Once upon a time the idea of living the “good life” involved a good job, big house, fast car, and a decent salary that meant you could compare yourself with your peers and feel good about yourself.
The downside, of course, was that in order to get this you would have to sacrifice a lot of your time working for a company, sitting in congested commutes, and rarely being able to take time off to do all the things you wanted to do. In this sense people were living to work rather than working to live.
Today, however, the “new dream” doesn’t consist of a corner office and a fancy job title – it consists of freedom.
The opportunity to have more freedom in life has never been so great, thanks to the internet, we are able to work remotely from anywhere in the world. The vast amount of information that we have access to, for free, at our fingertips is unprecedented – meaning people are able to develop at a much faster rate than ever before.
Consumers are becoming more empowered and the rise in entrepreneurship is exponential. Yet, not only does this new dream of freedom relate to work and business, it also relates to study.
Once upon a time, you would have to physically attend lectures, pay expensive college fees in addition to living costs – whereas today, you can study most things online, meaning the fees are reduced and you can fit your studies around other commitments such as work or being a parent. You can practically study anything from the likes of Michigan Tech’s electrical engineering online degree to an MBA or something more vocational such as plumbing.
The remote working lifestyle is something many people dream of, yet whilst there is a wonderful opportunity to create more freedom in your life, from working remotely or studying remotely, the reality doesn’t always measure up with the dream.
Many people today are looking for a side hustle or remote business that allows them to travel the world and manage their digital business remotely, from anywhere with an internet connection, yet the reality is that more and more people are trading their office lifestyle for a more convenient yet insular home working setup.
The challenge of this is that you can end up feeling rather isolated, and too much of anything can be a good thing – even freedom – for the structure that comes with the daily commute, water cooler gossip, and collectively concentrated state of sitting in an office together does have its upside with regard to the social aspects.
In having a more freedom focused lifestyle, you will save a lot of money, as it can actually cost a lot to commute to a job during peak hours, particularly if you live far from the office, and takes a lot of time you could be using more effectively. It also means your life is not your own, working from home offers more flexibility and it means you can fit your work around your life rather than having to fit your life around your work.
There are of course many benefits to setting up a blog, travelling the world, and gaining financial freedom through the process of business automation – or setting up a side business, selling items on Amazon, or working for a company that reliably sends you tasks to complete each day… meaning you can complete them from anywhere in the world.
IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
The “freedom lifestyle” is not necessarily the right fit for everyone, as we all have different priorities, needs and desires.
For instance, if your highest priority on an emotional level is a sense of certainty and stability – then the freedom lifestyle that is offered by being a freelancer might not be for you, as there is a lack of certainty for most freelancers, in that they are not getting a reliable wage each week, or month, they have to scurry around to get gigs trying to make ends meet.
Indeed, there’s something reassuring about knowing you will get paid a certain amount of money each week, and in many ways all you really have to do is turn up and perform at an average level. There’s also the security of knowing that if you get sick your employer will still pay you, in fact, they’ll even pay you to take a vacation!
The “employee” lifestyle is not one many people relish as images of congested commutes and being chained to a desk; where someone else is defining the terms on which you work, yet the certainty that comes with this lifestyle is what keeps most people in this position.
The trade-off, however, is that whilst they have certainty in the sense of a regular paycheck and the stability of going to the office each day… they give up their freedom.
Of course, if you’re someone that values freedom rather than certainty, then the remote working revolution of freelancing, setting up side hustles and automated digital businesses will be perfectly aligned with where you’re at.
In fact, if you value freedom more than anything else, there’s a strong chance that you have made a very poor employee – because people that have “freedom” as their highest emotional priority tend to value the autonomy and independence that is taken away from them in the conventional work lifestyle.
The people that value freedom above all else tend to make better entrepreneurs, and if you look at anybody who has truly changed the world, or made a fortune, they haven’t done so by being a “good employee”.
Being self-employed, setting up a side hustle, or a major new business can be a great way to spread your wings and have more autonomy.
This level of freedom and responsibility, however, can feel burdensome at times. Many people can’t deal with that level of risk – but with risk comes the potential for reward, and those that truly value freedom above all else, will step up to the challenge of setting up a business or going it alone as a freelancer.