I could waffle on about what freedom means to me but I personally believe that freedom comes with responsibilities. Now, this might go against the ethos of the word, but for me, freedom, while an integral human right, can never be at the expense of others. Freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to choose your own religion, freedom to bear arms, ALL come with responsibility! It is not acceptable to persecute others because they do not follow your chosen religion, nor is it acceptable to use your weapons to intimidate or harm others – so, you can see, these freedoms have their own responsibilities.
Political rant over. When I consider what freedom in business means to me, there are also inherent responsibilities. I’m not necessarily thinking about the obvious legal obligations, but more than that, I am considering the obligations I feel to do the best that I can, that if my business is a representation of myself then I need to ensure that it is as honest and genuine as possible. But this is where I get stuck. These responsibilities, real, or as I fear imagined, overwhelm and paralyse me. Of course, I want to be genuine and do the best I possibly can. BUT, being at the beginning of this journey into business and creativity, I often feel that my best is nowhere near good enough. I was a good teacher. After a decade of teaching I could walk into a classroom and felt that I knew what I was doing but now, in this current state of flux, I have no idea what I am doing. How can I do my best if I don’t exactly know what it is that I am doing?
Mental health rant over. The question asks what my definition of freedom in business is. The first idea (after my mental health rant obviously) is that freedom is business is the ability to make money doing what I love. At the moment, I love making paper flowers, re-decorating and designing my abode and pieces of furniture and D.I.Y (I LOVE D.I.Y and power tools!). I am good at making the flowers, have made a few thousand so far so this has honed my skills and I am completing an online course on interior design to grow my knowledge and experience. The business stuff though, the numbers, selling, techie, social networking, (networking of any kind) actually all terrify me. Therefore, my dreamed of freedom in business is currently burdened with all of this stuff that I have little to no experience in.
Do not we all dream of having a business that generates the $$ to fund our adventures? Most of my adult life, I had steady income which I used to travel the world and do what ever it was that I fancied at the time. Presently, I have been without steady income for the past 2 years, a large chunk of that time was on the sickness benefit due to depression that debilitated my ability to teach and, in my minds eye, to earn a living. Depression took away my dreams and replaced them with fears. I am starting to dream again, small dreams, small adventures. The adventure at the moment is staying off anti-depressants and living a simple healthy and happy life. My dog, Butler, seen below, is a big part of this adventure.
The other adventure I dream of is living a life that excites me, brings me joy and connects me with people and places I love. Adventure always meant far off lands but, while I know I will again travel, I am having a hell of an adventure living at home in NZ. Now does not feel like the right time to start an online business but this adventure in itself is proving positive and inspiring.