What freedom means to me as an entrepreneur.

Today is the 4th of July. The day that marks our freedom and independence as Americans. Yet, the words freedom and independence are actually quite loaded and their meaning varies for the people who make up the fabric of our country.

As I reflect on these two words, I have many thoughts swirling around my end regarding the inequities and inequalities that continue to exist within our borders. I also think about the current divide in our country between those who choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and those who don’t. Divides caused by the tragic downside of living in a country that values personal freedom and independence over consideration of the collective good. These realities are important to note and each could be developed in their own series of posts. But, they are not the focus of this post.

Today, I want to take a moment to reflect and share what the word freedom means to me as an entrepreneur.

Freedom as an entrepreneur means opportunity and impact.

Let me unpack this a little more for you…

Freedom as an entrepreneur means that I have the opportunity to create and build a business of my own choosing that is designed around my dreams, goals, passions and strengths. It means that I have the opportunity to create something out of nothing, take risks, try, fail, learn and grow. It means that if I think I have a shot, I can take it. The opportunity to try - regardless of the outcome - is one of the greatest gifts of entrepreneurism.

Freedom as an entrepreneur means that my end goal is to build a business that makes an impact. To transcend beyond survival - beyond myself - to contribute to the greater good of this world through. Being an entrepreneur allows me to navigate my way through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs - finding creative solutions to meet my own needs and giving me the space to continually find meaning and purpose in the work I do. It means that, in the end, I can discover a way to live out my values and build something that has potential to last beyond the brief years I have available to me on this planet. 

In a nutshell. Freedom is not just about me, but also what I can do for the good of others.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

As I ponder this particular 4th of July holiday, recognizing that I have the freedom to think these thoughts and share them publicly without fear of retribution due to the sacrifices of many that have gone before me, I am thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to become an entrepreneur. Thankful for the chance to create meaning for myself. Thankful to the ability to leave an impact of good on the world.

What does freedom mean to you?