Everyone wants freedom, but not everyone is willing to pay their dues to attain it. Freedom comes at a price.
The ancient Spartans fought the Persian Empire to protect their freedom and 300 Spartans willingly died at the Battle of Thermopolyae to preserve it (and I watched the movie 300 about 50 times when it came out on Blu-Ray).
The United States fought the British empire in the American Revolutionary War to win its freedom, and 25,000 revolutionary soldiers died during the 8-year war to attain it (and I watched the movie the Patriot with Mel Gibson about 20 times when it was showing on the closed-circuit movie channel at my college).
Today, many employees want to win their freedom from their employers, become entrepreneurs, and start their own business.
Wanting freedom is a universal human desire, but attaining it is the hard part. To become an entrepreneur and start your own business, you are attempting to achieve freedom from corporate employment.
What price are you willing to pay?
The Freelancer Freedom Wave
The number of independent freelancers has exploded in recent years and according to Forbes by 2027 50.9% of the US working population will be freelancing.
It’s clear that employees are starting to realize they can jump the ship and win their freedom by becoming a freelancer, consultant, or agency business and providing a service. Often times, they make more money by providing the same service they once provided to their employers. But this freedom also comes at a cost.
If you want to quit your job and become an entrepreneur, it’s not as easy as just saying, “I quit! I’m free now.” Even for those that are currently freelancing, consulting or own an agency business, many continue to work tirelessly in pursuit of the freedom they initially desired. Instead of their service-based business becoming their agent of freedom, it’s become just another boss to serve.
So, how do you attain entrepreneurial freedom?
The Four Pillars of Entrepreneurial Freedom
There are four pillars to achieving freedom as an entrepreneur, and each is interrelated with the other.
It’s almost like an equation.
Freedom = (Finances + Work + Lifestyle) ÷ Location
One of the most impactful pillars of entrepreneurial freedom is location. Where you live often determines how much income you need to support your lifestyle. It also impacts what type of work you can achieve, impacting the final two pillars of freedom.
There is a big difference in expectations between living in Chiang Mai and San Francisco (trust me, I have lived in both cities). Be mindful of the environment you choose. It impacts everything.
To escape cubicle nation, you need to have the finances to support that vision. Without the financing to support your endeavor, it’s only a matter of time before you head back to the cube farm. Beyond having the finances to support your freedom, you need to think about how the work you provide either hinders or supports your vision of entrepreneurial freedom. Is the work you provide rare and valuable to those you serve?
Your lifestyle will be impacted by where you live, what work you do, and how much money you make. Sometimes to achieve entrepreneurial freedom, you have to make sacrifices in your lifestyle. When everyone is partying on Friday night, are you working on your “freedom” business or are you out having a good time?
Earning entrepreneurial freedom has a price. It also takes time. If you want the freedom to do the work you love, be financially independent, and support your lifestyle, then it’s going to take time.
Freedom is expensive to achieve but worth the effort to attain.
It’s Saturday 8:07 pm as I write this to you. I could be watching television and relaxing. Instead? I was thinking about you and decided to write this post.
In my own way, that’s how I exercise entrepreneurial freedom. I can work how I want, when I want, and from wherever I want. This post is going live while I’m on a remote fishing trip in Canada. I took off a week without the certainty of the Internet being available. That’s entrepreneurial freedom.