Episode 12: Freedom

Five areas of constraint we aim to overcome

Surveys have shown that the number one reason why entrepreneurs start a business is to have autonomy… it’s about freedom

Why is it so important for people to be free? 

This episode kicks off our series of shows focused on the five kinds of freedom that people are striving towards: Financial freedom, Time freedom, Location freedom, Impact freedom, Emotional freedom.

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Hey guys, Niel here. Welcome to the Elite Entrepreneur show number 12. Today is something different. Today, you will see that I’m on holiday… again.
I know I piss a lot of people off because I’m always traveling, but the fact is, it’s one of the reasons why we do this. It’s one of the reasons why we have businesses that are location independent, so that you can do stuff like this.
Those of you guys listening to the podcasts, if you hear noise in the background, there is a beautiful sea view right behind me. I would encourage you to go to www.eliteinc.com/12 to check out the views. It’s quite something to behold.

Today I’m going to talk to you about an interesting topic, a topic called “freedom”.

It’s the ultimate paradox. I’m going to explain to you why I say that. In all entrepreneurial surveys, when they ask entrepreneurs, “why did you start a business?”, the number one answer people always come up with is, “to be my own boss”.
Of all big entrepreneurial surveys ever done, that’s always the number one reason people cite why they start a business: to be their own boss. It’s about autonomy. It’s about personal freedom.

The question is, why is it so important for people to be autonomous and to be their own boss and to be completely free, when it’s so hard to run a business? You know, the funny thing is most people who start a business will earn a lot less than what they did when they were in corporate, but they still prefer running their own business. So why is that and why is personal freedom so important?

These are the questions we are going to be asking ourselves in this episode of the Elite Entrepreneur show. In fact, we are going to have a whole series about the discussion of freedom.

First of all, I believe this is the ultimate paradox because we live in a society today where we have so many resources. We pretty much have absolutely everything that we want and have always wanted in our lives. We have an abundance. At this point, there is something like 12 billion electronics hooked up to the internet. Most homes have two cars. We have more than excess of everything. Yet we want more. We strive for more. We work for more. There is nothing wrong with that. But the question is, why? Why is it that we want more? And what is it that we want more of?

It’s a very philosophical question. It’s something that I’ve been asking for many years for myself and for my clients. I started getting clues when I started asking people, “What do you want? What do you most want out of your life?”
It’s a surprisingly difficult question for most people to answer. In fact, most people can’t tell you what they want, but they can give you a detailed laundry list of everything that they do not want.
It’s quite interesting, because why is that? Why is it easier to answer the question, what I don’t want, than what it is to what I do want? I believe that there is a clue in that. For me, the clue is constraint. I think the reason why it’s easier for people to say what they don’t want is because they know what constrains them and they want the opposite of constraint.

When people say for example, they want financial freedom, they want more money, very few people can quantify it in a financial value, but most people say that they want more. When you prod a little bit and you say, why do you want more, what will more do you for you? It usually comes down to I don’t want to struggle. I don’t want to not be able to do things. So it’s the freedom of constraint.
When people complain about relationships and they are on their way out, you will get the same thing. They will talk about, “I don’t want someone to tell me what to do”, “I want to be able to just live my life”, “I want to have the freedom to be who I am”… and the list continues.
It always goes back to constraints. There are certain constraints that we don’t want.

What is the opposite of constraint? If you think about it, it’s freedom. So the question is: What freedom do we want, and what do we want freedom from?

You see, that’s something that we don’t always have an answer to it, but I believe it’s a really important question that we need to ask ourselves.
Think about the logic here. Running a business is hard. You are going to make massive sacrifices. You are going to invest a big part of yourself, a huge amount of your life energy into your business. What if you do that, but you end up still not being happy? What if you do that and you still end up not getting exactly what you wanted? What’s the point in that? Why would you do it? What would the benefit be of going through all that risk and all that time and all that effort and energy to still end up not with what you wanted?

I believe it’s wise to start with the end in mind, like Stephen Covey said. I think it’s a wise idea to get clarity on what is the end goal, what is the outcome that I’m really trying to accomplish and why, and then to work backwards, to design a path that can actually truly take you there.
It’s no point if you set sail on a boat and you intend going to the United States, but you ended up in Europe. You’ve got the wrong destination. I recommend you start by putting in the right destination from the beginning. It’s the same principle here.

The question is, what do you want? Why are you even listening to this podcast or watching this show? There is a part of you that wants more. There is a part of you that wants something to be different from the way it is now. There is a part of you that’s looking for an enhancement in your life, but what specifically? I suspect it has something to do with freedom. I’m going to talk to you guys about five different freedoms in the upcoming episodes. This episode is kind of the foundation to just kind of set the context for the rest of the conversation.

The most commonly cited freedom people want is financial freedom. That’s usually where people start. That’s quite obvious. I’m going to do a whole episode on financial freedom, what is it and what does it mean to be financially free?
But I think that’s kind of the most obvious one.

A second freedom that I see people wanting more and more of is time freedom. I think most of us are starved for time and if you are stuck in the corporate grind, time is the one thing that you just don’t have. Globally, people just feel that don’t have enough time for their kids; they don’t have enough time to do anything. I think people want their time back. So I would argue that time is probably the second freedom that you are looking for.

But that’s not all. You can have an abundance of money and you can have an abundance of time, but you could still be lacking. You could still come up short.
So a third freedom that I believe people are looking for is what you are seeing behind me if you are watching, location freedom.
Location freedom isn’t necessarily about traveling all the time, although I highly, strongly advise it. It’s about having choice of where you live.
We run a distributed work team as you know. We get a lot of people applying, brilliant people applying to our company, purely because we run a distributed workforce. People can work from wherever they want in the world.
We are getting high quality people at a fraction of the usual costs. Reason is, because those people would rather have freedom over their location than the highest paying job they could find in a very expensive city.

But you could still have all three of those freedoms and you could still not be satisfied and fulfilled. That leads me to the fourth freedom, which I believe is the most important freedom of all, which is impact freedom.
You see, deep down inside, most people want to make a difference in this world. Most people want to have an impact.
You don’t want to get to the end of your life and nobody even remembers that you were here. What’s the point in that?
So I think deep down inside, most of us want to make a bigger difference than what we are able to make in this world, but the vehicle we have right now to make that difference doesn’t lend ourselves to really going out and impacting the amount of people that we want to and impacting them in the way that we want to. So that I believe is the next freedom.

But you could still have that and not feel completely free because you may still lack the fifth freedom, which I believe is emotional freedom.
You see, in the final analysis, our experience of life comes down to how we feel every single day. I could have an abundance of time and money and resources all around me, but if I’m fearful that I’m not good enough, if I’ve got self-esteem challenges, if I am angry and I’m riddled with resentment, I can’t truly be free because I’m a prisoner of my own emotions.

I believe those five freedoms come together in unison to create what I call personal freedom.
I think that we need to understand how those five building blocks work together to create the ultimate experience: our freedom.

For this episode, I just wanted to put this context out here, but now it’s over to you. I want to know what you think. I want you to go to www.eliteinc.com/12 and track down the comments box.
There are two questions I want you to answer for me there. The first is, in what way do you feel free? In what area of your life do you feel you’ve got a sense of freedom, you have a sense of ability, you have the opposite of constraint?
The second question is, in what area of your life do you feel constraint? In what area of your life do you feel trapped? Do you feel like your choices and your options are limited? Do you feel that there is a part of you that’s trying to break free?

It will be very useful for you to contemplate these questions and join the conversation because you will notice that there is a commonality between what people want and what people are striving for. So join the conversation, go to www.eliteinc.com/12 and let us know what you think.
Tune in for the next four or five episodes, where dive into each one of these freedoms.

Again, go to www.eliteinc.com/12. If it’s time for you to take the next step and to take charge of your own destiny and you need our help, please book a call with one of my team members. It’s a quick little call, it’s 15 minutes, it’s complimentary. We can see if there is anything that we can help you with.
You just go to www.eliteinc.com/12, you scroll down, you book a complimentary 15 minute call with my team and remember to leave some comments, we would love to have a chat with you.

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From our side, again, thanks very much. I value your time that you’ve taken to tune in and I value your participation in this initiative. I will see you on episode number 13.