I owe a lot of people for helping me get the point I am today. But over time it has come clear to me that at least a few personalities helped shape my path more than others. One who provided freedom, one who provided permission, and one who provided motivation. This week we are going to look at freedom.

 free freedom braveheart GIF

Of course, I mean William Wallace (or Mel Gibson). Just kidding!

I mean Dave Ramsey. My wife and I did not start out our marriage as a Dave Ramsey couple, but sometime in the first year, I started listening. Originally I had always thought Dave was just an arrogant talk radio guy and was just always yelling to get ratings.  But during an Entreleadership live broadcast at my then workplace I heard Dave’s heart about what he does and I gave him another try.

From there Renae and I got on the program and started working toward financial freedom. We worked hard and creatively to pay off our student loans and live within our means. We lived in a crappy apartment for the first 3 years of marriage and saved up a big downpayment on a house. We continued to live within our means as we got better jobs and raises.

Something you might not expect from someone who started his own business is: I am actually risk adverse. But this financial freedom, having no debt except the house and living within our means, severely lessened the risk of striking it out on my own.

It allowed us to continue to live on my wife’s salary and the cash from a part-time job I took on when I launched the business. This gave me the mental freedom to not be stressed under the weight of starting a new business all the time. I was able to quit that job 8 months in! Because I was focusing on building the business instead of making quick cash to survive, it also gave me the freedom to make long-term decisions instead of short-term decisions.

Long-term decision making is always better than short-term. 

When I am talking with people who are thinking of starting their own business one of the things I bring up is how much debt they have. If they can minimize that debt before they jump ship, they will be in a much better place to start. Those additional monthly expenses make it much hard to survive when starting out. That burden will make prematurely returning to a ‘real’ job, before you really have the time and work invested to see if your business is going work out, to likely.

Thank you, Dave, for helping us find financial freedom! It is allowing us to do great things!

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