Financial independence means something different for everyone.
To me, the idea of financial independence means to be free from the constraints of money. If you read about why my website is called One More Cup of Coffee, then you know that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE having the freedom to wake up late and have a couple cups of coffee in the morning before starting my day.
It means I am the creator of my own destiny. The maker of my own rules. I am in control.
There is no ‘boss' breathing down my neck, watching the clock for when I show up, what time I leave, counting how many sick-days I take a year, or tracking my performance.
But for some, ‘the boss' isn't an authority figure from work.
It's someone from home.
Say what you like, but I also think it's important to be financially independent from your partner, spouse, romantic interest, or whatever they're calling it these days.
People change, the divorce rate is high, and sometimes, terrible accidents happen. I'm also a skeptic on this whole thing called ‘love'. So shoot me.
Regardless of your sex or stage in your relationship I think everyone should be self-reliant to some degree. It's not smart to put all your eggs in one basket, no matter what that basket is.
Do you want to be financially independent from your parents? You could be stuck living at home because you don't have enough money to move out, or have fallen on hard times and were forced to move back in. Cultures vary, but I'm an American, and for Americans, being over 18 and still living with your parents is not something to be proud of.
And even if none of these apply to you, I think pretty much everyone has thought at one time or another, “Man, I wish I had enough money to do whatever I want.”
While dreams of winning the lottery may be far fetched, there are absolutely tons of ways that we can work towards our financial goals, regardless of what our current situation is, both in terms of money, and age.
It's a real simple answer.
The Internet: It Changed Everything
The internet has created more opportunities that you can believe.
People complain about being ‘outsourced', and losing jobs overseas.
But the internet has made it possible to be employed by anyone in the world!
The job market is no longer limited to your home town, state, or country. You can find lots to make money the internet. We all know that the internet connects you to every country on the planet.
Plus, you have the choice of freelancing and choosing your jobs based on criteria that you decide, OR starting your own business ventures (short term or long term) and getting people to work for you.
Imagine that! You would be your own boss!
Wouldn't that be the definition of being financially free?
Making your OWN money to spend on what YOU want? …Making decisions about what time you start work in the morning, when you take holiday and sick-leave, how your business makes financial choices…
These things are all possible with the help of the internet.
There are many different business models that even make starting up a new company from scratch almost completely free!
Did you know that it cost me $50 to start my first business?
I only made $1000 in the first year, of course hardly enough to support myself for a month, but that's a 500% return!
Cash Flow & Residual Income
The internet never sleeps.
Money that keeps coming, even when you're not working!
Again, the internet trumps real brick and mortar business models because very often, as a small business owner, you're required to be the first one in the shop in the morning, and the last one out at the end of the day. You may be making your own money, but you're certainly not free.
In the words of Robert Kiyosaki, that's not owning a business, that's owning a job.
But with the internet, everything is done with a click of a mouse and a few taps on a keyboard.
I don't mean to deceive you into thinking it's easy to get started. No, you'll have to put in quite a few hours.
But after learning a few new skills, and getting your core business set up, expansion and maintenance is simple. Your website simply sits there and orders are processed automatically with minimal intervention from you (this will depend on your chosen business model).
For me, the meaning of financial independence for me is online business. I have complete control over where my money goes. If I need more money, I work harder. When I want to chill out for a while, I can work less.
I am the captain of my ship, steadily navigating the digital sea of opportunity.
Of course, there are other things that come into play, like where you put the money after you make it; investment strategies with Real Estate and the stock market are also high up on my priority list with regards to total financial independence.
Like I said before, I don't like to put all my eggs in one basket.
I hate to take more ideas from Robert Kiyosaki because after taking some of his online courses I've come to realize that the quality of much of his work is really poor. But he does provide us with some good examples of how to be financially intelligent.
One of those concepts is cash flow, and where the cash is flowing from.
So let's say we get our online business running, and making money…what's next? Bigger and more business?
Yes, but first we need to look for cash flow two from other places.
Kiyosaki names four, three of which are
- Stocks & Bonds
- Real Estate
- Your Business
These are all personal interests of mine, and I hope to write more about them in the future. To be honest, I'm still learning about these aspects of investing.
But I think it's obvious that, to invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate, we're going to need some money.
That money is going to come from our business.