In Celebration of True Independence: Finding the Freedom to Do What You Love!
Especially this time of year, there is a lot of talk about “Financial Freedom” and “Financial Independence.” But what do we mean by that?
What is usually meant by Financial Freedom or Independence is that we no longer “have” to work for a living; we are free from reliance on a job. No doubt it is the worthy goal of millions if not billions of people to put themselves in a position where they have enough money, assets, and (especially) cash flow so that they are financially secure for the rest of their lives.
But “freedom” and “independence” aren’t just an amount of money in a 401(k), or even a dollar amount of reliable cash flow. Freedom begins where all things begin – in our minds.
I’m not simply saying that financial independence must start as an idea that we embrace and can envision for ourselves before we can reach that financial goal. (Yes, that, too). I’m asserting that we don’t have to WAIT for our bank accounts and investments to get to a certain level before we can EXPERIENCE the reality of freedom and independence in our lives.
For instance, far too many people work a job they hate, clocking in from 8-5 in an environment that does not inspire them, feeling they “have to” pay the bills and save a little each month so that “someday,” in the far-off future, they can one day retire and be free from “having” to work that J.O.B. (“Just Over Broke”).
If this sounds like your life, consider that it doesn’t have to be that way!
Should you work a job you hate – just for the paycheck? No way! That doesn’t mean you quit today, unless you have ample savings to sustain you while you transition to a different source of income (then by all means, write that resignation letter!) However, you shouldn’t resign yourself to doing work you don’t enjoy. Instead, you can change your mind and begin to focus on freedom, independence, and fulfillment.
What if… you decided to be free from that job as soon as possible?
What if… you committed yourself not to drudgery, but to finding work so enjoyable that you would never wish to “retire” from it?
What if… you discovered a way to take the things that light you up (the things you only barely get around to doing on a long weekend now) and make it into a sustainable income stream?
Assuming that you have to do something you hate just for the money is based in scarcity thinking. When we think from a prosperity mindset, we will realize we have opportunities we couldn’t see from a scarcity mindset!
We also always suggest dwelling in gratitude. Find something to love about your current position, and it will not feel like so much “work” (even if – perhaps especially if – you’re actively looking for “what’s next” for you.)
Case Study: from Market Research Business Woman to “The Real Dr. Doolittle”
Val Heart grew up with animals as her best friends, from pets to farm animals to the Welsh pony she credits to helping her survive some very tough teenage years. She was a natural at bonding with, befriending and helping animals, and was even known for her ability to tame wild cats!
After initially exploring therapy and many healing modalities in the early 80’s, Val made her career in the business world. She obtained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Business and Marketing. She worked for many years in the business world, but the further she went, the more dissatisfied she became.
As Val tells it, “I started a market research company, which I ran for several years, but I soon realized I was totally miserable! I wanted to do something that made me happy, while being of service to others.”
Praying and asking for guidance, she realized the one thing that consistently brought her joy and peace was being with animals. But how do you turn THAT into a career, unless you want to be a low-earning pet sitter?
In a breakthrough moment, Val experienced being part of a horse’s dramatic healing as she used her skills to “listen” to the horse. Combining her natural life-long talents with specific training in healing modalities, bodywork, training, and performance enhancement, she started exploring her gift of being able to “hear” animals and help them heal.
Val tested herself in a wide variety of situations, and the results spoke for themselves. She took a leap and started her a new business – very different from her previous one – and began working professionally… as an animal communicator! There are no obvious career paths for “animal communicators,” no college majors and few mentors, but Val found and followed her calling. To be sure, it wasn’t always easy. Val encountered setbacks and financial struggles, but eventually found the mentor she needed, and today she earns a substantial living – even upwards of $20k a month – doing the work she feels meant to do.
Breaking the Mold and Busting the Lies
Let’s face it – our “means” should be consistent with the “end” we desire, and working a job you hate now so you can have “free time” to do what you want “someday” does NOT equal freedom!
Perhaps the whole concept of retirement – a very new concept, historically-speaking, helps to set us up for failure. It makes us think that not working is the “reward” for slaving away for decades, and that the life of leisure is the true goal.
And yet, the most fulfilled people seem to be the ones who find ways to do what they love while making a difference. Perhaps… we are born to serve, and not to play golf 7 days a week. (Nothing against golf – I enjoy it!)
Perhaps the “freedom” we need the most isn’t financial freedom “someday,” but freedom to do what we love TODAY while we work towards building financial independence.
Are Your Ready to Break Free from Work that Feels like a Lot of “Work”?
We’ve got some great resources for you!
We could go on and on with stories and role models like the story above – and you’ll find plenty of them in Kim Butler’s revised and expanded book, Busting the Retirement Lies. The book also addressed the financial side of things.
Listen to this inspiring radio show interview about defying cultural concepts of retirement and aging with Kim Butler and No BS Money Guy Todd Strobel on Guide to Financial Peace Radio: “Kim Butler is Busting the Retirement Lies.”
For our clients who find themselves at a crossroads, we highly recommend working with Tammi Brannan of InstinctiveLife.com. Tammi is a personal development and “right fit” career expert, and creator of the Instinctive Life process, which helps people to identify exactly what they love to do!
We also have a Guide to Financial Peace Radio show with Tammi Brannan as our guest, in which she gives tips on growing a business and how to determine if what you’re doing now is a good fit: “Find Your Unique Path to Success.”
Vrinda Normand is the marketing mentor that helped Val Heart, our animal communicator heroine, turn her unusual business around. You can read her tips on marketing and “hot copy” on the Irresistible Marketing Blog.
And if you want to have a discussion about how to financially navigate a career change, we’re here as your Partners in Prosperity! Please contact Jill to schedule an appointment with Kim Butler or another Prosperity Economics Advisor.
LISTEN to Guide to Financial Peace Radio: When is Your Financial Independence Day?