What is Freedom, and do you really want it?

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Dictionary definition

free·dom
ˈfrēdəm/
noun
 
the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
"we do have some freedom of choice"
absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
"he was a champion of Irish freedom"
synonyms:
independence, self-government, self-determination, self-rule, home rule, sovereignty, nonalignment, autonomy;

the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
synonyms:
liberty, liberation, release, deliverance, delivery, discharge;

The amount of freedom an individual has varies greatly in different parts of the world.  We are lucky in the "west" to enjoy a high level of freedom.  Legally, we can say that "one man's freedom ends where another's begins."  We can't abuse another's freedom just because we want to do something.

Financial Freedom

Today, I'd like to focus on financial freedom.  What is money?  Really, all money should be is a tool to help us pursue meaning, but most people don't understand they should use it that way.  Knowing what gives you meaning and purpose is a vital part of financial freedom.  I strongly believe it should be the starting point on our journey.

It is important to know why you want to become financially free.  This may seem like a “no-brainer.” After all, why would you want to be in financial bondage because of debt?  Freedom-from-debt looks like the logical choice.

Nevertheless, your motivation for becoming debt free is important.  Being released from the tension and anxiety of debt and being able to do what you want, when you want, should be high on your priority list.

Besides finding ways to earn more money, a primary reason for financial problems is lack of self discipline, and self control.  It is the inability to delay gratification in the short term.  It is the tendency for people to spend everything they earn and a little more besides, usually supplemented by loans and credit card debt.

Today, the savings rate in America is too low to achieve financial independence.  After a lifetime of work, the average American family has a net worth of only about $8,000.  People continue to spend and borrow as if there were no tomorrow.

The good news is that we are living in the most affluent time in all of human history!  There are more opportunities to achieve wealth and prosperity today, for more people, in more different ways, than have ever existed in the history of man.  It has never been more possible for you to achieve financial independence than right now.  But you must make a resolution to do it, and then follow through on your resolution.

The Reasons For Financial Problems

Spending Makes You Happy

When you earn or receive money, your first thought may be, “How can I spend this money to achieve immediate pleasure?”

When you go on vacation to a resort of any kind, you find that the hotels and streets are lined with shops selling useless trinkets, bobbles and trash, plus clothes, artwork, and other items that you would never think of buying at home.  Why is this?  Simple.  When you are on vacation, you feel happy. You have a conditioned response to associate happiness with spending money.  The happier you are, the more unconsciously compelled you are to go out and spend money on something, on anything!

It is quite common for many people, when they are unhappy or frustrated for any reason, to go shopping.  They unconsciously associate buying something with being happy.  When it doesn’t work as they expected, they buy something else.  Sometimes, unhappy people go on shopping sprees.  They buy lots of things that they don’t particularly need because they unconsciously associate spending with happiness.

Use Self Discipline To Rewire Your Responses About Money

The starting point of achieving financial independence is for you to use self discipline to rewire your attitude towards money.  You reach into your subconscious mind and disconnect the wire linking “spending” and “happiness.”  You then reconnect that “happiness” wire to the “saving and investing” wire.

To reinforce this shift in thinking, and eliminate financial problems, open up a “financial freedom account” at your local bank.  This is the account in which you deposit money for the long term.  Once your money goes into this account, you resolve that you will never spend it on anything except to achieve financial freedom.

Eliminate Financial Problems Through Self Discipline

Associate Happiness With Financial Independence

When you begin saving in this way, something miraculous happens within you.  You start to feel happy about the idea of having money in the bank.  Even if you only open your account with $10, this action gives you a feeling of greater self-control and personal power.  You feel happier about yourself.

Because the money in your account is emotionalized by your own thoughts and feelings, it sets up a force field of energy that begins to attract more money into it.  If you save $10 a month for a year, you will be astonished to find that with the extra bits of money that you have put into that account, you will probably have more than $200, rather than just $120.  If you save $100 per month, you will probably have more than $2,000.

The more money you have in your bank account, the more energy it generates and the more money is attracted into your life.  You have heard it said that, “It takes money to make money.”  This is true.  As you begin to save and accumulate money, the universe begins to direct more and more money towards you, to save and accumulate.

Everyone who has ever practiced this principle of regular saving is absolutely astonished at how quickly their financial problems change for the better.

The rule for financial independence, once you have rewired your attitude toward money, is to “Pay yourself first.”  Most people save whatever is left over after their monthly expenses, if there is anything left over.  The key however is to pay yourself first, off the top, of every amount of money you receive.  10% is a common goal.

Earn More Money

Use Levels Of Customer Satisfaction To Build Customer Loyalty
Business Success = customer satisfaction

To earn more money in your Internet business, make your customers happier!
 
The ability to satisfy your customers to gain customer loyalty is the critical determinant of your success in driving sales and growing your business.

There are levels of customer satisfaction, based on the degree to which you meet customer expectations. The higher the level you achieve, the more you will build customer loyalty and the greater your success.

Level One: Meet Customer Expectations

The minimum requirement to simply stay in business—to survive—is to meet the expectations of your customers.

At this level, your customers have no complaints. They are satisfied for the moment, but at this point, customer loyalty doesn’t exist.

If a competitor demonstrates that it can and will do more than merely meet their expectations, your customer will very quickly become an ex-customer.

Moreover, if you fail to meet their expectations, they will leave and give their customer loyalty to someone who can.

It can be helpful to observe your local merchants, the true entrepreneurs.

Higher Levels:

Exceed Customer Expectations

The next level of customer satisfaction is reached by surprising your customers.  You must deliver MORE value than the competition.

Fast, friendly, and good customer service, followed up by a phone call to ensure customer satisfaction, might put you into this category.  Now you are beyond mere survival. Exceeding expectations builds a measure of customer loyalty and gives you an edge over your competitors.  It can also increase your profitability.

Customers who experience the kind of service that exceeds their expectations are often willing to pay for it.  This enables the supplier to raise prices or upsell more products, and thus improve profits.

 Delight Your Customer

Not only have the customer’s basic needs been met or exceeded, but they have been touched emotionally.

Once customers have enjoyed this experience, you will gain customer loyalty. It will be very difficult for a competitor to pry them away.  When you delight your customers, you are on the way to creating an exceptional and highly profitable business.

To delight your customer is to show that you care about them.  It can be as simple as a follow-up phone call.  No wonder it brings a smile to their face!

Amaze Your Customer

When you are able to amaze your customers regularly, you will be in a position to dominate the marketplace.

Examine Your Own Business

How might you amaze your customers?  What things could you improve?  Perhaps the following will help.

The Secret To Getting Rich


Do you ever think about what your life would be like if you doubled your income this year?  What if you doubled your income AND you doubled the time you spend doing what you love?  Better yet, with the people you love?

Herein lies the secret to building wealth.  If you think it’s impossible in this economy, it’s not!

In every shift of the economy — down or up — there are winners and losers, like with everything in life. It’s all on how you look at and play into your current circumstances.

Even in the Great Depression, people came out new millionaires.  Today is no different, but only if you know the correct path to get there.  Building real wealth starts with focus.

The Secret? FOCUS

The key to being successful in life and with your business is FOCUS. Focusing on what you want and how you’re going to get there.

The key to being truly successful is knowing how and where to focus your time and efforts.

A while back I was talking with someone who sells fiber optic cables and computer hardware. He wondered if I thought it was a good idea to diversify and resell self-improvement programs online.

Here was someone who was doing fairly well with one business and about to take his eye off his primary source of income to try something he knew nothing about.  Bad idea!

Find Something You’re Good At…And Become Rich Doing It

If you want to be successful, the key is finding something you’re good at. Focus your efforts on helping people…and become rich doing it.

If this man were to branch out and begin selling self-improvement programs online, odds are he would have no time to grow his current business.  His finances would suffer over there all while trying (and failing) to build a new business online.

You should not try to diversify yourself across too many niches.  You need to focus your business and marketing strategy to ensure the best results.

For example, every successful business owner knows they need a marketing strategy to attract new clients and make more money. But most don’t know how and where to focus their marketing. They try a little of this and a little of that and get little in the way of results.

Focus Your Efforts Strategically

Knowing how and where to focus your efforts is a habit of successful people.

Know who your customers are and where they are. Then direct all of your efforts towards finding them there and attracting them to your business.

Finding a proven system for getting prospects’ attention, generating leads, converting leads to clients, maximizing sales and generating repeat sales can easily double your income while cutting your time on the job in half (or even more).

Where Will You Aim Your Focus?

Now I’d love to hear from you, so my question today is: What area of your business will you choose to focus your efforts on this month?

Leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to follow up with you.

A T BELL

How to make your first 10K online!