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Free to succeed

Tenth in an 11-part series exploring the drive to launch a business.

Imagine being able to do whatever you want at any time.

Freedom is my absolute favourite entrepreneurism benefit. Unless you already own a business, it’s difficult to appreciate the pure joy of being able to do whatever you want because you are in complete control of your time and priorities.

Feel like going to the movies? Push back that afternoon appointment and go catch a show.

Want to be around for your kids? Run your business from home.

Hate lineups? Avoid the crowds by shopping during the workday.

As your own boss, you’re free to design your life the way you want. You get to decide what happens when. For example, I don’t arrive at my office until 11 a.m. because I take my daughter to school most mornings and then hit the gym.

Beyond setting my own schedule, I also enjoy the freedom to choose the work I want to do — and the people I want to work with. Our company routinely rejects attractive projects because the work is off-focus, the pay is too low or we just don’t like the people involved.

Am I shirking my responsibilities as a business owner when I take that longer lunch, or decide to work from home one day? I don’t think so. The work, the stress and the responsibilities are still there. In fact, as a small business owner, you’ll work more hours and juggle more tasks than you ever did in a job.

You simply get to choose when, where and how you’ll work. It’s a trade-off — you’ll end up working more, but be in control of it.

It’s no wonder that the majority of new entrepreneurs cite freedom as their main motivation for starting a business.

However, heed this warning: Your new business must succeed. Once you’ve tasted entrepreneur freedom, you’ll no longer be able to tolerate the confines of a regular job.

— Serial entrepreneur and author Roger Pierce has launched 10 small businesses during the past 20 years. As co-founder of BizLaunch.com, he’s advised thousands of startups around the world. E-mail roger@bizlaunch.ca.

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