If you follow the commandments of the Get Rich or Die Trying Lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to a life of comfort, financial freedom and lack of dependence on your Corporate America 9 to 5 Monday to Friday job (and let’s face it, many of us that have worked in Corporate America have put in way more hours than 9 to 5 and it wasn’t always contained to Monday to Friday).
The GRODT Lifestyle is not only a way of life, it’s a journey. Becoming debt free or financially independent isn’t so much an event, but a process. The only question is how long it will take you versus the next person.
We all have a standard we want to achieve. There are blogs out there where people live very miserly and spend < $10,000 per year. Then there are other families that get by and live a full, rich life on $25,000 per year. I have nothing against what they are doing or their philosophy. As a matter of fact, the GRODT Lifestyle has more in common with how they live and their financial philosophy than not.
I leave that part up to you. If you think of the number you need to get to in order to generate monthly cash flow to do-couple from the system as the denominator, you just have to decide for yourself when enough is enough. Then it's just a question of how much risk your assets are taking to generate the necessary monthly cash flow you require and are you potentially jeopardizing your financial freedom with a temporary future trip back to Corporate America.
These are problems you will have to solve when you get to the critical mass of cash flow required for you to unshackle your Corporate America golden handcuffs.
Let's review the GRODT Lifestyle Commandments that, if followed, will get you there:
1. Don’t increase your debt
To do this requires a bit of self control. Determine if the things you want to buy, putting yourself further in debt, are more important to you than resting easy at night knowing the bills are paid.
Don’t destroy your credit. Pay your bills on time. Plus it’s a waste of money to rack up late fees and interest charges for the stuff you bought that you and I both know you don’t really need. It’s your penance for having spent beyond your means.
3. Reduce monthly expenses to the bare minimum
You’ve been reading this blog long enough to know that I’m not about achieving Financial Freedom through a life of dumpster diving and re-using napkins and paper towels. However, you do have to cut your expenses to the bone when you’re at this commandment. It’s for your own good. Trust me. The sooner you ultimately get out of debt and start building your wealth, the better the chances you will stick with the GRODT Lifestyle.
To reduce your expenses significantly, you need to track what you’re spending in the first place. You also need to have a very good perspective on what is a “nice to have” versus a “have to have” expense. If you’re not sure, ask your spouse or significant other. Better yet, ask a friend. They may be more honest with you.
4. Build a 6 month Emergency Fund>/h2>
OHHHH BABY!!! Now we’re making some serious headway on the GRODT Lifestyle. I love the emergency fund. Having 6 months worth of your average monthly expenses sitting there in your non-Greek, good old American FDIC insured bank is a sure cure for insomnia.
5. Eliminate debt
Now that you’ve got that flush, 6 month stash just sitting there, earning interest and untapped, yet ready to go should you ever (hopefully not) need it, it’s time to turbo-charge your GRODT Lifestyle. Nothing says success like paying cash for what you want / need and not owing anyone anything. This is the time you’ll want to be a statistic as you’ll definitely be in the minority amongst your friends, as you’re about to put your net worth into the stratosphere compared to more than half of all the other Americans.
6. Accumulate assets each and every month
Now that you’ve got an emergency stash and you’re debt free, you’re now well on your path to GRODT Critical Mass. This is a journey. It won’t happen over night. However, if you’re disciplined and willing to stick with it, after a few years, you’ll be able to do things like pay cash for that next used car you buy. Or go out to that fancy dinner and not worry about whether or not your credit card will be denied because it’s loaded up to the max. This is when things start to get really fun.
7. Diversify your revenue stream
While most everyone reading this blog likely works for Corporate America or a privately held company of which you are an employee, there’s nothing wrong with that. That said, you have to recognize and understand that, unless you’re the CEO or some other handful of probably 20 or less people in your company, depending on the size, who will achieve Financial Freedom through the company or stock options, you will be in for a long journey to unshackling those golden handcuffs.
Commandment 7 is the Zen level of the GRODT Lifestyle. Maybe even the Jedi Knight level. This will require you to do something you’ve likely not been trained to do. You probably will have no idea how to start (but that’s what we’re here for a Get Rich or Die Trying). This is the Trying part! There’s an almost infinite way to accumulate wealth and will likely take a lot of effort. If you’re up for the challenge and willing to persist, you can achieve the goal of diversifying your revenue stream.
You never know what will happen with the economy these days and NO ONE is irreplaceable. Layoffs are common. There’s no company loyalty anymore. Having your paycheck be your only source of revenue is almost riskier than trying to start a company.
That said, you know the phrase one in the hand, two in the bush? My recommended approach to doing this, whether it be stocks, real estate, bonds or starting a business selling products or information, is that you do this while you maintain your current full time job. It will be harder this way, but is less risky because you can leverage your paycheck to help fund your ideas and not worry about a dwindling savings account as weeks and months go by with no revenue while you build your business.
As each new success you have in doing this builds upon the last, you’ll one day look up and realize you’ve achieved GRODT Lifestyle Commandment #8!
8. Achieve GRODT Financial Freedom!
When I created this logo, this is what the end goal of the GRODT Lifestyle meant to me. Your life on your terms with the freedom to come and go as you please and the opportunity to CHOOSE to earn more money or not – because you don’t HAVE TO!
Ahhh. The Promised Land! A place so rare and hard to find, you probably don’t know anyone under the age of 55 or 60 that’s achieved this.
I’m not going to lie to you, but it’s so rare, you’re likely to see a unicorn before you can accomplish this. I can tell you though, once you have accumulated enough assets, investments, businesses that are generating free cash flow more than you’re earning selling your time Monday to Friday to your boss, you can retire – and hopefully EARLY!
I’m here to tell you, IT CAN BE DONE! I’ve personally done it. It took me 15 years to do it, but it has been achieved. It took discipline, a little luck and preparation. And get this! It was done when the stock market returned less than 5% per year, including dividends, the last 15 years. Those are HORRIFIC returns historically.
Following my blog will help teach you the insights I’ve learned along the way and the mistakes I’ve made in getting here. There’s no one way to achieve this, but I intend to help make this a reality for as many people as I possibly can because when you achieve this, you can REALLY start to make a difference in people’s lives with your time and assets. That’s what life is all about right? Making the world a better place than you found it for yourself, your loved ones and those around you.
Sure this can be done while chained to your desk or in meeting after meeting in Corporate America, but just think of how much more you could do if those 40 hours of work a week plus an hour of driving each day to work and back could be laser focused on something other than helping your boss get her or his next promotion?
Follow these GRODT Lifestyle Commandments and you’ll be well on your way to a life that less than 1% of people can truly ever achieve and that is early retirement through Financial Freedom!
Let us know in the comments below how you’re doing on your journey. Which commandment are you on? How can I help you?
Start today! The you of 10 years from now will thank the you of today if you do!
As always, please tell your friends and colleagues about my blog. You can also follow me on twitter @getrichodt