For many years of my life, I chased after ridiculous wealth. I had dreams of becoming a billionaire. That would solve all my problems. It was the goal. And then I had kids and the goal morphed into being insanely rich so that I can provide an incredible life for my family. It hurts to admit, but my actions toward trying to “make it” actually harmed my family and stopped be from being the man I wanted to be. I was doing it for them, but I got it wrong. I had it in my head that if I didn’t make it, I couldn’t do that. I was convinced that only millions and billions of dollars would give me the life I want, and anything less was not acceptable.
I admit that a great fortune would definitely be nice, but was I missing something? What if I could have what I wanted without needing to acquire millions of dollars first?
My day job allows me to be off for the summer, but the bills don’t stop coming. Rent is still due. Luckily, I have a side-business that does alright. I was able to dedicate myself full-time to developing this business. I would sometimes put in 12-16 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week. The monetary gain wasn’t what I actually valued in this taste of self-employment. I experienced all of the excitement, fear, self-doubt, exhilaration, fatigue, and happiness that comes with going it on your own. I learned so much.
The most valuable thing that my business has given me is the realization that there is freedom in enough. That sounds boring, but consider this:
The goal isn’t riches. The goal is to have enough money coming in to cover your cost of living without having to work for somebody else to get it. That is the starting line for your life of freedom. I’m back to my day job now, and having that freedom taken away from me makes me realize just how valuable it is. There have been times where I’ve been enjoying something and the realization that I have to go back to work the next day taints the experience. But when I was self-employed, I felt for the first time that I was in control of my own life. Even though money was tight, there was immense satisfaction in knowing I was going my own way. It has filled me with such hope and confidence for a better life, and one on my own terms. It’s man’s biological imperative to be self-sufficient and provide for his family. I felt more in control and I felt like I was worth more as a man when I was living off money I made from my own business.
There is freedom in enough. Changing my mindset has made my life more like the one that I want. I am no longer in pursuit of mass fortune, but in pursuit of having enough to cover my cost of living at bare minimum. At that point, I will set my next goal. I’ll be working toward that next goal as a free man. I am so far off from reaching this at a sustainable level, but I’m grateful for that brief glimpse of my future. It’s liberating, and it only fuels my passion for what I’m doing.
Mindset is almost as important as the money itself. The true value of wealth is the freedom it can bring.