Paycheck to paycheck. Ever looming bills. Second job (and maybe even a third). There’s a reason why there are people in the 1% and others who, well, aren’t.
So what’s the escape from the weight to a life beyond the 9-to-5?
Two words: Financial freedom.
It’s your golden ticket, sure. But what does “financial freedom” mean? And how can you get to a life where you’re genuinely thriving, indulging in your passions, and spending unhurried moments with your loved ones?
The thing is, “money has the power to affect everything in your life,” as Alfio Bardolla, an entrepreneur and the author of the best-selling financial freedom book, Money Makes You Happy, highlights during a stage talk at Mindvalley University 2023 in Tallinn, Estonia.
And when you learn how to achieve financial freedom, suddenly, the world is an open book, free to be explored without the looming shadow of financial anxieties.
What Is Financial Freedom?
Financial freedom is the state where your passive income covers your expenses. Generated from investments, real estate, or other sources, this income ensures the bills are paid, desires are met, and dreams aren’t rationed.
The phrase may conjure images of mega-celebrities lounging on their yachts, sporting diamond-studded sunglasses. But peel away that veneer of extravagance, and at its core, it’s about autonomy over one’s time and choices.
Imagine it: You’d be waking up, sipping your morning coffee without a hurried glance at the clock, and deciding how you’d shape your day—be it diving into a book, taking an impromptu trip, or lazing by the beach.
But such luxuries aren’t about being on an endless vacation. Rather, it offers a life where your desires, ambitions, and even occasional splurges don’t trigger financial panic.
Financial freedom vs. financial independence
Step into the world of personal finance, and you’ll likely hear the terms “financial freedom” and “financial independence.” At times, they’re used interchangeably; they each represent a distinct stage in your money-related journey.
- Financial freedom is a state where passive income sources ensure not only bills are paid but also desires and dreams are met without restrictions. It’s the more advanced stage, after achieving financial independence.
- Financial independence means having sufficient resources, like investments and savings, to cover daily living expenses without relying on an income from a job (that is, unless you want one). It’s the early stage in your journey to financial abundance.
It’s essentially the difference between “being smart or being hard worker,” according to Alfio. And for a clearer picture, here are their distinctions side-by-side:
|Living comfortably, exploring new hobbies, and making choices without monetary constraints
|Covering basic necessities and living costs
|Multiple passive income streams, potentially more lucrative, allowing for extra indulgences
|Passive income, often from investments or savings
|Added luxuries, spontaneous travel, passion projects, etc.
|Basic comforts of life
|Living a life of choices without budgetary constraints
|Not relying on a 9-5 job to live
As the popular saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” And recognizing the difference helps you set clear and achievable financial milestones.
Examples of People Who’ve Achieved Financial Freedom
Stories of rags-to-riches or disciplined financial choices often come to mind when it comes to people who’ve gotten that elusive financial golden ticket. These stories show that everyone’s steps to financial freedom, while different and meaningful, are possible.
Here’s a glance:
- Ken Honda. Better known as Japan’s Zen Millionaire, his story emphasizes the art of overcoming money wounds, understanding how money flows, and making informed, strategic decisions. (Fun fact: he’s also the trainer of Mindvalley’s Money EQ Quest.)
- Jaspreet Singh. By understanding how money works, he transformed this knowledge into a thriving online community. With millions tuning in to his Minority Mindset YouTube channel, he has not only secured his financial freedom but is also helping others with theirs.
- John Lee. Once at a breaking point, the CEO and founder of Wealth Dragons had his perspective shifted by a single book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Today, he’s a world-renowned speaker, teaching many the value of asset-based wealth and the power of passive income creation.
- Alfio Bardolla. Europe’s leading personal finance trainer, Alfio turned his personal journey of overcoming debt into a mission. He teaches thousands how to achieve financial freedom through tailored strategies and insights.
- Sara Al Madani. Starting as a young entrepreneur at 15, she faced numerous challenges. She’s now an influential voice in the entrepreneurial world, guiding many to become financially independent.
- Marie Forleo. An entrepreneur and motivational speaker, her platform, combined with her book, TV appearances, and online business school for modern entrepreneurs, has made her a significant figure in the entrepreneurial world.
The thing is, financial freedom is a blend of mindset, discipline, and, sometimes, a sprinkle of serendipity. As Marie says in an episode of The Mindvalley Show, “It costs you nothing to believe in yourself, but it costs you everything not to.”
5 Keys to Financial Freedom, According to Mindvalley Experts
With 57% of Americans having less than $1,000 in their savings in both 2022 and 2023, financial freedom is more important than ever.
Getting there, though, requires more than quick fixes or secret tricks. Instead, it’s rooted in understanding the basics and putting in the work.
With insights from the experts at Mindvalley, here are the keys to total financial freedom.
1. It’s about P.O.O.P.
Here’s a concept to be familiar with to be financially free: P.O.O.P. At first glance, it might raise eyebrows, but dive deeper, and its significance in understanding market behaviors and how to attract money becomes clear.
According to Jaspreet Singh, the founder of Minority Mindset, P.O.O.P. stands for:
It’s a cycle observed in markets when excitement turns to panic, leading to overselling. And as Jaspreet points out at Mindvalley University 2023, “We see the P.O.O.P. method happen pretty much anytime.”
Recognizing these patterns can help you attract money and ensure that you’re always positioned profitably in your financial journey.
Jaspreet Singh’s tip on financial freedom: “This is the time to be getting financially educated. Why? That way, you can see the opportunities. That way, when opportunities happen, you can capitalize on opportunities. And when you can capitalize on opportunities, well, then you can also capitalize on the second P in the poop method. That way, you understand how all of this works.”
2. It’s about passive income
You can absolutely stash money in a savings account. But there is another way to manifest money: passive income.
John Lee, CEO of Wealth Dragons, is a big advocate of it. And in his stage talk about Mindvalley University 2023, he highlights three types:
- Active: “We trade time for money.” For example: freelancing, where you take on projects and get paid upon completion.
- Passive: “We create something that makes money for us.” For example, affiliate marketing, where you promote products on your website or blog and earn a commission for every sale made through your referral link.
- Leverage: “We put money into something, and it just grows.” For example, investing in stocks or mutual funds, where your money can grow as the value of the stocks or funds increases.
Today’s digital age makes passive income accessible for anyone with an internet connection (and, unless you’re a hermit, that’s practically everyone). And as John points out, it requires minimal upfront costs and can be managed with a low level of time commitment.
John Lee’s tip on financial freedom: “What’s open 24 hours a day, even on Christmas? The internet. What do our phones spend most of the time doing? Looking at the internet. So shouldn’t we be making money instead of doing that?”
3. It’s about investment
Part of financial growth is making investments. According to a 2023 survey by Gallup, 61% of Americans say they have stocks.
At Mindvalley University 2023, Alfio stressed that true wealth comes from understanding where and how to invest. Using the world of real estate as a cornerstone, he explains that there are seven universal rules:
- Recognize valuable opportunities from the not-so-great ones.
- Understand the numbers to make informed decisions, minimize risks, and optimize returns. Return on investment and return on equity are two that Alfio highlights.
- Find the capital first before diving into any investment, from savings to loans to pooling resources with partners.
- There’s power in collaboration. Build a trusted team of experts to amplify your chances of succeeding in the investment world.
- Emotional appeal plays a significant role. Alfio advises paying attention to aesthetics; for example, properties should be well-maintained and visually appealing.
- Invest as little of your own money as possible while maximizing returns. This approach increases the return on investment percentage and ensures that more money stays in your pocket.
- Understand how to sell so you can get the best price for their asset. Alfio emphasizes the importance of effective communication, presentation, and negotiation skills in this regard.
The thing is, his teachings aren’t restricted to just property. The essence of his overall message is that, regardless of the investment avenue, understanding its dynamics is key.
Alfio Bardolla’s tip on financial freedom: “You can make money everywhere. And the rules are the same. I own more than 20 companies, different company with different partner in Italy, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland… But you can do it everywhere. The rules are the same.”
4. It’s about “arigato”
“Arigato” is Japanese for “thank you.” So “Arigato Money” is all about saying “thank you” to your money.
Ken Honda explains in his Mindvalley Quest that when you get money, it’s “arigato.” When you spend money, it’s “arigato.” It’s essentially telling your money that you’re happy to have it and happy to use it.
This concept is a gratitude process, and it can absolutely change how you think about money. So instead of feeling stressed or worried about it, you can feel happy and thankful. It’s a simple trick, but it can make a big difference in how you feel.
Ken Honda’s tip on financial freedom: “If you aren’t willing to receive happiness and abundance, then no matter how much money you have and no matter what high status you attain, you will never feel happy and abundant.”
5. It’s about financial literacy
Financial literacy means knowing how to handle your money. This includes things like how to budget, save, avoid too much debt, and plan for the future.
Here are a few ways you can get started:
- Learn the basics of budgeting, saving, and investing
- Read financial freedom books
- Take up a mini-course like Ken’s free Money EQ Masterclass
- Use tools like budgeting and investing apps
- Stay updated with financial news
- Ask questions from experts
- Practice what you learn
- Set goals and get clear on your financial objectives
- Keep learning about money matters
But financial literacy goes beyond that; it includes your beliefs, feelings, and attitudes toward money. A healthy money mindset can help you make smart money choices and feel more secure with your finances.
Ken Honda’s tip on financial freedom: “You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you don’t have a handle on your emotions and how they affect your behavior, it’s impossible to make clear, good decisions related to money.”
Financial Freedom Quotes
“Financial freedom is available to those who learn about it and work for it,” as Robert Kiyosaki, an entrepreneur and the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, says. However, these aren’t mere words but reflections of lived experiences.
From the chronicles of billionaires to women who lead, financial freedom quotes are sprinkles of wisdom. Here are a few that resonate:
- “Your wealth will grow more than proportionally as your abilities to manage complicated situations and get out of your comfort zone increase.” — Alfio Bardolla
- “When you know where the opportunity is, you can capitalize on it, and this is where more millionaires are made than any other time.” — Jaspreet Singh
- “The amount of money that’s in your bank account is in direct proportion to the amount of people that you’ve helped.” — John Lee
- “Your money—and hence your life—is a reflection of your beliefs about money.” — Ken Honda
- “You can either cry in the corner—’I don’t have the money,’ ‘I’m not going to publish a course,’ ‘it is not possible—or can try to figure out a different strategy.” — Jimmy Naraine
- “Financial independence is paramount. My mom always says that when a woman is financially independent, she has the ability to live life on her own terms. I think that was the soundest advice that I ever got.” — Priyanka Chopra
- “When money flows into the hands of women, who have the authority to use it, everything changes—for women, their families, and their communities.” — Melinda Gates
- “Creating wealth comes down to discipline.” — Allison Vanaski
Sprinkle these in your daily abundance affirmations, let them steer your money decisions, and witness the shift.
Master Your Money Moves
Navigating the path to financial freedom might feel daunting, especially when the system seems stacked against you. Big institutions, which should have your back, are often out for their own profit.
But it’s not a time for dismay; it’s a moment of awakening.
Remember, it’s not just about the balance in your bank account, but the richness of your journey and choices. So, ready to transform your financial narrative?
Images generated on Midjourney.