“Financial Independence is a pipe-dream. You’ll never get there, so why try?”
“I like working, why would I want to retire?”
“That’s only for the rich”
“If it was so easy, everyone would do it.”
Well, as it turns out, it’s not impossible to become financially independent. It’s actually not even that hard if you know what you’re doing…
…and it all starts by having the right mindset. In this article, I’m going to show you:
- Exactly what you need to do in order to take the first step toward financial independence.
- The 6 steps you need to take in order to create those streams of passive income.
- How to start your journey to becoming completely financially independent, regardless of your current salary or financial situation.
But first, I want to share with you…
How I Accidentally Discovered Financial Independence and retired in only 4 years
I wanted to be a professor. Yes, a Professor… My goal was to have a good job with great benefits and be well off.
It just so happened that I wanted to buy a home. Fortunately, only small multifamily properties are around where I was attending university, so I happened into a triplex instead of a typical single family home. I figured I’d keep it for 3 years then sell. My goal was to be a “normal” person, afterall.
Then, one day I had an epiphany. As I collected the rent and sat down on my couch, the wheels in my head began to grind. I realized that life is so much better when money comes knocking at my door rather than me having to go earn it. I knew on that day I would do real estate for the rest of my life. It wasn’t long until I left the Ph.D. program and was in real estate full time.
Financial independence is a more advanced topic than just gaining rental income. It’s the idea that your passive income has to exceed your monthly expenses. Earning money in real estate came easy to me, but keeping the expenses under control was something I had to learn slowly over time.
Eventually the concept of financial independence hit me, I made some major life changes to get my expenses in check, and since then I have been completely free financially – free from working, free from stress, and free to do what I love.
Just like Pablo in the video, I worked hard to create that passive income and to this day I have no regrets about leaving the program.
Bonus: Get the ultimate strategy guide to creating 6-figure passive income from real estate
The 6 Steps To Becoming Financially Independent
- Educate yourself. Education is key. You need to relearn a lifetime of bad advice.
- Make a plan. I started with a business plan you should too.
- Get your finances in order. You need to get your own ‘house’ in order before you can be successful at investing
- Start investing. You need to create your first stream of passive income.
- Buy your first investment property. The hardest part is actually getting your first property.
- Grow your investments. Grow thoughtfully and in a planned fashion to get to FI the fastest.
You’ll notice that “investing” is actually step 4. That’s because the preperation is the most important step of your journey to financial independence. You can’t build a house on a poor foundation and you probably won’t achieve financial independence without the first three steps.
Step 1 to Being Financially Independent – Educate Yourself
It doesn’t take a graduate degree to achieve FI. It doesn’t even take a bachelor’s degree. Honestly, anybody can do it.
Even though you don’t need a degree, you still need to educate yourself.
The problem with working is many people don’t have the time to learn. It doesn’t help that our society doesn’t promote education.
No, I’m not saying society doesn’t push useless philosophy and art degrees on our most impressionable (and indebted) generation.
Our society doesn’t promote the idea of thinking critically and challenging that status quo.
Again, I’m not talking about these wacky movements that condemn the “1%”and want to tax them to death. Yea, they are against the status-quo too and it seems to be all the rage.
I’m talking about how people don’t encourage you to try to “become the 1%.” Since when is moving upward a bad thing?
So, you need to brain-dump everything you’ve learned that doesn’t push you toward financial independence and re-learn those things.
Keep Reading and I will show you exactly what you need to read in order to get your mind focused on financial independence.
Step 2: Plan how you will reach Financial Independence
I believe that you can become wealthy doing just about anything. If you work hard, grow your business and investments, eventually, you can have an empire.
But, you won’t get there by doing everything. That’s why you need a plan.
Most people have one of two tendencies that will hold you back:
#1 – Doing too Much
This is a pretty broad category and it can mean a lot of things.
You need to learn to delegate tasks. Being financially independent means not having to work, so in order to become truly financially independent, you need to allow other people to do all of your work for you.
You aren’t at that stage yet, but it’s important to understand the concept. If you are working 16 hours a day, it’s time to delegate some tasks.
Look at this simple example: Imagine you are the greatest typist in the world and also a highly paid lawyer. You may start your practice both in court and doing your own paperwork.
Of course, nobody can do your paperwork better than you can – you are the greatest at it. After all, if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.
Eventually, though, you will be too busy with all the work and you will have to turn clients away.
Or you can hire someone to do your paperwork. Granted, it may not be as high quality as you could have done it, but it will get the job done. You can now focus on making more money by finding more clients.
The other way is for people to take on too many different things.
I said before – you can become wealthy doing anything but not everything. The attorney that practices criminal, civil, real estate, and malpractice law may find that he earns far less money than an attorney that just does one thing.
Sometimes it’s best to turn down money in order to stay focused.
This is why you need a plan – to stay focused on your niche and have a plan to delegate as you grow.
#2 – Settling for Less
Alright, so doing too much will work against you, but settling for too little means you’ll never get going.
In the video, Bruno was satisfied with his cattle, home, and lifestyle. He worked very hard for what he had and he was satisfied with it.
Although he was working hard, he was actually settling for too little.
If your goal is to retire, then why are you settling for working? Pablo made a plan and stuck to that plan in order to achieve his dream of financial independence.
Like Pablo, you need a plan too.
You will learn step-by-step how to build your business plan and get started toward financial independence. You’ll get:
- The exact list of the books I used to learn real estate.
- A step-by-step guide on how to create your first business plan.
- How to buy your first investment property and grow your investments into wealth.
Step 3: Before you can be financially independent you need to GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER
A lot of people ask me how to quit their job and build those passive income streams.
During the conversation, I inevitably find out they have massive car payments, credit card bills, student debt…
Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally possible to have an independence financially while having debt, but it just means you need more passive income.
Since there are two sides to the equation, it’s best to tackle your expenses first while you are just getting started. It will allow you to reach independence much sooner.
Look at it this way – who do you think can retire faster? The doctor with a million dollar house, 3 cars, and still paying off that 200k med-school bill or the laborer with no debt?
That laborer may only need a few thousand dollars in passive income per month, which is super easy to get. That doctor may need ten or twenty thousand per month to replace his income and pay all those bills.
The goal is to retire, so less is more. Fewer bills, lower expenses, that’s is better for you to achieve your goals.
Step 4: Start Investing
You’ll notice that this is step 4 and not step 1 to be financially independent.
Obviously, if you never invest then you can never become financially independent, but this is step 4 because you need to be ready to invest before you just start throwing money around.
Growing your first stream of passive income can be difficult. Just like Pablo, you may not see results immediately.
I became successful with real estate, but it’s not the only path to take. In fact, there are far easier and less expensive ways to get started toward financial independence.
Step 5: Buy your first investment property
This is truly the hardest part.
Now, like I said before, you don’t need real estate to achieve financial independence, but it’s the most tested way. It’s the only way you can do with little oversight and will last for generations.
Few businesses can last for 5 or 6 generations with little effort and oversight.
Step 6: Expand and Grow
The key to lasting independence is not to have a one hit wonder. Maybe you earn a fortune on one idea, but what happens when the economy shifts, preferences change, or competition grows?
You need to have 6-10 different sources of income. This will help you to earn a ton of money and also protect you from any one stream drying up.
Learn how I became financially independence even though I had only part-time jobs and a ton of student debt.
The day I had the epiphany of financial independence
I never planned to become financially independent until it came knocking at my door, literally. (Check out my entire personal story).
My wife and I were students at a Ph.D. program inside a city. We had the money to buy a home, so we started looking. Our goal was to be near our school and the only properties near the school were mostly 3 unit buildings… So this is what we bought.
One night someone knocked at my door. I opened the door and was surprised to see a tenant there to pay the rent. I sat down to finish the movie I was watching and began to think – That was the easiest money I had ever earned! The great part was, I didn’t have to do anything to earn it besides sit there and put my hand out and count the cash.
That set the wheels turning in my head for the next year and a half where I started learning and preparing for real estate and a life of investing. 4 years after buying my first property, I became financially independent.
We all need money, so the only way to have money without working is to have investments. This is the fundamental difference between the financially independent and those who work.
While workers live off of income, those who achieved it live off of their investments. This is the fundamental difference in mindset between the wealthy (investors) and middle class.
1. The Financially Independent Understand Assets and Liabilities
I was lucky. Most people buy a home but I bought an investment property. You see, your home is your biggest liability. Wait…what?
“Your home is your biggest liability.” – Eric Bowlin
You hear most people say that your home is your biggest asset. Well, they are wrong.
Yes, I’m saying EVERY….SINGLE…PERSON who has ever given you this information is wrong. I don’t care who said it or what book they wrote. It’s wrong.
Most people buy things they think are investments, then get stuck paying for those investments for years. See, just read that sentence again. You will be stuck paying for those investments for years….
…That doesn’t even make sense. An investment should pay you.
How the Wealthy Invest
You see, your home might have some appreciation over time, but generally the costs far outweigh the increase in value. Plus, to ever get that equity you will have to A) Sell your home or B) Get further into debt with another mortgage. Either option isn’t good.
An Investment is something that pays you. There may be some costs to own that investment, but if it pays you more than you pay in expenses, it is an investment.
So, clearly, your home is a very large liability!
2. The Financially Independent Live Within Their Means
So you have a good budget, you have no credit card debt, a nice savings account to cover 6 months of expenses, and your monthly expenses are less than your income. You even are saving a bit into that 401K provided by your job. You clearly live well within your means, right?…
…Once again, this advice is wrong.
Now, it’s actually a good start but it doesn’t tell you the whole story. Of course, you need your expenses to be less than your income, you just need to take it a step further:
The Financially Independent Have Expenses That are Less than Their PASSIVE Income
That’s the key. You live within your wages, the F.I. live within their passive income, not their wages.
Financial Independence is not always fun to achieve. It also may require massive sacrifice in the short run.
As your investments grow, you can spend more and still achieve financial Independence
It may be difficult at first when your lifestyle is seriously small. Over time, your investments will provide more cash-flow and you will spend less of your income on your lifestyle while simultaneously saving more and have a better living standard.
Being frugal at first and having the right mindset will lead to a Financially Independent Lifestyle
Eventually, though, once full independence is achieved, your lifestyle will be far greater. Your income just generates more investments and your lifestyle keeps growing with every dollar you invest.
3. The Financially Independent Don’t Diversify
“A diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds outperforms…” blah blah blah.
Throw that garbage out the window too.
I’m not saying you should stick all your eggs in one basket, that’s just stupid… You think having tech stocks, healthcare stocks, manufacturing stocks, and some other stocks make a diversified portfolio?
I’m saying they are all stocks.
Stocks rise and fall together; dividends rise and fall based on stocks. Your entire investment portfolio is actually all in the same basket.
Financially Independent People Diversify Income Streams
Stocks provide income through dividends and then when they are sold through appreciation. Dividends is one income stream.
There are a number of income streams you should be focused on:
- Stock Appreciation
- Rental Income
- Referral Income
- Property Appreciation
- Passive Business Income
- Affiliate Income
- And a LOT more…
Inside each category, you can further diversify your income streams. Just like you can own multiple dividend producing stocks, you can also own residential, commercial, or industrial real estate. You can also have ownership in multiple businesses, and receive referral fees for multiple different types of services.
Are you ready to start down the path toward Financial Independence?
Unlearning what you’ve been taught about finance.
You see – We are all taught to work and to save a little bit throughout life until retirement. We buy nicer things, a bigger house, expensive vacations. Just like Bruno and the villagers laughed at Pablo with his crazy ideas, I hear all the time that it’s “impossible” to create passive income.
Even recently people have told me that it’s impossible to do what I’ve done… It’s funny to me, because I started when I was barely earning more than minimum wage.
You can see the focus is on earning money and spending money with the hope that some day you can retire. But ‘some day’ is really far away, and for some people, it never comes.
But, I didn’t want to wait until I was in my 60’s. I wanted to live independently now and I don’t care what other people think. I didn’t want to rely on a job, a boss, or some corporation.
WORKING IS NOT THE GOAL
Recently I was having a conversation with a group of people. One person is about to graduate college and others asked him what he wants to do.
He went into a long explanation of the job he wants to get, the direction of his career, and how he hopes to get promoted into higher positions.
He is a smart guy and driven, I believe 100% he will achieve any goal he has.
After his explanation, I looked at him and summarized – “So your goal is to work?”
…and he seems to be doing a great job achieving those goals! Like the video above, he wanted to be a Bruno.
You see, my goal is to not have to work. We have fundamentally different goals and it is really hard to achieve something when you’re not focused on it. My goals are more like Pablo.
If I wanted to achieve my goals, I needed to find a new way to fund my lifestyle. I needed to take the focus away from working and put it toward not working.
We all need money to live, but there is no rule that says you have to trade your labor for money. You can put in your time now, like planting a seed and reap the rewards for years to come.
This is called investing. Understanding this basic principle is the fundamental difference between the financially independent and those who work. While we live off of our income, they live off of their investments.