it or not).
Share your thoughts in the comments below – has anything in this blog helped you see something differently? Have you made sacrifices that were worth it already? Or maybe you thought of one or two worth making while you read this blog…
See you on the road,