The Myths of Building a Successful Business | Part 7 | Myth of Freedom & Entrepreneurship
Have you recently asked an entrepreneur about why she chose to be her own boss? How many times do the words freedom, flexibility, and choice enter the conversation?
While writing an essay on why I answered the call of entrepreneurship, a big light dawned on me as I wrote, “Entrepreneurship gave me the freedom to choose my hours and the liberty to work from anywhere in the world.” As soon as my fingers ended that sentence, the spirit of the Jeep Wrangler came to mind.
In his book, The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do, Clotaire Rapaille talked of leading the redesign of the Jeep Wrangler. When Rapaille asked a focus group about their earliest memories of Jeep, there was a common thread in what they recounted. The group’s, “…stories had strong recurring images–of being out on the open land, of going where no ordinary car could go, of riding free of the restraints of the road.”
We humans looove freedom. As for entrepreneurs, we love the concept of calling our own shots. After all, we quit a 35-hour work week to work twice as many hours for ourselves. We love being on the open road knowing our destiny is ours. We love knowing that we can rest when we want, and work when we want—even when we are on the metaphorical beach. We hold dear this doxa of freedom and entrepreneurship.
Here’s the thing, depending on how you structure your business you can work from anywhere. You can have a “four-hour-work-week” and run a successful business. In this modern age, we are not constrained to a geographical boundary in which we can run our shop. We can claim a larger share of the open market. I mean, isn’t work an activity instead of a location?
In this modern age, we are not constrained to a geographical boundary in which we can run our shop.
Though I reckon, the freedom to work from everywhere is liberating. This freedom comes with a heavy tax.
Before we chat about the tax of freedom, let’s talk about the word itself. What does Freedom mean to you? For some, freedom means working from an RV while you travel the US. For others, it means being able to close high stake deals while at home. To some, it may mean being able to work in your PJs and take in a matinee movie on a random Tuesday.
- What habits do you need to develop in yourself so that your daily actions bring you closer to your goal?
- How do you increase efficiency in your business for maximum profit?
- What systems do you need to put in place to get to automate your workflow?
- How many years or seasons will it take you before attaining your definition of Freedom?
- When you do reach your freedom goal what activities will you construct so that you can enjoy your time?
The Freedom Tax
This spring we spent five weeks working and vacationing in Europe. We had a lovely time. Except of course when we didn’t. Not quite having a great holiday is a perennial problem of mine. Whether I’m at a campsite during work hours or doing a stay-cation, I inevitably feel as if I’m drowning under the weight of keeping the business going.
During the day, we were on assignment, the evening we enjoyed excellent dinners at the many restaurants that dotted the canals of East London. Past midnight we squeezed in calls with Chicago at 1 am GMT. In Barcelona, we would be visiting a Roman ruin and during family time I had to excuse myself to take more calls.
Though we had a great holiday; the tax on Freedom was too high. Exhausted one night while watching Spanish Netflix, we couldn’t help but wonder how we could structure our next holiday to have defined and strict times for play vs. work.
That’s the paradox of “freedom” isn’t it? It’s as if Freedom and Entrepreneurship are conjoined twins that are often resentful of each other. Having the final say on how you spend your time and where you work is fantastic and awful all at once. Our goal then, as businessmen and women is to be Freedom accountants and decide just how much Freedom tax we’re willing to pay on a regular basis.decide just how much Freedom tax we’re willing to pay on a regular basis Click To Tweet
What freedom has your business brought you? Have you been able to attain the beach lifestyle? How? If so, what structures have you put in place so that you can work AND enjoy play? We would love to hear from you.