If you pay close attention to the news media (which I don’t advise, but in our digital world, it can be unavoidable), you might be feeling a weight, almost as if there is a sense of impending doom. I saw a recent survey that indicated that almost one third of respondents felt that we could be headed towards a second civil war.
That is not a happy thought.
And it might also cause us to feel that the events we celebrate on July 4th are in the very (very) distant past.
But I still believe that, seen in light of the circumstances of the age, the Declaration of Independence was an act of incredible bravery by many people who had plenty to lose by adding their names to it. It’s one of many inspiring acts by our founders, and rightly worth tossing rockets into the air to celebrate and honor (if not more than that!).
As John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife on July 3rd, 1776:
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
It is America’s 242nd birthday today. Let us pray that we have reason to continue celebrating for many decades to come.
Now, speaking further of (financial) independence, I believe that many of my clients (probably you among them) already “get” much of what I write about as it relates to debt, avoiding taxes, and other basic financial strategies. Financial freedom, if you will.
But sometimes there are “non-financial” decisions we’ve made or attitudes we’ve fostered that creep into how we approach our careers, our finances, or even our families — and they actually rob us of independence.
Here’s what I mean…
“Real World” Personal Strategy Note
Towards Greater, Tangible Personal Freedom
“You will never win if you never begin.” – Robert Schuller
There are many people who are handier, when it comes to fixing things around the home.
But rather than beat myself up over this lack, I’ve begun to embrace my limited ways, and have learned to see why this “deficiency” enables me to think bigger, and grow wealth.
It’s probably healthy to admit that most things you simply cannot do (with apologies to the very “handy” among us): You probably aren’t going to redo the roof on your house. You likely don’t have a clue how to knock down a wall to open up the downstairs. If the toilet stops working and the plunger and Drano don’t work, you’re calling the plumber. Likewise, you might pay someone to work on your car because you either don’t know how to or you’d rather have a professional do it.
But one of the common messages which even the wealthiest among us find ourselves adhering to is: “Do it all yourself and you will save money.” Don’t hire a house cleaner, don’t go out to eat, don’t pay someone to do your yardwork. Do it yourself and save money.
Is that actually wise?
What if we, instead took this as our ethos: “Outsource everything you can and focus on building your wealth.”
Some people have the time or the motivation to do things other people would outsource. I know plenty of people who simply *like* to change their car’s oil. But I also know people too busy (and too productive) to mow their own grass. So you have to decide what aspects of your life are worth outsourcing.
For fathers and mothers, there’s plenty that you perhaps *shouldn’t* outsource: raising your children, engaging with charities, loving your spouse (!).
But conversely, there are likely to be plenty of tasks that sap your energy, drain your productivity (in the home AND in your work pursuits), and which can be successfully handled by an hourly earner.
Personally, I hope to make it possible that I’m so productive I have to outsource just about everything that I’d rather not do. Said differently, I want to move towards the place where all I do is work on great projects, help my amazing clients, love my family well — and pay people to do just about everything else for me.
In my opinion, this is true independence.
And sometimes, it’s important to make certain shifts in this direction before we’re as “ready” as we’d like. It may, in fact, initiate a virtuous cycle of productivity that brings us to where we want to be.
Because we then free up the space to do MORE of what we alone can best do. In this way, even before we “feel rich”, we can achieve greater independence in our actual, day-to-day lives.
What do you think you can move off of your plate today?