The Growth Leaders Blog

Sharing our thoughts on the adventure of business leadership

The Entrepreneurial Pursuit of Freedom

Apr 2023

Entrepreneurship and the Pursuit of Freedom

I love entrepreneurs, I find them the most interesting people. I have never met one that I couldn't learn something from.

Part of the entrepreneurship DNA, I believe, is that entrepreneurs have an extraordinary ability to make their goals so big, vivid and colourful in their own minds that they are prepared to take risks and go through hardship that others simply won’t. Entrepreneurs - like teachers and nurses - are undervalued in today's society yet it is entrepreneurs that drive the economy, create jobs, wealth and happiness.

Entrepreneurs are not necessarily the best students at school, they typically don't like authority and some who will go on to excel in business see school as a prison.

So what drives an entrepreneur?

I think entrepreneurs are courageous in their pursuit of personal freedom and that freedom can take many forms:

Freedom from having a boss
Freedom to build purseue an ideal / purpose (or simply to build a business or a offering their way)
Financial freedom
Freedom to spend their time the way they want to

Freedom from Having a Boss

Great bosses can be role models, heroes, mentors, and sometimes even friends. Bad ones can be selfish tyrants; manipulative yet charming bullies driven by ego, greed and self-glorification. Many employees will just suffer it – often for amazing lengths of time - but there are always those that will not, and the entrepreneur is the one that does decide they will not suffer at the hands of a bad boss any longer.

Freedom to build it “Their Way”

Frustration with the status quo, the corporate inability to change or the refusal to follow a great idea can cause even the most loyal team member to consider doing it themselves, but better. The drive to just do it “the right way” is huge. Following a passion is a great drive for entrepreneurs. Many think it. Few do it. Entrepreneurs are the few.

Financial Freedom

There is no doubt in my mind that the pursuit of money in itself is an evil, while the pursuit of a freedom that means you never have to worry about money, is not. Those of us that have ever struggled to pay the mortgage, struggled with debt, struggled to feed ourselves or our families, understand what a draining and negative stress financial worry is. If you have experienced it, the chances are you yearn to know that you’ll have one pound more than you need today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Just not having to think about money brings a freedom that is a joy.

Freedom to spend time “Their Way”

Perhaps the ultimate freedom is that of time.

I have blogged before about how early retirement can be a complete disaster for entrepreneurs, after all a holiday isn’t a holiday when it’s a permanent state of affairs and I don’t believe that doing nothing is a recipe for happiness – quite the opposite. We were born to co-operate, work in teams and work on projects together – from hunting mammoths to building space rockets, each of us can have a useful place in a great team.

Working on projects because you want to, not because you have to, is one of life’s pure joys; projects that are exciting, projects that create jobs, wealth and prosperity, projects that benefit others, projects that push boundaries and projects that involve collaboration with other exciting people and ideas. In a world where too many people are exhausted just by the process of making a living doing a dull job, surely the ability to work on things that don’t even seem like work is the ultimate freedom? If you combine that with truly having enough free time to follow your passions outside of work, surely this represents the ultimate in freedom?

Our life is just time. Being able to choose how we spend that it is the ultimate freedom. Ultimately it just means having enough money to choose, not being a slave to it.

I believe there are four bridges to cross to achieve these freedoms and this will be the subject of my next blog.

What entrepreneurial freedom are you pursuing? Have I missed something fundamental? Please tell me.