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The A.R.C. Method: A 9-to-5 Escape Plan

Millions of people live paycheck-to-paycheck…

…some of you may leave that behind this year.

This guide may not be all puppies & lollipops – it’s real.

Will you make the jump?

The A.R.C. Method

It’s hard not to think about some of the reasons why we get stuck in these ruts throughout life – the biggest often being that many live paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s one thing to assume you’ll make it ‘on top’ after years of hard work but what about right now? What about the troubles you’re facing day-to-day?

That’s why it’s important that we start with the root of the problem and discover our own process that will arch us into financial (and mental) freedom. For this reason, let’s call this the A.R.C. Method.

There are three main milestones of the A.R.C. Method:

  • Awareness of your situation
  • Reduction of financial woes
  • Creation of systems

Each of these elements of the method truly depends on your own personal situation and drive but by keeping an open mind and applying just a few of these to your life, you may find yourself breaking free from the clutches of living paycheck-to-paycheck. 

Let’s kick this up:

A is for Awareness

Discover and confront your situation.

  • Be conscious of your times’ worth. As an exercise, write down what your time is worth (usually based on your current pay from work). Next time that you’re doing an activity which you understand doesn’t actually improve your life – consider how much money you’re losing by doing so. Don’t think about how much money you can be making – think about how much you’re losing.
  • Be real with yourself. One of the biggest hurdles you’ll need to overcome throughout this method is being real with yourself. Let’s face it; most of us won’t be millionaires – in fact, probably none of us will be. Sometimes you have to ground yourself so you can clearly see what steps need to be taken in order to reach that level.
  • Be happy with yourself. Don’t be so glum all the time; life is amazing. Think of the complete randomness of your existence: billions of years of the universe forming, thousands and thousands of years in your family’s existence, the randomness of your parents coming together to have you. You’re special. You deserve the world and everything in it. Make a positive impact on the world.

The take-away from the awareness process is to realize and ground yourself into a modest mindset. It’s to make you aware of the actions you take. Try to be a realist-optimist: Be real with what you’ve got and know; then apply those core elements toward those items which will truly set you on the right path.

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R is for Reduction

Remove the unneeded and unwanted experiences of your life.

  • Embrace a modest lifestyle. It’s commonplace to see people that have great wealth (and I don’t mean just money) to be rather frugal with their spending habits and lifestyle. Millionaires driving beat up cars, wealthy business owners using coupons, people that have everything actively trying to live on the fringe; your wealth doesn’t come from the amount in your bank account, it comes from the experiences you have in life. Don’t be consumed with your physical items (and even the mental ones); learn to let go of things. Continually reinvent yourself every couple years.
  • De-Clutter your mind. The Internet is a wonderful tool – but it’s exactly just that. A tool. When you’re active, on the net, for many hours each day, your mind begins to shift into a constant state of on. It’s hard to focus on your own goals because you’re constantly finding new and exciting things you’d like to work on. Jumping right into these hobbies and ideas breaks you from your overall focus so you never quite complete an entire project. Try to reduce your overall information intake; sometimes you’ll find greater creativity with less influence because your mind can truly wander on its own.
  • Go for the big wins. The big wins are those which you could classify as something that’s going to be valuable to you throughout your life-time. Items that fall into the big win category are often your car and home but they can be other items such as your computer which gives you an infinite amount of knowledge through an internet connection. Find those big wins that you want and start removing everything else that prevents you from achieving them.

The main take-away from the reduction process is realizing that you don’t need to buy into the idea that you must ‘keep up with the Jones’s. Every person in this world lives a different life; we’re all artists and by buying into the preconceived notion that you must buy, buy, buy and consume, consume, consume, you’re destroying the artist in you; the part of you that wants to break free and shut out the negative outside influence so you can work on the things that truly matter to you.

C is for Creation

Make something great.

  • Create a goal. Have you ever noticed that it’s almost impossible to save money when you simply say “I’m just gonna save some money”? It’s because you often don’t have a goal of where that money will be spent in the future. Having a goal keeps you motivated and on track; that $$$ you put into your savings isn’t just money in the bank – it’s money toward college, a house, new car, computer, vacation – it gives you the drive to keep at it. A little goes a long way especially if you snowball the momentum.
  • Create a platform. Whenever you work on a project, don’t think about the end gain – think of what new knowledge you’ve acquired that will help you with the next. It’s like when you’re working a job; don’t necessarily look at how much you’re going to get paid, look at what responsibilities you’ll have, people you work with and what experiences you can take from it and later use it for your personal portfolio. See everything as an opportunity to grow and then leverage that experience to continue upward.
  • Create systems. You need to create systems that work specifically for you. Even now, you’re reading this method but don’t take every work as defintive – you need to sclupt your knowledge into what works specifically for you and your skillset. With that being said, take what you know and begin systemizing every aspect of it so you can streamline the process, free up your time and become the master of your trade.

The main takeaway of the creation process is that in order to break free from it all, you need to put work into creating your own entity. Sure, you may live comfortably working a general job but in order to acquire that true freedom, you need to think outside the box and go fearlessly into your projects – no plan B – give it your all.

Final Thoughts

Everything takes time. 

I hope you’re not the type of person that buys into the ‘get rich quick schemes’ because you’d be living a fool’s hope. You’re not likely to win the lottery and strike instant riches; you need to understand this and accept it – once you have, you’ll be able to truly start your goal toward financial and mental freedom.

And always, always, always … have a dream.

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