When I was about 12 years old I read a book by Robert Kiyosaki called Rich Kid Smart Kid, and then soon after read Rich Dad Poor Dad, his most famous book. For those that have not heard of Robert Kiyosaki, he is an author and an incredibly successful entrepreneur from Hawaii. He has numerous businesses and investments all over the world and has released a lot of books promoting the need for financial education. He is a seriously rich guy!
It was from reading his books at that young age that instilled in me the concept of financial freedom and began a journey that has led me to where I am now. For the last 14 years I have pursued financial freedom by learning about investing, money management and business skills whilst also attempting several businesses which never went anywhere. The goal was to always reach ‘financial freedom’, the point where my passive income from businesses or investments is greater than my living expenses. I have dreamt of having so much money coming in from the various successful enterprises I have launched, and from my huge property portfolio, that I can have and do anything I want regardless of the cost. Just imagine what you could do, what you could buy, if your money was essentially endless! And believe it or not, this is not some whimsical dream that is completely unobtainable. There are people all over the world who live their life this way. This way of life is no less obtainable by you or me as it was for them, it is achievable…if that is what we want.
Today though, I had a thought. What if, instead of achieving financial freedom by having so much money you simply could not spend it fast enough, what if you achieved financial freedom by not having any money at all? What if you were completely self-sustainable, self-reliant. Somehow, you, or a group of you, obtain a small parcel of land and build a self-sustainable community that grow your own food and harness the suns rays for electrical energy. Would this not be the same kind of thing? You aren’t worrying about money because you grow all of your own food, you have shelter, water and community. You wake up each day and tend to your land, spend time enjoying the beauty of nature and the company of your small community, or your family. Admittedly, you couldn’t just jump on a plane and head to Barbados for a holiday, but would you really need to holiday if your life is already complete freedom. In a way, this kind of freedom almost sounds more appealing. You would’t have to keep up to date with the financial markets, or sit in on boring board meetings to find out how much money your companies have made this month, and your phone wouldn’t be ringing constantly with your accountant, or your personal assistant asking you ridiculous questions.
Strangely, although I have been chasing the first method of financial freedom for so long I have begun to understand the cost that kind of comes with it. I am certainly not saying that any particular way is wrong or right but there are some things that just don’t sit right with me. One for example, I like a nice simple life. If I owned all these businesses, or even just one business, how much of my time and energy is that business going to require of me. Or, a property portfolio. These would add a serious amount of complexity in to my life that require constant upkeep and will demand a great deal of my time. I had big dreams but I have realised the huge amount of work required to get there and I guess I have made the decision to not work so hard. I perhaps want to keep things easy, minimal, simple.
It would be nice to have shed-loads of money but I think that I can have just as an amazing life by not having money and returning to nature to live in a more eco-friendly and sustainable way. I am not at the stage yet where I am fully self-sustainable but I am making some big changes in the next few months that will start to get me there. I have read so many inspiring stories of people/communities that are living ‘off-grid’ and growing their own food so I know that it is possible. I am yet to experience one of these communities first-hand but I certainly hope to very soon.