You know what you are doing is insanity, and you're struggling to find a way out. Whenever you bump into an old acquaintance, he looks at you with a wide smile and goes "Hey man! How are you doing?" Your alter ego kicks in by giving him a firm handshake and replying, "Hey! I'm doing great!".
You know that's a lie, or a valiant attempt at fooling yourself into thinking that all is fine.
I'm not trying to add insult to injury. I just want you to know that I'm with you; we're in the same boat.
But over the last 7 months, I've been taking control of the wheel and I'm making gradual progress towards freedom from the corporate treadmill. I've also learnt a few concepts/mindsets that are gold in this journey towards White Collar Freedom.
Consumer to Producer Mindset. I first read about this in MJ DeMarco's book, "The Millionaire Fastlane". In his book, he stressed the importance of switching from a Consumer mindset to that of a Producer. Many of us are brought up as consumers - we turn to 'retail therapy' for happiness, we pay for good food, we purchase items and gadgets that puts a temporary smile on our faces.
But if you can switch your mindset from one of a consumer to a producer, you would be creating items that provides happiness to many and people will be paying for the good food that you create.
What can you produce that is of value to others?
Purchasing Items With Finite Time. Every minute and second you spend on that rat wheel, you're moving forward on the travelator of life. Time is finite and you won't get it back. If you get a paycheck for a 9-5 job that you hold, you're not actually getting paid for the hours of 9-5.
You need to take into the account the hours you spent commuting, the hours spent decompressing and all the other odd hours spent on job-related matters. Now, calculate the actual amount that you get paid per hour - it will be less.
When you purchase an item, remember that you're paying for it in hours - that you won't get back.
You Don't Need A Million Dollars To Be Financially Free. Stop chasing numbers. You don't need a million dollars to have a smile on your face. You just need a bucket system that will provide a constant stream of relatively passive income.
And that bucket system does not cost 1,000,000.
Taking Responsible Risks. At some point in this journey, your dedicated effort to extreme saving will plateau. This is when you should make the leap and take responsible risks. It could be running a business or investing.
I once met a man who runs a successful business. He saved diligently and with enough seed capital, he started his first business. It tanked. So, he went back to the cubicle, saved enough and tried again. It tanked too.
He then dragged himself to the cubicle, slogged through the 9-5 routine, saved for a few more years and during his third attempt, he succeeded. You may think that is reckless but his reasoning was, "What's the worse that can happen? If the business fails, and I have no debt - I'm fine. I'll go back to the corporate treadmill, save up enough and go at it again."
That's a responsible risk.
Understanding What Matters Most. Through my conversations with fellow white-collar rats, I realize that a lot of us out there in the rat wheel do not know what their true passions are.
Ask yourself this question, "What would you do if money was not a consideration?".
That's what really matters most to you. And that should be your ultimate goal - your Raison d'être.
Let these points sink in. Then, act on it.