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What Being Independent Really Means – Part 2
-By Caleb Jones
1. Independence from government interference.
2. Financial independence.
3. Sexual independence.
I discussed independence from government in part one. Today I'll discuss financial and sexual independence.
The terms get a little tricky here so I have to qualify my definitions. Usually the term "financial independence" means you have so much money saved in rock-solid investments that you can actually live a nice lifestyle using nothing but the interest on this money forever without actually touching the money itself. It means you're literally set for life (barring some kind of unusual economic catastrophe). You can just sit back and do whatever the hell you want, live a great life, and never have to ever work again unless you choose to.
This is true financial independence, and every man reading these words should have a goal to reach financial independence at some point in his working lifetime. And the sooner the better. Otherwise, in your old age (or if you get physically injured) you're going to have to rely on family or government to pay your bills. Yuck. As we discussed in part one, this is dependence, not independence.
Even if you have not reached the point of true financial independence, you can still structure your life to be as financially independent as possible. Here are the ways you can do this, again using myself as an example like last time.
1. Own your own business. As long as you structure your business correctly, you will have far more independence than being an employee.
I'll stop here and address something I know you're thinking...isn't owning your own business more risky than being an employee? Prior to the 1990s, it was. But now we live in a new era, and new economy. Since the mid-1990s we now live in a strange new world were those men who run small, maneuverable business have more independence and security than those men who rely on 8-5 corporate salaried jobs.
I've been completely self-employed for 19 years. In that time I've seen a lot of buddies of mine get hammered by economic downturns, while I in my self-employed state was able to survive with minimal damage. As a maneuverable entrepreneur, I survived the big recessions of 2001 and 2008 and I'm doing great today, whereas a lot of 8-5 salaried-job guys I know lost their homes, cars, and/or retirement savings.
2. Own multiple small businesses in different industries. I not only have my own business, but three businesses, all three of which make me good monthly income, in completely different industries, selling to completely different markets, using completely different marketing techniques. That way, if there is any downturn in one industry or market and one of my businesses goes under, instead of losing my livelihood and freaking out, I just lose a percentage of my income. I'm a little pissed, but I'm still just fine. With my freed-up time, I build up the other two business or start a third one. No problem.
If you have three businesses all of which are making you a near-equivalent amount of money, you have a ridiculous level of independence. And security. I discuss how to do this in detail in my book.
3. Stay out of debt. The more debt you have, the less independent you are. Other than oneitis, debt is the single greatest destroyer of men in the modern age. Whenever you borrow money for any reason whatsoever (other than to purchase real estate) you're taking a sledgehammer to your future freedom and happiness.
Stop borrowing money. If you're in debt now, cut back on your expenses, stop investing or saving, and put 100% of your extra income into paying off your debt until you're debt free. You have no idea how wonderful and powerful you feel when you have no debt whatsoever.
4. Save and/or invest your money with the goal of true financial independence someday. Whip up a spreadsheet, see how much money you'll need to live per month, figure out the interest or payments from investments this requires, make a plan, and get it done. Pay off all your debts first, but then start dumping as much money you can into long-term savings.
These days I save around 40% of my income, and I consider that too LOW. If you're low-income and are really strapped, make yourself save 5% of your income every month. It's hard, I know. I've been poor, and I know how painful this can be. Do it anyway. Then set a goal to get that 5% to 7%, then 10%, then 15%. Then keep going. Independence is not possible without a strong amount of money in savings and/or investments.
Being in a state of dependence when you're an old man will not make you happy. It will suck ass. Having a great time while you're in your 20s or 30s but being a dependent, financially strapped old bastard in your 60s or 70s, begging your kids to help you or stressing out about your tiny government social security check is a FUCKING FAIL. Don't do it. So much about the Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle is about honoring your future happiness. Your future self deserves to be happy. Don't fuck that guy by not saving now.
Now let's talk about sex.
Unlike financial independence, the definition of sexual independence is very simple and very specific. It means you can have sex with whomever you want (as long as she's legal and it's mutually consensual), whenever you want, as often as you want, any way you want, without having to hide it from anyone or get permission from anyone.
I really don't need to get into detail about sexual independence because that's pretty much what this entire blog is about. It's even in the tagline (Love women while staying free). Damn near everything I talk about here revolves around the concept that you as a man will be happier if you have the least amount of restrictions on your sex life as realistically possible.
This means, of course, that you cannot be monogamous and be sexually independent. It's literally impossible. To this day I still occasionally get defensive, monogamous, married guys or girlfriend-guys who try to explain to me that they're still "free" and can "do whatever they want." It makes me laugh. No you can't, dude.
True, a guy could cheat on his "monogamous" wife/GF, but then he has to spend all kinds of time, effort, and emotional energy into A) hiding what he's doing, B) stressing out about getting caught, and C) dealing with the fallout when he gets caught, since most men who cheat usually do. This is not independent; actually it's outcome dependence in the extreme. That's why the above definition of sexual independence says "without having to hide it from anyone."
To be fair, it is also true that a man with an OLTR is less independent than a one night stand player, or a guy who only does FBs or MLTRs. The OLTR involves some rules that men with FBs/MLTRs are free from. Also, as I've said many times, a man who lives full-time with a woman is also a little less independent than a man who lives alone, even if the cohabiting man has a fully open or poly relationship. A small decrease in freedom is the price a man pays for a "serious" relationship with a woman, and that includes Alpha 2.0s.
This is why any Alpha Male going into an OLTR or co-habitation with a woman needs to be very, very careful and keep both eyes open, which most Alphas, blinded by NRE or oneitis, do not. But I've talked about that on this blog many times.
So that's it. That's what being "independent" means. It means:
1. You are free from government interference as much as possible.
2. Your income and finances are arrayed to make you as independent as possible.
3. You have have sex whenever you want and with whomever you want without having to hide it or check in with anyone.
If the above three things describe you, then congrats. You're independent. If not, then you have some more work to do. (Unless you like being dependent on others of course...)
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jean 2015-03-19 06:28:33
"men who run small, maneuverable business have more independence and security than those men who rely on 8-5 corporate salaried jobs." You demonstrate it by taking an example : yourself. Is it something you can prove it (prove that it is true in at least 95% of the case) or is it more something you think is true based on your limited observations?
Blackdragon 2015-03-19 10:37:43
If you're looking for empirical evidence that has nothing to do with me, I'm happy to help out: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/trends/selfemployed-more-financially-secure-20150221-134k4q.html http://outofyourrut.com/7-reasons-self-employment-is-more-secure-than-a-job/ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/columnist/strauss/story/2012-03-11/becoming-self-employed-steve-strauss-small-business/53449846/1 http://www.blogmarketingacademy.com/which-is-more-secure-the-9-5-job-or-self-employment/ To be clear, I'm not saying being an 8-5'er is really risky and being self-employed isn't. There's risk in both of course, but in the long-term and in the modern era, you are indeed a little more secure if you have a small, low-overhead business than if you rely on a single 8-5 corporate job for your financial survival. Especially, as I said, if you have more than one of these small businesses in different industries.
jean 2015-03-19 11:38:12
Great, thanks for the links!
Parade 2015-03-19 12:32:07
I feel like starting your own business is only good advice for a certain kind of person. Personally, I have no interest in running my own business, dealing with sales/marketing/customer support/billing and everything else that goes along with it. Not to mention finding a product/market. I'd rather give up that freedom for ~10 years and hit financial independence by saving money from a salaried job.
Batou Kovacs 2015-03-19 12:46:11
It doesn't always have to be online either. i'm currently involved in: 1. Real estate holdings for continual rental income. Or buy low sell high when market opportunities look lucrative. 2. Unique local restaurant with kickass chefs/entrepreneurs who are great guys with amazing menu and service. Customers line up thirty deep outside at lunchtime. Evening catering business is booming. Ideas + Execution is a winning combo. 3. A tech cloud business serving huge mobile market. 4. Just getting interested in sales and consulting with local luxury manufacturer. Don't want to say more and jinx it. But the idea is to understand that the world rewards bold alphas who play well with others. RSD Tyler has some great presentations about this kind of positive energy and Blackdragon's posts are solid advice. Don't be a slave to just one thing. Be a lover-fighter-winner type and always be moving, always be dancing. Cheers
Jeff 2015-03-19 15:59:49
About debt - I would suggest looking at this from just a slightly different perspective. If a person is about to take on debt, they need to look at the reward and risks of doing so. Let's say I have $40k and am thinking that it's time to buy a new vehicle. Should I pay cash or should I finance it? Much of this becomes a question of interest rates. If I finance the vehicle and can get a loan of 3%, that's great as long as I take my cash and find an investment that pays more than 3%. The Fed has really distorted markets right now and of course this is why interest rates on loans are low. But investment returns are also low (stock market excluded) But the stock market looks like a casino, not something based on historical market forces. Nevertheless - debt is bad unless it allows you to invest and get more back than you're putting in.
John 2015-03-19 16:20:19
I'm not financial independent, but it is something I'm working on. I currently work a night job from 10pm to 5am and my resume is shit, and I'm 29. But I'm still determined. I know plenty of people who work 8-5 jobs, some even work 5-5 jobs. They are not independent, not in the slightest, and they are not doing anything about it but wallowing in alcohol and their misery. I recognize I am not independent, but I am putting in the effort to be independent by focusing on my strengths, on what I'm good at, and trying to set up a business that way. When one idea fails, move onto another. That is what separates successful men from non-successful men. I see all the time men who are miserable but who also won't do anything about it! Its sad, and that is a life I am trying to get out of. In terms of sexual freedom, on the surface, I don't really have that, but that is for several reasons. I do have a GF, but she knows flat out I am happy by myself, and I am choosing to share that with her. She brings drama, I'll next her. I told her to her face, I don't need her to be happy, I just choose to share it. Also, its really hard where I live to get any action during the day, and online game is not exactly plentiful. That's the price of living in middle of nowhere Montana. Women are only active at night around here, and I work at night. Some people might say I don't have the sexual freedom I want, which is true, but I'm also not chained down either by my GF. She knows I won't take her drama. Many successful men, BD included, started where I am at now, and they built themselves up and built good lives for themselves. They didn't stay in misery, they rose above it. That is why BD is an inspirational guy, that is why we all flock to his webpage. If he can do it, why can't we? I just wish more men would see the light.
Blackdragon 2015-03-19 16:45:06
The world rewards bold alphas who play well with othersLOVE the quote! And it's accurate.
Let’s say I have $40k and am thinking that it’s time to buy a new vehicle. Should I pay cash or should I finance it? Much of this becomes a question of interest rates. If I finance the vehicle and can get a loan of 3%, that’s great as long as I take my cash and find an investment that pays more than 3%.That's a common argument, and it's true on paper, but often untrue in real life. In real life... A) Most people don't do that when they borrow money, even if they intend to initially. B) Even if you do it, you WANT to make more interest in your investments than your debts consume, and you PLAN on it, but over a 5 or 10 year period that might not happen. You might make that interest, or you might not, based on the state of the economy and your investment skills. But you MUST pay the bank your interest on the debt regardless of those two things, throughout the life of the loan. C) Thus a man paying cash for his car is still technically better off, even if just a little. I'm not saying you should never use debt ever for any reason. Debt in real estate investing, for example, can be a good thing. I'm saying it's something you must avoid as much as humanly possible if you want to be independent.
But the stock market looks like a casino, not something based on historical market forces.Correct. I don't have a single penny invested in the American stock market. It's become too crazy and too subject to government whims rather than free market forces and real human behaviors. It's not "safe" money anymore.
I recognize I am not independent, but I am putting in the effort to be independent by focusing on my strengths, on what I’m good at, and trying to set up a business that way. When one idea fails, move onto another. That is what separates successful men from non-successful men.Awesome. Yes. As someone pointed out in the comments in part one of this post, if you're just getting started out in adult life, of course you're not going to be independent. That's understandable. BUT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN'T WORK TOWARDS IT AND ACHIEVE IT A LITTLE LATER. Set it as a goal, make a plan, work hard, and get it done. That way, once you're in your 30s or 40s or 50s or whatever, you ARE independent. Being dependent in your old age is a hellish place to be. Just ask most old people.
Straight Rider 2015-03-20 08:47:23
Best statement in this post - "Other than oneitis, debt is the single greatest destroyer of men in the modern age." A reminder to you bastards that if you have the 3 aspects nailed and you are independent it can all be taken away from you if you trip up on oneitis. The last aspect to independence should be something about being immune to oneitis.
Jean 2015-03-20 09:30:28
Next year I will move to an other city to get my first job as an engineer. I can either rent an appartment or ask for a loan, buy an appartment, and pay for the loan as time pass. The argument in favor of the loan is I will pay every month as much as I would have paid if I rent the appartment (I have some savings that I can use to buy the appartment). Thoughts?
Blackdragon 2015-03-20 09:51:59
A reminder to you bastards that if you have the 3 aspects nailed and you are independent it can all be taken away from you if you trip up on oneitis.Yep. You can have your life arranged perfectly, get oneitis, and destroy it all with one relationship. It's happened to many strong, capable men.
I can either rent an appartment or ask for a loan, buy an appartment, and pay for the loan as time pass. The argument in favor of the loan is I will pay every month as much as I would have paid if I rent the appartment (I have some savings that I can use to buy the appartment).I would need way more information to answer that accurately, but the general answer is that you only want to buy it if A) you know you for 99% certainty you can flip it within 2 years at a huge profit (unlikely), or B) you know for 99% certainty you're going to live there for at least 10 years (also unlikely). Otherwise, rent and keep your mobility (while putting away money like a madman).
Parade 2015-03-20 16:15:46
If the mortgage is the same as the rent and it's in an area that has a ton of activity in the real estate market I'd buy. Even if I only planned to stay for 2 years, you'll get tax breaks that push the cost to own below the cost to rent, and you can always rent it to someone else instead of selling it. If the market is not very liquid, or the cost to rent is less than the cost to own, it's a harder decision. Personally I rent, since I live in expensive areas, and I move to be within 2 miles of work at all times.
Tuphr 2015-08-12 05:45:48
I read the Alpha 2.0 book and loved it. Many (most) of the concepts in it appeal to me, some I have already achieved and some I'm working on... One thing wasn't quite clear to me: the Alpha Business / Income source. Currently I am employed in a J.O.B job (which I hope to leave asap) and as a small/partial income source I do stock trading. With a very small account I make $200-$500 monthly (a small addition to my "regular" income). My question is why, according to the Alpha 2.0 book, isn't Stock Trading considered an Alpha 2.0 Income source? It allows me to be location-independent (as long as I have an internet connection). If I scale it up (i.e. increase my account significantly) the income would scale up in proportionally. No boss, no employees, no office, no one to report to but myself = Total freedom. I know how to make profits when markets go up or down therefor I am not depending on any economical/financial situation. Please clarify why it doesn't qualify as an Alpha 2.0 Business.
Blackdragon 2015-08-12 19:47:54
My question is why, according to the Alpha 2.0 book, isn’t Stock Trading considered an Alpha 2.0 Income source?In some of the initial drafts, I had day trading in there as an option. I said it was Alpha 2.0 but risky, and that I did know of a few guys who had made that work as a consistent income. Many guys who "test drove" the book before publication strongly urged me to remove that section, because (they said) day trading was just too risky, and that it was a bad idea to "officially" recommend/endorse it. So yes, it's Alpha 2.0 income, but very risky.
Tuphr 2015-08-16 03:06:38
Thanks for the reply. Thinking about it - it IS risky indeed and not suitable for everyone. I strongly suggest that people who consider to start stock trading (day trading or swing trading) should start with VERY small amounts (not over 5-7K USD) for a few months until they can tell for sure if it works for them or not while risking only a small amount. I started about 2 years ago and it took me over 6 months to start being profitable. I remained with a small account, making $200-$500 per month for over another year, making all the newbies mistakes and taking all the loses as learning sessions. Only now I feel ready to increase my account (still not to the max i can) in order to make some more substantial profits, before jumping in with the whole capital I have planned for it.
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