If you read part 2, you will know how my near death experience was one of the worst, and best, things that ever happened to me.
If you missed part 1, you can catch up here.
You might think that this was enough drama for one lifetime, but no … our story was not over yet, not by a long shot.
About a year after my near death experience, Katherine was expecting our first baby. Everything was going according to plan and life was good. We were delighted at the prospect of becoming parents and were looking forward to our life as a new family.
Around two months into the pregnancy she called me at the office.
“Don’t go off on one, Matt, but I just want to let you know that I’m going into hospital because I just collapsed at work. I’m feeling okay though. There’s nothing to worry about. I’ll call you in a few hours and let you know how things are going. No need to rush back,” she blurted before I could get a word in edgeways.
A few hours later, the phone rang again and this time it was a rather more panicked Katherine.
“I’ve lost a lot of blood and I’m being rushed into theatre. You better come!” she gasped. She didn’t have time to say much more than that.
I got straight up from my meeting, made my apologies and ran hell-for-leather out the door. That train ride home was the longest of my life, consumed with worry, thinking about what might be happening.
It turned out that Katherine had had an ectopic pregnancy, which had ruptured and around three litres of blood had gushed into her abdomen. She got dangerously close at times to not pulling through.
Lady Luck was on our side again once again it seemed and the surgeons got there just in time.
To have one pivotal moment in your twenties is a life changer. To have two is just plain revelatory.
As we both reflected on our near-death experiences, we made some pretty fundamental decisions.
After a decade of working for other people, we both decided we were done, but for totally different reasons.
I actually quite liked my old job (in fact, I’d recommend my old employer to anyone). I had a certain degree of control over my time, could work from home, I had a company car and a great salary.
For many people this would be a ‘dream job’!
However, it just never gave me a feeling of meaning or purpose. I never felt like I was making a difference.
Katherine on the other hand hated the over-work and over-stress in her role as an accountant. 12-hour days were not at all uncommon and working at weekends became the norm for her.
Her pay was never in line with the effort she put in and there was never any thanks for all of this hard work.
I decided to start a Financial Planning firm in London, which had been my dream ever since I started in Financial Planning almost a decade earlier. What seemed impossibly scary only a year or two earlier, all of a sudden seemed very tame compared to nearly dying.
What was I so scared of? What was the worst that could happen?
Katherine decided to quit her job and join me in the new business. Very quickly she started to feel happier. The only problem was that it had taken a decade (and nearly dying) to make the change.
Our only regret when we look back is that we didn’t make these changes sooner.
We both wasted nearly a decade of our lives when the only thing stopping us living our dream was our own fear.
Just 4 short years later and I am pleased to say that life today couldn’t be more different.
Since I made the commitment to Financial Independence, I have paid off over $35,000 of consumer debt on credit cards and car loans.
I have put away well over $300,000 in savings and pensions and I now save at least 30% of my income every single month (you can follow my progress to get this to 50% on this blog).
Our Financial Planning business in London is now worth in excess of $2m and is growing at a rate of 25% + per year.
I don’t worry about money like I used to. I feel like I am in control of money not that it is in control of me.
We have achieved Financial Independence and Financial Freedom is within sight.
Not even close!
I feel like I am just getting started on my journey to Financial Freedom. There is so much more to do and I want to bring you along for the ride.
I have made a ton of mistakes and I’m sure I will make a load before I am done. The difference is I now embrace these failures.
Before I nearly died, I used to be terrified of making a mistake or appearing stupid to my friends or family.
Now, I think ‘what the heck’ and jump in. What’s the worst that can happen?
After all. It’s only money!
I am pleased to say that my story has a happy ending (it nearly ended very differently for me).
I just hope and pray that you don’t need to go through a near death experience like mine to realise that there is a great life out there for Millennials.
You don’t have to work in a cubicle for 10 hours a day just to make the rent.
You don’t have to do work you hate just to put food on the table.
If you want to get started on your journey to Financial Freedom please, I beg you.
Thanks for joining me on my journey - I hope you enjoy the ride!