When I set myself a challenge of finding out How to Retire in 12 Months, I took a tongue in cheek perspective on what was to be a serious challenge.
The challenge was to give myself more freedom from the constraints of working 6 days a week on my business. I wanted to use the majority of my time for travel, to do the things I am passionate about and make a difference in the world.
When I was young I had a goal of being a millionaire by the time I was 25. I failed.
I have had my fair share of successes and failures along the way but a few years ago I started to notice a pattern. If my goal is to start a business just to make money I often fail.
If I start a project or business for the love of it, to reach a personal goal, or to help people, then I often succeed much higher than I aim for.
In these cases the opportunities for money just seem to show up without the same sort of grind. I haven’t achieved great wealth, but I seem to get everything I need to make things happen and live the life I want to live.
The hard times
There was a period a few years back where I had left my job, put all my money in my business and it all failed. I had a lot of debt, was lacking in confidence and often wondered what the hell I was doing, I was still working night and day on my projects, earning very little and the reality was, I started to get desperate.
When I had nothing but debts and bills my perspective on life narrowed. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel but it was so far away that I couldn’t see any detail. I am a pretty positive person but I was completely broke, struggled to cover debts and started to exist with a daily level of stress that was very unhealthy.
I was desperate.
I lived in state of panic and every decision about every cent became hugely important.
I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating.
My health was bad and I had chronic back pain.
Now, I am fortunate as I can look back on the periods when I have been desperate – as they are in the past. But some people live like this for years, some for their whole lives.
The problem is that desperation is not conducive to making good decisions, and your poor decisions usually send you further down to struggle town.
The good times
The good news is I am still here! Now, a few years later, I am in a completely different place, with an income, a great lifestyle and peace of mind.
I made it this far. Why? I think it is because even when things were really tough, I kept on working towards my goals. Even when it seemed to make no sense, I persisted in working towards the life I dreamed of having. Over time things started to change and get better, and with less stress I started to make better decisions.
Eventually the hard work paid off, luck came my way and it all started to work.
Then there is this big shining possibility of great wealth and riches.
We are consumed with the race to get rich. Why?
So that we can buy more things, have more freedom and finally be happy.
My goal was financial but the actual prize was being able to do what I was passionate about every day. I get to do what I love. I get to make a difference in the world. I get to help other people do what they love for a living.
After a few months of travel my hunger for huge wealth has completely disappeared – if it happens, great! But I do not think about it.
I am interested in enough money for our simple lives travelling and meeting people. I am interested in enough money for babies so I can enjoy my time with them. I am very interested in learning about investments and property and “growing up” financially but the true goal is to continue to do what I love.
My goal is to continue to set myself challenges and learn and grow and help or inspire other people to do the same.
I know that if I continue to look after that, the money will continue to come.
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