3 Best Ways You Can Achieve Time Freedom

Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin

Time is MORE valuable than money. You can get more money, but you can’t get MORE time.” – Jim Rohn

Most of us don’t go to school to make time, we go to make money, right?

In dental school and residency, I can’t ever recall saying, “I can’t wait to get out and start making time!”

Now that I’ve been practicing almost 20 years, time is the ONE thing that is MOST important.

Why is that?

Try this. Take out your wallet and place a one dollar bill in front of you.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Next, start the timer on your watch/phone for one minute and wait.


Guess what, you just proved to yourself what the more valuable resource is, Time.

It’s easy to make more money but you can’t get that minute back can you?

But time on the other hand is invaluable.  Similar to land, they’re not making anymore of it.

Bill Perkin’s fantastic book, Die With Zero, was a wake up call for me.

I knew before reading it how precious time was but the book brought with it a whole new perspective on how to think about life, money, health and freedom of time.

The book recommends that we should start focusing on creating  memorable experiences once we’ve saved enough to fund retirement. 

Perkins recommends the earlier the better so we’re still healthy enough to enjoy these experiences instead of waiting until we’re too old. 

But what do most of us do? Many times we stay in the rat race until it’s too late…

Are You Caught In The Rat Race?

After we exit training, we’re on top of the world. We’re young and healthy, have a great education under our belt and a great income to look forward to.

We’re eager to get started with the working life as we’ve put it off for years since finishing college.

But what we fail to realize is that right away we enter the rat race.

What is the rat race?

The Oxford Dictionary defines rat race as:

A way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power; an exhausting, usually competitive routine.”

Sound familiar?

I know plenty of doctors and other professionals that live this way. As a matter of fact,  you may be living like this or know someone that is.

People fail to realize that when they’re in the rat race, their main focus is on making money to buy stuff to impress people that don’t care about them.

It’s a daily struggle.

Related article: Escape The Rat Race: What School Failed To Teach You About Money

I understand that it feels good to have a nice home, cars, and clothes.

However, there’s a difference between enjoying these non-essential things and putting value into them. THINGS are not valuable.

But over time something else starts to happen while you’re in this “race.”

  • Your family sees less of you.
  • You’re always late for dinner.
  • You think about your bank account balance too often
  • You miss out on kid’s sports and school functions.
  • Friends become a distant memory. 

At this point you may or may not realize that your life revolves around trading time to earn a living to afford stuff yet it’s impossible to find time to enjoy them.

Financially you may be rich but you’ll always be time poor. 

The bottom line is this: If you’re in the rat race, you don’t have a lot of time for anything but getting up and putting in a 8-10+ working day on a regular basis.

But the good thing is that something can be done about your situation.

There are better ways (we’ll discuss soon) to achieve enough time to give you financial independence.

But first, let’s define exactly what time freedom is.

What Is Time Freedom?

The best way to describe time freedom involves reflecting back on a previous vacation you’ve taken.

Close your eyes and think back to a recent one…

Remember waking up and not having to worry about being late for work?

You could eat whatever and whenever you wanted to (I like that part!).

If you chose to take a morning walk with your spouse, nothing was scheduled to prevent it from happening.

Your free time was limitless.

Unfortunately, vacations are the only small glimpse of time freedom busy professionals experience during their working careers. 

Time freedom is about being intentional with where to invest your time.

For example, today I’m looking forward to watching my son play in his first spring football game as quarterback.  I’ve freed up time to allow this to happen.

Having time freedom means you understand the importance of your time and direct it on the events, meaningful things and people that matter most to you.

It makes you appreciate the time you have now and allows you to slow down and experience what life currently has to offer.

I want this for each and everyone of you.

Time freedom allows you to live life with a purpose and on your own terms. Not someone else’s.

3 Ways You Can Achieve Time Freedom

Here’s 3 ways you can start now to ensure you have enough time to increase your time freedom:

#1 Calculate what you’re spending time on

If your goal is more time freedom then the first step is determining where you spend your time.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker

Here’s a few stats for you:

Sleep – The average person in the United States sleeps 8 hours and 33 minutes on weekdays and 9 hours 28 minutes on weekends. (Obviously I’m NOT average)

Work – I understand that this can vary depending on your profession. The majority of Americans work 40 hours a week. Some more, some less. Some of us work overtime and others have more than one job. Most doctors work 70+ hours a week including weekends.

Pets – Pet owners spend about 45 minutes a day playing and exercising with their pets.

Social media – The average person spends (wastes) 144 minutes each day on social media. It’s not surprising that 16-24 year old individuals spend the most time on social media – 3 hours daily.

Leisure time – Here’s how we spend our down time:

  • Watching TV – Americans average 2.5 hours a day in front of the tube. (I would have thought longer)
  • Exercise – What’s the point in wealth without health, right? On average, men exercise 1 hour and 42 minutes a day while women exercise for 1 hour and 18 minutes. 
  • Eating and Drinking – We average about an hour and 11 minutes for meals and snacks.
  • Shopping – Americans average 46 minutes a day grocery shopping and 50 minutes a day shopping for other items.
  • Reading  Americans age 15-54 spend 10 minutes or less reading for personal interest while those 75 or older spend 48 minutes a day.  Senior citizens read more. The older we are, the more we tend to read. 

Related article: The 7 Best Books To Become Rich

Take out a pen and paper and write down the average amount of time you spend with activities in a typical week. Compare to the averages above and see where you stand.

Next, mark which you love, those you can’t stand and others either you’re not good at and wish someone else would do them.

By performing this exercise, it will give you greater clarity on what you should STOP doing in order to have better time management.

#2 Eliminate DEBT

The borrower is slave to the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7

Finishing dental school and a residency put us $300K in the hole.

Not fun.

I learned the HARD way (not from craps!) that when you’re in debt, your time is NOT your own.

Whenever you borrow money, you have to pay that person/entity back what’s owed and then some. This entire process severely restricts you from living your dream lifestyle.

As you get up to work each morning while in debt, the money you earn actually belongs to someone else.

My wife and I used the  Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball to become consumer debt free.

Here’s an overview of the Debt Snowball:

       List your debts from smallest to largest

       Make the minimum payment on all debts except the smallest one

       Throw all extra money toward the smallest debt until it’s paid off

       Once that one is done, start with the next on the list

       Use the money you were already paying on this debt plus the amount you were throwing at the first one and add the two together

Related article: The Truth About Debt – The Borrower Is Slave To The Lender

Once you reach debt-free status, you regain your time back. Your income now goes into YOUR pocket to fund YOUR future.

Speaking of your future, here’s the final step to time freedom…..

#3 Invest in assets that produce cash flow

I took my 14 year old son and two of his friends swimming yesterday. At one point during the car ride, their conversation turned to what each of them were going to “study” in college.

Medicine, finance and business were all discussed.

I love it when kids talk about their future as it’s a PERFECT time to ask questions that make them “think.”

I asked them, “Do you want to work so many hours a week and get paid by the hour like most people or do something else that frees up your time but you STILL get paid?”

After a few seconds of silence, their brains went to work with questions such as:

       How is that possible?

       What do you mean doing something that frees up our time?

       I didn’t know that there was another way to get paid instead of by the hour?

       Can you tell us more?

Whenever you can find a topic or scenario to spark a conversation about finances with your kids at an early age then I encourage you to do it. Where else are they going to learn it from?

I went on to explain how most people get paid based on how many hours a week they work. The only way to increase income using this model is by trading MORE time for money. 

With only 168 hours a week, at some point your income will be capped. Unfortunately, this is what the majority does in order to live.

I went on to explain the concept of passive income and the definition of financial freedom.

I want good fortune for my kids and teach them how to set big goals for their future.

I introduced the concept of trading time for money or taking some of that money they’re going to make and invest in assets that cash flow.

By doing this, they can eventually replace their living expenses thus freeing up their time.

As you can imagine they chose the second choice and recommended they get started by reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad For Teens.

Why Most People Die Before 25

I want to leave you with something that will take less than four minutes of your time but very powerful to make you think long and hard about how you’re currently living.

Dr. Jeff Anzalone is a periodontist, author and CEO of Debt Free Dr. He helps doctors and other high-income professionals reach financial independence in seven years or less with passive real estate investing

Nothing on this website should be considered financial advice. Investing involves risks which you assume. It is your duty to do your own due diligence. Read all documents and agreements before signing or investing in anything. It is your duty to consult with your own legal, financial and tax advisors regarding any investment.

Chris Franckhauser

Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner

Chris Franckhauser, Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner for Left Field Investors, has been involved in real estate since 2008. He started with one single-family fix and flip, and he was hooked. He then scaled, completing five more over a brief period. While he enjoyed the journey and the financial tailwinds that came with each completed project, being an active investor with a W2 at the time, became too much to manage with a young and growing family. Seeing this was not easily scalable or sustainable long term, he searched for alternative ideas on where to invest. He explored other passive income streams but kept coming back to his two passions; real estate and time with his family. He discovered syndications after reconnecting with a former colleague and LFI Founder. He joined Left Field Investors in 2023 and has quickly immersed himself into the community and as a key member of our team.  

Chris earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University. After years in healthcare technology and medical devices, from startups to Fortune 15 companies, Chris shifted his efforts to consulting and owning a small apparel business when he is not working with LFI (Left Field Investors) or on his personal passive investments. A few years ago, Chris and his family left the cold life in Ohio for lake life in the Carolinas. Chris lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina with his wife and two kids. In his free time, he enjoys exploring all the things the Carolinas offer, from the beaches to the mountains and everywhere in between, volunteering at the school, coaching his kids’ sports teams and cheering on the Buckeyes from afar.  

Chris knows investing is a team sport. Being a strategic thinker and analytical by nature, the ability to collaborate with like-minded individuals in the Left Field Community and other communities is invaluable.  

Jim Pfeifer

President, Chief Executive Officer, Founder

Jim Pfeifer is one of the founders of Left Field Investors and the host of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast. Left Field Investors is a group dedicated to educating and assisting like-minded investors negotiate the nuances of the passive investing landscape and world of syndications. Jim is a former financial advisor who became frustrated with the one-path-fits-all approach of the standard financial services industry. Jim now concentrates on investing in real assets that produce cash flow and is committed to sharing his knowledge with others who are interested in learning a different way to grow wealth.

Jim not only advises and helps people get started in passive real estate syndications, he also invests alongside them in small groups to allow for diversification among multiple investments and syndication sponsors. Jim believes the most important factor in a successful syndication is finding a sponsor that he knows, likes and trusts.

He has invested in over 100 passive syndications including apartments, mobile homes, self-storage, private lending and notes, ATM’s, commercial and industrial triple net leases, assisted living facilities and international coffee farms and cacao producers. Jim is constantly looking for new investment ideas that match his philosophy of real assets producing cash flow as well as looking for new sponsors with whom he can build quality, long-term relationships. Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Chad Ackerman

Chief Operating Officer, Founder

Chad is the Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Left Field Investors and the host of the LFI Spotlight podcast. Chad was in banking most of his career with a focus on data analytics, but in March of 2023 he left his W2 to become LFI’s second full time employee.

Chad always had a passion for real estate, so his analytics skills translated well into the deal analyzer side of the business. Through his training, education and networking Chad was able to align his passive investing to compliment his involvement with LFI while allowing him to grow his wealth and take steps towards financial freedom. He has appreciated the help he’s received from others along his journey which is why he is excited to host the LFI Spotlight podcast and share the experience of other investors and industry experts to assist those that are looking for education for their own journey.

Chad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Minor in Real Estate from the University of Cincinnati. He is working to educate his two teenagers in the passive investing world. In his spare time he likes to golf, kayak, and check out the local brewery scene.

Ryan Steig

Chief Financial Officer, Founder

Ryan Stieg started down the path of passive investing like many of us did, after he picked up a little purple book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The problem was that he did that in college and didn’t take action to start investing passively until many years later when that itch to invest passively crept back up.

Ryan became an accidental landlord after moving from Phoenix back to Montana in 2007, a rental he kept until 2016 when he started investing more intentionally. Since 2016, Ryan has focused (or should we say lack thereof) on all different kinds of investing, always returning to real estate and business as his mainstay. Ryan has a small portfolio of one-to-three-unit rentals across four different markets in the US. He has also invested in over fifty real estate syndication investments individually or with an investment group or tribe. Working to diversify in multiple asset classes, Ryan invests in multi-family, note funds, NNN industrial, retail, office, self-storage, online businesses, start-ups, and several other asset classes that further cement his self-diagnosis of “shiny object syndrome”.

However, with all of those reaches over the years, Ryan still believes in the long-term success and tenets of passive, cash-flow-focused investing with proven syndicators and shared knowledge in investing.

When he’s not working with LFI or on his personal passive investments, he recently opened a new Club Pilates franchise studio after an insurance career. Outside of that, he can be found with his wife watching whatever sport one of their two boys is involved in during that particular season.

Steve Suh

Chief Content Officer, Founder

Steve Suh, one of the founders of Left Field Investors and its Chief Content Officer, has been involved with real estate and alternative assets since 2005. Like many, he saw his net worth plummet during the two major stock market crashes in the early 2000s. Since then, he vowed to find other ways to invest his money. Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad gave Steve the impetus to learn about real estate investing. He first became a landlord after purchasing his office condo. He then invested passively as a limited partner in oil and gas drilling syndications but quickly learned the importance of scrutinizing sponsors when he stopped getting returns after only a few months. Steve came back to real estate by buying a few small residential rentals. Seeing that this was not easily scalable, he searched for alternative ideas. After listening to hundreds of podcasts and attending numerous real estate investing meetings, he determined that passively investing in real estate syndications was the best avenue to get great, risk-adjusted returns. He has invested in dozens of syndications involving apartment buildings, self-storage facilities, resort properties, ATMs, Bitcoin mining funds, car washes, a coffee farm, and even a Broadway show.

When Steve is not vetting commercial real estate syndications in the evenings, he is stomping out eye diseases and improving vision during the day as an ophthalmologist. He enjoys playing in his tennis and pickleball leagues and rooting for his Buckeyes and Steelers football teams. In the past several years, he took up running and has completed three full marathons, including the New York City Marathon. He is always on a quest to find great pizza, BBQ brisket, and bourbon. He enjoys traveling with his wife and their three adult kids. They usually go on a medical mission trip once a year to southern Mexico to provide eye surgeries and glasses to the residents. Steve has enjoyed being a part of Left Field Investors to help others learn about the merits of passive, real asset investments.

Sean Donnelly

Chief Culture Officer, Founder

Sean holds a W2 job in the finance sector and began his real estate investing journey shortly after earning his MBA. Unfortunately, it could not have begun at a worse time … anyone remember 2007 … but even the recession provided worthy lessons. Sean stayed in the game continuing to find his place, progressing from flipping to owning single and multi-family rentals to now funding opportunities through syndications. While Sean is still heavily invested in the equities market and holds a small portfolio of rentals, he strongly believes passive investing is the best way to offset the cyclical nature of traditional investment vehicles as well as avoid the headaches of direct property ownership. Through consistent cash flow, long term yield and available tax benefits, the diversification offered with passive investing brings a welcomed balance to an otherwise turbulent investing scheme. What Sean likes most about the syndication space is that the investment opportunities are not “one size fits all” and the community of investors genuinely want to help.

He earned a B.S. in Finance from Iowa State University in 1995 and a MBA from Otterbein University in 2007. Sean has lived in eight states but has called Ohio home for the last 20+.  When not attending his children’s various school/sporting events, Sean can be found running, golfing, shooting or fly-fishing.

Patrick Wills

Chief Information Officer, Advisory Partner

An active real estate investor since 2017, Patrick Wills’ investing journey began like many others – after reading the “purple book” by Robert Kiyosaki. Patrick started with single family rentals, and while they performed well, he quickly realized their inability to scale efficiently while remaining passive. He discovered syndications via podcasts and local meetups and never looked back. He joined Left Field Investors in 2022 as a member and has quickly become an integral part of the team as Vice President of Technology.

An I.T. Systems Engineer by trade, he experienced the limitations of traditional Wall Street investing firsthand in his career and knew there had to be a better way to truly have financial freedom.

Unfortunately, that better way is inaccessible to those who need it most. His mission is to make alternative investments accessible to everyone who seeks to take control of their financial future and to pursue their passions in life.

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