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Financial Freedom Is Not A Pipe Dream (4 Pivotal Steps)

"It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go." - Jim Rohn

"If you want to be financially-free, you need to become a different person than you are today and let go of whatever has held you back in the past." - Robert Kiyosaki


The Last Straw (Sort Of)

In the fall of 2018 Corporate America almost killed me and no that’s not hyperbole.

That fall, following a particularly grueling quarterly business review (QBR), I made a trip to the emergency room with all the classic signs of an approaching heart attack (pain in my chest, tingling and numbness in my left arm, increased anxiety, shortness of breath and a full blown panic attack).

So, totally freaked out,  I made my way to the ER, where I then got all the tests done to see what was going on.

By God’s grace it was determined that my symptoms were “just stress” and “nothing super serious”.

But I knew that “nothing super serious” in my doctor’s eyes was “about the last straw” for me, in my own eyes.

AND THE THING about all of this was that, “technically” I had nothing to be particularly stressed about as I was at 120% of my sales quota. It was just more of the same old ridiculous “squeeze more and more out of your top producers” corporate shenanigans that I was already completely burned out from.

In today’s video post, I’m going to unpack that sort of mid-point catalyst toward the end my corporate career that prodded me to dive deeply into fast tracking my online business.

More specifically, I’m going to unpack my journey to financial independence and the 4 pivotal steps you need to take if you want to escape your corporate nightmare like I did.


Here are the 4 steps rapid-fire and will dig into each one in more depth in a minute.

  1. Define your critical “escape” oriented goals and outline and reflect on your current nightmare.
  2. Organize and optimize your financial life and obliterate consumer debt.
  3. Get on a solid investment education trajectory and
  4. Start a side-hustle/online business in line with your ultimate career and income goals in mind.



Hey friend, it’s Brad Long here with ZeroDebtCoach where we help 5 and 6 figure corporate burnouts escape their nightmare by teaching them how to effectively: 1) organize and optimize their financial lives, 2) obliterate their debt and 3) accelerate toward financial independence by starting and growing an online business.


When It Seems Like A "Pipe Dream"

Escaping the rat race may seem like a "pipe dream" for most of us, including me (formerly). But financial independence is actually not all that complicated to attain IF you have the right plan, disciplined regimen and support network in place. 

Financial freedom starts with 1) defining (and constantly refining) your goals, 2) organizing and optimizing your financial life, 3) obliterating your debt and 4) moving on to financial freedom by investing and having a side-hustle or group of side hustles that could potentially turn into a full-time, sustainable business.

And THAT strategy will allow you to escape the rat race 100%.


AND to help you do just that, I’m going to offer 4 of my free guides as we move through this material. These are all aimed at meeting you right where you are and helping you to get to the next level with little to no overwhelm.

Let’s get started:


Step 1: - Define Your Goals, Reflect On Your Current Nightmare

This goals/nightmare exercise is going to be pivotally important as you move through this process, because, as you inch ever closer to the end of your nightmare, you’re going to get tired, you’re going to hit a wall and you’re going to need to remind yourself of your “why” early and often.

This “start with why” exercise is a process we go through with our new financial coaching students and I think it’s really THE most important part of this whole 4-step process.

The story I shared at the top of the video is part of my last “stint” in Corporate America. 

This was my 3rd (and final) time AND just AFTER I my wife and I defined that we were going to need to get to a $1M net worth in order for me to be able to get to Financial Independence Retire Early or “FIRE” status.

Having eliminated $43k in consumer debt in 2.5 years, we were doing well with budgeting, expense tracking and saving, BUT we just didn’t have an economic engine to help us move the needle toward FI quite fast enough.

So, to get some momentum we knew we needed a bigger shovel and I knew that going back into corporate software sales would be the incredibly high priced ticket to that momentum.

I wasn’t happy about it, but at the same time I knew it wasn’t going to be my “forever plan”.

All that sid, here’s an example of our final “why” while I was still in Corporate America:

“To escape the cringeworthy Corporate American cult by starting and growing an online financial coaching platform.” 

And I might also add, “before they give me a heart attack.”

For this step, I recommend my free guide: “How To Cultivate A Growth Mindset”



Step 2: - Organize And Optimize Your Financial Life And Obliterate Consumer Debt

This one might take a minute depending on how chaotic your financial situation is today. It’s okay, we produced an entire resource that you can download to help you get solidly started in this direction.

Like I mentioned earlier, I sacked over $43k in consumer debt using this exact methodology and it really set the stage for us to hyper-perform upon my final re-entry into Corporate America

If you can just spend some time getting a system and behaviors around organizing your finances, budgeting and expense tracking, you can get some AMAZING results in a very reasonable amount of time depending of course the size of your income and your pile of debt.

No matter what, optimizing this step is non-negotiable if you want to escape.

For this step, I recommend my free resource: “Debt-Elimination Quick Start” Guide

“Debt-Elimination Quick-Start Guide”. This free resource will have ALL the tools, forms and printables you’ll need while moving through this 30 day challenge.



There’s also a very substantial FREE 30 Day YouTube playlist/course below.


So, head over to YouTube and start with the “Day 0” video. You can totally binge-watch the whole series if you want. That “first pass” will give you an idea of where you are and what it’s going to take for you to get to the next level with your own personal situation. And again, starting with your “why” is the absolute most important step.


Step 3: - Get On A Solid Investment Education Trajectory And Focus On Increasing Your Savings Rate

Just like we talked in the last step, this step will be a natural outgrowth of your finances being 1) organized, 2) optimized, 3) budgeted and 4) expenses tracked. 

Once that debt starts to recede, you’re then starting to free up brain space for how to maximize your earnings, minimize your expenses and blow up your savings rate.

A couple of great resources I highly recommend for helping you get into this mindset are:

  1. Jacob Lund Fisker’s “Early Retirement Extreme” and 
  2. Vicki Robin’s “Your Money Or Your Life”

Beyond 1) working on your mindset, 2) consistently elevating your acumen in both the traditional and crypto asset classes, elevating your savings rate will be one of the best investments you can make

In addition to the other resources I mentioned about elevated savings rate, I recommend my free guide: “The Basics Of Bitcoin” as a way for you to familiarize yourself with the emerging juggernaut of the cryptocurrency space.



Step 4: - Start A Side-Hustle/Online Business In Line With Your Ultimate Career & Income Goals

During my last 5-year stretch in Corporate America, I tried and sustained a TON of side-hustles: I drove for Über and Lyft, worked as a “for hire” music contractor, I completed online surveys, I was a part of marketing focus groups, I sold stuff online, I helped my wife restart and promote her seamstress business and I elevated my personal brand and exposure as a financial coach or “online money coach” and started zerodebtcoach.com in mid-2018.

There are endless ideas to pursue here. I say you just pick one or two and go after them. Some of them will work, some will not. Just keep trying.

ALSO in terms of starting an online business, this is where you’re going to monetize some skill or body of knowledge you either already possess or are working toward. This where the art and science of content creation comes in and it can be a long game.

You can make a study of my journey to starting and growing zerodebtcoach.com as a case study.

I’ll be producing much more content around this in the near future, so make sure you subscribe and hit the notification bell to get in the loop.

For this step, I recommend my free guide: 100 Ways To Save Money And Get Out Of Debt”

Looking for a ways to live more frugally and address your debt? Check out my: 100 Frugal Ways To Save Money And Get Out Of Debt.


Quick Recap:

Here again are the 4 steps we just covered.

  1. Define your critical “escape” oriented goals and outline and reflect on your current nightmare.
  2. Organize and optimize your financial life and obliterate consumer debt.
  3. Get on a solid investment education trajectory and
  4. Start a side-hustle/online business in line with your ultimate career and income goals in mind.



Conclusion & Call To Action 

Following these 4 general steps is what took my wife and me from about a $75k net worth to over a $500k net worth in right around 5 years. 

It has not been easy, but it has been SUPER rewarding, especially on the other side of Corporate America and having the ability to dive full-time into my own business.

NOW, I can just focus on helping YOU get to where you want to be. 

So particularly if you feel trapped inside of Corporate America, I’d love to help you escape! Whether that’s getting control of your money, getting out of debt, investing and starting and growing an online business, I will be here outlining your roadmap based on exactly what works, so you can chart out your own course of action.

So my question is, have you had your “emergency room” moment yet? Do you see it coming? Have you “had enough” yet?

Your results will vary obviously, but my biggest question for you right is, “how badly do you want out”.

Let me know in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going. 


Struggling Or Feeling Alone?

Join Our Private FB Group: Zero Debt Tribe

Now, if this decision process is something you struggle with and you constantly feel isolated about, I’ve got some great news for you and it’s free.

Our private Facebook group, ZeroDebtTribe. It’s a group of like minded people that are all somewhere along this P2P/debt-elimination/on their way to FI continuum. So click the image above and apply to join us. :)


How can ZeroDebtCoach help you? 4 ways...


1. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the notifications bell to make sure you get our new videos every week. 


2. Download one of our free personal finance guides. You’ll learn some of the exact strategies I teach my private coaching students on how to organize and optimize their finances, obliterate debt and move on to financial independence by starting and growing online businesses.


3. If you’re looking for a community of motivated and like-minded people, go ahead and get on the waitlist to join our private financial coaching community. We only open it for new students a couple of times a year, so make sure to get on the waitlist.



4. If you need some help right now because you’ve got a burning issue, you need a problem solved, you want to talk through a complex situation, click on the button below.



All that said, let's keep on building your financial acumen and make this your best year yet!

Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you in the next video post!


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