For many people 2007 was the year that blew open the lid of what was possible….
That was the year the groundbreaking book The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss came out. (By the way, you can get the Kindle edition for only $1.99. I highly recommend it.)
If you are not familiar with it, Ferriss outlined his experiment to escape the 9-5 rat-race life and design his perfect lifestyle.
In the book he described his concept of the New Rich. The New Rich are people who, “… abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyle in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design.”
Some of it was pretty extreme. Some of it didn’t quite work.
But it awoke people to the possibilities of what could be done, by leveraging the digital tools available today to virtually everyone, AND by creating passive income from either a business or investments.
By using these tools and purchasing income-producing investments, you can create exactly the life you want!
But before we get into the details on how to do this, you have to know what you want.
So, the first question is this: What kind of life do you want?
What would your life look like and feel like if it was designed entirely on your own terms?
What do you love to do?
What are your best skills and talents? Are you using them currently?
What would you do if you were financially independent and didn’t have to worry about how you were going to pay the bills?
What would you do if you could choose when you worked, how you worked, where you worked, and how much money you’d make?
In the words of Tim Ferriss, “Lifestyle Design is thus not interested in creating an excess of idle time, which is poisonous, but the positive use of free time, defined simply as doing what you want as opposed to what you feel obligated to do”.
What would be your perfect day?
Take a moment to write down your perfect day. If you want to experience this perfect day, you need to have a clear picture of what this day really looks like.
Write down where you would be living, who is in your life, what would be your daily activities, etc. Make it real by putting some emotions into it by adding sensory-rich descriptions if you can.
Be sure to include the whys – why you want this dream lifestyle and why it will make a huge difference to you and your loved ones.
Your why reasons are very important for giving you the oomph behind taking action toward your goals.
This process of thinking of what you really want may be hard at first. People are not used to this, and are conditioned to not try to get what they want. Many people are taught to believe they don’t deserve to be happy, or that they are not worth it, or that having what you want is only for “other people”.
So don’t give up. Go out and take a long walk and think about what you want. Exercise tends to open up the mind to new ideas and new thoughts.
Hint: See if you can build some contribution into your perfect lifestyle. People always seem to be happier if giving is incorporated into their life.
If you want this new lifestyle badly enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
But almost always that will require you to change something about your current life.
Most of the time what needs to change is how you act and think. And that is usually difficult for most people, because it makes them move out of their comfort zone.
What stops most people here is fear.
If fear is holding you back, try writing down your answers to these questions:
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
— MARK TWAIN
As you’ve probably discovered, the worst that could happen would not be that bad.
Don’t be one of those people who chooses unhappiness over uncertainty. Move to break past your fears and create a life you love!
OK, now that you know what your dream lifestyle looks like, the next big question comes up. “This is fine, but how am I ever going to be able to afford my new lifestyle? I’m hardly making ends meet as it is now!”
Unless you are already financial independent, you’re going to have to make some changes.
You’ll have to move out of your comfort zone.
Learn some new skills.
Maybe even make some sacrifices today to get what you want in the future.
It’s not easy. But it is entirely doable.
So let’s explore the financial side of creating the life you really want, as money will be the fuel behind your new lifestyle.
You don’t really want more money.
What you want is more choices in your life ….. and the feelings or experiences that money can provide.
You want more happiness.
You want less stress in your life.
You want to do fulfilling work, and you want to feel significant in what you do.
Unfortunately most people are stuck doing something that is not exciting or challenging to them, but it provides a comfortable lifestyle.
Worse, many people think of their lives as being on a treadmill, and look forward to that day in the future they can retire and get off the treadmill.
But is that really the answer?
Many people just dream about finally getting out of the rat race and retiring to a life of leisure. But for most people this turns out to be a mistake.
Why? It’s because people seem to be happiest when they have a balance of work and relaxation.
Too much vacation actually turns out to be a bad thing– in the end, what are you vacationing from? Another vacation? You can only relax and do nothing for so long before you start to become bored.
The average person works around 2,000 hours each year in their job. You need something to fill those 2,000 extra hours if you’re not working.
Having nothing to do – having no structure to your day like your work schedule gave you each day – frequently leads to boredom, apathy, and sometimes even depression.
Doing work that is meaningful and fulfilling, interspersed with relaxation, connection, exercise, travel, or creative hobbies seems to be the best solution.
A combination of contribution, intellectual challenge, and finding connection with other people seems to produce maximum happiness.
Money is, of course, the tool we use to turn our dreams into realities.
However, it’s very difficult to earn your way to the lifestyle you likely want. You only have so many hours you can devote to work, and ultimately, no matter how much you get paid per hour, you will hit a limit of how much money you can make.
Then there’s this problem: Once you stop working, you stop making money. Most people’s incomes come from the “work once, get paid once” system that forms the basis for most employment.
Except the wealthy…
The wealthy learned how to separate income from hours worked. This is what allows them to create the lifestyle they want.
That’s where investing and wealth building comes into play. People who become wealthy have learned how to invest the money they are making so that it earns its own money. Though they may have made their initial money in a job or from owning a business, it’s investing that money to create passive income that makes them wealthy.
You can’t become wealthy trading time for dollars. The only way you can live your ideal lifestyle is through learning how to invest your money wisely.
The key to living your ultimate lifestyle is to learn how to invest for income and start receiving what I call mailbox money – money earned without physically working for it, money earned while you sleep.
You become financially free when your investment income exceeds your expenses.
Mailbox money is really the only way you will be able to live the lifestyle you really want, and have the freedom to pursue that which is important to you and your family.
Believe me, you will love receiving mailbox money! It will provide you with the freedom and security to pursue your life on your terms.
So, no matter what age you are or where you are in your life, it is vitally important to learn how to invest. This is doubly important if you are under the age of 30.
The earlier you begin, the better your results will be.
And the earlier you start, the longer you have to compound your investment earnings, as time becomes your best ally in achieving financial success.
The truth is really this: you are either actively planning your life to succeed financially, or you are not. There is really no in between.
And planning is the only way you’ll be able to live the lifestyle you want.
You’ll likely need to make some changes in how you spend the money you make. Maybe drastic changes. Changes that require sacrifice today.
But if you focus on what you’ll be getting, not what you’ll be losing (in the short term) it makes the whole process much easier to start and you’ll stay on the path through the ups and downs.
If you are serious about achieving financial freedom and thus creating the lifestyle you want, then now is the time to start!
Start today to get an investing education. Education will create the most value for your dollars spent, and it will last a lifetime.
Financial education is the starting point to building wealth. You must develop financial and investing know-how if your goal is to build wealth, create financial security, and ultimately create the life you really want.
You’ll learn how to move from trading time for dollars to having your dollars work to give you time to do what you love and what is important to you.
You can always earn more money, but your time is irreplaceable – you can’t get it back.
Get started today!