The concept of “happy money” was created by Japanese Author Ken Honda who I got to speak with and who shared with me his wisdom on achieving financial independence. In this episode, Ken begins by sharing how we can use our skills and passions to make money and create wealth and that if we want to be wealthy, the first step is to understand that it will take time to build a stable financial foundation but laying the groundwork is crucial for future success and financial independence.
Get-rich-quick schemes can be attractive, and may “work” to a certain degree in the short term. However, Ken urges against falling into the trap of seeking instant wealth. He explains that such shortcuts often lead to losing all of our well hard-earned money which oftentimes is our life savings let alone the time and energy investment that is required. Instead, Ken suggests taking a long-term approach, serving others, and honing our skills in a specific area. This requires a certain mindset, but by finding what we are truly good at, whether it’s cooking, coaching, speaking, or listening, we can offer valuable services that people will appreciate and be willing to pay for.
For those who are unsure of how they want to serve others, Ken recommends reflecting on their own unique purpose and passions. He shares his personal experience of feeling unhappy in his nine-to-five job and wanting to discover a greater purpose. Ken encourages us to explore our interests, learn from others we admire, as well as each other, and observe how we can make a difference in the world. This process of self-discovery and learning from role models can help us to find our own unique path and create a fulfilling career.
Ken acknowledges that the journey towards financial independence will likely involve challenges, failures and setbacks. This is one reason why having a long-term mindset is important, as well as cultivating perseverance and learning from our experiences. As we commence on our journey towards financial independence we can fine-tune our skills and learn and improve continuously which will lead us to eventually reach a level of expertise that brings respect and therefore, financial reward. Ken stresses the need for patience in building a successful business and/or career, as it often takes months or in most cases even years to establish a solid client base let alone the financial freedom and independence many crave!
We live in a culture that celebrates and continuously focuses heavily on increasing income. Ken highlights the importance of controlling expenses. He encourages us to assess our spending habits and identify areas where we can cut back. Ultimately, he asks when will enough be enough? And, to bring mindfulness to our financial choices and decisions to distinguish between our so-called needs and wants. Ken suggests asking oneself, “If I don’t buy this, am I going to die tomorrow?” This question is a reminder that many material possessions are not essential for survival, and unnecessary spending can lead to financial stress and loss of peace of mind. I remember a program from the MindValley platform that highlighted this and brought awareness to the realisation that in most cases the more “stuff” we have, the more “problems” we have too. And, from personal experience, I think this seems to be the case.
Ken addresses financial independence from an emotional perspective. He believes that true financial independence involves having peace of mind and feeling secure, regardless of the amount of money in the bank. Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in achieving this state of mind. Even if someone receives a large sum of money, without the right mindset, they may still worry and be anxious about money. This is one reason why Ken created the ‘happy money’ concept and focuses his work on helping clients to form a healthy mindset and develop a positive relationship with money.
Towards the end of our conversation, we dive into numbers. While the exact amount varies depending on individual circumstances and lifestyle choices, Ken suggests that having around 2 million euros or pounds can provide a level of financial independence that many are striving for. However, he stresses that financial independence is more than just a specific bank balance. It is about feeling secure, not worrying about money, and having a sense of peace and contentment.
Overall, Ken’s insights on achieving financial independence offer a holistic approach that includes both practical strategies and emotional well-being. He advocates for taking a long-term perspective of serving others, controlling expenses, and cultivating emotional intelligence to pave the way towards financial freedom. Ken’s wisdom serves as a guiding light for those seeking to create a life of abundance, peace, and fulfilment and you can pick up a copy of his book ‘Happy Money’ to learn more on the topic of how to make peace with your money.