Our purpose at Stride is to help owners achieve financial freedom. We have a particular expertise in doing that through our experience in back office bookkeeping, accounting and HR services, but what that means to each client is different based on where they are at in their business cycle and personal goals. But one things remains certain, financial freedom is designed to free up resources so that a business (or a business owner) can pursue their priorities. Whether that is investing in growth, recruiting better talent, taking more time off, buying another business, and the list goes on. What matters is that you are clear on what you are trying to achieve because then it’s easier for others to help you get there. Here is our recommendation for the five elements required to pursue financial freedom.
Define It. We also call it a “painted picture”. What does your circumstance look like in twelve months? How do you feel about it? Imagine yourself having already achieved it, what has happened in your organization to allow it to be so? Write it down.
Quantify It. How would you value financial freedom? Is it valued based on your additional time and availability? Is it valued based on incremental revenue or profit? Is it valued based on a higher return on investment of your employees? While it is not always easy to pin a number on the results of your financial freedom initiative, it is important to figure out how it will be measured. Otherwise it will not likely succeed.
Learn from Others. One thing we know is that most intentions around financial freedom are not novel. There is precedent. Other people have figured it out. What did they do? Talk to them? Be curious? People are generally happy talking about their own great decisions.
Build a Plan. The #1 thing you can do is document a plan. Do the thinking up-front so you can focus on executing toward your goal. We use Asana at Stride for all of our planning. It is an easy way to collaborate around a shared plan and objective.
Commit to Experiment. Think about your priorities and intended actions as an experiment. Why? Because you don’t know if every idea that you have is going to work. What are critical aspects of the experiment? What do you hope to learn? How will you measure success? When you think in the form of “experiments”, it doesn’t sound as daunting.
Financial freedom around an area of your business or life is a process. We get that. But that process has some clear steps that need to be taken to move in the direction that you want. We’ll help you get there at Stride and walk you through a process so that you are clear not only on your goals, but also how you will know when you get there.