Why Working for Yourself Is the Ultimate Freedom

UPDATED: January 7, 2020
PUBLISHED: July 4, 2016
Why Working for Yourself Is the Ultimate Freedom

Freedom and control is something we all covet in life. And in today’s world, it’s never been easier to create it for yourself.

If you’re not completely satisfied with how you spend your days, are uninspired by your current career track or loathe your 8-to-6, corporate-red-tape, manager-with-an-attitude job, I wrote this blog post for you.

Entrepreneurship is a hot topic. I’m a third-generation small-business owner, my husband is serial entrepreneur—heck, our 11-year-old son is even jumping into the game by starting a monetized YouTube channel about all things he and his pals talk about that I don’t understand.

The fact is, it’s never been easier to start a side project or switch gears professionally and actually start that business or pursue that passion project you’ve been thinking about for years.

From the outside, working for yourself can seem like a terrifying thing when you are accustomed to getting a paycheck. I get it. A steady check gives you a sense of security, but the question is this: Does it give you a sense of fulfillment and freedom? That’s why most of us go into business for ourselves—for the independence and the control it gives us.

Related: How to Go From Employee to Entrepreneur

Sure, it’s “stable” to have a job. Yes, you know what to expect. But there are no guarantees in life, including that job. Being in business for yourself isn’t risky, it’s actually safer—because you are in control. When your career ultimately depends on someone else, that’s not freedom; it’s risk.

That’s why I’m begging you to start creating your independence right now. There has never been a better time to leverage any of the extra hours left in your daily routine to launch a side business, a new company, or earn extra money freelancing and doing things that actually spark something in you beyond just earning a paycheck.

There’s nothing to lose.

You have no idea where it might lead. The pages of SUCCESS magazine are full of people just like you and me, who took a chance, kicked their own butts and started something small that turned into something huge. That’s how it works. But here’s the deal; you have to start. Thinking about it won’t make it happen. You have to actually do something.

And the excuses you have, by the way—they aren’t real.

You have the time.

Yes, you’re probably part of the 92 percent of full-time employees who admitted in a Gallup Poll in 2014 that they’re working more than 40 hours per week. But you can still find the time.

If you can get up 30 minutes earlier, you can find the time to start working on your project or business now, every single morning. If you stop binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix, you’ll find the time to work on a business plan. If you work smarter at work, you can find 45 minutes in the day to do the research on your own project, instead of surfing Facebook to procrastinate. You have the time if you take control of it.

Time is a limited resource when it’s controlled by your employer. Being an entrepreneur means that every moment of your life is yours.

You have all the resources you need.

When SUCCESS polled Twitter users, we found that the reason holding most people back from “going solo” is a lack of resources. Funny, because the exact opposite it true—you have more resources than you need. Start with Google. In 2016, if you Google any topic, you’ll be buried in an avalanche of social media, video tutorials, in-person networking opportunities, blog posts, expert advice, TED Talks and technology platforms to help you get started.

You know how to start.

1. Pick something that interests you.

Building something is a lot like sculpting a big lump of clay into something beautiful. Start with a big lump of clay—a product, service, art form or social cause you’re interested in. It shouldn’t be perfect. It should just be something general that interests you. As you research the subject, it’ll take shape and morph into something different anyway.

2. Research.

That’s how your lump of clay takes shape. Use the internet, friends and family; seek out those who are doing what you want to be doing. Send the cold email or make the cold call. Learning as much as you can before will save you mistakes in the future.

3. Do not wait. Start right now.

If you let a lump of clay sit out, it gets hard. You need to work it, now. And if you’re currently employed, I’ve got some great news: Studies have shown that people who stay employed have a 33 percent higher success rate starting their own business than those who quit their jobs and jump all in.

4. Confused?

If you can’t decide where to start, then start with the general experience of running your own business. There are endless ways in today’s world to test-run what it’s like to run your own business. There are platforms like Uber, eBay, Etsy and TaskRabbit that give you a way to sell services and products.

At the end of the day, independence is up to you. Being independent just means that you are “free from outside control.” I hope this post freed you from your excuses and inspired you to get started. You have the time, you have the resources—and I’m here to tell you, if you have the will to push yourself, you can start right now.

Related: Stop Underestimating Your Great Ideas


Mel Robbins is a contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine, best-selling author, CNN commentator, creator of the “5 Second Rule” and the busiest female motivational speaker in the world. To find out more, visit her website: MelRobbins.com. To follow her on Twitter: Twitter.com/melrobbins