What Does Freedom Mean to You was originally published in February of 2012.
The other day I was helping someone out with their blog. They’d just started a new site, and while I’m far from the world’s best marketer I’ve learned a thing or two about how to grow an audience.
The problem with their site is that they didn’t have a tagline. There was no hook, and when I ended up reading a couple of articles it took me the better part of ten minutes to get the general concept of the site – and figure out where the value was for me to be reading it.
When I was discussing this with them, I used my tagline as an example: “Build a Business, Live Anywhere, Achieve Freedom” – pretty straight forward right? It tells you exactly what you’ll learn by coming back week after week and reading my often incoherent ramblings.
It had been a while since I’d really sat down and thought about what that tagline meant, and I couldn’t help but pause for a bit of reflection.
Build a Business – Ok, that seems easy enough. I talk about it as it relates to Location Rebel Academy and in posts like “How to Create Your Dream Job” and “Would You Rather Have a Beer or a Business“. Got that covered, I’m doing a good job of helping others build businesses.
Live Anywhere – While I’m usually in Portland, each year I’ve got a pretty hefty list of my favorite offices from around the globe. Guess maybe there’s something to this Live Anywhere thing.
Achieve Freedom – Once I got here, I realized things get a little more vague. What is Freedom? Is it different for everyone? How do I know if I’ve achieved it?
I found myself asking a lot of questions, and not having a lot of definitive answers. Freedom in the broad sense of the term is very difficult to define. It’s going to mean something completely different to my friends I met in Cuba as it does to, say me.
I still have to abide by all of the same laws as everyone else; I pay taxes just like everyone else. So what exactly am I free from?
I look at freedom as being able to live the life I want to live – plain and simple. Back in the day while I was at my day job, I wasn’t free. I wasn’t able to do the things that I wanted to on a regular basis. Now? I’m able to travel around work whenever and where ever I please, and I’m generally a much happier person.
To me, that’s freedom.
I’m asking a lot of open-ended questions here because I want to get you thinking. I want you to think long and hard about what freedom means to you, and if you’ve achieved it.
Tate just came up to me and asked what I was writing about, and I said achieving freedom. Her response: “That’s kind of ironic considering it’s Valentine’s Day.”
I thought this was interesting because in her mind, freedom stems from relationships. Almost like in order to be free, you have to be off gallivanting around the world, like this guy.
Freedom is different for everyone. By my definition, you can be married with 3 kids, work 60 hours a week, and have a mortgage, and still be free as long as you get to do the things that make you happy in life on a regular basis.
I realize this is a very middle-class, white, American viewpoint on it, as there are millions out there who don’t have freedom in any sense of the word – but this is me writing about my life, and what I relate to.
Take a few minutes today and think about what this means to you, and where you are in the path to achieving it. If you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear what you think.
Sean OgleSean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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