Can I become financially independent?

Can I really become rich? Can I achieve financial independence?
I am not born in a rich country, nor in a rich family. I work for a salary and am already halfway through life. According to the businessman and committed financial educator Robert Kiyosaki, I am a bit late with starting to think about this subject.
However, he also says, it is better to start now than never which is why I dived into his #1 New York Times bestseller “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and here is the wisdom I found.

He basically says that the two most important things you need in order to get rich are financial education and a mindset change. With these two in your pocket, you can develop a plan to thrive and avoid being a victim of these difficult COVID-19 times.

Financial Education

This is something we generally do not learn at school. These are subjects like Accounting, Marketing and Sales, Law, and Investing. Even if you happen to have specialized in one of these subjects, you most probably do not use this knowledge to become financially independent. Instead, you are filling the pockets of your boss or the government.

Learn Financial, Digital Marketing and Sales skills as soon as possible

The children of the rich people take in the knowledge of these subjects with the mother’s milk. They learn to make the money work for them on the dinner table. This doesn’t mean, that for them, it is not hard work to become or maintain their wealth, but they do have a huge start advantage with experienced mentors guiding them.

I am not so worried about learning new skills. If you are anything like me, having a career in the fast-paced corporate world, you are used to updating your skills on a regular basis. We also have a natural need and curiosity to grow our knowledge, so spending time learning new skills feels satisfying for most of us.
So, why not follow the advice of the rich dad of mister Kiyosaki and pick up on Investing to learn how to create assets that will bring us passive money?
Why not follow Digital Marketing training, or Sales and Online Business to learn how to inspire people. To understand how to add value in their lives, for which they will be grateful and willing to reward you.

Mindset change

This one is the tougher of the two things you need most to get rich, according to the book, and I fully agree with Kiyosaki, as I have tried it. Changing your mindset takes time and lots of discipline. It requires identifying your fears and learning how to embrace them without being distracted from your goal. In other words, learning to take controlled risks and building your courage and self-esteem.
You will need to get to know yourself much, much better. Discover your purpose, your strengths, passions, and beliefs. Change those ones who are not serving you anymore.

Financial independence requires a mindset change from employee to entrepreneur
M.C. Escher “Hand with Reflecting Sphere

You will need to start loving yourself including the things you do not like at the moment.

As you can imagine, these are not easy tasks. However, they are very fulfilling and will add enormous value to your life. Instead of being a vulnerable employee, you will be an entrepreneur who takes the lead, imagines, and creates the future he loves. You will become wealthy, an achiever, and will be able to impact the world in a profound and meaningful way.

The mindset changing is a journey of personal growth. If you want to progress quickly, the support of likeminded people and mentors, who are steps ahead of you, is crucial. Getting the right skills, that you can do on your own. There are plenty of books and online courses.
But you can not do the mindset shift alone, or at least not quick enough to live a substantial part of your life in abundance.

Having the support network, on the bad days, on the days you are doubting and feeling miserable is of uttermost value. Having people who will hold the space for you, who will listen deeply and guide you in every step of this incredible journey is the key to keeping persistence and not giving up halfway through.
You might be lucky and find this sort of support in your current circle of friends, yet the chances are high that their mindset is exactly the one you want to change. You know that you are a product of your environment, right?

The SFM platform has both

This is why I want to introduce you to the SFM mentoring and training platform I am part of.

Check the ALL-IN-PACKAGE of the SFM mentoring and training platform

Their biggest value is not the sophisticated tools and world-class training programs, events, and webinars, but the personal guidance and support they give to help you break through the ceilings in your life and business.
It is the people, the community, the unique culture of helping each other to grow and become the best version of yourself. Check what they offer by registering for this Free Webinar and let me know if I can be of any help to you in your personal journey to becoming rich and living life on your own terms.

The Why Game

Here is a fun game that can help you get some valuable insights about yourself.
The game is called “Why” and it is very easy to explain. I have also included my uncensored answers from this morning to help you grasp it quickly.

It goes like this:

  • Think of a topic you want to explore,
  • Start asking why until no more answers come to you,
  • Write down whatever comes to your mind/pen/heart.

I do this game always with my customers when trying to understand what they really want. This is a crucial step in any product or service development, to avoid throwing money away by building something no one will ever use.

Why am I doing this?

Today I was my own customer. I wanted to understand why am I putting so much effort into setting up my own business online.

Why 1: Why do I want to have an online business?
Because I want to have more money. I want to increase my income.

Why 2: Why do I want to have more money?
I want to have more money to have more possibilities: have a bigger space to live, go more often to the South of France, regularly visit and help my parents in Macedonia, to name just the first things that popped into my head.

Why 3: What will I solve with having more possibilities?
I would have more space for myself and will need to do fewer compromises, for example with my partner or employer (ideally, I will only have partners, no employers). I would be independent financially, but also more autonomous in terms of taking important decisions.

Why 4: What will change if I can make autonomous decisions?
I will be and feel free. I can choose how I want to live my life.

Why 5: How will my life change if I am free to live as I want?
I will live in harmony with myself and the people around me. I will constantly grow and develop and provide value to others. I will be closer to my true self, have a purposeful and meaningful life!

It is so rewarding to get to know yourself better and realize that behind the obvious need for “more money” there is a profound purpose, worth all the effort and dedication.

The Dilts logical levels

nlp pyramid levels - Google Search | Guided writing
Robert DIlts’s Logical Levels

The “Why” game is based on Robert Dilts’s logical levels. You start at the bottom level, your environment, and with each why, you discover the upper layers of yourself.
The more you know about yourself, the better you will be able to produce desired changes in your life. Changing something on a higher level will certainly produce a change in the lower levels, while this is not the case the other way around. Read more on this at SkillsYouNeed.

Conclusion

I hope you will enjoy this game as much as I did.

You can use this game to get different insights about yourself or others. For example, you can analyze a habit you want to get rid of and figure out on which level a change is needed.
Or you can focus on your customers and analyze why they are or are not buying your products.

You can do it as often as you like. I would love to hear if you have found this game useful and what are you using it for.

From Idea to Reality

Many of us have plenty of marvelous dreams, but often we do not put work into making them become reality. The dream come true process is not rocket science, it requires some discipline and persistence, but it can be learned.
I know this for sure because anything we see around us has started as an idea, as somebody’s dream. Somebody, who believed his dream can become a reality, did all it takes to make it happen.
We have the amazing power to create things out of nothing, out of an idea, a thought. And luckily this process is well explained nowadays and we can all learn to apply it.

Visualization

One technique that will certainly help you in this process is visualization. You probably are already familiar with it through the teachings of your favorite spiritual leader, personal growth mentor or business leadership coach.

Credits to Creative Commons: Ahmad Nady, Ali Anwar

Visualization technique can help you:

  • Envision the final goal and strengthen your belief in achieving it,
  • Identify the resources and actions you will need to take to succeed,
  • Keep motivated to strive for your goals and dreams.

Visualization has this effect on us because apparently our brains can make no difference between dreaming, imagining or stuff happening in reality. The sensory experiences of the dream or the visualization can be just as convincingly real.

Here is some scientific proof from Psychology Today, if you don’t believe my words 😉

I decided to try it myself and finally go for the spacious house on the top of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. Something like the Bubble palace of the famous French fashion designer Pierre Cardin.

The Bubble Palace of Pierre Cardin

The devil is in the detail

Let’s do it. Get yourself in a comfortable space without distractions and think of something you want to have or achieve. Now, start mentally imagining it as if it has already happened. Stimulate your imagination by asking questions like, how does it look like? Which colors and patterns do I see, what do I smell, how do I feel knowing that I have achieved my goal? Who is around me, what are we talking about? The more detail the better.

Actually the word visualization doesn’t cover all the aspects you include while imagining. It is not only about the visual part. You need to include all the other senses, the movement and your global state of being. It is more of a mental projection in time and space, but that might sound like science fiction, so let’s stick to the word visualization for the sake of simplicity.

Back to my goal of living in a house by the sea. Every morning in my 15 min visualization slot, I imagine myself waking up, going outside in the garden and checking the calmness of the sea. I do my yoga exercises while being caressed by the gentle breeze and the warm Mediterranean sun. I synchronize my breath with the sound of the waves. I become one with the nature around me and the feeling of calmness and joy runs through my whole body.
Before I start working in my spacious living room, with the glass doors open to the sea, I take pleasure in smelling each of the plants I have personally planted in my garden: the pine and the fig tree, the rosemary and my favorite at the end, the agapanthus azur.

Is it easy?

I wouldn’t say it is, but it can be very empowering and rewarding. Imagining beautiful things and daydreaming sounds like fun, but that is just the beginning. To progress in the realization of your goals, you need to be disciplined, create a routine, hone your skills of imagining more detail, especially for difficult goals, which might feel like mission impossible from this perspective.

I will have this beauty in my garden ( agapanthus azur )

If you are anything like me, visualizing isn’t your natural skill. I get distracted very quickly and start wandering off to random thoughts or the todo list of the day ahead.
Luckily, this book “How to get lots of money for anything Fast!” by Stuart Lichtman contains a well-structured technique that helped me learn it, much like driving a car.
Don’t get turned off by it’s cheesy, over the top title. It is an easy read, a great, practical manual in setting up goals, designing the solution and monitoring the progress.

One final tip, do not keep your plans and dreams for yourself. Talk about them with your friends, your community and mentors. In this way, they will soon become part of your reality. There is nothing to be ashamed of in wanting to create the life you love! Go for it!

Spending quality time with yourself

I never thought I will be sacrificing the sweetest hour of my sleep, the one before you have to wake up, so willingly. Since the student days when preparing for the exams, I haven’t had a reason, big enough, to get me out of my warm and cozy nest earlier than it is absolutely necessary to organize my family and get to work on time.

As life got busier, with two young children and a full-time job, I started noticing that I miss time on my own. I need moments of solitude to reconnect with myself, to determine my direction, to reflect on life and pay attention to my desires.

The morning routine

Since the new year, I introduced a morning routine and so far, I love it!

I wake up at 6 am, not so unbearably early, right?
I make myself a nice cup of thee, open the doors of my balcony and enjoy for a moment the serenity of the early morning. The light at dawn is always amazing, the birds are singing and there is no traffic noise. At that moment, I often feel connected with nature, with the skies, forgetting that I am living in the busiest part of Amsterdam.

Then I do a couple of stretches to wake up my body, usually the five Tibetan rites or a series of sun salutations. This takes me just 10 minutes, after which I feel awake and really present.

I continue with meditation. In the first 15 minutes, I clean my head from any thoughts which brings me totally in the present moment, in content and open state. In the next 15 minutes, I start imagining my desired future. I try to be as specific as possible. What do I want my life to look like? What do I see and hear? What do I feel when my desires become reality?

I am not that good yet at visualizing and imagining my ideal future. It is difficult for me to envision things beyond my current experience and context.
If you have any tips on how to improve on this, please share them .
I do this because I definitely believe that we are the creators of our future and the first step is to imagine it!!

The last five minutes before I wake up my kids for school, I immerse myself in this feeling of natural happiness and the peaceful energy I have created with this morning routine.

Claiming this quality time with my own beautiful self has made me be more authentic and engaged with the people around me. I enjoy their presence more, as I know I can count on this dedicated time for myself.
In addition, I have been so much more balanced and motivated throughout the day, that I have decided to keep the morning routine even on the weekends. The good thing about the weekends is that I get not just one, but three hours for myself while the rest of my family enjoys the well-deserved sleep in.

If this sounds like you want to try it too, here is a more in-depth guide on how to build a strong morning routine. I would be interested to hear what are your techniques to connect with yourself?