- Have you ever started a business to create more freedom?
- Have you ever quit your job because you thought it would give you more freedom?
You’re not alone. The reason that many people start their own business and quit their jobs is because they want to have more freedom. Freedom could look something like this:
- More free time to spend with family and friends
- More money to do anything and to buy anything
- Freedom from working for a boss
- Freedom to make your own decisions
- Freedom to live your life, your way
- Freedom to not work anymore, ever again
However, if that is the reason for starting your own business you are going to achieve the opposite result.
When you start a business, you will quickly learn that now you work longer hours and often for less money than when you were employed. On top of that you have to file and pay taxes yourself, find clients, do the marketing, fill a need, fulfill the service, handle payments, close sales, talk with people, network, learn business skills, motivate yourself, stay disciplined, stay focused and so many other things that running a business requires. All of this can be very stressful, without any guarantee of success and without any guarantee for more freedom at all.
Many people live in a fantasy that they are going to create more freedom by quitting their job and starting their own business.
I have a client who worked in a high-paying job. In our first session working together she told me she was going to quit her job next month and do her own thing and she was proud of her choice. My gut feeling told me that she was living in a fantasy and that it was not going to work out. I have heard this many times from other clients. When I asked her a couple of follow-up questions, I learned that this was the third time she did this.
She would work hard at a high-paying job for a few years, quit her job, travel the world with her savings and then when her money was finished, get another job and repeat.
It’s great if she does that consciously. I’m all about conscious living and creating. But she wasn’t doing it consciously. She was living in an unrealistic expectation that she would do her own business and be successful doing that. Instead, she spent her saved up money on travel and adventure, which was her true highest value.
If you ever want your business to be successful, you need to have a value of actually running the business and making it successful. If you have a value on freedom: free time, freedom of a boss and spending money on travel and luxury, guess what you’re going to “create”?
You will travel, do nothing all day, spend money and before you know it, you’re forced to find another job to sustain your lifestyle.
How can someone truly create more freedom?
First of all, you have to recognize that freedom is a state of mind. You already have so many freedoms. Freedom of speech. Freedom of movement. Freedom of choice. Freedom of location. Freedom to travel. Freedom to move. Freedom to design your live the way you want it to be as well as so many other freedoms.
Secondly, you have to remember that freedom and constraint go together and never disappear. Just as you have your freedoms, you will always have your constraints as well.
You will always have a “boss”: someone who tells you what to do. If you quit your job and start your own business, your “boss” has changed form (transformed) into a client, accountant, customer, business partner, supplier or another person who is involved in your business and tells you want they want and/or need from you.
Don’t live in this fantasy that quitting your jobs leads to more freedom, because it will not. It will just change the form that your freedom (and constraints) will be in.
Thirdly, instead of the vague goal and fantasy of “freedom”, really think about what freedom means to you and set more specific goals.
- I spend 3 hours of quality time with my family.
- I earn $5000 a month with my business
- I have an online business that allows me to work from anywhere in the world
When you set goals like this it becomes easier to achieve, because they are specific goals that you can focus on and find out how to achieve them.
Can you see and feel the difference between:
1) I quit my job so I can have more freedom and not work for a boss
2) I run a successful online business generating $5000 a month providing professional training programs for professionals.
The first one is a fantasy that doesn’t have a specific target to go for apart from freedom, while the second goal is specific and achievable.
I have always made good money, both online and offline by focusing on adding value. However, one venture didn’t work out, because I was solely focused on freedom. Back when Amazon Kindle was released in 2007, I knew that there would be a huge market for e-books. I started writing, outsourcing and creating e-books like crazy. Within a year I had written 50 e-books, which made me thousands of dollars a month. I thought I was retired and that I could live on the beach in Thailand.
It lasted for about a year. Then other people started to learn about making money on Kindle. They did a bit more research, they wrote an e-book that was a little bit better and longer, they posted 1-star reviews on their competitor’s e-books, hired a couple of people to give them fake 5-star reviews and became successful.
What some internet marketers do when their original source of income drries up is to create a course about their success: “I will teach you how to make thousands of dollars a month with writing e-books for Kindle.” I thought that was and is unethical and unfair, because it doesn’t work anymore. Nowadays you see such courses and seminars everywhere:
- “How to make money with property with no money down”
- “How to rent out your room to earn thousands of dollars a month”
- “How to make $1,000,000 a year drop shipping products on Amazon”
And do you remember these:
- “How to make money on Etsy”
- “How to make money with Bitcoin”
- “How to make money on Ebay”
I’m not saying that none these courses work. I am saying that you have to do your research and make sure that the opportunity is still valid and is congruent with who you are, your skills, your location, experience and your goals. If you buy any of these products to fulfil your fantasy of freedom: think again.
Often these products teach outdated methods that worked years ago, but don’t necessarily work anymore today. The people selling these products are now making more money from these courses, rather than with what they actually teach in these courses.
Why is that?
The lifecycle of products and services are becoming shorter and shorter. The competition is increasing. The prices are becoming less and less. The costs are getting higher and higher.
People are being told to “funnelhack”, “model success” and to “market research” which are all expensive words for copying someone who is successful in a business, add your own twist to it and become successful yourself.
If you don’t have the value of a business owner/entrepreneur: someone who can creatively deal with all of that, you will not have a successful business long term.
So don’t quit your job to start your own business to have more freedom. Understand that freedom and constraint will just change into new forms but never disappear. Be specific about what it is you want to create and achieve. And don’t pursue freedom as that will actually imprison you ever further.
I would like to end this article with a quote from my dad, Theo Milatz:
“ The more discipline, the more freedom”