Entrepreneurship is about freedom, not money

If you think being an entrepreneur is about the money, you’re wrong. If you think it’s about the fame, you’re wrong. If you think it’s about the bragging rights, you’re wrong.

You can make money doing a 9-5. You’ve got a better chance of becoming famous by writing a book than by starting a business. You could win a watermelon eating competition and earn your bragging rights.

Entrepreneurship is about freedom. Nothing more, nothing less.

Entrepreneurship is about freedom. Nothing more, nothing less. Click To Tweet

There’s only so much money you need

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants" –Epictetus

Let’s be honest, money, after you’ve got your basic needs covered and then some, is just something which is nice to have, but it doesn’t make so much difference.

Once your basic needs are covered, money should be an afterthought Click To Tweet

Sure, you could buy a yacht, a private jet or a football team. Nothing wrong with that, I agree.
But you can rent a nice boat and cruise the Mediterranean for a couple of weeks for 50k. And while flying private is quite convenient, I’d rather fly commercial in business or first and not have the overhead of owning a private jet. As for the football team, the best tickets for a game won’t cost you that much and you’d spare yourself the stress which comes with running a professional sports team — which is just like running a business, but with millions of board members!

I like nice things and I like spending on amazing experiences. I like eating out and collecting watches. But really, there’s only so much I can spend in a month and I guess that’s the same for most people.

Why do you think all the smart people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are giving all their wealth to charity? Because they’re smart! They know that even though they splurge, they don’t need all of that money for themselves.

Working for the money is a vicious cycle, because you’ll never have enough (Click to Tweet). There will always be someone with a bigger boat, a more expensive piece of art or a nicer house. It could go on forever! And once you enter that vicious cycle, you’ll miss out on the real goal of starting a business: having freedom (Click to Tweet).

You can’t buy freedom

"If you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down." - Toni Morrison

Freedom, as in freedom to do what you want, when you want it, with the people you love, is the biggest asset one can have.
There’s no way around it!

Freedom is worth much more than money Click To Tweet

If you work for the money, you’ll be a slave your whole life (Click to Tweet). Because you can always make more money, so you don’t have time to go on vacation with your family else you’d leaving money on the table. You can’t take a week off to go visit a friend who leaves abroad else you’d be leaving money on the table. You can’t take three months off to visit South America else you’d be leaving money on the table.

I firmly believe freedom should be your ultimate goal and entrepreneurship is the best way to reach it (Click to Tweet).

Sure, starting a business is a challenging task which will consume most of your energies. However once the business is running and if you hired the right people to help you run it, you’ll have freedom and you’ll get to enjoy the benefits which come with having it.

$100k > $500k

One thing you need to understand is that starting a business is not always the best way to make lots of money. And it doesn’t have to be!

Starting a business is not always the best way to make lots of money Click To Tweet

There are plenty of jobs where you can make a few hundred thousands a year by being an employee. If you can hustle through your career and make it to the management level, you could earn a lot of money, sometimes even millions if you consider all of the benefits.
So if it’s only money you’re after, you might want to consider being an employee (Click to Tweet).

On the other hand, you could start a business, even a healthy one, let’s say a one-person business. And you could turn in $100k a year.
It’s not bad, really, but a lot less than what you’d make by being a manager in a medium sized company.

However, what makes the difference is that the $100k you earn from your own business will buy you freedom. You’re the one running the business, you know everything that’s going on and you have the chance of giving up a month of earnings to do something else which you want to do.

Instead, if you’re an employee with a fat salary, chances are that you’re at the mercy of your boss. You can’t take even a day off, so forget about that month-long vacation you wanted to take!
Your employer doesn’t depend on you as much as your own business would, however you haven’t got the freedom to manage your own time, because it will feel like the employer’s life really is in your hands.

And if you don’t show up every day and put in extra hours, you’ll fear that your boss might think you’re not committing to your job and who cares, since it’s a high-paying job, he’ll have a long queue of people waiting to take your place.
This is going to haunt you day in day out, and you’ll soon feel trapped in a prison and what does it mean that it’s a golden one? Nothing!

Trust me, after a while, money stops being a priority and just becomes something nice to have. Freedom on the other hand will never stop being a priority and you’ll never have enough once you start savouring its sweet taste.

Make a list

Try to make a list of the things you’d like to buy. What is it? nice car, nice house, nice clothes, nice watch, nice shoes, latest iPhone, latest Mac. And then what?

Now, make another list with all the things you could do if you were free to do them: visit Indonesia, take family on holiday, visit friend in Europe, learn how to speak Japanese, dedicate all your week-ends to your kids, train for a marathon, etc.

Both lists could go on forever, but be honest and tell me which looks more valuable to you. The money list or the freedom list? I know my answer!

Do you want to start a business?

In my career, I started more than 10 businesses, some where great, others not so much and a couple of them failed hard. At 23 I was nominated by BusinessWeek as one of Europe's Best Young Entrepreneurs. It was and still is a great ride and I want to share everything that I learned with you.

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  • Melissa 2016.04.16 at 23:39

    Hi, although this is not a particular comment about your article, I was wondering if you could post more articles about self motivation and productivity. This is a great blog for entrepreneurship and self designed products, which is what I am aspiring to do.


    • Michele Finotto 2016.04.17 at 08:52

      Hi Melissa, glad you like my blog!

      There are a few articles about those, especially about focus which is something I deeply care about. But I’ll make sure to write a few more in the coming weeks.

      Are there any particular issues or questions you’d like me to address?

      Take care and good luck!

  • Melissa 2016.04.18 at 02:49

    Thanks! I guess some issues regarding how self deprecation limits ones’ esteem and ability to strive for their goals. It’s a bit personal, and not always relatable. Another issue is wanting to do everything and not knowing how to decide on what is important versus not as important but of great interest.


    • Michele Finotto 2016.04.18 at 07:26

      Those are not as personal as you might think: I have to say they are issues 99% of people starting a business experience. And they will definitely make for some interesting articles and I’m going to write them soon. Take care!


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