I remember a few years ago, I have a few goals in mind and some career plans waiting to be executed. That time I was quite concerned already as I felt I am moving quite slow with respect to my career and financial plans. My credentials are too versatile that employers can’t lock me in to any specialty, let alone schedule me for an interview. Financial wise, I have just started investing on a parcel of land but my credit card bills have already reached more than Php 100,000++ (believe me I have no idea how it grew that much).
Good thing, I always keep a positive outlook in my life and keep pushing as if none of it is of my concern. But deep inside, a little voice inside my head tells me that I must do something. Problem is, I know I must do something but cannot get a system to get it working. I then decided to treat my short term goals as “PROJECTS”, with timelines and progress reports and all that. This is where I am good at and I am using this workframe to execute my life plans effectively and efficiently.
So I started #Sky2012 project which is to get out of my comfort zone and take risk in applying for a job here in Singapore. It is the first step in dealing with both my career and financial concerns. As you all know, #Sky2012 was a success and quickly I prioritized in clearing my bad debts and started the #CleanSweep project. I am currently approaching my first year working in Singapore and things developed faster than I have planned. Project #Cleansweep was about 90% completed already (at least I have cleared the critical ones) after 7 months of working and I was able to improve my finances a couple of months after (thank you Lord for the blessings).
So there came a time that I told myself, “Ok na ang lahat. What’s next? Ipon ipon na lang?” and after doing some rough calculations and projections, reality hit me that my original plans are much harder to achieve than I thought at first. It is still possible, but I do not feel confident about it.
Then one day a friend of mine invited me to a Financial Awareness Seminar that helps OFWs be financially literate. I have read a few books that talk about financial freedom but it was only that time when I realized that there’s no time to waste in securing my future. A few weeks of seminars, trainings and financial books later; I am happier than ever.
Why? Because I know that I have clearer goals and better plans in my life compared before, and I have concrete ways in achieving it. That’s all I need — a solid objective and a good plan to execute it. It doesn’t involve climbing up the corporate ladder, but rather, owning the ladder and be a businessman/investor. Many of my Facebook/Instagram/Twitter posts cover the principles that I have learned and I am still learning the game through continuous trainings and reading of financial books. I will pretty much invest my time on something that will be good for me in the future.
They say no one gets rich being an employee, that’s true. That’s why for my career plans, promotions aren’t my priority anymore. That takes off a LOT of pressure. With this new found path to success, I am re-stating my life goals:
RETIRE YOUNG, RETIRE RICH.
Yes, young and rich. I cannot do that if I will remain an employee until the age of 60. Once the investments grow and multiply, I won’t have to work anymore– thus helping me spend more quality time with my future family. NO more working from 8 am to 6pm (waking up at 6 am and reaching home 8 pm not included). I would rather spend it with my wife and children. You see, being rich is not about how much money you have in the bank, but on how your money can sustain your life while you spend your time with your loved ones and not on work. How young? If I go agressive, I am thinking around 40. But 45 yrs old is still OK for me.
The point here is that quality time with my family is the most important thing for me. I don’t want to be a slave of work and money by working 9 to 10 hours a day just to go home tired (I will be lucky if our kids are still awake by then).
START MY OWN COMPANY
I will do this out of necessity. You will learn that having your own company can have significant financial benefits — like incurring very little tax (in comparison,a regular employee in the Philippines have about 30% of his/her income go to TAX only. Crazy). This will also be my vehicle to control the cashflows from my future business ventures. Back in my younger days, I thought owning a company is like for the super rich only. It just took me continuous financial education to realize that we can do it also. I also saw a lot more better opportunities being business/investment minded that being just an employee. At the end of the day, creating jobs for others is much better than looking for a job.
A couple of years ago I joined a few friends to do charity work at Tahanan ng Pagmamahal in Pasig. At that time I did not cash out anything but helped in distributing food and talked to the orphans. It was a life-changing moment and told myself that if I earn well, I would put a part of my earnings in helping them.
Being financially free, I can do more than that. I want a stream of my income to go directly to their account to cater for food, clothing, books, or rent. It’s nice to give back to the needy and helpless the blessings that we have.
I also like to start my own little and humble foundation, particularly for orphans (you know my weakness already). Later on I will study about how to do this and hopefully in the far future I can make this dream into reality.
These are my life goals. Sounds ambitious? Yes! Because we must be ambitious if it concerns our loved ones. Purpose and ambitions with clear goals make us strive harder, knowing that all of the hard work will result into a good harvest in the future.
I wish my friends share the same thinking with me, and not get stuck into buying luxuries and ending up regretting it in the end. I cringe when I see some wife tell her husband, “You really know how to make me happy” after buying her a very expensive bag. Really? Bags make them happy? Some say “life is short, splurge if you can.” But I hope they realize that if they grow old still struggling to have a prosperous life, life isn’t so short after all. While I respect others’ point of view regarding their career and life, I still hope they realize that it’s not just their life that they are taking care of right now, but the lives of their future loved ones.
We have two choices: Play now and pay later, or pay now and play later.
Clearly I chose the latter.