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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Entrepreneurs and a false sense of freedom

Most - if not all - people that take up entrepreneurship do so in pursuit of freedom.<...>

On the surface, this makes perfect sense: You work for yourself. You decide when and how you want to work. You travel and can work from wherever you want. You decide on what you would like to work. And you get to keep the rewards or profits from your endeavours.

Those are all indeed various shapes of freedom that are available as a direct consequence of being an entrepreneur.

The false sense involved though is that this freedom isn't merely a net gain and is probably more a trade-off for other freedoms you had before.

As an entrepreneur, you are rarely free after a standard 40-hour week because your mind is still with the unresolved challenges that you don't know how to solve. Since you are responsible for your salary (and maybe that of your team too) you also better figure out those challenges. Remember that within a larger company, these problems that are beyond your skills or experiences would be someone else's responsibility; in your own business, it is up to you though. And when you're hanging out with your employed friends over weekends or on holiday, you're probably also checking whether your server hasn't gone down (because that is always your responsibility too).

I'm not trying to paint a negative picture about entrepreneurship; for most people pursuing it, it will have much more positives than it ever has negatives. It is also a great adventure and experience if you manage to enjoy the journey more than the goals or results.

If you're an entrepreneur or keen to become one in pursuit of particular freedoms, do however at least also consider the freedoms that you are trading in return.

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