You’ve achieved financial independence, and now you find yourself at a crossroads. On one side, you have a successful business that generates more money than you can ever spend, and on the other side lies the future – full of unknown mystery. I was once at one such crossroads. It doesn’t matter how you achieve financial independence; it’s what you do afterward that makes a difference.
You might have a profitable business, or you might have achieved financial independence through shrewd investing. The bottom line is that every person dreams of being in this position. Once you put yourself in this position, here is what to do next.
Keep Doing What You’re Doing
You never know where life takes you. Even if you have enough money to live out the rest of your life in relative financial security, anything can happen. When you’re financially independent, one of the biggest challenges is not spending your wealth at once. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Impulse buying is a very real behavior that everyone struggles with. What’s even scarier is that 84% of shoppers share this behavior.
So even if you are financially independent, you’re still prone to impulse buying or paying for things you don’t need. This can quickly empty the treasure chest and jeopardize your future. Even more so, you should be planing for a family. Maybe you’re thinking about buying a big house on the outskirts of town and dreaming about three kids running around it. You will need to pay for this house and provide your family with everything they need.
So even if you have achieved financial independence, the best thing to do after is to keep doing what you’ve been doing.
See the World
No doubt most of you reading this have already planned your next trip. After all, you finally have the money to visit every destination on your bucket list. Don’t feel bad about wanting to travel. It might sound like a cliche, but what else are you going to do in your spare time? If you don’t like traveling, then do something that you love.
After all, what else is your money worth if you’re not going to spend it on things you love? You can even do that without spending too much. You can plan each trip in advance to save a lot of money. Carefully plan each trip to save the most money humanly possible. And if you find cheap flight tickets or a discount at a 5-star hotel, then why not go for it?
Give Something Back
I achieved financial independence when I sold my first company, Catena Media, for a quarter share of a $200 million price tag. Then, I founded Great.com, a marketing company that gives back 100% of profits to help solve the climate crisis. My first instinct was to do something for the planet. Since I have more money than I could possibly imagine, I use my wealth to give something back.
And maybe that’s something you can do too. After all, this plant is everything we have. If we don’t look after it, what sort of world are we leaving to our children and grandchildren? Giving back doesn’t have to mean giving back to the planet. You don’t have to donate to climate funds. You could help a family in need or help fund a project such as a school or a kindergarten. The important thing is to do something. The more we do it, the more others will follow.
Always Stay One Step Ahead
Before achieving financial independence, one of my biggest challenges was to stay one step ahead. I’ve had plenty of failed projects and business ventures. I’ve underestimated situations, and that has cost me many good friends. In one particular case, eight of my good friends quit after a misunderstanding. It was painful, but I learned something from it. The painful lesson I had to learn the hard way was that you have to stay one step ahead.
When managing a successful company, don’t stop there. Grow and expand it. Even if you have more money than you can possibly dream, don’t take your hands off the wheel. Work, but work a bit less. Learn to manage people, as that will be your role in a successful company. Remember that the best part of running a business is the people.
Learn to man-manage and have enough time to do what you love.
Reflect On Life
The sad truth is that very few people will experience financial independence. If you’re reading this and you’re one of the few that have indeed done it, congratulations. Not only have you done something that most people never will, but you’re on a unique path.
You have the tools to make a difference. Instead of accumulating more wealth, why not share your knowledge to help other people? Maybe write a book or start a personal blog to share your experiences with others. Sharing the wealth of knowledge in your head will help others get where you currently are.
So what are you going to do? Are you going to carefully plan each new challenge in life? Will you give something back to the environment or help people learn from your experiences? Let me know what you’re going to do with your financial freedom.
Erik Bergman co-founded Catena Media and helped grow it to over 300 employees and a $200 million valuation before stepping away to start Great.com, an iGaming organization that donates 100% of its profits to environmental charities. In addition to running a successful online affiliate business, Erik also hosts the Becoming Great podcast, shares entrepreneurship tips with his more than 1 million social media followers, and contributes to sites like Entrepreneuer.com, Business Insider, Foundr, and Forbes.