I believe that every single human on this planet has a purpose. I believe there exists some activity that makes each individual person feel wildly excited and alive. I also think everyone has a unique ability to contribute something meaningful to the world that can positively impact the lives of others. I genuinely believe this.
I also believe that 90% or more of people never get the opportunity to embrace their purpose to their full potential. I think the number one reason for this is because we have been told to follow a cookie-cutter approach to life that looks something like:
Step 1: Graduate high school, attend college, get a job, buy a house, get a pet, get married and have children.
Step 2: Attempt to find purpose outside of your mundane job.
We mindlessly go through the motions of going to college, purchasing the maximum size house we are approved for, then spending the better portion of 40 years or more working at a job that brings us no deep satisfaction and meaning.
This approach has it completely backwards. Instead, we should think:
Step 1: What do I want to accomplish in my ridiculously short period of time here on earth? How can I make a positive impact on others and find meaning in life?
Step 2: Do I need a corporate job in order to accomplish this? Will college increase my ability to do this? How about a large house? Do I need kids as soon as feasibly possible?
By taking this approach we can begin to build a life around our purpose instead of the other way around. The best part of this approach is that it’s more realistic than you may think. When you focus on purpose and intentional living, your expenses naturally decrease. When you find work you truly love doing you suddenly no longer need to spend huge amounts of money in search of the elusive happiness that must be hiding behind the next consumer purchase.
You Need a Freedom Fund
Redesigning a life will be far easier for some than others. Some people are burdened with heavy amounts of debt, others have a massive mortgage, a family to support, college to pay for, and a whole myriad of other potential financial responsibilities. I get that. But no matter what situation you’re in financially, a freedom fund is the key to giving yourself leverage to make the transition to a life that aligns more closely with what you value.
A freedom fund is a lump of money that gives you freedom to make the transition from your current situation to a new one.
For some people, simply accumulating F-you money is all they need to be able to quit the job they hate and move on. This can be as little as $1,000. It’s just enough money to leave a terrible situation and look for work elsewhere. It gives you power to pursue a different route. This isn’t enough money to never work again, it’s simply enough to give yourself the ability to pivot and start heading in a new direction in life.
For others, they need enough to be comfortable with starting their own business or take a lower-paying job while being free of financial burdens. It is enough money to cover their basic expenses for an extended period of time while they find a new job or find new clients for their business. Again, this amount of money won’t give you the power to never work again, but it’s enough to be life-changing. It’s a reasonable amount of money that most people can amass within 1-2 years to gain the freedom to pursue a life that brings them a huge increase in happiness.
For others still, they may be in pursuit of early retirement, where they accumulate such a significant amount of money in a short period of time they no longer have to work ever again. This is the ultimate freedom fund. It gives you the ability to say no to any type of work you don’t feel like doing. It gives you maximum freedom to find your purpose and pursue it with virtually no limitations.
The size of a freedom fund may vary, but the role it plays is still the same: it gives you enough freedom to pursue a purpose relentlessly. If offers you the ability to actually do work you find meaningful and impactful. It gives you freedom to work less and spend more time with family if you choose.
Early retirement is the ultimate freedom that money can purchase, but for most people they don’t need a nest egg so large that they no longer have to work again. They simply need a freedom fund large enough that gives them permission to pursue a life that makes sense.
If you’re stuck in a soul-sucking job, if you’re in a situation you hate, if you find yourself constantly asking “Is this all there is?” then you need a freedom fund. Life is too short to never realize your purpose and never give your unique gift to the world.
Find work you feel strongly about and do this work outside of your 9-5 constantly. Seriously. This will build up your skills so you’re actually good at work you love. In the meantime, build up a freedom fund that gives you the financial leverage to pursue this work full time. This fund might be built through side-hustles, working overtime, selling crap laying around your house, or by any other means. All that matters is that you find what you love and build this fund as fast as possible to buy the freedom you need to do what you love.
I strongly suggest using free financial tools like Personal Capital to track your net worth, spending habits, and cash flow to help keep an eye on your money. The more you track your finances, the better you get at growing your wealth!
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