“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”

~Louis D. Brandeis

This past weekend was Independence Day here in the States.  Basically, we were all celebrating the birth of our nation and our independence from Britain (yeah, I know you know the basics, just wanted to clarify in case anyone needed it).

For many,  it was a well-deserved break from the typical workweek, spending time outdoors with family, a beautiful fireworks display and hopefully, some yummy summer treats. For many solopreneurs, it was a time to celebrate our independence from the J.O.B. world of the 9 to 5 (or longer) day and the freedom that that involves.

I spent a good chunk of my weekend enjoying southern California’s beach towns, thinking through what independence means to me, my business and my family.  Well, that and keeping the dog away from all the local fireworks displays (he’s not a fan). Coincidentally, I also started my Gratitude Journal back up, so that might have been where some of this self-reflection came from.

Here’s what I came up with, in no particular order.

For me, independence means…

  • …being in control of my schedule. We wanted to leave home early on Friday so that we could head down to San Pedro to catch a little Shakespeare by the Sea (Much Ado…my all time favorite!).  We knew that to avoid any crazy holiday traffic, we needed to leave in the late afternoon.  The husband and I worked our schedules so we could do just that.  And wound up enjoying some cool ocean breezes, good conversation with friends, a great play and…no fireworks to freak out the pupster.
  • …being in control of my workload. Let’s face it, when you work for yourself, you’re able to decide what’s a priority and how you’re going to focus on.  This also means that I get to decide how many clients I want to work with (and consequently, how much income I want to bring in).
  • …being able to work wherever I want to work. This is a big one in our home.  While I don’t ever really see either my husband or I moving to an island in the South Pacific, we are able to pick up and move about the world (or even the city) at our whim.  In fact, just this weekend, my husband packed up his laptop (and the dog) and moved his office to the other side of the Hollywood Hills (where it’s about 10-15 degrees cooler) to work from our friend’s back porch, poolside.
  • …being able to make my own choices. This covers so much ground.  I can choose my niche, I can choose my ideal client, I can choose what to focus on next (writing a book, creating a training course, more learning…) you name it, the options are limitless.  Just knowing that I have the choice allows me so much freedom.
  • …being able to learn from my mistakes. When you run your own business there’s always the risk that you could fail or make a mistake.  But at the same time, I think it’s a lot easier to allow for the imperfection and the mistakes to happen because when they do, no one is “in trouble.”  No one messed up or cost the company billions or will lose their job.  We solopreneurs tend to see it as it is, a small blip in the big plan that we’ll learn from and move on.
  • …being able to take a break or run those errands. To be completely honest, I think on of my favorite things about running my own business has to be that I can run my errands or take a coffee break whenever I want…and typically, that’s mid-day, mid-week while everyone else is at work.  And it also means that I can meet up with fellow solopreneurs mid-day to brainstorm, mastermind or vent.  Gotta love that!

Which makes me wonder…what does independence mean for you and your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts and I invite you to leave a comment below.

Photo by: Photo Phiend