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  • #990741
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
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    Hey all

    Starting in March, I’d like to use one or two of our Friday posts on the main Flying Solo site to feature the considerable wisdom and clever thoughts the members in our Forums have to offer. I thought the best way to do that would be the offer some talking points … and then you guys share your thoughts on those talking points.

    What I will do is then select my favourite contributions to the discussion and share them in a Friday article on our site (and I will link to the people whose words I use in that article). Hopefully you’re all keen for your wisdom to be shared beyond the borders of the FS Forums?

    If so – here’s the first talking point:

    What does ‘freedom’ mean to you?

    ‘Freedom’ is one of the big reasons people embark on the soloist journey. So my questions are:
    1. What does ‘freedom’ mean to you (is it financial, flexibility, creative?)
    2. What is your current role and what freedoms does it offer you?
    3. If I was to link to you from the post on the FS site – what name should I link to and what web address?

    Thanks so much!
    Kelly x

    #1178382
    bb1
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    Kelly,

    Looks like I am kicking this one off.

    Very apt for me as I was doing the big corporate 9 to 5, well thats what it was advertised as, but in reality it was more like 8 to 6 or more on days when everything went wrong, add on top of that a one and a half hour drive each way, although the $’s were good, there was no family life as such. And having 2 young children this was not ideal

    So I took the plunge and went solo, which $ wise was a big drop, and in particular when first starting out. But I was in a position to spend much more time with the kids, and work was a lot more flexible, so I could do the kinder and school things with the kids.

    Not long after going solo there was a big change in family circumstance, which resulted in me having to do a lot more of the school and kid things. Had I still been working the big corporate there is no way I could do these things as they don’t understand only having 6 hours between drop off and pickup, or a child been sick and you not been able to come in. Whereas my current boss, fully undertsands the situation and I just say to myself, you have to take the day off and I agree with myself. Sure I have some VIP clients who I dont want to upset by not turning up, by I have found that if I am upfront with them to start with, when it happens they dont have any issues. I have sacked one client because they just did not understand that kids sometimes have to come first.

    So for me :”freedom” really is the flexibility, definitely not financial, but money doesnt bring happiness, whereas going solo , and the resulting family change has brought a lot of hapiness. I could go back and earn many times more than I do now, and a lot less physical, but would I even when the children are older, NEVER.

    #1178383
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
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    Thank you Bert! I’m feeling everything you mentioned there!

    #1178384
    MD Clean
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    Nice post Bert,

    As a Manager in a corporate environment for over 10 years, I had a lot of success, paid off my house and my child went out in the world on her own.

    As much as I had my job down pretty pat and worked close to home, I just wan’t feeling it in the same way as in the beginning.

    So I opted to “semi-retire”.

    I was the ultimate soloist for 18 months playing poker for a living (only about 20 hours per week and always to fit into a normal life schedule) but my wife decided I was having too much fun so she insisted that I either go back to corporate life or my alternative was to buy a business.

    I chose a business in which I could be part time but was still scalable.

    At times, the business has been anything but part time – seven days a week anyone? But at other times, I have had a great deal of time to take nanna naps and explore the inner me.

    Like Bert, the $$$ have been, until this point, less than what I had been earning in corporate life but the flexibility has been much greater.

    This year, I will smash any previous years earnings and, touch wood, it looks like my business has a great future.

    I am planning my next venture now to run concurrently with my existing business so exciting times.

    At my heart, I have always been a bit of a workaholic but I can easily also do nothing at all.

    So being a soloist allows me the freedom to do both. And because I like working on the problem of, what is the best possible way to do things, I always have ideas for new businesses.

    Now I have the freedom to act on some of them.

    #1178385
    bb1
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    MD Clean, post: 207789 wrote:
    At times, the business has been anything but part time – seven days a week anyone? But at other times, I have had a great deal of time to take nanna naps and explore the inner me.
    .

    And thats a very important point Paul, people shouldnt take it from my post that we dont still do the big days, yes some weeks it can still be 7 days, even if not working on site, but invoicing, ordering, other things that the client doesnt see. It is guaranteed that you will get a phone call from a VIP client at the worst possible time.

    And when we do take that day off, it hasnt been unkonown for me to pull a couple of 11 or 12 hour days to catch up, or every day this week due to school holidays last month. In fact the odd client has asked me why I am mowing their place with the headlights on. And you don’t mind doing it when you know you have the flexibility. Whereas in the corporate environment it was just expected.

    #1178386
    Berrigan Motel
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    Like others, I came from a corporate position that was taking too much of my life away. It had a huge impact on my health and I had to make a decision to take a major step back and re-assess my priorities. I wasn’t able to return to corporate straight away but I needed a way to support myself, so I looked to small business. Is the money great? Not at all. And the hours are long as motel guests expect someone to answer the phone at all hours of the day and night, even in small country towns that just can’t afford to staff a 24-hour reception desk. I’ve had to learn to accept that you can’t please everyone so aim to please the majority of customers and try to redefine customer expectations.

    There are frustrations being a soloist but what does freedom mean to me as a soloist? I get up each day knowing that I’m not going to be bullied by a sociopathic boss. I get to choose which of my many hats I’m going to wear each day – am I going to be gardener, cleaner, accountant, pool person, marketer, entrepreneur, handyperson etc. Or am I feeling the need for variety today and will wear all of those hats? Freedom is having a home that is also my business so I am with my dogs (my family) all day, one of whom suffered greatly from separation anxiety and is now sane for the first time in 8 years! I love that I use all of the skills I learned in corporate and my current MBA studies, and I’m learning new things all the time.

    #1178387
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
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    Thanks so much Berrigan Hotel and MD Clean – love the responses!

    #1178388
    MissSassy
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    Hi Kelly – great name by the way,

    I love this question as freedom is different for everyone

    1) Freedom – For me and my business is the choice to work when I want, as hard as I want and to be available at times that work for me. I embrace technology to really give me the freedom I want to have in my work and my personal life.

    2) Business Adviser – This role allows for me to work anytime of the 24/7 day week and also to have time off in those hours too. Having always be self employed in the small business world, there has never been a better time do have freedom in your work life balance. Again technology has made it very easy to do business anywhere and at any time and help my clients to do the same.

    3) My link is Kelly Robinson http://www.mysassybusiness.com

    #1178389
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
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    Haha yes – Kellys rule :) Thanks so much for the below Kelly!

    MissSassy, post: 207863 wrote:
    Hi Kelly – great name by the way,

    I love this question as freedom is different for everyone

    1) Freedom – For me and my business is the choice to work when I want, as hard as I want and to be available at times that work for me. I embrace technology to really give me the freedom I want to have in my work and my personal life.

    2) Business Adviser – This role allows for me to work anytime of the 24/7 day week and also to have time off in those hours too. Having always be self employed in the small business world, there has never been a better time do have freedom in your work life balance. Again technology has made it very easy to do business anywhere and at any time and help my clients to do the same.

    3) My link is Kelly Robinson http://www.mysassybusiness.com

    #1178390
    Hobidi Bob
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    What a great topic. I have had a goal since i was 17 to be financally free by 30. I am now 28. Have had many road blocks in my way but wont stop learning and moving forward.

    My realisation of how not to be free was when I was a teenager. I watched my mother work 5 days a week for a company that doesnt value her. I watched my father own a business where he would leave 4.30am Monday morning and get home lunch time saturday or sunday. My relationship with my dad was almost non existant as he was never home. This bring my first point of freedom, I wont to be able to run my own schedule so I can be with my kids when I need to be. Not just my kids, but my wife too.

    For me, money is a huge factor. I want to provide for them in a way that most families cant. Freedom is not being worried about where the next $ is going to come from to pay for bills, sports, entertainment, education, travel and other opportunities.

    Currently my wife and I have had to return to work full-time due to a business deal gone wrong. This hasnt deterred us at all. We are merely back to get financially right and are on track to be back in business by end of this year. We are reaaly struggling with the idea that we need to work when told to again, have a boss again. In saying this, we have learned many lessons, are appreciative of what owning a business can give you and made us hungrier than ever.

    Thanks for the opportunity to express my goals

    #1178391
    KCProof
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    Hi Kelly

    This is a great idea and my definition of freedom has changed for me over the years. It’s interesting reading other people’s thoughts.

    1. For me, freedom used to be just financial. The feeling of the weight off your shoulders in being able to meet the next bill. But recently, I have come to think about freedom as so much more. Yes, there’s the ability to be there for the kids. But now it’s more about being confident in myself and being able to deal with rejection and any hiccups along the way. Freedom for me is also about having the support of a partner who has sacrificed his own dreams (for the moment) to help me follow mine. It’s also about wanting to work on a Saturday night because I know I am helping someone with their own dreams (and knowing I can have Monday off because I’m up to date with my work).

    2. Starting out as a freelancer, I have taken the “safe” route – combining my work with my “day” job, working nights and weekends to fit it all in. I enjoy flexible hours in my “day” job and now that I have done the hard yards am getting to a place where I can enjoy the freedoms of flexibility, creativity and joy generally, that I have been trying to achieve in my freelance role. It’s harder work but funnily enough, more enjoyable so the freedoms mean more.

    3. Kym Campradt at http://www.kymcampradt.com

    #1178392
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
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    Love your response Kym – I too used to think of freedom only in financial terms … but now feel a lot of the same things you mention!

    #1178393
    Kelly Exeter FS Editor
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    Hey everyone – thanks so much for your input to this discussion – here’s the collaborative post live on the site now xx

    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/live-smarter/work-life-balance/what-does-freedom-mean-to-you

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