Featured Guest Blogger: Author of the Early Financial Freedom blog
When Anthony asked me to be a guest blogger, I jumped at the offer since I have so much in common with his distinguished audience. Anthony asked me to write this post sharing my story in hopes it would inspire engineers to follow their dreams and know that they can do whatever they want in their career, no matter how young they are!
I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Master’s Degree in Engineering. I also have a Professional Engineer (P.E.) license from New York State. Fortunately I am fairly young, in my mid-30s. I am happily married to a fellow engineer and I am the father of a wonderful 7-year-old son. After working 10+ years for others as a hands-on engineer and later as a supervisor, I resigned in April 2012 to join forces with my wife (who is a Computer Engineer with a Master’s Degree and a Mathematician) in order to run our very own IT/Web consulting company full-time (where I was working part-time since 2003). I assumed the role of the Managing Partner for our company. Our company is a small LLC that does web development, film production, marketing, etc. My wife does all the technical work, while my roles as the Managing Partner are:
- New Business Development
- Strategic Planning, short-term and long-term
- Management of company finances, including: budgeting, purchase, tax planning, accounting, payments, etc.
- Management of overall client, subcontractor and freelancer relationships.
- Media management of various online properties, such as how to videos and websites.
- Day-to-day operations and management of the company
We work from home offices in the first and second floor of our home, and plan to join the “location independent lifestyle” community soon, since our business does not require us being psychically in New York or anywhere in particular as long as there is an Internet connection.
I have always loved reading, especially financial online articles, magazines and books, that and very hard & smart work has helped us as: We do not have any debt! We just paid off our home in April 2012, within 5 years of purchase, our vacation apartment within 3 years of purchase, our two cars within 2 years of purchase. And that we always pay our credit cards in full every month, and have never ever carry any credit card balance.
We definitely feel like we are already retired; no debt, work from home or wherever, plan international travels, etc. About a month ago, I started a blog (earlyfinancialfreedom.com) to reflect our debt free, retired at 30s lifestyle. I am currently the sole blogger but my wife will also blog about our experiences from time to time, how we got here and where we want to go. We hope you will find it interesting, inspiring and helpful.
It sure sounds like a dream come true, does it not? By the help of the All Mighty, what we have accomplished are the direct results of having goals, determination, hard work, and lots and lots of planning. In addition, our son is one of the main driving forces for our financial success. After marriage, my wife and I started thinking about ways to establish a home-based company so that in time, as she got pregnant she could work from home. That led to establishing our IT/Web consulting company in August 2003. When our son was about 1-year-old in 2006, we wanted to provide him with a backyard and a roomier place and a decent elementary school experience, so we decided to buy a house in the suburbs of New York, namely Long Island. We decided to travel all over the U.S and abroad. We decided to visit my family in Turkey at least once a year as well, so he could get the experience of traveling but also the warmth of his extended family as well. After I joined our company full-time, our eyes were opened to the possibility of location independent living and we plan to start living overseas starting mid-2013, joining our passion, for family, travel and good food.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Employment is a topic unto itself. I blogged about it here, so if you are interested in it, you may take a look. Nonetheless, I would like to mention a few cardinal financial rules that we follow in our business:
- Enjoy and be great at what you do
- Accept clients through referrals almost exclusively
- Always deliver a superb job at the minimum time
- Charge for what the job is worth
- Invoices are always due upon receipt
Some of you may be wondering about how we handle our financial/retirement strategy. I am the one who handles our business & personal finances and I am a DIY person as far as financial matters are concerned. I do seek professional help to understand our finances better but don’t forget that it is you who must make the final financial decisions at the end of the day. To achieve financial freedom and wealth, how you invest isn’t nearly as important as how much you save. One last thing, no one cares more about your wealth than you do.
I hope this post inspires you to follow all of your dreams in your engineering career!
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success