Is Financial Freedom A Choice?

Posted on December 19, 2012 by

Folks, this week’s column is very different from my usual.  I’m afraid a lot of you will think it’s overly harsh and that I’m one big jerk.  Who knows – you may be right on both counts.  It’s just that I truly feel that success – financial freedom – is a choice.  Actually, it’s more like millions of little-bitty, every-day choices – maybe call them habits – that we make each day.  If you make more bad choices than good, you won’t be pleased with the results.  Make more good choices than bad, and you’ll end up on easy street.  Simple as that!

Yesterday, I met with a friend (we’ll call him Ben) who is going through some tough times.  This is the letter I wrote him this morning.

Ben, sorry for the troubles you’re going through.  The thing is, you are where you are because of the past choices you’ve made.  On the other hand, ten years from now, you’ll be where you’ll be because of all the little choices you make from this day to that.  It’s all up to you!     

Your window is closing fast.  You’re not 30 years old any more.  On your current path, you won’t like where you’ll end up at 65.  You must start RIGHT NOW cutting every expense you can in order to free up every penny you can to invest in appreciating capital assets.  Time is a luxury you no longer possess!  

For the record, Kim and I were in a similar boat when I was 35.  This is why we began investing in real estate.  We’re now 17 years into that decision.  Our financial freedom picture is bright, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing.  We just went through the worst economic collapse of real estate since the great depression.  With lots of work and sacrifice, we came out on the other side – battered, but not broken!  Will you let it break you?  

Like you, I’m dyslexic and read can’t write or very well.  But you can’t let impairments stand in your way.  How many times have you seen me cuss out my weekly newspaper column while trying to write it?  But did I let dyslexia beat me?  Will you?

Here’s a question for you: How many sellers have you met with this month?  How many have you seen this year?  Do you even know?  How many deals have you bird-dogged to other investors?  If the answer is zero, why is that?    

You’ve got to want success more than you want anything else.  I hate knocking on sellers’ doors.  I’ve done it for a living since I was 18.  But everything is on a balance scale.  On one side is sacrifice, meeting with sellers, and taking care of rental properties – YUCK!  But on the other side is financial freedom.  Simply put, you’ve got to want financial freedom more than you mind paying the price to get there.  For me, it was an easy choice.  How about for you?

Only you can decide your fate!  Life doesn’t care where you’re from, how much schooling you have, what you look like or what color you are. All it cares about is action – slow, steady, everyday, moving-forward action.  It’s all up to you!

You’re surrounded by some of the finest real estate investors in the country.  They’re all seeking to be financially free and real estate is their vehicle of choice.  You can’t plead ignorance or say you don’t have the examples all around you.  If you fail, it’s simply because YOU chose to fail!

Are you gonna tackle this thing, or is it gonna tackle you?  Are you really ready to make the hard choices?  Are you really ready to sacrifice? Are you willing to do the things you need to do to be financially free?  Are you willing to go out and meet with sellers every day no matter how tired or busy you are?  Only you can answer these questions!

One last thing: Age has taught me that time is the most precious of assets.  Ben, don’t waste the time of the wonderful folks around you.  Don’t talk about grand plans or spend time apologizing.  Either take immediate action or don’t.  It’s all up to you

As my good friend Mary Ann Doering taught me: If you don’t change direction, you’ll end up where you’re going!

Bill & Kim CookBill & Kim Cook are a husband and wife real estate investing team. They live in Adairsville, Georgia and have been investing in real estate since 1995. They specialize in buying single-family homes, mobile homes and mobile home parks. They also run North Georgia REIA and teach folks how to successfully invest in real estate.


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