Just because you have money, does not mean you have financial freedom or financial success. It is much more than just having money or assets.
What is financial freedom? It is the freedom to be yourself and do what you really want in life. To achieve this state of being we balance our resources to our needs and wants. You can experience financial freedom when you possess enough financial resources to pursue your love of travel, to retire comfortable, to contribute to your favorite charity, to fund your children’s education or whatever is important to you.
To have financial freedom, you need to know or discover what will allow you to be who you are and what you really want in life. This is a process of growth, improvement and gaining spiritual and emotional strength to become the most powerful, happy, and successful “you” possible. That is the true reward of financial freedom.
What is financial success? Being financially successful and feeling financially successful are two different things. Being successful is the attainment of a goal, tangible and clearly defined. Each person defines his or her financial success. I recall a comment made by someone I thought was truly financially successful. His remark was “He’s not a millionaire! He is only worth a million. A true millionaire earns a million dollars a year.” Each person has a unique definition of financial success. What do you need to achieve to be financially successful?
Feeling successful is an emotional state or reaction to your financial achievements. Once you determine what you need to achieve “your” financial success, you have the chance to feel financially successful. Personally, I find emotional states very elusive and fleeting. (I am sure my husband will agree with me.) When setting goals, one-step is to visualize how you will feel when you achieve that goal.
Intellectually we know that money cannot buy happiness, yet we spend and even go into debt attempting to feel financially successful. Those with money realize that money can’t buy them out of many issues. I recall working for a man that had more money than I can imagine, but he was still unfulfilled. He did not know what he needed to feel financially successful. He focused on what was missing, not what he had. By counting our blessings, we may find that we are more successful than we think.
As we celebrate the founding of our country, we can remember the fight our forefather’s fought to pursue our right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Take time to dream and discover what financial success and financial freedom mean to you.
Success and financial freedom are waiting for you – no matter what your current situation is. It is now time to take action and make your goals a reality!
Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA