What Does Financial Freedom Mean to You?

For some people, financial freedom means being debt-free.  For others, it means having enough money to pay the bills and a little bit extra to cover emergencies.  Still others seek long-term financial security and have built up reserves of cash and investments to hedge against unforeseen future expenses.  And then there are those for whom financial freedom is having the means to take a vacation or travel or indulge themselves whenever and however they want, and maybe even retire early.

Whatever financial freedom means for you, you can achieve it if you establish your goals and create a plan to reach them.  Set aside for the moment your current financial situation.  Instead, think about what your situation would need to be five, ten or more years from now for you to feel that you had achieved financial freedom.  What would be the state of your business?  Do you want to be working still, perhaps even only part-time, or fully retired?  Do you still want to own your business or have sold it to someone else?  How much money would you need to have?  How much in cash and how much in investments?   Would you have other sources of income, such as rental properties or royalties from products you’ve designed?

Now consider your current situation.  Does your business plan include goals and aspirations that are moving you closer to fulfilling your dreams?  In my experience, most designers do not set sufficiently lucrative goals for their business that will deliver the future they want for themselves.  As a consequence, while they are working hard at their business, their business is not working hard enough for them.  They could be earning more and keeping more of the money they earn.  At the same time, they need to put the structures and personnel in place so that when the time comes that they want to step away from the business, they will be well rewarded for all the years and effort they have put into it.

For most of us, achieving financial freedom is a gradual process that requires commitment, discipline and persistence.  If you have big dreams, then you need to plan big, aim high, and have the confidence that you can reach your goals.  Over time, your assets will start to snowball, accelerating the pace at which you are making progress toward realizing your dreams.

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