Every morning as my husband leaves for work he says, “I wish I had your lifestyle.”
Now don’t jump to the conclusion that he hates his life. Generally, he’s a pretty happy guy. He’s not complaining or being negative, because he is grateful for the work he has and he enjoys most of the people he works with. And, he’s actually really good at what he does.
Also, don’t jump to the conclusion that I sit home and eat bon-bons all day, watch reality television, and my biggest decision is where to make dinner reservations. (actually, that’s my personal definition of a living hell…)
Nope. I’m an entrepreneur and I work from my home office – or beach office – or train office – or coffee shop office – or….
What my husband is really referring to is my ability to decide how and where I will spend my energy, talents, and time.
What he is really referring to is his definition of FREEDOM.
So I have to ask, “What is YOUR definition of Freedom?”
Don’t worry, this is not a pop quiz, there is no single “right” definition, and you won’t be graded or judged on the answer…not by me anyway!
So as you’re thinking about what Freedom means for you, let me share a story with you about how I embraced my definition of freedom.
It was right before I lost everything.
I was working in the mortgage industry, pulling in 6-figures of revenue each year, living in a million dollar house, driving a nice car, and from the outside looking in it looked like I had everything.
And I did have a lot of “everything”…but something was not right.
What I discovered was that the “not right” part was the fact that I was spending all my time working, and not enough time playing. I kept justifying to myself that I was doing it all for the “good of the family” but in reality, more money was not what my family wanted or needed.
What they really desired was more of me!
And not just the me that was physically in the room but whose mind was occupied and distracted by all the “important” work that was waiting for me. They wanted the me that was fully present, fully engaged, fully happy and healthy and enjoying the most valuable part of my life…my family.
Life has a Funny Way of Keeping you Balanced
Just as in nature, when things get out of whack something drastic happens to put things back into balance.
For me, that was the mortgage meltdown.
But this isn’t a tragedy and I certainly don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I don’t need to re-hash the “story” of the perfect financial storm that I found myself in.
What is important is that at that moment I discovered my definition of Freedom.
For me, it involves more than “money.” For me money is just a tool we can use to grease the wheels of progress for accomplishing greater things. It does not define me. It is not a measure of how valuable or important I am. It does not imply that I’m better or worse than the person standing next to me in the grocery line. It never has been.
No, for me, Freedom has more to do with TIME.
Time is our most valuable and non-renewable resource. What I discovered is that I allowed myself to become too distracted and as a result I was not managing that most valuable resource of time very well.
I was out of balance.
Getting Back in Shape
The funny thing is, I knew it all along!
Just like when you’re walking around with an extra 10-50 pounds of weight. You know that you’re not in perfect health, and you know you should be eating differently, and you know that you should be exercising more, and you even know how to do it and when you can do it.
You’re just not ready….until.
Until something happens and you realize you’re ready to do something about it. You get motivated. You get pissed off….
The day you decide to do something about it…the day you decide to put your life back into balance and start living it on your terms…that’s the day you will embrace freedom.
At least that’s how it happened for me.
I didn’t have time (or the desire) to feel sorry for myself about the things that I couldn’t control. Instead, I realized the gift of a clean slate and I asked myself:
“OK….what do you want to do now?….what do you REALLY want to do?”
For me, at that moment, I embraced the FREEDOM that technology was making possible.
Yes, there was a lot to learn, and a lot of trial and error and bad or incomplete advice that I had to go through to find the “formula” for building a business online. But learn I did.
And, you can too.
So…what does FREEDOM look like for you?
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