Breaking Free

Kevin O’Leary recently said in an interview clip posted to his official YouTube channel: 

“A salary is a drug they give you when they want you to forget about your dreams. Because it’s very easy to stay in that world where someone is mitigating your risk. You just have to perform certain tasks, do them well, for a third of your day, and they will feed you a salary.”

The implication of Kevin O’Leary’s comments is that the security of a steady paycheck pulls workers into complacency, tethering them to a life of mediocrity and unfulfilled potential.

It’s not just the steady salary that keeps workers in the machine; it’s also the benefits and retirement plans that work to keep workers from venturing outside of their comfort zones and from really living the life of freedom they yearn for.

After all, losing a steady job can also mean losing health insurance and the 401(k) matching that employees covet.

O’Leary’s comments serve as a wake-up call, urging individuals to break free from the shackles of conventional employment and learn to take risks and explore alternative paths for achieving their dreams.

I agree with O’Leary that a salary is a safety net that numbs the desire for ambition and innovation. In exchange for the illusion of security, individuals surrender their dreams and aspirations, confined to a hamster wheel of monotony and dependency.

The salary is only one tool for keeping employees tied to the corporate umbilical cord. 401(k)s and 401(k) matching are another tool Corporate America uses to keep employees tethered to the corporate machine. From an early age, Americans are indoctrinated with the idea that the road to retirement is paved with 401(k)s, mutual funds, and IRAs. But the truth is, these traditional retirement plans aren’t cutting it, as more and more Americans are retiring without proper financial preparedness.

To break free of the clutches of corporate America, workers need to wake up. Buy back your freedom by throwing off everything you’ve been taught in school and at work. If you’re relying solely on your salary for income, the truth is you will likely work until you die because your 401(k), IRA, or stock portfolio isn’t going to cut it. Unless you find another stream of income that can potentially replace your work income, you will always be a slave to your job.

If you want to break free, you must be willing to step outside one’s comfort zone and embrace a different way. For one, forget traditional investments. If stocks are so great, why do super-rich investors and institutional investors prefer commercial real estate and private equity over stocks? It’s because they offer something public equities don’t: CASH FLOW.

You wonder why the ultra-wealthy don’t work for someone else?

Because they don’t have to. They invest in alternatives like real estate and private equity that offer cash flow that can generate passive streams of income that eliminate the necessity for a job. Real estate and private equity, which offer reliable passive income as well as underlying appreciation, are ideal for achieving financial freedom. 

On the subject of stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things differently, reevaluate your spending habits. Most Americans are living beyond their means in an effort to keep up appearances with their neighbors, colleagues, and family members. They spend money on toys and luxuries that do nothing but deplete their resources and net worth. They’ll even go into debt to make sure they and their children have the latest gadgets, wear the trendiest clothes, and drive the nicest cars.

Instead of spending more, consider investing more. Of course, this will take discipline—the discipline to save and to invest in assets that build wealth instead of taking them away. 

Individuals who prioritize investment over consumption lay the groundwork for their eventual liberation from corporate America. When the passive income streams from income-producing investments like real estate are enough to meet current expenses, a job is no longer a necessity.

If you love your job and are passionate about it, by all means keep working, but at least you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that if at any point you no longer love your job or like your employer, you’ll be free to leave as you please.

Reclaim your financial destinies by throwing off the shackles of employment. Don’t let your salary or 401(k) keep you from living the life you really want to live. Instead, think differently and get outside of your comfort zone.

Consider alternative investments to buck the trend. Make your money work for you by investing in income-generating assets to buy back your time and your freedom.

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