Does Financial Freedom Come First?

Work on your finances while you do Different. (Photo by Oliver Sjöström from Pexels)

“Money is extremely important in the areas in which it works, and extremely unimportant in the areas in which it doesn’t.”[*]


In his excellent book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker cuts to the core of many people’s objections to gaining wealth. Things like “money can’t buy happiness” or “I’d rather have love than money” are true, but they’re often excuses for not doing what it takes to have a financially successful life.


Money is important for paying bills, buying groceries, providing good gifts for loved ones, and giving to significant causes. But having lots and lots of it is not critical for having solid relationships, fulfilling a sense of purpose, or doing Different in order to live a satisfying existence on planet earth.


Having enough to take care of necessities does not require “financial freedom” in any of its various, often-promoted forms.

Financial freedom comes to many people upon retirement.


If I had waited until retirement, though, to do Different—to do the life I really wanted—I would still be waiting. My grandchildren might someday benefit from my dream of living in the country, but my children would not have enjoyed growing up there.


Financial freedom can mean creating residual income through owning intellectual properties or real estate, creating an income stream through network marketing, or building a business which you don’t have to manage day-to-day.


It’s all good, of course, but my one point in this post is:


You can be working on any or all of these ways to create income while you do Different.


At various points along my own path, I’ve invested in real estate, created intellectual properties, and been self-employed.


Meanwhile, my wife has also succeeded respectably well in network marketing, a business model that entrepreneurial leaders like Robert Kiyosaki encourage because of the combination of low barriers to entry and high potential for reward.


So, to summarize:


Financial development along the way is essential. Financial freedom, not so much.

[*] T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (New York: HarperCollins), p. 57. I highly recommend Eker’s book to help you discover where money does matter and how to acquire what you need. See my Recommended Reading page for more about the book.

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