Everyone loves a vacation, but do you know what’s even better? Building a life you love so much that you don’t need to get away from it.
It’s taken me around 40 years of life and more than ten years of investing to reach a point where my 9-5 was optional and I was able to focus on the things that mattered most to me. And now that I’m here, I can’t imagine going back.
This may sound too good to be true in your current circumstances, but I believe it’s achievable for you, too. In this article, I’ll break down the secrets to how I got here.
The Journey to a High-Achieving Corporate Career
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, in a lower middle-class family. I watched my parents work two jobs most of their careers and quickly learned the importance of hard work and good grades in school.
Excelling in the classroom in my early years translated into a successful corporate career working in sales and leadership positions.
In many ways, my life at this point was better than I ever could have imagined as a kid in Ohio. I was managing multiple businesses and traveling around the world to meet with clients. And with that corporate success came a very comfortable lifestyle, with a high salary and many extravagant experiences.
But that lifestyle came with a cost — long hours, late nights, and limited time with my family.
When It’s Time to Make a Change
There were two key events that changed the trajectory of my career, opening my eyes up to the reality that I needed to do something different.
I had always been the type of father who wanted to be present both physically and emotionally for my children. However, in October 2012, I was not… I missed my son’s 3rd birthday party. I was out chasing the corporate dream and allowed my job to spoil such an important family celebration.
This was the point when I realized that I needed to take action, not allowing my job to dictate my time and my life. I studied all the financial resources I could get my hands on and wrote out specific goals I wanted to achieve over the next five years.
These changes empowered me with something I didn’t have before: Options. I still stayed at my job for almost ten years, because I genuinely enjoyed my work and didn’t want to leave it entirely. But knowing my 9-5 was optional gave me more freedom to choose how I spent my time, and more peace of mind so I could be fully present whenever I was with my family.
Then, in 2021, my father was diagnosed with chronic heart failure. In order to see him, I was consistently flying back and forth from Spain to the United States. I decided it was time to finally leave my 9-5 behind, so I could have complete freedom to be with my family when and where I wanted to.
From Corporate Life to Complete Freedom
In 2021, I officially left my 9-5, and since then, my life has transformed. Since leaving my 9-5, I’ve been able to:
- Spend six full weeks in the United States with my family
- Take a trip to St. Lucia for my personal development and pleasure
- Sponsor my first event
- Connect with countless people like me who are working to access new levels of financial freedom
While I still love to travel and do it often, those trips are not an escape from “real life” or a break after an exhausting quarter at work. I’ve found the freedom to build a life on my terms, prioritizing what I think is most important and creating a schedule that makes sense for my needs, not for the needs of some corporate boss.
This change didn’t happen overnight, but the investments I made in my education and my network ten years ago are still paying dividends today. If you want to build a life you don’t need a vacation from, today is the best possible day to get started! Don’t be afraid to start small — taking the first action is the most important step you can take right now.
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