How to Become Financially Independent

This article is advice from the MCE123 Company Founder of how to become financially independent. It was written because someone that went to school with Patrick R. McElhiney asked him how he does it - how he has been able to afford to go to school for a majority of his life and continue his learning, how he affords to run his own business, and how he can afford anything that he needs for any business reason. It's quite simple - maintain faith in what you are doing on a day-to-day basis, and work the hardest you possibly can, so that you do your best job on everything that you ever encounter in your professional life. This helps to build a positive reputation, which can help to increase the perceived value that you add to an organization - whether it be a school, a business, or a government agency.

  • Don't Quit Your Day Job - you need income now, or in other words, you can't fund your dreams unless you do the work that you need to do right now, to get to the next stage in your career.

  • Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck – planning your financial future is the most important thing you can do in business.

  • Be Smart with The Dollar - Don't spend money you don't have. Make more money than you spend. Save money for a rainy day. Always pay your own way. Don't buy un-necessary things. Everything you buy must have a purpose, i.e. a business expense account, or it should not be purchased. This doesn't mean don't buy that nice suit, or dress - those are legitimate business expenses. Eating Sushi three times a week isn't, unless if it is specifically tied to producing or adding value to business products or services. Even when you're doing good, financially, be frugal - because you never know what the financial conditions will be like tomorrow. While there are benefits to eating expensive food that tastes good, it is also far more luxurious than other foods you can eat and get equally or greater amounts of nutrients from. Therefore, the concept of "eating out" could be one of the biggest discretionary expenses that you have, and you can decide to not spend money on eating out. You can't decide to not pay your rent, or your car payment, or your student loan payment.

  • Don’t Work for Under What You’re Worth - but there are some exceptions to this, including personal relationships, i.e. significant other, friends, family; also, people that you need to impress – such as helping colleagues, volunteering for politicians, as well as schoolwork and academia relationships.

  • Financial Stress is Dependent Upon Your Interpersonal Network’s Worth – do things to make the people around you richer. Don’t do it for free, unless you benefit in some other way, such as politically, or personally, and that is ok with you. Also, expand your network to include richer clients. Shape your business to fit their needs better. Your core customers are your top spenders – whether they spend in volume, or in large increments – make sure you are taking care of them first. Never write anyone off as a non-core customer – everyone has potential to become a core customer, it’s just a matter of helping them along.

  • If You Break Something, Fix It – try to fix it on your own, instead of paying someone else or buying a new one.

  • Don’t Pay for Subscriptions You Don’t Use – and don’t not use subscriptions that benefit you.

  • Plan Your Future, and Make It Known to Everyone – the sooner people know what you want to do, the sooner you will begin to be on that trajectory. The exception to this is if your future deals with trusting relationships, i.e. Running for President of the United States. You will eventually have to disclose this type of a future to everyone if you want it to become a reality, but concentrate on making a living first. If you want to run for public office and you’ve made this known, it’s much more difficult to make business decisions, because you must assess whether you’re being bribed for future decision-making power. This is just one example of how taxing some futures can be, if you truly are an honest person. You must worry about being manipulated by other people, and it takes a long time to figure out where you stand on the issues, while it takes a relatively short amount of time to earn a living.

  • Manage Your Time Well – it’s park of the old saying, “Time is Money” – don’t work a job for the rest of your life that you’re throwing away your future career because of the opportunity cost of doing that. Don’t waste time, and don’t micromanage yourself.

  • Be a Perfectionist in Your Work – generally make people happy, even if you are making less money than what you deserve. This will open more doors for you in the future, starting as soon as you begin to make people happy.

  • Strive to Be the Best at What You Do – the more unique and highly experienced you are, the more possibilities you will have for career choices in the future. It’s better to have hundreds of companies that want to hire you, as opposed to having to do the leg work to find a job after you graduate.

  • Don’t Talk About How Much Money You Paid for Something, unless if Someone Asks You – value is a secret that you shouldn’t disclose to other people. It’s possible to spend a million dollars on practically nothing, i.e. a business buying business services such as advertising, while a million dollars in someone’s personal account could mean their retirement, and if a person is good at what they are doing, the last thing employers want is to see them retire early.

  • Don’t Let Financial Decisions, or Bills, or Expenses of Any Kind be a Pain or a Problem to You – the debt that you accrue, such as to attend school, is ultimately required to get to a stage in your life in which you can earn more money. Always be sure to pay more than is due on your bills, or pay them all off is possible – the interest will likely destroy you, financially. Interest is like Chinese water torture – get it paid off as soon as possible – again, going back to “Don't spend money you don't have.”

  • When You Have a Business Idea – Tell an Attorney and an Accountant, first – let them figure out how to structure the business, before you go off telling your idea to someone else. If it’s not worth investing into, they will be able to tell you that.

  • Know How to Play Roles When Shopping – when you’re shopping for services, whether they be personal or professional, don’t give off the impression that you’re rich, or they may increase your bill. Drive a junky car, wear some basic clothes with holes in them, when you need to decrease your bills. Always ask for a lower price on everything. Use coupons, discounts, and other methods to reduce your bills.