Why do so many who say they want the freedom of being their own boss remain employed?
According to a recent Intuit survey, 72% of Americans say they would rather work for themselves and 67% say they regularly or constantly think about quitting their jobs.
By digging deeper, what would we see lurking beneath the fear that’s stopping all these people from acting on what they say they want? I think it might be two things.
- Not having a real appreciation for the value in being your own boss.
- Not taking enough responsibility for one’s own happiness and well-being.
The Value of Freedom
If all you’ve ever known is slavery, might there be a comfortable, however twisted, safety in remaining a slave?
Could those of you who have yet to choose their freedom somehow have undervalued it because you simply don’t know how wonderful it feels to be free?
Work life freedom is complete autonomy. It’s the right of self-determination in every aspect of the work that you do. Perhaps it would be easier to value this freedom if those who have chosen to subjugate themselves to the will of an employer could get very clear on exactly what they are choosing to give up.
Within work life freedom are these freedoms:
- The freedom of choice, which is the freedom to decide what you will work on and with whom.
- The freedom of flexibility, which is enjoying the option of working when you want to and for how long.
- The freedom of self-expression, which is the ability to speak up for what you believe in and to freely speak your mind without fear of negative consequences.
The Responsibility of Freedom
How would you answer the question: What’s my greatest responsibility to myself?
How about this? My greatest responsibility for myself is my health, happiness and well-being.
So might it really be a question of responsibility? Has this great a number of unfulfilled employees abdicated their responsibility along with their freedom?
By abdicating responsibility, you get to complain and act as though your happiness is the responsibility of something or someone outside of your own control. When we abdicate our autonomy to an external authority, who is really authoring our lives? Haven’t we then given up our destiny to the random whims of bosses who, they themselves, typically don’t even enjoy their own work?
Renowned psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden stated in his book Taking Responsibility, “The first act of self-responsibility, and the basis for all others, is the act of taking responsibility for being conscious – that is, of bringing an appropriate awareness to our activities.”
I’m saying that the unhappily employed are actually not bringing enough awareness to their choices and activities. If you were, then you would see the futility in subjecting your life to outside authorities.
This blog refers to the same Intuit survey and highlights that 81 percent of Americans think that owning a business is more empowering than a “regular” job.
Might the fear of actually exercising that empowerment really be what’s stopping so many? I think so.
Claiming your work life freedom is primarily an inside job that begins with acting responsibly.
So assuming you are willing to, how can you take more responsibility to claim your own work life freedom?
- Know and act on the basis that you are at choice in the matter.
- Consciously direct your attention and focus on what you want.
- Consciously cease complaining about what you don’t want.
- Imagine what might happen if you took just 10% more responsibility for your work life happiness.
- Act on what came up for you when you imagined that greater responsibility.
Who among you in the 72% are willing and ready to do the above?
Those of you who have already claimed your freedom, what would you have these dream seekers do?