There’s not a person alive who wouldn’t prefer to have the money to do what they want, when they want.
Yet, so many people—even highly successful professionals like the surgeon from the Introduction—are beholden to their jobs. They don’t feel fulfilled by their work or personal lives despite “following the rules” and pursuing the traditional American dream. They went to school, got a good job, married, and bought a house with a white picket fence, but they’re still putting forty, fifty, or sixty hours a week into their work.
That’s not freedom, and as Warren Buffett famously said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
Financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean that you dislike your job and want to quit. It simply means that you have the freedom to choose how much time you want to put into your job, whether that’s fifty hours a week, fifteen, or none at all.
The point is that you get to decide how you spend your time.
For one person, financial freedom might mean taking more vacations. For someone else, maybe it’s having a two-day workweek. For yet another, it’s finding the time to work out every day. Freedom means something different to everyone, and before you start your real estate journey, I recommend figuring out what it means to you.
WHAT DOES FINANCIAL FREEDOM LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Like I’ve said, being a contrarian isn’t easy, so you’ll want a clear motivation and goal to get you through moments of doubt. To gain a solid grasp on your motivation for investing in commercial real estate, ask yourself the following questions:
- What would I do if I had financial freedom?
- Would I work less at my current job?
- Would I work the same amount but free up time by hiring an assistant or housekeeper?
- Would I switch careers?
- Would I retire?
- Would I pay off all my debt?
- Do I want to travel more?
- Would I give back to church or charity?
- Are there big purchases I’d like to be able to afford?
To me, the definition of being rich or wealthy is being able to answer these questions and make those answers a reality.
A retired schoolteacher with a steady retirement income and no debt has the freedom to do what they want and is wealthier, in this way, than an executive living in a large house who has to work sixty hours a week to afford their lifestyle. That’s because the schoolteacher living off their retirement investments has something the executive doesn’t: passive income that’s greater than their expenses.
True wealth and freedom come from not depending on your job or the state of the economy to maintain your daily lifestyle.
Don’t forget to snag a copy of my new book Catching Knives.
Packed with practical advice and personal anecdotes, this is your guidebook for embracing the next economic downturn and navigating the risk of distressed investing. With the right strategy, you can be one of the few who lean into hard times, make the most of them, and take advantage of once-in-a-generation opportunities.
LinkedIn: Jake Harris