Monday, March 5, 2018

Financial Serenity Month - Chapter 1

There are so many financial gurus who advocate for financial freedom – the ability to maintain your lifestyle without having to work – either by accumulating a certain amount of money that is invested to generate the income, or by generating a passive cash flow that is equal or higher to the salary/commission received from the current work.

I started my financial education in the US with Suze Orman and Robert Kiyosaki, and I always thrived to achieve the financial freedom they taught me about. And through my journey toward financial freedom I heard Tony Robbins explaining about “the science of achievement” and “the art of fulfillment”. And this cemented my commitment to achieve financial serenity.

What is financial serenity to me?
Financial serenity is a combination of financial freedom and the serenity brought on by feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment. This is the result of achieving worthy goals and reaching significance by being able to give freely to a cause one is passionate about (may that be time or money). I learned from Zig Ziglar that financial independence means you can do what you want when you want. My goal then became taking women – and a few good men – to the next level, and guiding them to financial serenity: a step beyond freedom and independence.

According to statistics, getting out of debt or saving more money – or even financial freedom – is a popular New Year’s resolution, second only to losing weight. The problem with setting this as an annual goal – over and over again – is that it really is wishful thinking, and not a well thought out plan. Therefore, the resolution is renewed the following year, rarely with any significant success. Most people want to make a leap from the have-not to the have column when it comes to their finances. They feel that they can triple their income, or annihilate their debt within the year. Tony Robbins wisely said that “most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in a decade”.

The most likely approach to achieve a financial goal is the “slight edge” – per Jeff Olson, in his book with the same title. He talks about doing small things every day that will compound over time to achieve big results. While this approach can work with any goals, from health and fitness, to relationships and personal improvement, I believe it is the only sustainable path to achieve lasting financial goals.

It is my hope that more people will have financial goals for this year than the previous, and that even more will have these goals the next year. While anyone can achieve his/her financial serenity with proper planning and a focus on the long term goal in order to stay on track, I believe that the most likely path to lead to this accomplishment is through your own business.

I'm not suggesting that an employee cannot achieve such a goal, I'm merely expressing my opinion that self-employment or business ownership can be a simpler path to it. And with that, I must explain that I am by no means saying it is easy - just a simpler formula because you hold all the cards when you own your source of income.

Let's look at some ideas on how to accomplish such a goal next week!

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