Picking Your Path - The Countless Roads to Financial Freedom
Since my last article about Jamaican-Canadian billionaire Michael Lee-Chin's 5 Principles of Creating Wealth, I had the chance to sit down with two of my Middle-Class friends who have been on their own journeys toward financial independence. We spoke because I wanted to share the lessons I picked up at a recent family office conference that my father and I spoke at in Palm Beach.They work full-time but have no debt, both invest in real estate with one focusing on flipping and the other having two rental properties while focused on building a portfolio.
Despite being highly educated and one having a Master's degree in Finance, I found it hard to get them to understand the principles I was shown at the family office event and how they could use OPM - Other Peoples' Money - to reduce their risk while building a bigger portfolio like what I was doing within our investment firm.Then I came to the realization that how you are raised and the path you choose determines who you consider a coach.
My path was not the only path and so I needed to figure out which path was the one that they had chosen before trying to share knowledge they would find easy to digest and useful.That is when I asked about the books they had read and were basing their approach on but before they could answer, I offered to guess and see if I was right; The Millionaire Next Door was my first guess and then I added that any Dave Ramsey book were probably like The Bible to them.
They quickly acknowledged that these were the types of books that they read.
The Worth Magazine and Bloomberg Business magazines I had brought were "out of their league" and "too advanced" for them.That made our discussion much easier and I focused on how things were going, their future plans and their 5-year goals. Michael Lee-Chin did say to find a role model and not change the recipe so my two friends had done exactly that, just with a different role model than me and therefore a different recipe.
Before you jump down someone's throat that they are not doing it your way, find out what is informing their decisions to choose that path. As long as they are taking steps towards financial freedom, they are doing the right thing.
Do not spend time trying to change their mind but instead focus on supporting them with positive reinforcement when you do interact and surround yourself with the people who are following the same path as you.I promise you that your life will be much healthier and less stressful. It can be very frustrating when you try to explain something in simple terms and the audience does not seem to understand, even after you answer their questions.This is why you should always know your audience first, even an audience of one, especially a friend or family member.
Those relationships are the toughest to repair if you say the wrong things to each other, such as, "You are dumb to do it that way" or "How can't you see that this is a better way?" so avoid that language.My circles for discussions about business are predominantly made up of wealthy people because I worked in private equity and then a hedge fund.Exposure to family offices and wealthy business people, the conferences we all attend and associations we join talk about money very differently than my Middle-Class friends and acquaintances.
I try my best to pass on the knowledge so that they can also learn and apply the knowledge but many have chosen their path and I must respect that.
That experience has also informed my approach going forward to future articles. From now on I will do my best to incorporate the traditional Middle-Class paths as well because most of you reading this will never work in finance like I do and are a decade or more away from becoming Accredited Investors that would open up a new world of investing opportunities for you.There is nothing wrong with that traditional approach. Wealth creation is not a sprint so as long as you are in the race and run the marathon at your pace because everyone who finishes is a winner.