I love the freedom of working for myself! Freedom has always been something that is SO important to me, and the notion of a 9-5 and having to ask permission to take a vacation – well, it never sat well with me! - Alison Andrews, SBI! member since 2009

What Is The Real Meaning Of Personal Freedom To A Solopreneur?

Written By: Mike Allton in Real-Life Success Lessons! | July 26, 2015

The-Real-Meaning-Of-Personal-Freedom

Throughout this month, we’ve been talking a lot about “Personal Freedom” and what that means to solopreneurs, both and new and existing.

Our Sales Manager, Amy, talked about “Solopreneurship IS Personal Freedom” and shared how flexible her schedule, and her lifestyle is, as a direct result from working remotely for a solopreneurial-focused business like SiteSell. (Though I should state, for the record, that it was not me chatting with her and keeping her up until midnight. My exhausted head hits the pillow shortly after my kids are down.)

Then our Communications Manager, Margit, thought it would be interesting to explore what some of our other featured solopreneurs do and enjoy about the solopreneurial lifestyle. She compiled sixteen “Personal Freedom Quotes by Everyday Solopreneurs” and it’s fascinating. “Being able to do what we want, when we want, and where we want.” – that’s a quote that really resonated with me!

Finally, our Affiliate Manager, Erin, posed the question – “Personal Freedom – A Dream Or A Mindset?” She explores the idea that the kind of personal freedom those everyday solopreneurs talk about is something you could only dream about, and dispels it. She says, “The difference between dreaming about personal freedom and having a personal freedom mindset comes down to attitude and action.”

Amy, Margit and Erin have all excellently and eloquently articulated what really matters most to solopreneurs, or people who want to be solopreneurs, and that is Being In Control.

Being in control of your schedule.

Being in control of your direction.

Being in control of your income.

Personal Freedom, in this context, doesn’t mean you’re free to lounge around all day and play video games. As much as I’d love to get back into Guild Wars, I don’t have that kind of time.

What I do have is the freedom to determine what’s important to me, and to my business, and to focus my time and efforts there.

So what does that mean to you?

You have to decide what’s most important to you. Is it being able to spend time with your family when they need you? Is it being able to determine for yourself what projects and initiatives you’re going to work on? Or perhaps it’s getting yourself to a position, financially, where your income isn’t determined by a boss and someone else’s Profit/Loss Statement.

Mikes-Family
My family and I enjoying the beaches of Oahu.

For me, the most important aspect of Personal Freedom is being in control of my schedule, and being able to leverage that control to be available to my family when needed.

My wife and I have two little girls, Cadence and Emmaline. Cadence turns four in August, while Emmaline was just born last year.

Cadence is, well, let’s just say it… High Maintenance. She’s a beautiful, brilliant child who is also extremely demanding. While Emmaline, on the other hand, is calm and relatively easy to take care of. As long as you change her and feed her and get her to sleep, she’s a very happy baby.

Now, every weekday, Cadence attends Montessori, a preschool just down the street from our house with other kids her age. She loves it, and we love the attention and interaction and learning opportunities she receives.

The only problem is that she has to be there by 8:30am, which means she has to get up and get ready at 7:30am… and that’s about the time Emmaline wakes up and wants fed.

For a long time, I had been going to the office (my third floor loft) at 7 and working until 5 or 6 every day. I like my routine so it’s a schedule that works well for me. Except that every other day, Emmaline would wake up while my wife was trying to get Cadence out the door, and I’ve have to interrupt what I was doing to help with one kid or the other.

There’s nothing much worse than an interruption while you’re working, particularly if you’re writing, as I often am, so a change was needed.

Thanks to my Personal Freedom of schedule, I just decided to get up a little earlier, and then deliberately stop what I’m doing and take care of Cadence every day at 7:30. Instead of coming into the office at 7, I come in at 6, but then take an hour off from 7:30-8:30 to get Cadence ready and out the door.

I have a personal commitment to a certain amount of hours each week in order to meet my professional goals and SiteSell’s needs – but at no point did I have to get approval from someone to adjust my schedule. I just did it.

I choose to work 10-11 hour days during the week, and most Saturday and Sunday afternoons. But here’s the thing… the reason most solopreneurs are willing to invest this much and more into their business… it hardly feels like work when you’re doing something you love.

I love writing. I love doing and talking about marketing. And I love helping other solopreneurs and bloggers and business owners. I’m writing this post on a Sunday morning before beginning the day with the rest of my family and I’m having a blast. I’m very blessed and privileged to be able to devote so much of my time and intellect to such activities.

And perhaps that’s the greatest Personal Freedom of all.

Being free to pursue your passions.

I hope you’re on your way to experiencing your personal freedoms. But I know many of you aren’t. There are challenges and obstacles in your path. Which is exactly why I wrote, “The Path of the Solopreneur” – a 7-part course delivered free via email to help you get through, over and around whatever’s standing between you and the personal freedom that solopreneurship can deliver. Sign up today, and we’ll continue this journey together.

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Mike Allton
Mike Allton is the Chief Marketing Officer for SiteSell. He has spent years helping solopreneurs achieve success online through the precepts of content marketing: write great content, share that to social, and drive new leads & sales.Mike’s focus is to reach people who have a passion for something and show them how it’s possible to turn that dream into a real online business and income.
  • Hey Mike… great post!

    Until now I wasn’t fully aware of personal freedom that my job brings me… largely because I haven’t been thinking about it, and I haven’t defined it in my mind… that’s why I take it for granted (I see that now)

    Being in control of your schedule.
    Being in control of your direction.
    Being in control of your income.

    Those 3 things are the spot on… Thanks for enriching me with this article!

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