At Unleash Your Freedom, we hold and guide women on their leap from solopreneur to entrepreneur or from entrepreneur to freedompreneur.
If you're unfamiliar with these terms, picture a symphony orchestra:
- The solopreneur would be a one-woman-show, who is running from the violin to the drums to the piano to the cello, trying to play every instrument
- The entrepreneur would be the symphony conductor, who is elegantly leading the talented musicians to create beautiful harmonious music
- The freedompreneur would be the owner of the orchestra and music hall, who is sitting in the audience enjoying her life (and jumping in to play or conduct if the desire arises from within)
IT'S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
It doesn't matter what age you are, or how many calendar years you've been in business, a leap is a leap. It requires courage, stamina and resiliency.
If you're unfamiliar with Guide to Grace's definition of these terms, here they are:
- Courage is the inner strength and faith to take brave action
- Stamina is the grounded determination and discipline to weather the storm of any Heroine's Journey
- Resiliency is the strength and willingness to get back up after each fall/"failure" and extract learning to inform the next brave act
Lately, we've been coaching and mentoring women who have been entrepreneurs for many years, with many big wins and some major setbacks. It's as if, in the thick jungle of entrepreneurship, they forgot why they were doing business. They lost touch with their original vision and their primordial instinct and yearning to be free.
So let us remind you.
BIG OBVIOUS REASONS
1. Unlimited earning potential: no salary grades to cap your prosperity
2. Time freedom: insane amount of time saved by running errands (eg. dentist, yoga class, groceries, haircut, etc.) during off-peak times, or 3. attending a masterclass during the day or a conference mid-week, and 4. not having to take a day off just to wait for delivery or repairman
3. Time mastery: companies give employees time off but then frown upon them when they request a vacation. No one gets to control my time from now on!
4. Out of the rat race: In The NY Times May 16, 2011 crossword puzzle, the answer to "40 Across. Daily nine-to-five struggle" was: R - A - T - R - A - C - E. It's like Lily Tomlin says, "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."
5. Location independence: work from anywhere, from family wedding in Italy to sisterhood trip in Bali
6. Abundance of vacation time at my convenience: I once worked at a global firm that gave 2 weeks vacation, and you get one measly extra week after TEN years of service, no thanks!
7. Choice of work colleagues: no more enduring crappy bosses, bad apple colleagues, office drama or energy vampires, woohoo!
8. Freedom from glass ceilings: no caps to your growth or advancement (ie no jealous colleague or boss who feels threatened by you)
9. Freedom from rush hour commute: save insane amounts of 10. time, 11. fuel (lower carbon footprint), 12. money, 13. stress (road rage is bad for blood pressure) and 14. depressingly crowded public transit, 15. car maintenance and 16. parking costs
17. Freedom from dress code: wear what feels comfortable, beautiful and nourishing
18. Choice of ideal work environment: trade noisy cubicle for gorgeous salons or freezing air-conditioned buildings for my bright, cheery home (or cake shop in Odessa, Ukraine, poolside lounge chair at Governor's House in Yangoon, Myanmar, or 5-storey bookstore in Sofia, Bulgaria)
19. Freedom from an incompetent yet controlling boss(es): bye-bye micromanagers! (Story: I once had a micro-manager who, with my colleagues help, wasted 40% of our work day. Yeah, no thanks.)
The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
– LILY TOMLIN
20. Outcomes commensurate with talent, not hours: success depends on your intelligence and investment, not on the number of hours sat at a desk
21. Security from multiple income streams: no more precarious single source of income, when you can have multiple and keep replenishing the pipeline
22. Possibility for financial freedom: in business, you can build assets that eventually generate residual income
23. HUGE tax savings from deductible business expenses (this could make 101 reasons in itself!)
24. Benefits of incorporation: separating business assets from personal, and benefiting from corporate deductions and tax shelters
25. Personalized Health Savings Account: setup your own business health insurance coverage the way you and your team need it and 0. benefit from the tax deduction
26. Savings and sanity from low season travel: avoid the hoards of tourists!
27. Cozy PJs all day long: no more need to do your hair and get dolled up if you don't want to
28. Intermittent breaks: where you can toss in a load of laundry if needed and resume work, without chores pilling up sky high and being too exhausted to deal with them by end of week
29. Choice of favorite hardware and 30. software: for me, when you go Mac you never go back (can't imagine ever having to use Internet Explorer again!)
31. Ability to rest your body deeply and often: freely take a power nap, 32. stretch your back on a yoga ball or 33. meditate between work sessions
34. Option to power nap (this deserves its own reason): napping increase 35. alertness [which in itself reduces costly mistakes], 36. productivity and 37. creativity and 38. serotonin which reduces overwhelm, irritability and even depressive states
39. Access to ergonomic work environment: with the ability to limit prolonged desk sitting
40. Access to fresh air: slide a window open, work from the park or terrace, feel more alive from within your lungs
41. Give yourself a promotion anytime: and if you feel like it, give yourself a new title as you please, no more HR red tape!
42. Honoring of my circadian rhythm for ideal work day: no more alarm clock, creative white space blocked for most creative time of the day, clients bundled only in the afternoon
43. Honoring of weekly needs and life circumstances: weekends may be your most productive times and certain weekdays are then your relaxation time
44. Honoring of soul work seasons: there will be seasons of intense creativity, others of hibernation, you get to flow with instead of against them
45. Flow with the 4 seasons: you can work more intensely in Spring, the entire summer off, dive back in during Autumn or reconfigure however you like
46. More hours in a day: when you're in the zone, working on what you love and are talented at, time slows down and there is more of it
47. Availability for family and friends: from child care to elderly care or visiting a bestie in the hospital, you have the flexibility to look after those you care for (remember though: just because you can doesn't mean you should, so just because you have the flexibility, doesn't mean you should spend 24/7 rescuing everyone else, and completely ignoring your business)
48. Respecting your own growth rate: some approach business like the hare (intense, and full on), others approach it like the tortoise (slow and steady win the race), some use a combo approach, whatever your own rate if growth is, you get to abide by that, no one else gets to dictate that.
49. Outcomes commensurate with focus, not "deals": success depends on your discipline and attention, not on being chums with the boss
50. Option to outsource work: if it's not your joy or zone of genius, delegate it to someone else! (I once posted a job ad on Upwork.com and had 48 proposals within 24 hours! Finding the right support person/team is like dating. But once found, I loved not having to do the crap I hated. No more dread nor procrastination, just freedom!)
51. Freedom from dread and procrastination: if dreading a task, hire someone more talented than you to do it
52. Freedom from bureaucracy, office politics, unproductive meetings about meetings or paper pushing
53. Security of knowing you can't get fired or "restructured": you're the boss!
54. Power to let misaligned or underperforming team members go: again, you're the boss
55. Hand select your clients and customers, 56. partners, and 57. mentors (from a global pool of brilliant minds to inspiring hearts)
58. Naturally attractive: fulfilled, purposeful and joy-filled people attract much more effortlessly the partners and opportunities they seek
Businesses are spending all this money on this place called the office, and they're making people go to it all the time, yet people don't do work in the office.
– JASON FRIED
59. Increased productivity: when a team is task or results based, a lot less time is wasted on chit-chat, meetings and meetings about meetings
60. Deep meaning that drives the ship: when there is deep meaning, work goes from sluggish and torturous to playful and effortless flow
61. Sense of authority and significance: having control means no longer being a tiny cog in a monstrous factory machine
62. Focus on purpose: unlike other crazed enterprises solely focused on the bottom line, you can focus on a purposeful movement / revolution)
63. High actualization of your potential: other than raising conscious children, there is nothing more fulfilling than to turn your most inner purpose into creative ideas into physical products/services in service of others
64. Ability to create quiet white space for creativity: it's hard to be powerfully creative in the hustle and bustle of an office
65. Freedom from guilt: entrepreneurs feel so knee deep responsible for their team that every extra 30min they take for themselves feels selfish, not the case for freedompreneurs who have passed the baton to a trustworthy team
66. Fulfillment in the now: no more waiting for 65 or retirement to start living and enjoying life, a solid freedompreneurship business can give you life now
67. Joy fueled energy: as a freedompreneur who is on purpose, joy creates a huge reserve of energy "magically" out of nowhere
AS A SOLOPRENEUR
AS A FREEDOMPRENEUR
68. Freedom from regret: you'll never wonder if you unleashed your greatest potential
69. Choice to run a values based business: the driving compass of your business are your top 2 values, not just the bottom line or what the "cool kids" are doing
70. Freedom from victimhood: the circumstances that you're not content with aren't being done to you when you take charge of your life and embark on the quest of freedompreneurship
71. Belong to the future: as more and more freedom seekers awaken and take their future and fulfillment into their own hands, belong to an inspiring of change makers
72. Opportunity for embodied non-conformity: you've never fit into the mold, freedompreneurship is your change to live that truth into your bones
73. Greatest fears conquered: freedompreneurship is not an easy quest, but it's one of the best ways to see how strong you really are
74. Play as a pathway to success: you no longer have to whip yourself like an ox plowing a field, you can use exploration and play to realize a dream
75. Privacy and recovery space: when free to work your way, there's space for private medical phone calls, processing of intense emotions, even a good ugly cry where needed
FEEL GOOD REASONS
76. More joy: no more dreading Mondays and longing for Fridays when business ownership is filled with purpose and freedom
77. Delight of spontaneous, leisurely lunches or outings with best friends, clients, etc: depth of intimacy and connection at its best! (Story: Soulsister M and once scored 20+ designer garments at a $100 red bag sale! We went in the middle of the day :D)
78. Healthier meals: when you have control of your time and work from home, you have more say in your meal planning and access to a full kitchen (79. saves a lot of money too!)
80. Freedom from tupperware: this is one of my favorites, not having to pack my lunch and wash tupperware containers (I could be the only one?)
81. Stress reduction: less cortisol in your system means 82. less anxiety, 83. less memory/learning problems and 84. better immunity (BIG NOTE: I'm not saying that becoming a freedompreneur is 100% stress free, I'm saying that you have the authority to taper stress to a minimum and build up brand and asset that further reduce your stress)
85. Abundant opportunities on a global stage: the world is your oyster!
86. Infinite breadth and depth for learning: no cap on adventures, experiences, and life lessons (Story: I was once offered a position with $700/year of continuing education subsidy. It felt suffocating to be told, "We won't allow you to learn anything beyond $700 for another 365 days." I obviously didn't take the job. Any self-respecting "self-development junkie" would do the same.)
With infinite grace,
(First Published Dec 4, 2019)
Fan the flames
Spread the freedom
What did you feel or take away? Every comment frees genius and spreads freedom.
"Fear not the flames. You are the fire."
May these reclamation stories and liberation tools inspire and guide you to navigate time, identity and creativity, gracefully and joyfully. xo, Ellany
To renew or sustain an identity or business,
start with Freedom Fundamentals. ⤵︎