Many of you want to become entrepreneurs because you want to be “free”.
I’ve heard “freedom” used by prospective microbusiness entrepreneurs in different ways, including:
- I want to be financially free
- I want to be my own boss and make my own decisions
- I want better control of my own future
- I want to make money doing what I love
- I want to work my own hours
- I want better quality of life
- I want more time with my family
Here’s the first problem many have with wanting to be “free”:
You can’t reach a goal you haven’t defined. You wouldn’t know what reaching the goal would feel like and look like.
If you only have a vague sense of what “free” means, then you won’t know where you are on your way to freedom. When you hit a milestone, you may enjoy a mild case of temporary happiness that is soon replaced by the familiar feeling of dissatisfaction.
Get As Specific As You Can about What Freedom Means!
And I mean, really, really specific.
You want financial freedom? How much money for how long used to do what and with whom? Did you figure taxes in your answer? Did you make room for unforeseen life circumstances? Did you add your kid’s college tuition in your answer (if you plan to have children and want them to receive a college education)?
You want better quality of life? Put a number to your perceived current quality of life (say, from 1 to 10). What is “better”? Is this taking a current quality of life score from 2 to 5? From 5 to 9? What are the factors that will increase this score?
Here’s the second problem many have with wanting to be “free”:
You can’t be happy living by someone else’s standards. Well, at least, you can’t be happy for too long. You wouldn’t feel connected to the deep sense of fulfillment and life satisfaction that you want.
If you derived your meaning of freedom from someone else whose value system deviate from your own, then you will never feel “at home” with the results you have earned.
Know Where Your Definition of Freedom Came From!
This one is tricky, because it requires keen self awareness and the courage to confront the possibility that some of your thought process may be based on fear or “lack of” (in other words, a pauper mentality). For example:
Where did you get your numbers needed for “financial freedom”? Did you come up with these numbers? Or is it based on someone you admire (maybe even a rival)? Do you really need to make a million dollars to be “financially free” where you live, or is it because you like to call yourself a millionaire? You can live in a place where a million dollars a year isn’t enough for you to be financially free. You can also live in a place where fifty thousand dollars a year is enough for you and your family to live without worry.
Where did you get your definition for quality of life? Is your quality of life largely based on access to tangible things (material wealth)? Do you really want to have all these things, or do you think you need to have these things in order to “keep up”?
If you truly want to be free, you have to first define WHAT FREEDOM MEANS to you. More importantly, you have to know WHERE did your definition of “freedom” came from.
Image Credit: “Free Executive” by Sachin Ghodke