The 8 Steps to Financial Freedom
The importance of having a strategy for all aspects of our life is a critical component of success.
A good strategy consists of a vision for yourself in what you wish to achieve and then marking our goals to obtain that vision.
Adding to the formula is your determination of objectives that you see as part of the achievement of the strategy. Also, it is important that you formulate measurable goals and methods to gauge progress.
If your strategy is to achieve a degree in business, you will need to decide what school you wish to attend, the date of obtaining the degree, how you will pay for this education, what prerequisites you need to get, etc.
Planning is essential because the achievement of any worthy goal in life, for the most part, just don’t happen.
And one of the critical goals that involve long-term strategy is your goal of being financially secure. Financial security allows for the freedom of following one’s dreams, being financially independent and securing the future during the retirement years.
It is indeed worth your time and effort.
The 8 Actionable Steps to Financial Freedom:
Control Your Spending
First of all, there is no substitute for discipline. This is true for all individuals in all walks of life as self-discipline will help maintain one’s health, their mental agility, be fully contributing members of society, enhance relationships, etc.
Also, when it comes to controlling your spending, self-discipline will serve you well in the present and provide a secure financial future.
By definition, controlling your spending means that you stay within your means or don’t spend more than you have to. You can accomplish this by managing credit wisely and not spending your hard-earned money paying exorbitant interest each month.
More detailed strategies for reigning in your spending include budgeting, tracking your expenses, eliminating unnecessary recurring expenses and other money management techniques.
The goal is to spend less than you earn. And despite what anyone tells you, it’s achievable no matter how little you earn.
When you succeed in spending less than you earn, you will have an excess every month. This can be invested in several ways and with the power of compound interest, you’ll be on your way to financial freedom in no time.
Discipline in the use of money is reinforced by realizing the value of money and how it is earned in exchange for time. You wouldn’t want to spend frivolously when you think of money in terms of the amount of work you put in to make it. Say a designer bag worth $2000 is the equivalent of working for 67 hours at $30/hour. Can you really afford that?
Read Financial Books
Financial literacy is a must if you seek a life free of money worries. Unfortunately, school children are thought algebra and calculus but are hardly ever though the life skills that truly matter such as money management.
As an adult seeking financial freedom, you have to teach yourself financial skills and keep learning. And luckily, the resources for improving your financial knowledge is available everywhere. Thanks to the internet.
You can read financial books, publications, and personal finance blogs on the Internet. You can also follow personal finance experts on social media, attend seminars (or webinars if hosted online), enroll for free and paid courses online, and get involved in groups and forums focused in promoting financial literacy.
Constant reading is important because it allows you to learn continually and keeps you focused.
Reading financial books will educate you to be better qualified and engaged in valuing, protecting and investing your own money. It is critical to remember that no one will care for your money as you do.
Set Financial Goals
To achieve your dreams of financial freedom, it is essential that you set financial goals. Goals are those achievements that we strive for but, to achieve those goals, there needs to be a plan of action.
You will likely flounder like a ship at sea with a broken rudder without a clear-cut financial goal. And your dreams of making financially secure will just remain that – a dream.
If you wish to bring out the best in you, do not just float through life in hopes of achieving this goal or another. Like a roadmap showing the motorist to his or her destination, goals utilize a map to outline their course, length of time, resources needed, etc. So it is for the individual. If it’s important for you to achieve the destination of a comfortable retirement, you should set aside a certain portion of your earnings regularly, shelter your money from taxes, and invest that money.
Goal setting is powerful in all aspects of life, and there’s a science to it.
Experts agree that it’s good practice to set goals which are measurable, achievable and specific. Take the time to set your financial goals, mobilize all resources at your disposal, and then crush it.
Start a Business
Not everyone is suited to the 9 to 5 lifestyle. Not too keen on the daily commute and dealing with toxic office culture? Then you may consider starting a business. You can start a business around your interest and passion to secure financial freedom for yourself and your dependents.
However, starting a business is not for the faint-hearted. It requires lots of courage, determination, and grit. Not to scare you, but about 30% of businesses fail in the first year. But it can also be highly rewarding.
Business ownership fully displays the spirit of entrepreneurship and will allow you to embark on a rewarding adventure of owning and running your own business.
By starting a business, you will be working for yourself and pursue something that is meaningful for you. Also, it reveals your mettle by allowing you to create your path which is in stark comparison to the typical 9 to 5 treadmill.
Another solid reason for pursuing your own business is the satisfaction gained through success realized through vision, courage and hard work.
Don’t make excuses
True leaders today and those who are authentic also do not make excuses for their behaviors or blame others for their non-successes. They own their actions and behaviors, whether it leads to a colossal failure or great success.
On the contrary, the unsuccessful will always turn outwards for the cause of their lack of success. The will find a way to blame their failures on some external circumstances.
In turn, this makes it difficult for them to learn from their failures and avoid making the same mistakes again.
Making excuses can make you broke and unsuccessful.
Excuses are the stories you tell yourself to keep you from putting yourself out there and risking failure and rejection.
Excuses are a subconscious pain-avoidance strategy which leaves you stagnating in your comfort zone.
It affords you an escape route out of doing what you should be doing to get ahead financially and create abundance in your life.
What are the excuses you tell yourself?
Mistakes, rejections, and failures are part of the journey. Embracing them head-on rather than avoiding them will expand your limit, grow and toughen you.
When you make a mistake, say a poor investment, admit your mistake, minimize your losses and above all learn from the mistake. The best teacher in the world is the mistakes made in the school of hard knocks.
Failure is not defined by falling from a hill, but what we do after we take that tumble.
Connect With Financially Successful People
According to the motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”.
You may have heard this several times, but do you realize your circle of friends could determine where you are financially speaking?
If your crowd are the sort that looks forward to Fridays just so they hang go out all night, partying and binge drinking, then it’s time you moved on.
If you’re looking for financial freedom, then look to associate yourself with financially successful people. Seek out these people at various venues like service organizations within the community, associations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Lions International etc.
It is essential as well to remember that by associating with your peers you may be able to provide some insight into their financial life as well.
In 1993, with just three chapters of Harry Potter completed, J. K Rowling was divorced, jobless, broke, and a single mother. She had to rely on government handouts to survive. For two years, she worked steadily on the Harry Potter manuscript and was promptly rejected by 12 major publishers. Deflated but not knocked-out, Rowling persisted till a small publisher accepted to publish 1000 copies and paid her an advance of £1500.
Rowling has since then sold more than 500 million copies of her Harry Potter books. And achieved celebrity status – being the first billionaire author and winner of multiple awards.
History is replete with motivational stories of exceptional individuals who, despite all seemingly unconquerable odds, kept at their vision till they broke through.
Persistency is the manifestation of unwavering doggedness in the pursuit of a goal or a course of action.
Persistency means pursuing your dreams against all the odds.
Every worthwhile endeavor including your path to financial freedom requires a copious dose of persistence.
Because let’s face it. Life could be tough. And it wouldn’t do to tuck your tail in between your legs and flee at the first obstacle that comes your way.
That doesn’t mean it’s the end.
Take those temporary setbacks as lost battles – and a signal for you to retreat, reorganize and launch a fresh offensive. The war is only over when you raise your arms in surrender.
It may often appear as if you’re not making any real progress. But if you cling on and persist, you will witness a breakthrough. The breaking of dawn that dispels all the darkness. You will need to cultivate virtues like patience, endurance, and long-suffering to make it through the long night.
Above all financial freedom is achieved when all of these components are melded together, and you take action.
It is not enough to have worthy goals, a glorious vision, training, experience, etc. The plan of action needs to be energized, and this energy is provided by taking action.
Often in business meetings, there is much talk about where the company has been, where it currently is and where it needs to go. Often, these meetings are replete with reports and graphs and strategies. However, the most critical aspect of the business meeting agenda are the actions items. Those action items include what is going to be done, who is going to do it and when will it be done?
Therefore, it is crucial for you as the director to yell out “action” then proceed according to plan.
In other words, plan the work and then work the plan.
By following these important steps to financial freedom, no matter how dire your financial situation is today, it’s always possible to fix it and ultimately achieve your goals. But it all depends on you. If you are willing to put in the required effort to set financial goals; make solid plans for achieving said goals; take massive action, before you know it, you’ll be free. Not to say you won’t face challenges along the way.
The successful people you read about have all come a long way through seemingly unconquerable odds, but by sheer persistence, made it through.
And so can you.