Yes, It's About Financial Freedom

In July 2018, I moved with my family to Costa Rica.  If was a long-held fantasy to have an abroad experience with them and I felt like time was running out.  With two kids (middle school and entering high school), the days of talking about a big shift and doing it were closing in. It was now or never.  So it became now!

So my wife, Melissa, and I, packed up our bags, rented out our house and ripped our kids from the shackles of their social networks in Seattle and took the leap. We did not know exactly how our lives would change but we had been planning for two pretty significant shifts in our life trajectory. The first was to strengthen our partnership as husband/wife. The second was to achieve financial freedom. What? Isn’t financial freedom something you achieve first and then make a move to Costa Rica? Let me explain.

My wife and I are not retirees.  We’re not living on the beach.  I’m not being fanned by palm fronds and sipping a pina colada.  Not that at all.  In fact I’m working my ass off. We live in the middle of the country, in the most populated city in Costa Rica, fraught with traffic and disruption and poverty and curiosity and wonder.  It’s life in a city, albeit in a pretty cool place with awesome weather, warm people, and easy access to paradise. 

For us, financial freedom was the ability to be productive from anywhere and what better way to test that than to force it.  For us, financial freedom was about pursuing those activities in life that gave us the greatest energy and aligned with our purpose.  We were forced to make some pretty big professional shifts and given that we knew we had to do that, we said, “Let’s shift to an area of passion.” For me, that passion was supporting entrepreneurs in helping them achieve their goals.  In a few short months, I have a growing executive coaching business and I recently became an owner of Stride, an outsourced back office bookkeeping, accounting and HR services company. Stride’s purpose: To help business owners achieve financial freedom

You see, financial freedom is how you choose to interpret it. At Stride, financial freedom is about helping owners build the kind of business they originally were inspired by, but realized that too much of their time was being taken up by energy draining tasks.  Or maybe financial freedom is liberating owners from the back office of finances and reporting and analysis and outsourcing to Stride.  Or maybe financial freedom is helping owners create more opportunities to help their employees achieve the future they dream about. 

I think we all want financial freedom in our own way and very often it doesn’t have to be about making a boatload of money (I mean, that’s not bad either along the journey).  In fact, we’re all capable of financial freedom but very often we need to move a few chess pieces, think a bit different and take some actions that can often feel a little scary.

When “how I am” started matching with “how I wanted to be” that started matching with “what others want from me”, things just got more fun, interesting and energizing. Financial freedom is closer than you think but you have to define it.

We are defining it in Costa Rica….Pura Vida!