How I Reached Financial Independence and Why I Won’t Quit

You Want More

If you’re dreaming of a life where you can go on vacation and still make money, you’re not alone. That was my primary driver 12 years ago when I woke up one Saturday morning and did not want to go to work.

 

As I thought-forward what would happen if I didn’t, I realized what “golden handcuffs” truly are. If I didn’t go to work I wouldn’t get my paycheck, and I needed it to pay that month’s bills.

 

I was living paycheck to paycheck, and it had crept up on me. I realized I had built a house of cards for myself.

 

The success I had was an enigma. It wasn’t real. Also, the success everyone thought I had wasn’t real either.

 

I didn’t actually own anything. If I couldn’t pay my mortgage and car loan, I couldn’t keep my house and car, and the lifestyle that went with it. That’s not ownership.

 

So what could I do to keep those things without having to go to a job every day? That was my next thought and I knew just who to call. My financial advisor.

 

Financial advisors know how to create wealth, right?

 

The phone call went like this. “Hi, John. I’m in a situation. All the money flowing into my accounts is leaving just as fast to pay my bills. I don’t like my job and I want to make money while I’m on vacation.”

 

His response was, “Ok, Holly. How much more would you like to invest?”

 

The Lightbulb Moment

The lightbulb went on and my brain exploded. I realized in that moment that if I wanted a life that few people have, I’d have to do what few people do, and everyone I knew that had a financial advisor wasn’t living the life I wanted. So what was I missing?

 

Let me be clear here, financial advisors provide a valuable service in managing the money you already have. That was just not what I needed.

 

So what exactly, do those few people do?

 

That’s what I set out to learn and create for myself. Three years later I was totally debt free and on my way to financial independence.

 

What is Financial Independence?

I now call that life that those people have, financial independence (FI), and you can have it too.

 

It is accessible to everyone, and becomes even more accessible every day, as our world becomes more connected, more awake, and the sharing and gig economy grows.

 

What I’ve learned is there is no “those people.” We all have the same opportunity to create FI. You are not your circumstances. 

 

To me FI is the ability to do what I want, when I want.

It doesn’t mean I’m rich. It doesn’t mean I’m cool. It just means that I get to choose what I do each day to support the lifestyle I desire right now.

 

Last year I put 90% of my stuff in storage, bought a shipping container for the remaining 10%, and traveled to 4 continents.

 

When I came home to Boulder I stayed with my Dad, who lives in a wildlife sanctuary on Wonderland Lake in the foothills at base of the Rocky Mountains. We used to joke we lived in Wonderland. We did.

 

Over the two years prior to traveling, I lived in an upscale, high-rise at Union Station in Denver where I made amazing friends, had a 24/7 concierge, a year-round pool, and 14th floor hot tub and gym with mountain and city views. It was pretty awesome!

Union Station at dawn, Denver

 

Today I am living the simplest life I have ever lived, with the ability to travel when I want where I want with whom I want. It’s a good life. I am thankful.

 

But I want more income so I can make a bigger impact, and the same principle of FI that got me to debt free with passive income is the same one that will create more income, and you can do it too.

 

Money will always be subjective. There will always be someone richer, smarter, prettier, more handsome, faster, stronger, and funnier than you. What matters is that you define for yourself what it means to be financially independent. Technically, if you’re lifestyle only costs $1000/month and you earn $1001, you are FI. Being rich is

 

What Do You Really Want to Do?

Your job is to tune your barometer for happiness and purpose to you. Start with intention. Ask yourself, “If I had all the money I needed and plenty to share, what would I do in my life?”

 

You can take this even further, and I recommend you do. Who would you spend time with? Where would you live? How would you live? What’s the weather like where you live?

 

You are the Star of Your Own Movie

Or, as I like to do, imagine you are the star of your own movie. What do you look like? What music are you listening to? What do you do each day?

 

My life working a job so I could pay my bills was not fun. I worked so much in my twenties my friends stopped calling me to do things. They knew I’d be a no before I even answered the phone. I had this terrible feeling I would wake up one day and look back on my twenties and say all I did was work.

 

I wanted to look back and say I laughed a lot, shared awesome experiences, met amazing people, ate great food, and spent time outside.

 

Did I even want the life I was living?

 

“Is this is what I get for getting straight A’s and going to college?” I thought.

 

If so, “No thanks, I give it back.” Seriously. Think about it.

 

I did.

 

I was taught to go to college to get a good job. Were you?

 

I’m sorry, but my purpose in life is not to get a good job. My purpose is much bigger (and better) than that.

 

You Can Achieve Financial Independence Through Income Alone

This is not to say that your purpose cannot be fulfilled in your job. I know many people who love what they do for a living, make great money, and are going nowhere but up professionally.

 

Furthermore, I’ve seen this group achieve FI through income alone.

 

I can think specifically of two people who maxed out their 401(k) at their job until they were 40 and are no longer working and living off their returns.

 

I can think of one person who has a nest egg at age 41 to last her life but she loves her job and continues to work.

 

The funny thing is I don’t even want the things I wanted when I first started this journey: to live in a big house and drive a nice car. I’ve driven the Range Rover. I had a Porsche 911 Turbo as my second car. It’s not worth the price tag to me today.

 

I’d much rather have the money I spent on those things. But that’s how I feel today. And I will not look back on my past with today’s perspective, because I know I was doing the best I could at that time.

 

I’m sure you are too.

 

FI is a Journey

Financial Independence is a journey, and wealth can be created in many ways. If there’s something you love doing, you can monetize it. If you have debt, you can eliminate it. If you need to build some savings, you can!

 

If you have a steady income (ANY income that comes in regularly even if it seems like a small amount), you can use it to create wealth.

 

If you want to take a step toward FI I want to help you. I have a FREE, 5 day mini-course 5 Days to FI.

 

These are the 5 things I did to eliminate my debt fast, build a significant savings account, create passive income, and build assets with lifetime income in my personal finances and business.

 

Don’t worry, none of them involve getting a second job, however they do involve making changes. Creating wealth is actually quite simple when you are laser-beam focused. That’s not to say it is easy, but something truly rewarding rarely is right?

 

When You Get Better People Around You Get Better

When you improve your financial life, you will improve your personal life. When you are happy, fulfilled, clear, and intentional, you will also elevate those around you.

 

Financial Independence has a compound effect. It doesn’t just improve your life. It improves those around you too. A rising tide lifts all ships.

 

I am so looking forward to your journey. Please share with me and follow me. I want to hear from you!

Leave a Comment