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Zakaria Khan’s F.I.R.E Journey starting point

Briefly How I started my Financial Independence Retire Early (F.I.R.E) Journey?

Around mid/end of 2016, I stopped working at any Job. It was not really planned rather I was forced. In short, my employer at that time (Ericsson Sweden), wanted to forcefully take my inventions/patents by threatening me with lawsuits and destroying my career. I stood up for myself, fought, sort out all matters, and left with dignity. It was indeed a battle and difficult for my mental health, anxiety, and insomnia had been the best friends those days. I am so grateful to the Swedish labor system; due to the rules, they gave me a phycologist during this time, so that I can keep my mental strength and keep fighting.

4 cash flow Quadrant
4 cash flow Quadrant

Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant: Guide to Financial Freedom by Robert Kiyosaki is one of the books that changed my life for good. After I left the job, I promised me that I will never be an employee again (nothing wrong to be an employee, just not my cup of tea or at least needed to change my life) unless, I am out on the street without shelter, food, and water. It was a very risky promise but the timing was right since I was young and had no dependent family.

The first thing I did after I left the job was founding a private limited company named Autonomous Data AB, primarily to hold some of my innovations. One of the misconceptions people have about Sweden is that the Swedish government gives people free money, remember nothing is free in this world and it is far from the truth.

In Sweden, we have some social programs for people who are unemployed for a long time. The government gives financial support (calculated based on the previous salary) to unemployed people who goes to those programs, report time and activity, do whatever they want you to do, maybe free intern, work for free in a company with whom the Government is partnered with, etc. Since I founded a company, I was not considered unemployed even though there was no income at that time. I would qualify for any financial support only if I terminate the company. Here again, I was at a crossing to make a choice, keep the company or terminate it to receive compensation for finding my next job. Thankfully, I was honest to myself and tried my hardest to keep my promise, there was no plan B. I kept my company & declined the government compensation offer.

2017 was the year when I took the leap of faith. I needed to pay my bills, so did whatever that comes in front. Some of the earning were through innovation awards I received, helping other startups to make mockup/prototype through outsourcing service, advising on intellectual property & business development around that, authoring different articles for multiple publications, even did some Air BnB hosting using my apartment, only asset I had at that time. I have always looked for undervalued deals to invest in. It was very difficult to live on such small earning. Regardless of what work was it, I always gave my 100% and tried to provide the best service and experience. Even for Air BnB hosting, I got the honor of super host. Sure enough by that time; I had lost my fancy lifestyle, social status, high income, so-called friends, and even loved ones.

2020, I did not take any job ever since I left my job in 2016, keeping my promise to me. Autonomous Data AB is now called KhanZ Invest AB. I tried to implement the idea of acquiring more assets. With a lot of hardship, some risk-taking, a little bit of luck, and with the grace of God, today we have multiple assets. We are now a very small Investment company. We don’t take external money to manage. Our Holdings: Real Estate and Stocks/bonds etc provide enough positive cash flow to pay all expenses, both my personal and business operational cost. Puts me into the (I)investor quadrant. I had been into all 4 quadrants and I like the (I)investor quadrant the most. Naturally, I am more inclined towards that, I always keep looking for value to make a deal

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