When someone talks about building an online business, they generally talk about the importance of freedom and why having a business will “free” them from their current job, worries, or obligations. However, freedom does not come in just one flavor. There are actually two approaches to the freedom associated with an online business – Freedom To and Freedom From.
Although the concept has been around for hundreds of years, it was made popular in today’s literature by Aunt Lydia, a character in The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Let’s put it into the context of building an online business.
Freedom From is generally the first thought that someone has when dreaming of leaving their job to start their own business. Freedom from:
- an overbearing boss
- obnoxious co-workers
- a grueling commute
- too many rules
- someone else dictating your priorities
- asking permission to take the day off
- restricting your vacation to two weeks per year
- crushing debt
- dictated work hours
Just think of all of the negative reasons that you don’t like your job and you’ll have your own list of Freedom from reasons.
On the other hand, Freedom to provides a more positive perspective. It emphasizes the Reason Why you want to build your business. You may want the Freedom to:
- travel when you want to, for as long as you want to
- volunteer at your kids’ school
- take time off when you want
- enjoy sunshine coming in your home office window
- make your own rules
- hire the people you want to surround yourself with
- spend your money as you choose
- donate time and money to the charities of your choice
Freedom To allows you to dictate and control what you want. Freedom From is the list of what others control for you and what you are trying to escape.
If you have had a difficult time staying motivated long enough to build your business, take a day or two to list your Freedom From and Freedom To reasons. Keep those in front of you, particularly on those days when it seems overwhelming to build a business online. You’ll be quickly reminded of WHY you are doing this – and what you are moving toward in your life.