Four Principles the Wealthy Know for Creating True Financial Freedom

The “Wisdom of Today” for True Wealth

Learn the four principles of financial freedom for true wealth in your lifeWhat would true financial freedom look like for you?

Do you have the money to do all the things you want in life? Do you have the time to enjoy it with the ones you love? Are you living life to its fullest, or are you sacrificing your dreams due to financial, health, or time constraints?

The reality is that a life where you can thrive to your fullest potential is within your reach. The “secrets of the wealthy” aren’t really secrets at all. In fact, when you read the financial literature and learn from the most successful people in the world about what they’ve done to create a freedom lifestyle that we’d all love to have, it really just boils down to four core foundational principles of financial independence.

That’s right, just four.

And they’re all realistic for you to implement in your life. Right now.

Are you ready to learn what they are? This video, the first of a three-part series on creating what we call “true wealth,” will break it all down for you in detail. What you ultimately do with this information is up to you. We certainly hope you use it to create a life for you and your family where you can truly thrive. Enjoy!

Note: Below is a full transcript of the content covered in the video, for your further review.

What good is all the money in the world if you don’t have the time or health to enjoy it with the ones you love?

That’s the question I asked myself my senior year of college at Duke University, as I was watching all of my friends graduate and move off to start their high-paying corporate jobs in New York or San Francisco or Washington, D.C., and the journey that question led me on profoundly changed my life for the better and has enabled me and my wife to create a life of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity that we hardly knew was possible.

What I learned, I’m going to share with you in this video.

Hi, my name is Brett Ethridge, co-founder of Thrive Team with my wife Melanie, and I want to start by being very clear about who this video is for. This video is for people who are looking for more freedom in their life, not just a bigger paycheck. This video is for people who know their life could be better and more meaningful, they’re just not quite sure how to go about creating it. This video is for people who are tired of the status quo, who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and who want to do more, be more, and have more in life. In short, this video is for people who don’t just want to survive, they truly want to Thrive.

I’m recording this video from our luxury apartment in Bogota, Colombia, where my wife and I decided to live for a few months before we bounce around to some other beautiful South American cities as we pursue our dream of learning Spanish, dancing salsa, and exploring this beautiful world we get to live in. We’ve been blessed over the past few years to honeymoon in Thailand, to explore the Sea of Galilee and the old city of Jerusalem, to vacation in the Grand Tetons and Cabo San Lucas, to take a Caribbean Cruise with friends and colleagues, and to enjoy countless other adventures as we endeavor to live life to its fullest.

We’ve also used the freedom our current lifestyle has afforded us to remodel a house, launch projects and businesses that we’re passionate about, invest in interesting start-up ventures, and to contribute to the charities of our choice, including supporting Melanie’s uncle’s church in Michigan that is doing amazing things for addicts, the homeless, the hungry, and other people in need in that state.

But this video isn’t about us. It’s about you. See, everything I just described can be your reality as well. 

For us, we simply took action on the four financial freedom principles that I’m going to teach you in this video. We haven’t done anything that you can’t do yourself. In fact, in this series of three videos, I’m going to show you step-by-step exactly how we were able to create the lifestyle I just described. In fact, we were able to do so a mere 15 months after applying these concepts. There are no secrets. I’m going to lay open our game plan for you. It’s our hope that you DO choose to take action and create a lifestyle for you and your family where you can thrive more fully. But ultimately that will be up to you.

So where should we begin? Let me start by saving you a lot of time. See, when I was a senior at Duke and I asked myself that all-important question, I quickly realized what I didn’t want in life. I knew I didn’t want to sit in a cubicle and work for someone else for the rest of my life, for example. I knew I wanted to make a lot of money, but I also wanted to make sure I had the time and health to enjoy it during the best, most vibrant years of my life. The problem was, I didn’t know how to get it. I didn’t know anybody who had both money AND time. So I started to research. I read all the financial literature from the most successful people in the world. I flew all over the country attending seminars and conferences from people who had been there, done that, and were teaching how to create the type of lifestyle I was looking for. I spent hours and hours educating myself about the secrets of creating true financial freedom. 

And that’s what I’m going to show you now. Let’s head back in to my office.

Creating a freedom lifestyle that enables you to thrive isn’t rocket science. In fact, as I did my research and scoured the financial literature, the advice from all of the experts and most successful people in the world really boiled down to four key principles.

I call them the “Financial Wisdom of Today” because what works for creating real financial success and freedom has shifted, but still we operate under an industrial-age mindset. I mean, if you’re anything like me, you were probably taught to go to school, get good grades, get a good job, contribute to your 401K and hope to be able to retire by age 62.5. But that’s old-school thinking. I mean, take a look at the world around you. Do you see all of the people in your world retiring well and comfortably? Or are you seeing that people are working later and later, and still not enjoying a retirement lifestyle they were hoping for.

So we know we have to do something different. 

For me, it all comes back to this one core truth: That if your income is tied to your time, you’ll never have true freedom. Let me repeat that: As long as you’re trading hours for dollars, you’ll never be able to truly thrive the way we’re talking about.

Now that may sound a little harsh, but my job isn’t to make you feel good. It’s to tell you the truth. Remember, we’re not talking about how to make a lot of money. There are lots of ways to do that. No, we’re talking about how to create financial freedom so that you have the time and health to enjoy your money.

Let me illustrate the difference. I have two friends, both doctors. One is a former cardiothorasic anesthesiologist from Chicago. We’ll call him Dr. A. The other is a cardiologist from Denver who I play tennis with. We’ll call him Dr. B. I happen to know that they both make about $500,000 per year. That’s a lot of money, right? But let me tell you the difference. A few years ago, Dr. A left his traditional practice and applied the four principles I’m about to teach you. For him, he’ll make that $500,000 per year, year in and year out, whether he’s working or not. In fact, I see his updates on Facebook and it seems like he’s always fishing with his kids or skiing or traveling to some exotic location. He doesn’t have to worry whether or not the money will be in his bank on Friday. It always is.

Contrast that with Dr. B. He works all the time. He’s up early. He works late. If he’s not seeing patients, he’s not getting paid. I remember we were scheduled to play in the finals of a doubles tennis tournament together a couple years ago and we almost had to forfeit because one of his cases went long. Now you might be thinking, it’s only tennis. Not a big deal. But the point is that Dr. B doesn’t have the freedom to choose. He’d be the first to tell you that he’d rather play tennis. But he doesn’t have that choice.

And by the way, both doctors are still helping people. They’re making a difference in people’s lives, they’re both making the same amount of money, but one has more freedom in life than the other.

That’s what I mean when I say that to have true freedom, you have to break that link between time and money. So what are the four principles that Dr. A has applied in his life, and that you can, too?

Principle #1 is that you have to be in business for yourself. It’s pretty obvious, right? As long as you’re working for someone else, you’ll never have true financial freedom because you’ll always have someone else controlling your time and income.

I remember when this truth hit home for me. Just a few years ago, I was in a very different situation. I had just gotten back from the Peace Corps and was working my first corporate job. I had the opportunity to go on a wonderful vacation to Australia and New Zealand with my family, but there was a problem. We were going to be gone for almost 3 weeks, and I had just started my job. I hadn’t built up that many vacation days. More than that, I was fairly new at the company. So I went in to see my boss, I told him the situation, and to his credit, he was very nice and decided to let me go. But think about that for a second. He “LET” me go. Are you serious? What kind of life is that where someone else has more control over your ability to live life to its fullest than you do? Why should I have to ask permission to do the things I want to do in life?

That’s when I realized that I never wanted to be in that situation again.

Best-selling financial author Robert Kiyosaki puts it this way. You may have read some of his books or seen this before, but he calls it the cash flow quadrant. He explains that 95% of people make money on the left side of the quadrant, either as employees or self-employed people, while only 5% of people make money as business owners or investors. But freedom comes when you can work from the right side of the quadrant, because otherwise you’re trading hours for dollars which is what employees and self-employed people are doing.

Think about Dr. B. He’s self-employed. But even though he has his own practice and can charge a heck of a lot of money per hour of work, he’s still trading hours for dollars. He only gets paid if he’s working.

The secret, says Mr. Kiyosaki, is to become a business owner or investor where you have leverage, so that you’re not limited to only earning on your own time and effort.

In the next video, I’m going to look at these two “freedom” quadrants and show you different ways you can become a business owner and investor, including a look at different businesses you can start to start moving over to that side of the quadrant if that’s your desire. So check your inbox for that video in the coming days.

But this brings us to financial freedom truth #2: You must establish leverage.

Think about this for a second. Remember I said that as long as your income is tied to your time, you’ll never be able to truly thrive financially. I mean, realistically, if you’re trading hours for dollars, what options do you have if you want to make more money? I really only see two: You can either work more hours (or take a second job, which is what a lot of people do) or make more money per hour. But let me ask you this. How do you think it would go over if tomorrow you go to your boss and ask for him to double your income? Probably not very well. And even if you work more hours, there are physically only 24 hours in a day. Do you see how limiting that can be?

So we have to somehow break that chain, that link between time and money. But how?


You need to get paid for more than your own efforts. That’s what all the most successful people do, right? They get paid on the efforts of a team. Some people hire employees, some people leverage their money, others recruit sales agents or business partners. There are lots of ways to do this, but the idea is simple: Working by myself, I can get only get paid on, say, 8 hours of work per day. But what if I also get a percentage of the efforts of someone else on my team? What if I get a percentage of 10 people on my team? Or 100 people on my team? And what if they also got a percentage of my work? Can you see how this enables you to break the 24-hour per day barrier?

This is what billionaire J Paul Getty meant when he said that he’d rather make 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of his own. And when the richest man in the world says something, it’s worthwhile to pay attention, don’t you think?

Take a look at how powerful this concept of leverage is.

[Screenflow of the comparison of working only 4 years vs 40 years when leveraging the power of a team]

So the choice is yours: Would you rather work 40 years or just 4? When I’m coaching and mentoring people, this is what we focus on: We map out a four-year plan to build a team and a business that will enable them to effectively earn a lifetime’s worth of earnings in much less time. It’s a powerful concept, and I encourage you to explore ways that you can add this type of leverage to your life. Certainly working with us would be one way to do this.

Another huge part of creating leverage is having recurring or residual income, and I’m going to show you the power of this in Video #2.

So now you know you need to be in business for yourself, and not just any business but a business that has leverage, but what are the other two keys to financial freedom?

Well, doesn’t it make sense that it’s not necessarily about how much money you make, but how much you’re able to keep?

Financial principle #3, then, is to reduce your biggest expense. In other words, I could teach you how to MAKE and additional $3-9k this year. Or, wouldn’t it be just as good if I could show you how to keep $3-9k of the dollars you’re already earning this year? Put that money back in your pocket? That money will spend just as well, won’t it?

So, what is your biggest expense? No, it’s not your mortgage or your rent, it’s your taxes. See, what the wealthy know is that the government provides a boat load of legal tax benefits for people who own their own business, since small businesses are the engine that drives the economy.As you see here, former IRS attorney Sandy Botkin says that the average American is overpaying taxes to the tune of $3-9k just by not having a home-based business. That’s right, folks. Something as simple as starting your own business, which we already saw in point #1 is crucial if you want to thrive financially, will actually enable you to put more money back in your pocket right away. 

How is that possible? Because things you’re already spending money on, things like your cell phone or your mortgage or your car or your utilities, now become a legitimate business expense. Let me show you how this works.

[Screenflow explaining the tax write-off example of buying a computer].

Pretty powerful stuff, huh? And what’s really interesting is that even if your business doesn’t make money in the first couple of years, you can still offset any other income you may have coming in from other jobs or businesses. I remember when I did my taxes the first year after starting my first home-based business, it was fun watching my tax liability tick down and down and down as I added in all of my legitimate business expenses. Today, we save more money in taxes than most people make in a year. It’s pretty incredible, and definitely something you need to take advantage of if you’re serious about creating the freedom lifestyle we’re talking about.

And finally, principle #4 : You need to have multiple streams of income. You see, as long as our livelihood is tied to one income source, you have no security. What if you get laid off? What if your company downsizes? What if the real estate market turns south or the economy goes into a recession? What if you get injured and can’t work? What if you’re a surgeon and you sprain your wrist? What if you’re a construction worker and you pinch a nerve in your neck? 

If you love what you do, great. Keep doing it. But consider starting a small business. Consider how you can add a little leverage to your life. Do something part-time from home so that you can at least put more money back in your pocket at tax time. And who knows, your Plan B may just turn into your plan A at the most unexpected time. One woman I work with who joined our team a number of years ago had started building a business with us just because she really liked our community and saw the products work and make a difference in people’s lives and so she did the business part-time just to have some extra vacation money and buy a car. Well, when the economy turned south a couple years ago, she surprisingly found herself laid off. Her six-figure income went to zero. But fortunately she had this extra stream of income. It didn’t quite afford her the lifestyle she was used to, but it kept her afloat. She was so thankful she had it. And it quickly became her Plan A. While she looked for other employment, she took this part-time business more seriously and saw her paychecks grow. In fact, she liked the freedom and flexibility that this business offered her so much that she stopped trying so hard to find another job. The power of these four principles dawned on her so much, in fact, that she decided to move into doing this “full-time,” which because of the leverage principles we talked about earlier, was a lot fewer hours than she was used to working. One can get used to that!

So I hope you can see why it’s so important to have multiple streams of income.

Well, there you have it. The four most important principles for creating more freedom in your life. What I’d like for you to do is, first of all click the “like” button below. Everyone likes to get those likes. But then I’d like you to answer this question in the Comments area below: Which of these concepts makes the most sense to you? In other words, which one are you going to work on applying to your life right away? Or, maybe some of these ideas are new to you. Which concept surprised you or had you never thought about before? I look forward to reading all of your comments and personally answering any questions you may have about what I’ve just covered.

But there’s certainly more to talk about. As promised, in the next video I’m going to take a much closer look at principles #1 and #2 and go in-depth into some of your options for starting your own business and moving over to that right side of the quadrant. I’m going to give you very tangible, practical applications to start moving forward if you’re serious about moving your life more toward a place of freedom.

But for now, go ahead and leave those comments, let me know which principle you found most interesting or which one you found most surprising, and I’ll see you in the next video.

May you love life, may you live it, and may you truly thrive.

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