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There’s a whole bunch of advice out there for how to achieve financial independence in your personal life. But what does it actually mean in practice?
Many people say that financial independence is achieved when you are dependent on as few people as possible. This is when you can stand on your own two feet, paying all your bills and living the life that you want to live.
But, arguably, financial independence is achieved when your income relies on a lot of people, not just your boss or your welfare officer. This is why startups are such a powerful route to financial freedom: you depend on many dozens, if not hundreds of people, who are all likely to remain continued customers of your enterprise.
The question, however, is how to build freedom? Take a look at this advice.
Decide That You Want It More Than You Are Afraid Of It
Bill Cosby originally coined the expression “decide you want it more than you are afraid of it.” What he was referring to is a common trope in human psychology: people are unconsciously terrified of personal growth and moving above and beyond their current bubble.
It turns out that this is a major constraint on building a successful startup. Many entrepreneurs lack the courage and the personal belief in themselves to do the things that are necessary to build a great company.
It’s worth remembering that if you are new to the world of startups and entrepreneurialism, then you don’t have to become Donald Trump overnight. A better strategy is to take smaller steps first before taking bigger ones later. You wouldn’t expect a regular person with poor fitness to immediately begin an Olympic athlete's training regime, soon after joining a gym.
Commit To Living Below Your Means
Startup founders also have to make a lifelong commitment to live below their means. Sure, they could blow a load of cash on the stuff that they want today, but doing so will hamstring them in the future, making it less likely that they’ll reach their ultimate financial goals.
Entrepreneurs always need to save as much cash as they can and reinvest it in their future operations. Becoming financially independent is all about building large passive incomes from investments. Nurturing your own frugality is, therefore, important.
The ability to delay gratification is perhaps the hallmark of great entrepreneurs. They’re incredibly future-focused people, able to forgo all of the goodies that they want in the present in order to improve their financial position in the future. It should be said up front that there is no easy way around this one: you’ve either got the ability to delay gratification or not. Delaying gratification involves daily sacrifices, like not blowing $20 on a fast-food meal and buying a cheaper car than you can afford to build up capital.
Avoid “Live For The Moment” People
It might sound harsh to say that you should cut ties with people who live for the moment and screw the future, but it can sometimes be necessary. After all, other people’s behavior can dramatically affect our own.
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