How to Achieve Financial Independence with a Personal Game Plan

Financial independence starts with your why and risk profile

Financial independence can only be achieved through the development and implementation of the appropriate goal-focused strategies and tactics (actions). It transforms your mindset and strengths from “working hard for your regular salary” into “generating passive income from owning a business and investments”.

 

Financial independence is much more than having money

Financial independence is the freedom to be who you really are, to do what you really want in life and to live a rich life. That includes your relationships with others, having a dream job, having enough money to do the things you want to, to travel and to consume food that fits your lifestyle and health profile.

Families can break free from the Rat Race of life. They strategically transition themselves from employees to become part-time home-based business owners and investors. This is done through the use of a well-crafted Personal Game Plan that contains a clear articulation of their goals, strategies and actions.

 

Don’t trade time for money!

Like many of you, I have been taught to go to school and university, get a job, work hard, save money and put money into a retirement fund. I had several jobs over two decades, got married and have five children.

My goal was to work hard for my regular salary, pay raises and bonuses. I traded time for money. If I did not work, I didn’t get paid.

In hindsight, working for the chance of a pay raise and that illusive promotion was risky. I got deeper into the Rat Race of life. I realised that there is NO certainty and control.

 

It’s hard to become rich and financially independent working for money!

Now in my late 40s, I realised that the industrial economy mindset does not suit the present: information economy, tax systems that favour business owners, governments that are technically bankrupt, jobs that are being replaced by technology, careers with use-by dates. Retirement is considered old-fashioned and full-time employment is diminishing.

As an employee, there’s a limit as to how much I could earn. There’s that career and age ceiling that I cannot penetrate. The tax system that takes up to 50% of what I earn even before I receive it. There’s the constant changes to government pensions and social security rules. There isn’t enough in retirement savings because we are living longer.

 

My retirement contingency plan

As an accountant and a risk management professional, I was thinking in terms of risk and reward. If the rewards are great enough, I can come up with a strategy or plan that will increase my chances of success.

Most people, including employees who work for job security, do not have a retirement contingency plan. This is so if they can no longer work for whatever reason. This plan is my insurance policy if things or circumstances do change.

 

Security by diversification

I wanted security by diversification through investing in real estate and starting an online business.

After the global financial crisis in 2009, the possibility of a severe stock market crash just before or after retirement age is so real. It can potentially wipe out my entire retirement savings.

During this time, there were significant value reduction of retirement funds around the world. People close to retirement had to continue working unexpectedly. They were left without a choice. I am assuming that their employers can still employ them or if they can still find employers who want to hire them.

If you think that job security is smart and building a business or investing in real estate is risky, please reconsider. I did not want to be in a position where I have no control over my job. My job can be taken from me.

 

I want to take control of my own reality

The bottom line is that I wanted to take control of my own reality. I did this by changing or reframing my reality through the shifting of my mindset and point of view. My goal was to reset my subconscious financial thermostat.

I reframed by adopting a different point of view.

It says that building a business and investing in real estate is smart and job security is risky.

You too can reframe and learn the same things as I did in my 40s.

I found out that clinging to job security all my life is a lot riskier in today’s environment than taking a well-considered risk to learn to invest in real estate and build an online business. One risk is short-term and the other risk lasts my lifetime.

 

Don’t undervalue yourself

It has been my habit to evaluate my worth and contribution to my employer every three years and make the employment switch to secure a higher salary for myself.

For some people, it may be time to climb up to the next rung in their career path.

According to the Australian Psychological Association, almost 50% of employees feel undervalued at work. When you can document the tangible value that you have added to your employer, and have established your market value, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your manager. Discuss your situation or find your dream or higher paying job elsewhere.

 

Know your WHY, your strengths and your risk profile

Know your WHY, your strengths and your risk profile. You won’t get rich by only saying you want to be rich. You must choose and commit 100 percent to being rich.

People say they want to be financially free. Yet they hold subconscious hidden beliefs that tell them that there’s something wrong with being rich.

 

People don’t know what they want

The number one reason why people don’t get what they want is because they don’t know what they want. They say one thing but believe another.

Knowing your WHY and GOALs for financial independence and having the right mindset can help you focus your strengths and efforts. They secure a higher salary (or a dream job) and investing your excess savings and income in assets (e.g., businesses, real estate and equities) that can generate sufficient passive income for you to eventually live off.

 

Your WHY will determine the WHAT and WHEN

Your WHY will determine the WHAT and WHEN. That is, what are your strategies, tactics and systems to achieve your goals, and when do you want to successfully achieve these goals? Your time-frame will be heavily influenced by the stage of your life (married, going to retire, etc.), risk profile (conservative, prudent, aggressive, etc.) and other external factors like the economy and government policies.

Starting your journey from ground zero requires you to be teachable by continuously acquiring the right skills and knowledge. It is through investing in yourself first and becoming proficient and competent in what you do.

With your why, goals, strategies, tactics and systems, the thought of starting a home-based business, buying a franchise, joining a network-marketing company, buying real estate investment properties or buying equities (shares) becomes more appealing and less risky.

 

There is NO limit as to how much you can earn

Unlike an employee on a fixed income, there is NO limit as to how much you can earn, especially from investments and with owning a business. These passive income generators will accelerate your financial independence quicker.

However, only start a business or invest in real estate or equities when the core skill needed to win and make a profit is a strength of yours. You seek to win, not to lose money.

What are your strengths? Do you have the strengths that will give you a win in the game of investing and business?

 

Many options to make money

Many options to make money and be financially independent

There are many, many ways for us to start earning additional money in our spare time. We have to disciplined with our time and use it productively.

You don’t need to grit your teeth through a job that you hate just so you can eventually quit decades down the line. Instead, you can get creative and use your strengths, resources, time and money to do the things that excite you, both now and in the future.

We can earn very little at first. Slowly over time, it will grow into greater and greater returns as we build readers, viewers, listeners, or clients. While most will never replace our main job, they’ll often earn us more than enough for the time invested if we stick with it in the long run.

My money works for me; I do not work for my money

If I am successful in business and investing, my money works for me.

I don’t need to work for my money especially when I am transitioning into the financial independence (aka retirement) phase from being an employee.

Interestingly, retirement is considered old-fashioned. It assumes that you graduate, get a job, work for 40+ years, reach 65, quit your job, and finally do all those things you waited your entire life to do.

 

Retirement is not my life goal

Retirement is not my life goal. Rather it’s financial independence. That is, the freedom and ability to make decisions based on what makes me happy instead of what makes me money. It’s the point at which money stops being the limiting factor and starts enabling me to live the life I want. It’s not age dependent.

My ultimate goal is full financial independence, which is the point at which I have enough money in savings and investments to support my family for the rest of our lives.

Just like retirement, it’s important for me to save ahead. This is the long-term goal of financial independence because at some point, I’ll stop earning an income as an employee, either by choice or necessity (sickness, injuries, retrenchment, etc.).

The key for me is to slowly increase my passive income as a business owner and an investor and decrease my paid salary over time as an employee. Eventually, my passive income will pass the earning potential of my regular salary income. Then I can then work less, earn more money. I can do the things that matter to me, and pay less and less in taxes. But this doesn’t happen overnight!

Employees are overly concerned with the ‘now’

Unfortunately, employees are overly concerned with the ‘now’.

They think that they need their salary income today so that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. Employees work for their money because they need money now.

 

Business owners and investors think long term

To be a business owner or an investor, there is a building process over time without being paid in the beginning. It is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. The emotion for success is patience; a delayed gratification (rather than instant gratification as we usually expect). That’s why business owners and investors think for the long term.

They acquire assets that grow and become more and more valuable with time. In time, they generate the required passive income streams for them. Whatever free time they have is used productively to increase their assets, rather than watching TV and procrastinating.

You can stop working as an employee when you get there as a successful business owner and investor.

 

Work becomes a lifestyle

Or you could keep working, if you found it fulfilling. Employment becomes irrelevant; it is a lifestyle.

The big difference is the scope of what’s possible. When you think about it this way, you have a lot more freedom to be creative about when you reach full financial independence and what you do when you get there.

Along the way you can attain partial financial independence when you have the financial resources to make lifestyle decisions that make you happy, even when they’re not financially optimal.

My wife and I fell into this second category when we had our first child. My wife had to quit her full-time employment to be a stay home mother. We didn’t have enough money to support ourselves forever. Our family lived frugally. My wife and I did have enough money to support our family when God blessed us with four more children.

Our partial financial independence allowed us to take an unconventional path in pursuit of the lifestyle we wanted, without sacrificing our family’s financial security.

Your partial financial independence might allow you to switch to a single income, leave a job you don’t like, travel, donate your time to causes you support, or whatever it is you’d love to do.

The choice is whether you work for your money (as employees) or have your money work for you (as investors and business owners). When money works for you, this is what true financial independence is.

 

People are content to be poor

The majority of people do not mind the daily 9-to-5 grind as long as they can pay their bills at the end of the month. Hopefully, when they have enough money working for them with some investments, they can quit their jobs – but this generally does not happen.

They would rather be comfortable working hard for their regular salary in the Rat Race all their lives than be uncomfortable for a few years, working hard to change their mindset and reality, and finally taking a rest for the remainder of their lives.

In other words, most people would rather be poor than be rich, unmotivated, clueless. If you are such a person, then the content of this website will not be suitable for you.

 

Don’t choose to be poor, really

The problem with government pension schemes or social security is that they only work for people who want or choose to be poor. If I decide to work to supplement my welfare payments, the government will begin to reduce my payments. The only way to receive the full payment, if any, is to choose to be poor. This is a bad position to be in from a financial independence perspective.

Invest in your education

Alternatively, if I want to be rich, I must first invest in my education, have an abundant and rich mindset (i.e., a different mindset), and learn how to build, buy or create assets that will eventually put money into my pocket as passive income.

 

Minding your own business

The idea of minding my own business becomes appealing. I want to take control of my destiny and financial independence. I want to be able to use my God given strengths to bless and help others.

If you want to be financially free, you must believe that you are in charge of your destiny and taking responsibility for your future lives. You, alone can create opportunities to create your own success. Don’t be the victim who constantly blames others and complains.

 

Change your mindset to be RICH

More than anything, the fastest way to become rich and experience financial independence is to change your mindset and reality, and take action. It will be a mental, spiritual and physical change that will only come over time and with a lot of hard work. It will not happen overnight.

What we heard and experienced about money when we were growing up can still linger in our subconscious and dictate our current financial life.

We may have heard comments like:

“Money is the root of all evil”

“Money can’t buy happiness”

“We can’t afford it”

“It is hard to make money”, etc.

We may also be conditioned by the way money was handled in our parent’s household. Was money a source of joy or the cause of arguments? Was it managed well or mismanaged? Did it come easily or was it always a struggle?

Reprogram our financial mindset

The only way to change our level of financial success is to reprogram our mindset. Set it to a higher level.

Start by searching for our limiting beliefs and understand how each belief has negatively impacted our current life. Next, disassociate and reject these beliefs because they don’t belong to you. Then develop and accept a new way of thinking. Say that “I choose to be rich and have chosen a NEW way of thinking about my happiness and financial independence.”

Renew your mind

Continuously renew your mind with the new way of thinking by surrounding yourself with likeminded people.

If you hang onto your excuses, it’s impossible to be financially free. Some common excuses are: “I….

“.. can’t do that”

“.. don’t want to lose all my money?”

“.. don’t have any money to invest”

“.. need more information before I can do anything”

“.. tried that before, it’ll never work”

“.. would if I was younger”

 

“It’s just too late for me, I have a family now.”

Take baby steps

If you’re considering starting a business or investing, I would suggest taking baby steps. Oftentimes, people are impatient and they want to make huge changes, fast. They want to see immediate results.

Have the right systems, strategies and tactics

They do not have the right systems, strategies and tactics to get them safely to their goals, with the least risk and lowest aggravation. They can get so busy doing everything that they get nothing done. When there are not results, they get discouraged and blame others.

 

Clueless people look for random tactics

Clueless people look for random tactics, always

Let’s be honest. All of us have something we ‘claim’ we want to do, but we haven’t taken action on it.

Do you really think you’re going to figure it out later? Do you really know why you haven’t done it?

If your answer is “I’m lazy” or “I’m not motivated”, then you are missing the entire point. The solution to ‘try harder’ won’t solve the key problem.

So what do we do?

We try random tactics

If we’re job hunting, the first thing we do is to fix up our resume.

The we go looking for business ideas, the first thing we do is to conduct an internet search for the top 10 profitable home business ideas.

If we’re looking to invest in real estate, the first thing we do is to find the next hotspot location.
When it doesn’t work, we do it again. And again and again!

People just throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks

Successful people see behind it and realize that any individual tactic is just a random tactic that yields no results. They constantly re-evaluate their goals and strengths so they know where they want to go.

 

People don’t plan to fail, they simply fail to plan

Know your why

First off, know your WHY for financial independence.

Determine your goals and timeframe

Knowing your WHY will determine the WHAT (or your GOALS) and the WHEN (timeframe to get to your goals).

Your goals will answer the question: What do I want to achieve?

Remember, what gets measured, gets done.

Create appropriate systems

Once you have determined your goals, you then create the appropriate SYSTEMS to work within (real estate investment system, business management system, etc.).

A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your chance of success in the long run, regardless of the immediate outcome. It is predictable, sustainable and repeatable. This is so as long as you are committed to it.

Develop strategies

You then develop STRATEGIES that will support the achievement of your goals. These are strategies specific to your unique situation and they force you to discard any tactic that doesn’t fit.

Most people spend years seeking financial independence and never know the importance of having the right strategies.
Your strategy is how you’ll achieve your goals and should answer the question: What if I did this?

Develop well-consider tactics

Lastly, you’ll have a lot of well-considered TACTICS (specific action steps or plans) to support each goal-focused strategy. Without the right strategy, random tactics will create confusion and will not produce the results you seek. You will be constantly stuck in tactical hell.

Let’s use an example to illustrate.

If you’re an entrepreneur, your why is the freedom to call your own shots, to be in-charge of your destiny and time and to have the ability to set your own life.

  • Your goal is to build a million-dollar business within a 10-year period.
  • The system is your sales and marketing system.
  • Your strategy is to maximise your off-shore potential by building your profile in new markets.
  • The tactics related to this strategy may involve building strategic alliances, attending industry events, getting opinion pieces in key media, reviews by analysts, active social marketing, hosting webinars and CIO breakfasts and more – each tactic will be highly specific to your goal-focused strategy.

 

Know that random efforts and tactics without goals and strategies will only yield random results and financial chaos, not financial freedom. Your financial independence will be reliant on the right game plan tailored to your unique situation.

 

How can we practically achieve financial freedom in the current environment of low interest rates?

Patrick

As the founder of howtobuyrealestate.com.au, it is my mission is to provide you with relevant, actionable and independent information to help you make informed decisions when you’re thinking about buying your first property as a homeowner or property investor. I want you to have the confidence to start right and avoid making costly financial mistakes.

Do let me know if you need assistance and let’s take this journey together.

patrick@howtobuyrealestate.com.au

One thought on “How to Achieve Financial Independence with a Personal Game Plan

  • November 13, 2016 at 9:33 pm
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    Reading your blog is pure pleasure for me, it deserves to go viral.

    Reply

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