Why Chasing Time Freedom Is So Valuable
So, freedom is a word that we live by. It’s so important to us, it’s not the same for everybody. Some people really value security. They don’t value the autonomy or the freedom the way we do. That is what’s beautiful about this world. That’s what makes the world go round and round is that we all don’t want the same thing.
Some people are very money focused. You know everybody’s got their own meaning. Lot of times if you grew up with very little money, it is so important to be financially set Financially set can mean way beyond what any of us might think is necessary. That’s not my place to figure out or try to even change it to be on that but I do know that freedom is valuable for us.
You know, we say, even on the title of this podcast time, money, and location freedom. I truly believe that time freedom to us is the most valuable part. As time goes on I peeled the curtain back even more and more in terms of how that affects our life because I don’t want to give any type of impression that this is all just rainbows and unicorns and everything is just awesome all the time or always just doing great. That is certainly not accurate or true. But these different types of freedom afford us opportunities that we wouldn’t have had without it.
I tend to overlook this sometimes because we’ve been in this world for almost 12 years now. Ever since I quit my job and we went on our own, we’ve been entirely self-employed and dependent on ourselves for income the entire time. This is what I do. This is what I teach other people to do for a living now. We don’t even photograph anymore which was our career for so many years. This is what we teach. And it’s hard to quantify in numbers what this does and how important this is because in the file world that so much about how much money you have saved to a certain point so you can live off of the rest without working. And I don’t subscribe to that theory at all. Our focus is to build different businesses with different income streams, income streams that are recurring, income sources that go up in value. I don’t understand personally the theory of “let me save as much money as I can so I don’t have to work anymore.” I just want to do work that I love doing because I’ve been in the position where I haven’t had to work. And for those of you that are scrimping and saving to get to that point, I can tell you this. It gets kinda boring. If you are driven enough that you’re gonna do that. You’re gonna be bored out of your mind thinking about not doing anything besides leisure or hobbies the rest of the time.
So, if I don’t subscribe to that theory, why would I go along with my financial planning in that way. So, we take our money and we live the life of freedom that we want while investing back into ourselves and investing back into our businesses to make them grow. Because growing multiple businesses and income streams is a far easier way to long-term wealth and saving until a certain number than living off of the interest. But I want to give you a story from our life recently about how valuable the time freedom was for us.
If you are new to the show, we got three boys that we homeschool and we travel a lot. We were in Arizona for three months this winter and whenever we go on the road, we called to this could be heaven or this could be hell tour because it could be either one of those, or both at the same time when you travel with three boys between the ages of 13 and 7. And that’s about what we got. So even before we left for the trip, we’re having some pretty big issues with our then 13-year-old. There are a lot of irregular things going on. There is a lot of anger and some tremendous mood swings that he was going through. It was difficult to deal with for everybody, obviously including himself. But we left the day after Christmas to go out to Arizona and we are going to be out there till April and he was excited about it. There is going to be a lot of sunshine, there would be a lot of bugs to explore but we were there for less than a week and I was upstairs on a call and I heard a scream. It was our son, our youngest son had open up the back door into his toe, and it’d bent his toenail back from his big toe and he was in excruciating pain. I mean immediately he couldn’t even walk. You could tell that the nail was gone and it probably wasn’t gonna reattach. So it was bruised, it was battered and he was limping everywhere and the pain must’ve been horrendous.
Even before that, we’re going to a family therapist so we can help him out. He gets help that we can work as a family. We told our therapist what happened and he said that that happened to him when he was a kid and it took months, I think six months to fully heal and he wasn’t able to walk well for a few months. So, one week into this multiple month trip and his toenail get bent back and he is probably not to be able to walk during most of the trip. We went the previous year and we were hiking almost every day going to the mountains.
So a week later, he actually have to had the toenail removed and then the healing begins but it just felt like the healing was not happening. So we are on this trip and day after day it just seems to be getting worse. And with the pain came him laying around a whole lot more because he can’t do very much. And with that came it looked like just sadness on his face, so we’d still be able to go for walks or go out and we are trying to take him with us but he didn’t really want to go so we started separating, he started being home, reading, playing games and we be with him but he couldn’t really do anything. So he started getting more down and he didn’t really want to be around us. We got to the point where there was just anger and fits and major blowups not only every day but essentially all day long. In this trip that was supposed to be just such an epic trip for our family turned into a nightmare. And it got so bad that even though we had this place rented, we were seriously minutes away from starting to pack up the car a month early because we just couldn’t do it anymore.
For about a month we kind of felt like hostages in this house that were renting because it was volatile all the time. Elizabeth and I both had to be there just in case something went wrong. It was at this point that we started bringing him to a naturopathic doctor and realizing, after getting some bloodwork, that so many things were off inside of his body. I am not going to the details, there were some major changes that had to happen with his diet, with his sleep, with supplements and more. And there is so much more to this that I can get into but those are probably the two most difficult months we’ve ever had as a family and this is supposed to be during such an incredible trip.
But one night, when there’s some silence and there was some quiet, which was very rare at that moment, Elizabeth and I had a real moment of appreciation because we started talking about what would happen if we were both in the position that we used to be in. That position where we both work full-time jobs, we’re gone from the house and we’re on call for other people all the time. We start realizing that we thought this was kind of very hellish and if you are in the house for a few months you understand why. It was hard to see to that moment but we realize right then what freedom had done for us and we realize that doing the work when we didn’t need it led to this freedom later. When I say freedom, I mean time freedom because I was literally only committed to working about 10 hours a week. Now I can work a whole lot more than that. There’re so many more things that can be done to grow the business but when I was committed to what other people expected for me during the week amounted to no more than 10 hours. What we realize during those two months was even that was a challenge. It was stressful but got done but the thing was those 10 hours are done during live video calls. So as much as I didn’t have to work, even those 10 hours were stressful because any moment, all hell could’ve broke loose whether it was downstairs or upstairs or anywhere. And that’s only where we have to tell ourselves that freedom was so much more than money.
Freedom is building a life that when unexpected major hurdle jumped in front of you, that it doesn’t destroy your family. Because this was something that was really tearing at the fabric of our family in real time. And one of the major reasons why we came out of it relatively unscathed was we weren’t focused on working for money, we were really able to put almost everything on pause except for our current clients and we were able to be together while it was all going on. And sometimes we overcommit ourselves to so many different things because nothing else tugging at us but when you have a situation like that, you really need to unplug just about everything just so you can keep your family together. While for Elizabeth and I to both be there at the house and have a situation where if we did have a flip out moment that one of us could take care of it, the other one could view the other two kids and we can as seamlessly as we could get back to normalcy. I don’t want to be so dramatic to say that it saved our family, but it sure did give us the opportunity to breathe together and stay together.
So my point to this episode is this. You never know what hurdles are coming up on you and so many of our heartaches come from not being prepared for when they do. This event, which would’ve cracked us and broken us in a different situation, the freedom allowed us to weather the storm as well as we possibly could. And I’m happy to report that after months and months of healing and therapy and diet changes and lack of screen time and supplements, he is doing so much better. But I want to put this out there as kind of a warning shot that if things are going well and you’re kind of just slogging through it and you’re not in any type of attack mode to get to a life of freedom, maybe you could use this as a little bit of motivation to get there. So that if something like that happens to you and I hope it never does, that you are able to weather it, you are able to get through it and you’re able to actually grow from it. And I can truly say by going through this together by going through as a family, we’re better off as a family because of it. Because it has brought us closer together and it has made me more empathetic and more understanding and hopefully a better dad. So, I’m here to show that freedom brings opportunities that you don’t even realize until you’re in the depths of it.
Thank you so much. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.