Independence is the highest form of wealth

A different way to think about money.

I value independence more than anything else in finance.

Independence is the highest form of wealth
  • More than I value a big paycheck.
  • More than I value big returns.
  • More than I value any amount of money.

Doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want, is the most incredible thing money offers that too often goes overlooked.

It takes a shift in perspective

Derek Sivers is a successful entrepreneur who founded CD Baby. When a friend asked him to tell the story of how he got rich, this is how he responded:

I had a day job in midtown Manhattan paying $20k per year — about minimum wage … I never ate out, and never took a taxi. My cost of living was about $1000/month, and I was earning $1800/month. I did this for two years, and saved up $12,000. I was 22 years old.

Once I had $12,000 I could quit my job and become a full-time musician. I knew I could get a few gigs per month to pay my cost of living. So I was free. I quit my job a month later, and never had a job again.

When I finished telling my friend this story, he asked for more. I said no, that was it. He said, “No, what about when you sold your company?”

I said no, that didn’t make a big difference in my life. That was just more money in the bank. The difference happened when I was 22.


Viewing every additional dollar of wealth as “a little bit more independence and a part of my future I now own” is a fun way to think about it.

Topics: Finance

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