We all aspire to gain financial independence and personal freedom. It offers a sense of relief, comfort, and space and provides a safety net against the hassles of unanticipated crises. However, having complete control over your life and finances is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it is the result of hard effort, sacrifice, and time. There is much to learn and consider as we actively navigate this route to financial and personal independence. We spoke with Dave Allred, a prominent real estate investor, on a few pointers to help you achieve personal and financial freedom faster.

Dave Allred is the founder of Axia Fund and a real estate investor with over 17 years of investing experience. At age 21, he decided to become a lifelong student of finance and investment. Dave knew he wanted more for himself regarding financial understanding and freedom because he had never had those critical conversations about money or money management. He desired true freedom, and he saw that money promotes and accelerates the pursuit of personal independence. He recognized he’d have to improve his financial knowledge dramatically. While he still actively pursues knowledge and personal development, he attributes much of his personal and professional success to that commitment made so early in his life.

According to Dave Allred, some people may achieve their financial independence by focusing on the numbers and planning out their financial journey, but it also extends beyond an autopilot strategy of saving, reducing expenses, and maximizing profits. “It’s about learning, refining skills, and mindsets and seizing opportunities while growing through the process,” he affirms. Firstly, Dave has always braced the comfort of going uncomfortable in order to achieve enormous success in what many would consider a very difficult field. He’s mastered and accepted the concept of “being at ease with being uncomfortable.” Many people avoid discomfort, but Dave sees this as a terrific opportunity to really lean in and double down in order to find success and gain a leg up on the competition. With the enormous challenges of 2020, Dave believes that this approach, more than anything else, has been the driving force for his record-breaking success and personal independence.

Networking has also been key in his journey to financial freedom. Dave rethinks networking as truly prioritizing relationships. It’s the authenticity and relevance that distinguishes the development of relationships from mere networking. “I feel like relationships are the new currency in business. I’ve always loved the expression of ‘who you do business with is naturally who you do life with,’ and real estate has allowed me to accomplish this. Relationship building has never been more critical than in our ongoing environment, where how those relationships are built has had to be rethought due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond a continuous, relentless drive to learn also lives a yearning to document and measure success. Dave spent a significant amount of time creating what he calls his “Lifestyle Design,” which is a blueprint for exactly what he wants in his own life. By clearly outlining his core values, mission statement, non-negotiables, and several other vital areas, he’s found this to be extremely helpful as it provides him with clarity, confidence, intentionality, balance, and perhaps most importantly; how to prioritize the most precious resource of all, time. Dave Allred believes that financial gain is a strong motivator. If we can get crystal on what we really wish for in the long-term and have the right habits and behavior, we can accomplish amazing, significant things, but it takes time.