by Chris Virgil-Stone 4 Minute Read
It was 2017 and I was living the life I had dreamed of as a kid. I had a beautiful wife, good salary, amazing son, another baby on the way and a couple of rental properties. It might appear to someone on the outside looking in that I had it all. I did have a great life, but I was working way too much, barely seeing my family throughout the week. Most days I’d arrive to work around 7 am and get home just in time to put my son to bed, if I was lucky. I hated not seeing my family, and the work demands were only growing. Initially, I justified my long hours as a way to take care of my family and thought I was fulfilling my adult obligations, but I knew deep down that everything is a choice. I felt like a prisoner, captive to a job just to survive.
During a normal day, I would drop Evan, my 2-year-old, off at daycare. I’d bring him into the classroom, sit him down, give him a hug and kiss and walk away. Looking back, smiling and waving to him, my heart instantly sank. He stared at me, silent, tears running down his pouty face that read, “Why are you doing this to me?” There’s something about the silent cry, coupled with the look he gave that just stabbed me in the heart. This happened every day.
Later when Evan was around 3, he would ask me on the nights I home to put him to bed “Daddy, are you going to stay home with me tomorrow?... Why do you have to go to work?”. This only deepened the wounds caused by the daycare drop-offs. It was slightly relieving that my wife was now staying home with him and Aiden, our newborn. I would often think to myself, If I continue down this path, how many games, practices, school plays and other special moments will I miss? …and that didn’t sit well with me.
Around a similar time, I came across a podcast that really put things into perspective. It noted that when people become parents, we often think that we have 18 years with our kids before they’re off to start their own lives, but in reality, we only have about 2/3rds of that. Usually sometime around the preteen years, kids start to spend more time with their friends and they’re less dependent on their parents. While I like to think I’ll be the “cool dad” that my kids will always want to hang out with, I’m probably kidding myself. This makes those first 12 years very sacred.
After hearing this I started to dig deep and meditate on what I was teaching my boys by working the long hours, letting the need for money control my time. What did the future hold for them if I didn’t make a change now? Certain beliefs and behaviors are often passed from generation to generation until there’s a break in the chain. One of the last things I wanted was for my kids to believe they were destined for a career where they would barely make ends meet or to miss out on precious life moments in sacrifice for money. We all want what is best for our kids, and I wanted mine to be able to do what is right for them without financial worry. Only then will they be able to realize their full potential and provide the most value to others. I wanted True Freedom for myself and my family.
Through continuous reading, networking and already having experience owning rental properties, I knew passive real estate investing was the perfect solution for anyone wanting True Freedom. It solved the 2 big obstacles: 1. It provides income, so we don’t need to worry about money and 2. It’s passive, so that we can focus on what our true calling is. This means you can be a missionary, schoolteacher, pro-bono doctor, or care for the elderly without the burden money can bring. When the primary focus is on financial reward, people are often steered in the wrong direction and are not 100% focused on providing the most value in their work.
In December 2018, while working to set goals for the new year, I decided to make a change. I decided to become a better husband, a better father, a better person and to positively impact those around me. I set out on the path to my True Freedom. Over the next few months I realized that my calling is to help as many people as possible find their True Freedom. My goal is to help others take control of their time, to be there for life's cherished moments, to be home to tuck their kids into bed.
If you have been in a similar spot, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note or give us a call. There are many books that you can read to get started as well. A favorite of mine is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
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