The journey to an innovative educational path starts here
Many teenagers think that their only option for pursuing higher education is through a traditional four-year college or university program. However, The Freedom Program demonstrates that there are alternative pathways available that are more in line with their interests and can lead to a meaningful career.

The process for picking a college or university can be stressful. Here are a few questions parents and teens should ask while evaluating this important life decision.
Now imagine yourself - or your child - at 22 years of age, having carefully accumulated
Imagine that while others are learning about Return On Investment calculations in college, you are learning about ROI by…investing.

Imagine that while others are writing papers about how to build a marketing network, you are building a marketing network of the very best in your field of business.
Imagine that while others are paying professors to tell them what to read, you are reading and studying and practicing the things that matter most to your personal career development.

Imagine that while others are learning how to run a business from textbooks, you are meeting with and learning from real business leaders, reading the very best business books by the very best business thinkers, and driving lessons deep by practicing what you learn in your own finances or even your own small business.
12 Steps to Success in The Freedom Program
Select a primary mentor
Think of your primary mentor as a personal coach
This mentor needs to be someone who is willing to meet with you once per month to:
  • help you set your financial target.
  • track your financial progress.
  • hold you accountable for mentoring meetings, book lists, and other educational opportunities.
  • help you build your network and seek out winning opportunities.
Select a primary job
The purpose of this job is to provide the primary stream of income for attaining your savings targets. While working this job:
  • See how much you can grow in this business.
  • See how a real-world business manages its flow of product, service delivery, information, and even finances.
  • Watch what happens when you stick with the same business for several years. Most will find themselves growing into management positions and climbing the wage scale. In addition, doors to better jobs within a company often open first for those who have proven themselves capable and reliable within that company. In addition, businesses will often provide and pay for any on-the-job training and certification needed for advanced positions.
  • Gain the confidence and capability that come from laying steady bricks in your foundation day after day, year after year.
  • In other words, learn and grow while being paid.
Select secondary jobs
Choose several. Switch from one to the next or rotate between them. Feel free to try anything that might interest or challenge you. The purpose of these jobs is to get a wide range of experience in a variety of work and volunteer settings, from part-time jobs to ministry opportunities to coaching. While working these jobs:
  • Observe how much you can save once you surpass your monthly expenses. Your pace of savings can increase dramatically with the help of this second job.
  • Observe how each organization manages its flow of product, service delivery, and information. This further builds your base of knowledge on how business is done by real companies in the real world.
  • Identify what you like and don’t like about each of these jobs. This information will tell you a lot about who you are, and what you’re good at, and what you like doing.
  • Note: most college students study late into the night and on the weekends. Apply the same energy you would give to college studies. Except…get paid to do so.
Learn to "Play Great Defense"
  • This skill is one of the most important capabilities you can develop.
  • Don’t play “just enough defense” to balance your budget. Instead, play hardcore defense and create ample margin so you can save enough to hit your FreePro target.
  • Starting young will help you establish this essential life-long skill, and will open the door for success in budgeting, saving, and investing.
Save like crazy
  • This step is very important. Don’t just work hard and practice defense. Make sure you also capture the margin between your income and your expenses. We’re talking about saving a whopping 50%-70% of your take home pay.
  • It’s amazing how this margin can “disappear” if you aren’t intentional. So build a strong system of automatic deposits for your paychecks and automatic transfers to savings accounts you don’t touch.
  • Your initial savings are to fill your Emergency Fund and your Sweet Spot Car Fund. These two funds will probably require your first year of serious saving.
And Invest!
  • Once your Efund and SS Car Fund are in place, saving becomes really fun. Begin to invest your extra dollars in an IRA or 401k.
  • At the same time, build up non-retirement investments in accounts you can use for your “homebuilding” stage, and in ventures that build another stream of income.
  • Learn about the power of compound interest by getting on the fun side of this phenomenon. As you’ll see on the investment tables in a few pages, investing in your late teens and twenties has far more impact than waiting until your forties.
Learn how to do adult things in the real world
  • Write a will…you’ll need one since you’ll have assets. Isn’t that fun?
  • Buy insurance.
  • Invest.
  • File taxes.
  • Start a business?
  • There are a gazillion things to learn about being an adult. Learn them in real time while being paid by others.
Select additional mentors
  • Identify other mentors you respect in addition to your Primary Mentor and take them out for coffee. Ask great questions. Collect the wisdom they give.
  • Make sure you have mentors for each area of the five areas of freedom.
                     - Financial
                     - Intellectual
                     - Vocational
                     - Emotional
                     - Spiritual   
  • Your mentors don’t have to be people you know. Supplement your coffee conversations with “mentors” such as authors, podcasters, bloggers, etc. They don’t have to know you to teach you good things.
Read and study copiously
  • Books.
  • Podcasts.
  • Youtube videos.
  • Great Courses or other online training.
  • Free certifications.
  • Paid certifications when applicable.
  • The exact college or advanced-learning courses and workshops you need.
Find a friend group who will encourage you in your endeavor
  • College students are surrounded by young people in the same stage of life as they are. FreePro professionals are blazing a trail, and it can be lonely work. You’ll want to be intentional about finding friends to hang out with.
  • Unfortunately, many people “look down” on young people who aren’t in college, as if they’re automatically settling for “second best” in their lives. You’ll need to be strong and stand firm against this prejudice.
  • So seek out those who encourage you. Many of your best encouragers will be older professionals and coaches and mentors. They’re more likely to “get it” and strongly support what you’re doing. Gravitate toward encouraging acquaintances who understand what you’re doing in the program.
  • And seek out friends your age whom you can encourage, and who will encourage you. Seek. You’ll have to be intentional.
Study, think, and record your progress on Freedom in the Fives
  • The program places a lot of focus on Financial Freedom. Your late teens and early twenties are your “Opportunity Years.” We believe that focusing these high-energy years on establishing a financial base, instead of wasting these years in other high-energy activities, will benefit you for the rest of your life.
  • Young people who establish financial freedom early in life are more free to pursue their interests and passions.
  • But although we place a lot of emphasis on Financial Freedom, the other Freedoms are even more important. Financial Freedom simply gives you some breathing space in your life to establish these other freedoms.
  • So read, study, and find good mentors in all areas. Learn to think for yourself, choose better and better vocations, make and keep friends, establish healthy life-long relationships, know what you believe, and know why you believe it.
Identify and pursue one of the many career options that will rise up in front of you
  • Don’t feel pressure to find your life’s work on day one.
  • Do we find our careers, or do our careers find us? The answer to this puzzle is a quest you’ll undertake throughout The Freedom Program. Start by asking professionals you respect how they got into the work they’re doing. Write down their journey and see if your conclusions match my experience below.
  • Most people I know, including college graduates, first take a not-quite-ideal job that pays the bills. Then, they excel in certain areas of their job and their responsibilities in those areas grow. Then they home in on the work that most interests them within their growing competence. And finally, they find ways these enjoyable competencies could help people. This journey is often the path to meaningful work.
  • So, find the career…that’s finding you.
More information is available on each of these steps in the Summer, Gap Year, and Year 1
Freedom Program workbooks.
What to do with all that money?
First of all, even if your target seems like a lot of money for a 22-year-old, don’t be deceived. It’s not as much as it seems. All of this money has a defined purpose. Don’t go spending it willy-nilly.

To understand how to utilize this money to best effect, think of your life in the following “epochs.”
The 6 Steps To Building Your FreePro Cash Reserves
The Freedom Program is focused on capturing the best from your Opportunity Years and using it to build a foundation that makes the coming stages more manageable. So we recommend Freedom Program graduates build their cash reserves in the following order:
Place $2,000 in your initial Emergency Fund
Use up to $8,000 to start your initial Sweet-Spot-Car Fund (always includes the value of your present Sweet Spot Car).

Much of this $8,000 will likely be required to get a reliable Sweet Spot Car, but reliable transportation in place for your FreePro years, is worth the cost. Learn to buy cars used! You don't want to be distracted from your Free Pro Journey by an unreliable vehicle.
Use your next $3,000 to finish your Emergency Fund, which we believe should be $5,000 during your Opportunity Years.
Next, save $6,000 more to complete your Sweet Spot Car Fund goal of $15,000.

Remember, this fund always includes the value of your present Sweet Spot Car.

(The Value of your Sweet Spot Car plus the cash in your Car Fund should equal $15,000).

This fund, if managed well, can help you away from car debt your entire life and, stay away from car debt your entire life, and can bring millions of dollars of positive impact to your life. More on this below.

Ideally, these first four steps can be accomplished in Year #1 of your FreePro journey.
In years 2-4 of The Freedom Program, invest $6,500 each year in a ROTH IRA or similar long-term investment vehicle. Your target by the end of The Freedom Program is to have roughly $20,000 invested for "retirement" or your "repurposing years."

*Although we recommend a ROTH IRA for your retirement investments, we are not financial advisors. We consult with professional financial advisors, and recommend you do the same.
Also in years 2-4 of the program, save big chunks into a fund you'll be able to access for your career, family years.

Your goal is to have $40,000 -$60,000 saved, and you can use this cash to go to school debt-free, start a business, begin additional investments, make a down-payment on a house, or otherwise make your career & family epoch more affordable.

*Once again we are not financial advisors. Consult with professionals to know the best place to store up this cash!
Five Ways The Freedom Program can set up a FreeProer for financial success
Learn to distinguish between a “Need” and a “Want.”
A need is something you must have to live, hold a job, build a life. Needs include food, shelter, clothing and transportation, and very little else.
A want is something that, if you go three months without it, you’re still alive, still working, and still doing fine.
Learning to say “No” to your wants can set you up for a life-long pattern of living within your means. The Freedom Program can help you build such a great habit of defense that you can save in big chunks, often 50%-70% of your income during the four years of the program.
The critical financial skill of Budgeting is simple. Spend less than you make.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy.
Learning to play defense with your finances is the most important step to successful budgeting.
Don’t worry. You’ll be able to spend on some fun things and still hit your target. You’ll likely need some of these extras to keep you fresh and energized for the long marathon of The Freedom Program.
But always remember, Defense wins championships!
And it’s also a key to winning financially.
For the FreeProer, offense = income.
It seems like everyone these days is talking about “developing multiple streams of income.” The problem is, in order to make money from real-estate or in the market or a wide variety of other investment opportunities, you need to first have a big chunk of change that can be tied up to provide a thin trickle of extra income. Building an additional stream of income in this way is a “long play,” and requires patience, intelligence, and usually more than a little luck.
So think of investments as your “Fifth stream.” It’s ok to plan ahead and start investing so this stream can grow with time. But understand, it WILL take time. Build with patience.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to settle. You can produce reliable streams of additional income. Even though you’re young and short on cash, you’re likely loaded with energy. So, focus on these reliable streams of income.
Income Stream #1: your primary job. This provides the steady income to sustain life and begin to build your savings. Never neglect your job as your primary stream of income, as well as a primary “teacher” in your life. If you decide to change jobs at any point in the program, make sure your next job is lined up before you quit the one you have.
Income Stream #2: work more hours at your primary job. When you work more hours, you push past your needs and can save a higher percentage of each dollar earned. And, working more means less time to spend money, so those extra hours can have an extra compounding effect on your net take-home pay, and therefore on the size of your income stream.
Income Stream #3: work overtime at your primary job. Overtime is often paid at time-and-a-half or even more. So overtime hours can help turn your income streams into a nice waterfall.
Income Stream #4: Pick up a second job. Evenings. Weekends. A high percentage of this reliable additional income stream can really bulk up your savings
Building strength in these four streams frees up the cash you’ll need to start that Stream #5.
NOTE: Most FreePro graduates have been able to accomplish their targets with only streams #1, #2, and #3. How? By working crazy hard and capturing the extra they generate.
We shouldn’t need studies and spreadsheets to explain to us that debt drains away our financial energy. But we do. Debt is pervasive. It’s easy to fall into. And it’s sticky. And worst of all, it seems to be expected by those around us. Those who seek to live debt-free are going to face tremendous pressure from their peers and parents and counselors.
Once one begins to use debt for vehicles, school, or consumer goods, it’s very difficult to get back in front of the debt cycle.
It’s difficult to get out of debt.
What if you could stay out of debt, and get far, far ahead of the debt monster? This is one important way The Freedom Program can help you thrive financially.
The Freedom Program is focused on budgeting and saving. It’s designed to help you avoid the debt trap in your Opportunity Years. In fact, the objective for the FreeProer is to never go into debt for anything other than a home.
The Freedom Program, by focusing a large portion of your savings on your Next Big Thing, (also known as your Career and Family Years as shown in the graph at the beginning of this section) you’re building savings that can take the sharp edge off of your expenses during a demanding stage of life. This cash can help you navigate a wedding, a home purchase, educational costs, and other expenses that might otherwise pressure you into pressing the “easy button” of consumer debt.
For just one example of the suffocating impact debt can have on one’s ability to save and invest, study That SweetSpot Car graph on the next tab. Debt ties up serious cash that could be growing in your favor.
This graph shows the results of the scenario we describe in our workbooks. Be sure to study steps 2 & 4 of Building Your Cash Reserves in the previous section of this website.
$250 to $300 per month is usually enough to build the savings you need to always pay cash for your car. Compare that to the average car payment (currently somewhere between $500 and $700 per month). If you were to invest the difference between your Sweet Spot Car monthly savings and the average monthly car payment, from age 20 to age 80, the results are astounding!
This graph assumes a steady monthly investment of $315/month, and shows the astonishing results of compounding interest at a 7%, 10%, or 12% return.
Note: These graphs aren’t to scale, or the final bars at 60 and 80 years of age would shoot right off the page. So, pay attention to the numbers in each section of the bar graph. Pay special attention to what happens between 60 and 80. They’ll give you a better picture of the actual growth of this investment, and we hope you’re inspired to start investing early and do so steadily.
And another note: Once a person starts purchasing vehicles with debt, or leasing, it’s very difficult to get out of the debt cycle. Your early vehicle purchases usually set a vehicle-buying pattern one keeps throughout their life.
And one more note: As shown in our SSC appendix in the workbooks, a car-buyer who uses debt spends just as much on cars over their lifetime as the SSC buyer spends on cars + investments. At the age of 80, the value of all that investment equals about $0. Compare that to the outcome of always buying a SweetSpot Car and investing the difference.
*We are not financial advisors. All advisors will tell you that market goes up and down, and past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. Consult your professional financial advisors for the best places to invest your hard-earned cash
This graph below shows the growth in your IRA investment if you have $20,000 in your IRA at the age of 22, like a solid FreeProer should, and never invest another cent.
*We are not financial advisors. All advisors will tell you that market goes up and down, and past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. Consult your professional financial advisors for the best places to invest your hard-earned cash
This next graph shows the growth in your investment if you start with that FreePro IRA of $20,000 at the age of 22, and committed to invest 15% of your income each month.
This graph again assumes a relatively modest income of $50,000 per year
Once again this assumes you will continue to invest at this very modest pace until "retirement". And again, I chose the age of 67 because FreePro-type people typically enjoy working.
*We are not financial advisors. All advisors will tell you that market goes up and down, and past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. Consult your professional financial advisors for the best places to invest your hard-earned cash
There's an old saying that goes, "You have to make money to earn money." Crushing it with The Freedom Program allows you to collect big chunks of cash that you can use for your "Career & Family" years, or for "Seed Money" for growing your "Fifth Stream" or both.
Imagine that "Fifth Stream" of income. You know, the one that comes from interest from your savings accounts or from your investment into real estate or the market or a business, or other robust streams of income you develop by careful and thoughtful investing.
Your personal "Fifth Stream" will come from investments you make with your extra FreePro savings, and any extra money you can save and invest along the way.
So, do better than simply imagining this "Fifth Stream." Use real math to build your own charts!
Freedom in the F.I.V.E.S
The Freedom Program focuses a lot of attention on money management. However, the program is about much, much more.

Although a financial foundation is considered one of the first and most effective objectives for FreePro students, The Freedom Program is really about pursuing freedom in each of these five important areas of life.
Financial Freedom
“Money As A Tool”
Making money has two parts, offense and defense. Financial Freedom is gained when one masters both at the same time and learns to earn, accumulate, and manage their money. Get your financial foundation set properly, and it will relieve loads of stress in the other areas of your life, and a whole world of opportunities can open up for you.
Intellectual Freedom
“Think For Yourself”
Most people are slaves of their age, thinking with the mood of the day. In addition, many proudly grow out of “parroting their parents” only to “parrot a professor.” Intellectual Freedom requires breaking free from these constraints, building the ability to articulate one’s own thoughts, and building the humility and intellectual honesty to understand the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own arguments.
Vocational Freedom
“A World Of Options”
No one can be sure what they’d like to be doing five years from now. The key to Vocational Freedom is to prepare for the future by building the work experience, education, and financial base you need to provide a steady supply of fresh options that fit your skills and excite your interest. Most people find enjoyment and meaning in their career at the intersection of these three things, 1. What I’m good at, 2. What I enjoy, and 3. How I can help people (or other creatures, or the planet).”
Emotional Freedom
“To Know And To Be Known”
One of the surest signs of Emotional Freedom is the ability to know and to be known in equal measure, and to make and keep healthy friendships. Be genuine. Have no use for guile or manipulation. Become comfortable in your own skin while loving, forgiving, and rooting for others.
Spiritual Freedom
"Know What You Believe, And Why”
Young people who know what they believe and who can articulate those beliefs become more settled, restful, and happy. There is a joy in the journey. Aristotle described this as a rational soul acting in accordance with virtue. For the Christian, Spiritual Freedom comes alive in the love, joy, and peace that blossom from a relationship in accordance with God our Maker, through faith in Jesus Christ.
Become a FreePro Professional! Follow this list to begin your personal FreePro journey
Purchase the appropriate workbooks and follow the path prescribed.

These cost a little bit, but they're worth the cost. Although we'd love to give them away for free, we've found that people tend to utilize and appreciate things more when they pay for them. Plus, your purchase allows us to keep developing materials for FreePro students!
Build a steady rhythm of working, earning, saving, and learning, then track your progress. Our handy FreePro progress tracker is designed to make tracking simple, beautiful, and is available in a hands-on binder, an electronic document, or both.
Join our Community by signing up here. It's free! We'll send you newsletters, access to our Facebook group, and keep you posted on the events schedule.
Seek a team of others who will encourage you in your endeavor. One great place to start is to view videos of our past meetings, lessons and finances, etc.