SEATTLE. ROUND 2.
End of 2013 I came back to Seattle. And actually faced quite challenging times. First time in my life I found myself in debt that I didn't see a way to pay off. I took some 0% credit cards (that offer you zero percent interest for a year) to pay for those business trainings and didn't keep track when 0% period was running out. I also counted on the income from my job which now ended. I have never been in debt in my life, nor did I ever struggled with paying my bills. Asking my family for a loan was off the table (I had too much pride then haha). Getting more 0% cards was off the table too as by then my credit wasn't perfect with those ones maxed out. I was in the situation, where for once I didn't have a plan or way out. I was looking for a new job but nothing was coming up as fast as I would like.
Luckily at that time I met a man, who really supported me, and not financially :) He kept reminding me that I have all I need to resolve that challenge, that I created miracles time and time again and this will be no different. And that I need to enjoy time off while I can haha :) Even though our lives went different directions, that relationship was one of the most transformational ones I had in my life on so many levels, and I am so grateful for live bringing me that person in that time in my life.
I did my best to stay positive, and take any inspired action I felt (sending out resumes etc.). Eventually all the financial puzzle got resolved, and even better than I hoped for! :) I went through a dept consolidation, and bank agreed to forgive me half the debt if I pay the rest in full (which I didn't have the money for). And my previous client company asked me back in couple months (on a different project, but same area, and almost same manager). And because this time I went with a different consulting company (and they were taking much lower % cut than my previous one), my salary almost doubled me doing almost the same job! And I sold my house in AZ and made some $$ even while owning it for less that a year. A buyer came to me and made me the offer that I couldn't refuse even without me putting it on the market.
Now very shortly not only I was out of debt, complete with my Sedona phase of my life, back to Seattle and had a job bringing me good $$.
LESSON: Set the intention, stay positive, do the best you can, take inspired action and trust the solution will present itself.
FINANCIAL FREEDOM. PLAN REVEALED.
All this time I still had financial freedom on my radar. The way I thought I get there didn't flow (doing coaching full time), but the goal stayed, and I was certain I still want it.
Sometime in that coming year, when I was working at my project, feeling grateful for being out of debt, I had a genius thought that set my plan in motion. I realized I somehow thought I need to figure out what I love to do (i.e. something like coaching) that will allow me to make $$ and create the freedom I desire. Then it dawned on me: what if it's not the only way, or what if it's just not my way? I was still being attached to the HOW. And it was unnecessarily sequential: first I need to figure out my life purpose and what I love to do, then do that, and that brings me financial freedom. And since I didn't have full clarity in my purpose at that time, I felt powerless to create my freedom until I figure that out. And then in one of those monents questioning my beliefs in dawned on me: what if instead of trying to make a living doing what I love (which may take a while to figure out) with the freedom of doing it from anywhere, why don't I make $$ doing what I am really good at and like well enough, then invest that money to create passive income, that will bring me all those freedoms, and then I can take time to figure out my purpose and mission. That felt wayyyy better! And in the flow. I was already making good $$ and saving well. Now it was just the time to find the right way to invest them and a strategy to produce enough passive income that will replace my "comfortable" amount of salary.
Then also kind of out of the blue (like best intuitive insights) I started playing with numbers and thought: what if I find some investments that can bring me consistently 20% ROI a year, with low risk, how much time will I need to retire (aka create enough passive income to pay for my comfortable lifestyle). And surprisingly plugging in the numbers, I realized it will take me a little over two years after I start investing there, to get to that place! I liked that a lot!!! I always have been "out of the box" kind of person, and the strategy to take decades to retire didn't really resonate with me. This felt right along my alley :) And I started looking for investments that would bring me 20% or more, low risk. People who asked me and I shared it with said I was crazy, there is no such thing as 20% returns with low risk, but my intention and the intuition was clear, and I told them: "This is your reality, not mine. I respect it, and I believe differently. I know I will find it." And inside my head I said "Watch me" :D
When I have that "knowing", belief is not necessary, and somehow with this I was 100% convinced it was possible, and so it was.
In December 2014 I went to my last business seminar called "Never work again" which was all about different ways to create passive income. It was a multi speaker event and I learned a lot of possible ways to do it (starting with traditional real estate, stocks, tax liens and deeds, etc. and going into other avenues like owning ATMs, opening your own bank, and other ones I wouldn't even think of! Many of them sounded good, but none of them really resonate with me. Except one.
It was a company that offered investments in websites. Simple business model: an investor gives them $$, they go and buy a website that is already making money, take it over, keep maintaining and growing it. Investor provides initial cash, they provide website search, acquisition and ongoing support and profits are split 50/50 between Income Store and the investor. And they offer you a guaranteed minimum (that if for whatever reason (within their control or not) income drops lower, they still pay you no matter what and they either fix the site to bring it back up or replace it with another at their own expense). So far it met two of my criteria (low risk with no downside, and completely passive (I give them the money and do absolutely nothing after that). I came to the back table to talk with the co-founders of the company, Ken and Bill, to get more details. And it immediately felt right. I loved their vibe and got and intuitive yes on them as people and their integrity (very important), and on the amount of money I saved up by then and was planning start investing, their deal was 20% guaranteed minimum. When i heard that, I knew I was in. :)
And that my 2 year clock has started. In December of 2014 I set my goal to retire by December 2016.
LESSON: when you have a goal, you need to commit to it first without knowing the how, and then the perfect HOW for you will be revealed in the process.
To be continued. Final run in the next blog post....
Read the previous part of my retirement story here: Part 1.
Read the last part of my retirement story here: Part 3.