In evaluating the opportunities, I realized the interaction of two variables.
- The value that we can add to a situation. Call it my “value-added per hour.”
- My core cost of living.
In the course of my career, I’ve lived the life of an athletic coach as well as an executive. Sometimes I’ve done both at the same time.
An excellent coach, or personal trainer, might net $35 per hour.
A skilled executive will be closer to $500 per hour.
Who has more personal freedom?
When I was younger, I was inclined to believe that more pay results in more freedom.
I’m not sure.
When I think through my pals, the individual who’s daily life most closely resembles my own isn’t who you’d expect. He is a $35 per hour consultant. My friend can live well on $500 per WEEK and has no net assets. He’s created a life where he has freedom of occupation and can say “no” to anyone.
Because of the value-added per hour differential, my buddy works about 25 hours per week. He nets more than his baseline needs. He lives an abundant life, free from financial pressure. He travels internationally. He can work from anywhere and enjoys freedom of location.
What about the executive?
A corporate lifestyle is highly variable, bouncing from 20 to 65+ hours per week. Sleep is often sacrificed and it’s common to spend much of the year nudging health back on track. Vacations are spent immersed in passions that take a back seat to the primacy of career (hobbies, sports, marriage, family).
My point is we all make trades => to get more, of what we think will make us happy, we can be tempted to pay in health, in failed relationships, in reduced freedom and, occasionally, in ethics.
When I speak with highly-paid professionals, they focus on the need for increased assets, and passive income, to attain the freedom they desire.
They ask my help to create a plan that results in freedom.
Freedom to do what?
The freedom to be healthy, to be serene, to be a great spouse, to do my job the right way.
Freedom might be closer than you think.