Freedom is not being able to afford a fancy car.
It’s not being able to take four weeks of vacation, as opposed to two weeks, because you’ve put up with so much crap you feel you’ve earned it. It’s not being able to afford a separate dish to serve dip when a bowl would do just fine.
I want to talk to you about freedom, and how it leads to happiness.
Freedom means something different to everybody. For me, it offers the opportunity to fail. It provides me with the opportunity to tackle a big project without immediate payoffs. It means I can explore whatever I find interesting, productive, and meaningful at any point in time.
For you it might mean you can travel, or spend time with your family or friends, or go on more dates.
I want to help you be free so you can leave a positive imprint on the world, not so you can sip a Mai Tai on the beach.
There’s no shortcut to a six-figure income, just as there’s no shortcut to six-pack abs. It takes hard work. It takes a burning desire. Most of all, it takes guts.
On your journey there will be resistance. You may outgrow friends. Your family may think you’re nuts. This is fine. This is good.
You will get haters and they will become more boisterous, obnoxious, and senseless over time. Again, this is good. As Elbert Hubbard, an American publisher, once said, “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
The biggest regret of the dying? They wish they hadn’t worked so hard. No one regrets not buying a bigger house, or making more money, or working his ass off every day for the opportunity to work a bit harder for a little more money with a few more clients.
My goal here isn’t to preach to you. It’s to make things simple. It would be nice to say we can all be hippies living off the land. But that’s not possible. We all need a basic amount of money each month to survive.
If you want the opportunity to tackle your dream project, be with your family, or take a big risk on a crazy idea, you first need to be free. When you’re free, your mind can relax. That, my friends, is when the magic happens. It’s when you innovate. It’s when you create art. It’s when you wake up each morning with a smile so big your jaw hurts.
To do this, you need to reach your freedom number.
The freedom number is the amount of money you need each month to meet your basic needs: rent, food, transportation, funds to care for others (if applicable), and a small amount for extravagance (what I call my “do something special for my beautiful wife” fund).
Before I had a beautiful wife, this is how I calculated my freedom number:
Rent = $1,900/month.
Food = $500/month
Extravagance = $200/month
My freedom number was $2,600. It was low because I didn’t have any dependents back then. Yours may be higher, and that’s fine. What matters is that you know what it is.
So how can the freedom number change your life?
Once you know how much you need each month, you can work backwards. How much do you currently make per training session? How many sessions will you need to book each week, and how many clients will you need to reach that number of sessions?
After establishing the number of clients you need, follow my Block System for trimming and organizing your schedule. I used this system to double my income while training clients for 20 fewer hours per month.
Now breathe. This could be the start of something beautiful.
After my mentor passed along this concept to me, I had a lot of success in a relatively short time. I went from a 25-year-old personal trainer who was overworked and overstressed to an entrepreneur with a lucrative and growing online publishing company. In fact, I wrote this from Koh Phangan, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.
Don’t get me wrong: I still work hard. But I do it on my own terms, and have the amazing opportunity to be proactive in building my business, as opposed to being reactive. I no longer have to worry a client is canceling every time I see a new text, or that I have to be in bed early because I have a client in the morning.
I mentioned that freedom gives me the opportunity to fail. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of chances to test that theory. I’ve failed many more times than I’ve succeeded.
But my greatest business attribute isn’t the ability to launch an idea based on nothing more than intuition. It’s that I’m able to figure out when something isn’t working, and shut it down.
Sometimes my failures have cost me a lot financially, and they’ve always cost me a lot of time and effort. I’d go as far as to say I’ve learned more from failing than succeeding, in part because I have so much more practice with the former than the latter.
None of it, good or bad, would’ve happened if my mentor hadn’t told me how to calculate my freedom number.
Knowing how little I needed to make gave me the freedom to explore whatever I find interesting, productive, and useful.
What will you do when you find yours?