I am sure most of you are familiar with this term “Financial Freedom“. We hear about that every time, from friends, newspaper, TV commercial, magazines, opportunity seminars, motivational seminars, etc…So, is financial freedom your ultimate goal?
I recently just met up with one of my friends from oversea passing by Singapore. We had a good long chat for 3 – 4 hours. He is taking a long leave for a break and possibly some soul searching. It has been more than a decade since he started working in a Multi-National Company (MNC). Of course, there is progress in his career path and significant advancement in both his technical knowledge and management skill. He told me that he is kinda in a dilemma…
Extract of Conversation
Friend: I kinda in a dilemma…I’m not sure what to do next.
Me: What’s going on? I thought you are doing quite in the company.
Friend: Yah. I know. It is just that I’m not satisfy with the routine work in this few years and don’t really have much choice because of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Employees are encouraged not to be picky about the job. In fact, we should strive to get as many as possible to generate cash flow.
Friend: I’d love to get some more challenging job to widen my role and scope but the time is just not right and I just feel wasting time…
Me: So, what’s your plan?
Friend: I am thinking for my own career path in the long run, say in 5 years time. However, I can’t see myself advanced in 5 years given the current situation. On of the reasons that I stay in the company is to sharpen my technical knowledge and management skill.
Me: If you can do what you want in your company now, would you be happier and keep staying? Also, will you be satisfy if you get promoted, say to become a director or a team leader in 5 years time? Or would you prefer to have your own business in 5 years time?
Friend: (pondering for 20 seconds…). Em…well…Great questions! I think I’ll prefer to have my own business. I’ll be a lot more satisfied this way.
Me: Cool, great to know.
Friend: Having my own business is always better than being an employee. At least, with my own business I have better control of time and will be on track to achieve financial freedom.
Me: True. You’ll have flexibility on your own time and you are working for your own asset. No matter how much effort you put in, it is your own business, your asset. Assuming you are going to start your own business, what is your ultimate goal? To build up an empire to let the system run for you or to continue to fully involve in the business? Or I should put it as another question. If you achieve financial freedom (i.e. 10 million net profit per year after tax), what would you do?
I understand that a lot of people work hard, save money or using various kinds of financial vehicles (forex, stocks, ETF, options, Futures, Commodities, etc…) to get them out of rat race and achieve financial freedom. However, what happen after that? In almost all the opportunity seminar, the speakers will tend to sell you the the dream such as achieving financial freedom, time freedom, out of rat race, traveling to place you desired, lie down on the beach and have a cup of beer, etc…
However, the real question is how do you want to live your life? What’s your purpose in your life? I am sure you can go traveling or go to beach for a few weeks, maybe a few months, but I don’t believe you will be able to live this lifestyle forever. People got to find out their passion. That’s why I asked my friend.
Friend: Em… Don’t know at the moment. I haven’t actually thought about his before. Maybe I am just too busy and don’t even have time to think about that.
Me: (laugh) Well, you are not the only one. At least now you’ll start to think about it. Achieving financial freedom is great because it will provide you extra time to think about how you would live your life. There are just way too many people never think about it, or can’t be bothered to think about as this seems very far away from them.
Friend: Thanks mate. This is an absolutely important thing to ask myself. Also, now I have a better idea of what I would like to pursue and I just need to have some more “thinking time” everyday for myself.
Me: Awesome. Glad to know that…
We carried on for some other chit chat and a few drinks and finished off the conversation.
I first heard of “thinking time” from Keith Cunningham (the “Rich Dad” of Robert Kiyosaki) at one of the seminars that I attended. Always left yourself some time everyday to think, whether is for your own business, mistakes you made, relationship, any other aspects in life that you would like to improve.
This is powerful stuff though it is extremely simple. We need to spend time to think and analyze in order to know that if we are heading to the right direction.
Enough said. What does financial freedom mean to you? Have you found your purpose in your life? What do you think about the thinking time concept? Love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below.