I am an activist/investor. It’s a weird title, I know—I made it up myself. Basically, I put people, properties, and portfolios together and then use the power of our collective investment dollars to make a difference where we think it counts. Am I in a place where money is no object? Not yet. Am I drafting plans to be the fourth billionaire in space? On the 12th of never. But I am writing my own story and using my financial freedom to be the change that I want to see in the world.
* This article was first published in Fast Company.
Enlightened professionals from all walks of life, including busy entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, managers, and marketers are all using passive income to write their own stories. Passive income gives them back their most valuable asset: their time.
Cultivating a diversified portfolio of investments can provide cash flow on a regular basis and leave you at liberty to do the things you care about every day. When you get to decide how to spend your time, you are given the opportunity to put your dollars to work in the world in ways that are important to you—and write your own story.
But once you are on the road to financial freedom, how do you write your unique story?
Here are seven steps to begin to get into the driver’s seat on your highway to happiness:
1. Decide what you want your story to be about, even before you have the financial power to execute your plan entirely. Financial freedom doesn’t arrive like a ship coming in, but incrementally.
2. Ask yourself what happily ever after looks like for you. Everybody’s view of the good life is different, and success is about a lot more than just the bottom line.
3. Think about your story and develop passive income streams that allow you to profit while putting your money to work achieving your larger aspirations.
4. Look for deals that line up with your values and your personal plotline. For example, I always structure my deals as a win-win where everybody is better off, including the planet.
5. Choose deals led by people who share your goals, values, risk sensitivities, and your definition of success.
6. Invest in a few projects that you’re passionate about, that reflect your vision of happily ever after, and that bring you joy while making a difference in the world. My wife and I are both theatre lovers, so we occasionally invest in shows that we believe will make an impact for good. Hamilton and David Byrne’s American Utopia definitely checked all our boxes.
7. Use your freedom from the financial necessity to invest your time doing work you want to do, instead of work you have to do.
Following these steps will make you better equipped to take a journey toward financial freedom that reflects your priorities, preferences, goals, and purpose. Once you have control over how you spend your time, I hope you write a story that affects positive change in your community.