An anchorwoman fired over a Facebook post.
A woman fired from her job before she even starts it after a tweet.
A man let go from his apprenticeship at a Cleveland-area real estate firm after a tweet.
Another woman not only lost her job but also had her entire life changed after a tweet about AIDS on her way to Africa.
I’m neither defending nor admonishing the social media posts in question. That’s not the point of today’s article.
Instead, I want to talk about a benefit of financial freedom that goes largely unnoticed: the complete freedom one has of their voice and opinions.
Free To Be Me
While I’m not saying one should go out and post offensive posts on social media if they’re financially free, being able to say whatever you want, whenever you want, is an amazing perk of financial freedom.
And what is the value of that? What’s the value of not being limited in any way? How much is being able to state your opinion at will worth?
I can literally go out and tweet whatever I want, right now. I could tweet about politics, religion, race, or any other sensitive topic… but I won’t be fired.
Shareholder And Boss, Not Employee
Well, I’m nobody’s employee. Instead, most of the passive income that is right now covering my core personal expenses, rendering me financially free in the first place, is comprised of dividend income.
And we’re not talking dividend income from one or two companies; I’m receiving checks from over 100 of the highest-quality companies in the world.
What’s great about the makeup of my passive income – being underpinned by dividend income – is that companies don’t fire shareholders.
As a shareholder, I can say whatever I want without worrying about any recourse by an employer.
Instead of an employer having power over me through the form of providing me a paycheck I can’t live without, I rely instead on a very small portion of the profit that dozens of great companies generate. That completely circumvents the normal employer-employee relationship that can be so tenuous.
Plus, as an entrepreneur who owns this blog outright, I’m my own boss.
Although I don’t need to write/blog for money, it’s still a passion of mine that I consider very worthwhile. I write because I enjoy it and because I think my ideas are inspirational and worth sharing.
But I’m still my own boss. I write about what I want, when I want. And as my own boss, I don’t have to worry about being fired. I won’t fire myself.
Moreover, it’s becoming more and more commonplace for employers to Google a prospective employee’s name, looking for anything they might not like. They might find pictures, tweets, or arrests. And they might decide not to hire you if they find this stuff.
The unfortunate thing about social media posts and most other actions is that they’re immortal. They live on long after the act was committed. That means these actions can literally follow you around for the rest of your life, like a ghost haunting you.
But this is something one doesn’t need to worry about at all if they’re financially free, living off of passive income that is completely disconnected from the typical dynamic where one exchanges time for money.
Another point to remember here is that being around co-workers who may hold opinions/viewpoints that you strongly disagree with is another potential source of discontentment or drama that one doesn’t need to worry about when they’re financially free.
I remember having to grit my teeth many times over the years when someone I worked with would do or say something that strongly irked me, but I really have no such concerns any longer.
However, even if you still work at a traditional job after you become financially free, you don’t really have that need to refrain yourself any more. If you need to speak your mind, you can do so without worrying about the consequences. Someone who needs a paycheck isn’t afforded such courage.
In fact, this can make a regular job far more tolerable. You may even find yourself enjoying your workplace after you’re financially free because of this benefit, no longer in such a hurry to move on. Once you’re unrestrained, you kind of feel like a superhero. You can speak up and tell people how you really feel about things. You’re free to be you.
Make Me A Better Me
Does financial freedom actually make you a better person?
I’m not sure about it being something that’s automatic, but I think financial freedom can make someone a better person.
I’ll give you two real-life examples in which financial freedom has indeed made me a better person.
First, let’s get real here.
Most jobs out there are driven by money. And there’s a large gray area in which a lot of people operate, for most of their time on the job.
Being a service advisor for luxury car dealerships, if I didn’t sell parts and service, I didn’t make money. So it behooved me to sell things to customers.
Now, I’m not saying I ever sold anything that wasn’t necessary. But I am saying there’s a gray area. Perhaps a set of brake pads could go either way… an air filter might be able to go another service interval… a particular fluid might not be dirty enough to fully flush.
Moreover, I had to be cutthroat when it came time to setting appointments and landing clients. Every client I didn’t land was one less potential sale of parts and/or service. My fellow advisors were often looked at as barriers to that goal. Because of the pay plans I operated under, my co-workers and I were usually naturally opposed to one another, rather than being on the same team.
But I don’t have to be or think like that anymore. I don’t have to be ruthless. I’m not driven by quotas. I’m not selling anything to anyone. I’m free to be just me. No more gray areas, which is an incredible relief.
Another real-life example is philanthropy.
Financial freedom has afforded me extra resources, like time, money, and energy, to give back to the world around me, which helps me self-transcend and strive toward my ultimate potential as a human being.
I’ve already started my philanthropic giving in earnest, but it’s something that is only going to incrementally increase as I get older. In fact, I foresee the last 1/3 of my life being devoted almost entirely to philanthropy.
To be fair, I’m not saying that one can’t work in a traditional full-time career and simultaneously be involved in philanthropy; rather, I’m just saying that financial freedom affords one additional resources (that I just laid out) to be more involved.
Furthermore, I’m more motivated to be a philanthropist than I ever was before.
When you have great fortune in your life, I don’t know you can’t feel a pull from deep down inside to give to people that aren’t so fortunate.
And I’ll say this: philanthropy comes natural to me. I really think that “being me” is being someone who tries to make the world a better place, even in a very small way. But I wouldn’t have been able to really be me had I never arrived here.
I have no plans to offend anyone via social media or any other platform, although, these days, almost anything one says can be deemed to be “offensive” by someone.
But that’s really the rub: I don’t need to worry about whether or not my writing, comments, or tweets will be misconstrued, or whether or not I’m offending anyone. It’s just one less worry in life.
One less worry here and one less worry there and all of the sudden you’re living a pretty carefree life. As I’ve discussed before, I’ve found that my happiness has moved up a few notches by addition through subtraction. Subtract enough and you’ll find a lot of addition in regard to your overall quality of life.
So I’m not saying you should become financially free to go on tyrannical tirades. Nor do I think that anyone who would live this lifestyle and accomplish something so amazing as financial freedom be the type of person who would relish the opportunity of being a total prick to everyone. That’s not what it’s about.
But being free to be you at all times is an invaluable perk that deserves your attention.
And not operating in any kind of gray area – being motivated almost exclusively by money – is a great relief.
Lastly, financial freedom has motivated me to become a philanthropist, which I think is the ultimate example of me really being able to be not just me but a better version of me.
If you could be you, and be a better you, wouldn’t you want that?
What do you think? Are you looking forward to being free to be you? Is having complete freedom over your opinions and speech a perk that you’d like to have? Do you think financial freedom can make you a better person?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.