Look to your ‘heroes’ in your drive toward financial freedom

Everybody has a financial hero. It might be a wealthy uncle. Perhaps it is your parents who struggled mightily but managed to keep food on the table and provide for their family.

We all have that person or persons we look up to when we think of wealth or money management.

Here are a few of my financial heroes. My top financial heroes are my parents. They raised six boys while starting a company and managed to avoid going broke. It took a great deal of ingenuity and effort to win financially. We raised nearly two acres of gardens to feed the family. At the height of the summer vegetable production, we would can more than 100 quarts of green beans and freeze more than 200 bags of sweet corn in a single day. My dad took chances. Some worked out, and others did not. Yet we all learned from the less-successful attempts.

Another financial hero is Dave Ramsey. Dave went bankrupt nearly 20 years ago and learned several key lessons as he walked out of his financial mess. He became so passionate about teaching others about these lessons that he wrote a book about it called “Financial Peace.” The message connected with so many people that he has now written several N.Y. Times bestsellers, has a TV show on Fox News and a radio show with millions of listeners. Dave was instrumental in being the catalyst for Jenn and I to pursue debt freedom.

Bank Lady’s Dad is another financial hero. I was sitting in a bank one day waiting to speak to a personal banker, and there was quite a line waiting for the teller. A very old lady came in and was chatting with everyone. I heard her ask someone where they were from. She said, “Kenya.” The old lady said, “Well, Ken Ya help me? Ha. Ha. Ha!” She immediately followed that lovely joke with this statement, “Seriously, though. I’ve been there,” and proceeded to tell the story of how her father loaded the family on a boat when she was just 12 years old and took them on a trip around the world for nine months. Her father is one of my financial heroes; he left a legacy that had his little 12-year-old still talking about it at least 70 years later.

I have many other financial heroes. Most of them have written books. David Chilton, author of “The Wealthy Barber,” heavily impacted me when I was 12. The book was written about how compound interest can seriously help me fund my dreams. Robert Kiyosaki, author of several books including my favorite, “The Cash Flow Quadrant,” is another hero. He has seriously challenged my thoughts on business and employment as well as how I view assets.