27 Ways to Achieve Freedom in Business

Experiencing a sense of freedom in your business means different things to different people. For some, it’s having enough money to cover the bills and desirable extras in life. Others might want time off to spend with the ones they love, or travel the world.

No matter what your definition of freedom, there are many ways to achieve it in business. So last week, I wanted to hear from those who are living their dream and are enjoying freedom in business, and asked –

What does “freedom” mean to you, and what has been your single best strategy for achieving it in your business?

You will discover from our panel’s comments how definitions and strategies to obtain a sense of freedom in business can be as unique as the business owners themselves. Freedom means living the life you want, working at a job you love, and tapping into your passion, to name a few.

Take the time to consider the recommended strategies presented by our business owners, and see how they might fit into achieving a sense of freedom in your business. For most entrepreneurs, the driving motivation is freedom, so never stop ratcheting your purpose down to your highest priorities, and maintain a laser focus on the things that are most meaningful for YOU! Enjoy!


1. Be True To Yourself!

Freedom in business means to do what you WANT to do, not what you believe you SHOULD do. The moment you get away from your, as Oprah calls it “authentic self,” is the moment you will lose your freedom. Feeling good about what you do and how you do it frees your soul. And, it WILL lead to success. Don’t every let others tell you what you SHOULD be doing….it only leads to a feeling of confinement and loss. Listen and filter advice from experts and then go with your gut.

Thanks to Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan

2. Yoga Pants And Poodles

Freedom, for me, is working on my own schedule, in my home office, making my own goals and reaching them in my own way.

Never use someone else’s gauge for success to measure your work and life. Figure out the goal that means the most to you; is it money? Time? Independence? Only after you know what you want, can you start to structure your business to get you there.

Set good boundaries; if more time with your family is a goal, promising ”instant service” probably won’t peacefully coexist with that goal. If making money is a priority, setting up a business that depends on offering the lowest price and profit margin isn’t going to get you there. If freedom from schedules is for you? Don’t buy a route!

There is always a way to get what you want; the hard part is figuring that out!

Thanks to Celia Milton of CeliaMilton.com

3. Freedom–NOT Just Another Word!

My personality fights structure–hard; so freedom to me as an entrepreneur means I am the creator of my own destiny. I take credit for my successes and non-successes. No one is looking over my shoulder telling me what, when, how, if, not to do anything. I decide. No one is deciding for me where my talents and abilities are going to take me. I decide that.

My single best strategy has been to take personality and strengths tests, study them and understand them. The tests help me understand who I am and where to best direct my talents. For instance, I’m not good with detail work, so I hire someone who is. I build in periods during the day when I don’t HAVE to be doing something. A rigid schedule makes me crazy!! I’m much happier now, you can be also.

Thanks to Randy Morrow of Keller Williams Realty–Divorce Specialist

4. Don’t Miss The Birthdays.

For me, freedom means being able to step away from the office and take long weekends with my family. Spending time with them is the most important part of my life. When I first started this business, I worked 7 days a week, sometimes 15 hour days. All of a sudden I woke up one day and it was my son’s birthday, not only had I forgotten, but I couldn’t believe a year had already passed. I was missing my children growing up, and you can’t get that back.

I decided to hire a business coach to help me find some work-life balance. It wasn’t easy, but I forced myself to not work weekends, and no evenings… and eventually to start taking long weekends with the family. It helped for me to actually schedule “family time” into my calendar, so I wouldn’t find myself missing any more birthdays.

Thanks to Angela Nielsen of One Lily Creative Agency

5. A Path All Your Own!

Freedom is a funny thing. For most of us, as entrepreneurs, we work on our businesses 24/7. Some would even say that they have less freedom now that it all begins and ends with you. I know that I am working longer and harder than I ever did. Freedom, for me, is not about having more time, but how organic the process is. It’s having the freedom to grow my business in directions that I never dreamed of. It’s having the confidence to make decisions that are risky and challenging, but feel right. And, it’s about having the savvy to build my business at a pace that is all my own. I spend a tremendous amount of time ON my business, as well as IN my business educating myself and following industry research. This allows me to surround myself with the knowledge I need to take those leaps of faith.

Thanks to Leslie Josel of Order Out Of Chaos

6. It’s O.K To Let It Go

I think my single best strategy for creating freedom in my business is to outsource the work that is not making you any money. For me, this is something I just recently did, and it gives me the freedom to do other things like attending local business workshops. You don’t have to be superwoman all the time, it’s quite alright for you to let a professional come in and help you with administrative tasks. Delegating your chores around the house gives you the stability to work more efficiently on your business. So, start asking for help and you will soon realize that it is quite okay to let things go that are not giving you the satisfaction that you need.

Thanks to LaTersa Blakely of Moms Wearing Multiple Hats

7. Freedom Is Responsibility

You cannot be successful without having responsibility, at least 99.9% of people can’t. Being free and being successful are not mutually exclusive however. You can have responsibility and still be free. It is a matter of having responsibilities that you like. Work at home? Travel? Public Speaking? Writing? Whatever it is that defines freedom and success for you is what defines your responsibility.

Thanks to Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed Consulting

8. Get Processes Documented & Delegate!

One of the best things I have ever done for my business is document the steps I take to do various activities that make my business run. As my business has grown, I’ve delegated those activities so that I can focus on other things.

Start even before you have someone to delegate to. Many of my clients have had issues with this because they grow to where they can afford to delegate, but then don’t have time to document and it becomes a big mess!

Start by making a brainstorm list of everything you do. This can be done simply by having a pad of paper next to you for a week. Jot down every activity. Then, dedicate time every week to document 3-5 of the items you put on your pad of paper: step 1, step 2, etc. Before you know it, you’ll have everything down and you create your freedom plan

Thanks to Stephanie LH Calahan (@StephCalahan) of Calahan Solutions, Inc.

9. Free To Be Me And Me

Freedom in business parallels freedom anywhere else: it’s the liberating ability to do as you please when and where you please, as long as no one else is harmed by your actions. How to achieve such freedom? Develop and learn to enjoy the various personas necessary for successful execution of your work. And then, switch among the different jobs when the spirit moves you. This way, when you’re tired of marketing, you can do some accounting. When you’re tired of that, you can do some team-building, et cetera.

Thanks to Dr. Marlene Caroselli of Center For Professional Development

10. Answer To No-One, But Everyone

Freedom means you can operate profitably without credit or investors, so no one else has the final say. This is what we have done. However, no business is truly independent–always relying on a bunch of others including contractors, employees, suppliers, landlords, and ultimately customers. All these really limit your freedom of action even when you otherwise have the final word, but it’s rewarding to know you can create and sustain a profitable enterprise and not answer to banks or investors.

Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky of GovernmentAuctions.org

11. Family Time Is My Freedom

Freedom for me is the ability to leave the office at a whim to take care of family or personal issues. Having two young children and a newborn has been hectic to say the least. The ability to be free to accomplish what I need to on a daily basis comes from my dedicated staff. Whenever I need to take leave, they are on point with work tasks and running the business to the best of their ability—which in doing so, they are pretty fantastic.

Thanks to Elik Aaron of SaleRacks.com

12. Let Your Members Give You A Break

Currently, our freedom doesn’t mean that we can just kick back and relax. It is more like we can build a mega-prize giveaway and let people do the work of promoting for us. We are free to focus on finding other great freebies or communicating with our social network followers instead of doing the arduous task of self-promotion. To enter our giveaway, you need to follow a few pages, and if you want extra entries, you can promote us on various aspects of the web.

Thanks to I. Aronovich of Awardable.com

13. Clarity = Freedom

What a terrific question! Freedom, to me, means autonomy, control, and having time to do the things in my life that are important to me. If means creating a body of work that is self-sustaining and profitable.

The best strategy I can give is clarity, clarity, clarity…did I mention clarity? Seriously, the only way to create freedom in your business is to have crystal clear clarity with the end in mind. That being said, clarity is a process; much like a diamond being refined over time. Knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what you do want. Too often entrepreneurs send themselves mixed messages…ie: A 7 figure business working 20 hours a week in 12 months. Clarity in your message and what you want are key to business freedom.

Thanks to Danielle Miller of Inspired Strategic Living

14. Start Working From Home

My freedom comes from the opportunity to work from my home. Being a cofounder has given me the ability to do any work from the leisure of my home office. I can get work done in a timely fashion, help out around the house, check in with the main office, and do all this without ever stepping foot outside. It’s a luxury that can only be earned after years of stability. Our business has reached a level where I can comfortably complete my work here, while others attend to everything else at headquarters.

Thanks to Eli Israel of ForeclosureMagic.com

15. Freedom? It’s In Mission Control…

To me, freedom means working on WHAT I want with WHOM I want and WHEN I want. It doesn’t mean I’m free of working long hours or free of stress–These are a part of owning your own business. But I CAN fire myself from a client, refuse a project that isn’t suited to my interests and values, and take a “preserve my sanity” afternoon or day off when needed.

The best strategy I’ve found to be free? KNOW your mission, clearly articulate WHO you are helping, WHAT benefits and results you provide them, and HOW you do that. Then when an opportunity appears, ask yourself “Is this in alignment with my mission?” If so, proceed. If not, decline. Being free means being true to your highest values, and that means reserving your time, energy, and resources for YOUR mission, not someone else’s.

Thanks to Dr. Barnsley Brown of Spirited Solutions

16. I Call The Shots, NOT The Business

Freedom means I determine the days & hours I work. It’s not based upon what my competitors or the ‘norm’ dictate.

Do not re-write the book, but THROW it away & start from scratch.

Throw away the idea of ‘I want to make a fortune asap & then I’ll have freedom & time’. Zero in on an income level that will not make you slave in order to earn it. A moderate home, car, clothing, etc. all work well with a lifestyle to allow you freedom of time, that even your ‘rich’ competitors & friends will be jealous of because of their having to slave to keep filling their endless desires of always wanting more.

The secret of being free is learning to bathe in the joy of ‘Being Free’. Do not get caught up in what he or she has, or ‘Look at what I have’, materially. THAT IS A TRAP that will enslave you!

Thanks to Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC

17. Don’t Be A Slave To Your Own Company

Freedom in my businesses means knowing I can walk away from them for a day, a month, or a year, and they will run themselves. This free time I have can be spent with my family, friends, and on hobbies I love and enjoy. While doing this and being truly free, my companies will continue to pay me for the work I have done to build them up.

The best way to do this is to recruit, develop, and inspire leaders within your company so that you can walk away from the daily operations and have this happen. On the road to doing this in my business, I have found when I am not focused on this, I am just a slave to my own company. Being a slave to anything is not being free.

Thanks to Matt Shoup of M & E Painting

18. Do What I Want, When I Want, How I Want

Freedom for me means being able to do what I want, when I want, how I want particularly in my work life. The only way I can truly achieve that is by working for myself, as no boss allows that sort of freedom and flexibility. What’s been most interesting about my journey is that when I lose interest in something, I’ve been able to let it go and replace it with a new passion or interest.

The best strategy for achieving success has been through marketing. The more and better I market, the more money I make, the more I can continue to do what I enjoy.

Thanks to Leslie Truex of Work-At-Home Success

19. Ghostwriter In The Sky: The Joys Of A Home Office

Seven years ago, with admittedly some trepidation (change can be challenging) I gave up a midtown office with 12 employees where I was everyone’s Jewish Mother to ghostwriting and publicizing books from my 2000 sq ft terraced marble palace (co-op) in the sky. Now I have true freedom to walk my two Chihuahuas three times a day, use my elliptical, and have an actual life. And I still have a thriving business, even more so, which is surprising in this economy. Now, though, I am independent 24/7. I actually work harder than before, but at my own pace, doing exactly what I love to do, which is to help write books for others, publish and market them.

My advice…consider downsizing your office and staff to upsize your life by working from home.

Thanks to Judy Katz of Katz Creative, Inc.

20. Alignment Of Vision For Business And Life Leads To Freedom For This Continent-hopping Couple.

Freedom to us means that we get to do what we are knowledgeable and passionate about all the time, and that we have the resources to do it while traveling the world. Our single best strategy for achieving freedom in our business is alignment of a crystal clear vision for our life with a crystal clear vision and mission for our business.

A practical strategy and tip that any business owner can use to achieve the same thing we have, is to define what a perfect day in their life would look like — Starting with waking up in the morning to going to bed at night. A business owner must define this vision and know specifically what it would look like in precise detail. Then, the steps must be taken to make the business align with that vision.

Thanks to Adam Dudley of LocationLiberated.com

21. No Method For Freedom

There’s no single best method for achieving a sense of freedom. Many people claim it – especially people selling MLM, books, workshops, etc. and make money off it. The only strategy that works is to give yourself many choices and options – plenty of options and good ones. The opposite is having no choices or the choices have already been made for you. For example, being stuck in a rat race with student loans, mortgage & car payments. That’s limiting. One needs to be able to see and react to the given situation. If you can’t react, then it won’t work. To have many choices, one needs opportunity and ability combined. Opportunity is abundant in the USA. Ability depends on the individual. Ergo, increase your ability – that should lead to an increase sense of freedom.

Thanks to Leo Von Wendorff of Virtual Knowledge Workers, Inc

22. The Art Of Freedom

I run a successful international art and design business NW of Austin with my husband Pablo Solomon. Over 35 years we have worked our way up from a life of struggle to one of success. We have used shared values and proven strategies to achieve the American Dream.

Freedom has always meant doing what I love to do, living where I want to live and being able to help those that I love. I feel as if I am blessed to be able to make a great living doing what I love to do. My best strategy has been to follow the time-tested method of
visualization, goal setting, focus, discipline, tenacity and work.

It always sounds like the same old clichés–however the formula for success just never really changes–
1. Find something you love that you love to do.
2. Learn all that you can about everything.
3. Set goals.
4. Break big goals into smaller goals on which you work toward every day
5. Work hard.
6. Be disciplined in saving, investing, life, etc.
7. Learn how to buy, sell and trade for profit.
8. Give value to your clients for your products and services.
9. Avoid moral pitfalls to the best of your ability.
10. Keep as much perspective and balance in your life as possible.
11. Avoid negative people and negative situations.
12. Seek out positive people and in turn be a positive person
13. I wake up each day thanking God for my blessings and for those to come.
14. I end each day evaluating the successes and failures of the day and
how I can build on the day’s experiences.

Well you get the picture–I think people really know the “secrets” of success–hard work and discipline–most would prefer to believe in a Business Santa who gives them a successful life for doing nothing. That is why some people have made a fortune on get rich quick seminars.

Thanks to Beverly Solomon of Musee-solomon

23. Freedom Means I’m Always Learning Something New

Freedom means that I’m always learning something new and experimenting. I love building web apps, creating new features and running marketing experiments. I dread doing QA and routine maintenance. I’ve finally given myself permission to outsource the routine and boring parts of my business using online freelancers. One of my favorite freelancing websites is Fiverr — a community of freelancers who do work for $5.

Thanks to Kristen Carney of Cubit

24. Create Your Dream TEAM

Your Dream Team is an assembly of professionals who can get the job done, and you can be the leader or what I like to say Queen-Being! Your only task is to lead the team to victory with vitality, enthusiasm and vision. The visionary…YOU…is in a constant state of playfulness, clarity and connection, then you can be aware of what needs to happen next or where the business needs to be directed.

PLAY and Leisure are essential to a visionary’s well-being and allows for the team to be inspired to excel in their respective roles so they also can become QUEEN BEINGS!
Finally, the Dream Team and YOU are turned on by your perspective roles, which adds to the excitement and enlightened enthusiasm, making it all like a playground versus work.

Thanks to Maggie Love of Women’s Bedtime Stories

25. Freedom “of” Work, Not Freedom “from” Work

The kind of work freedom I’ve enjoyed requires “freedom from constraints.”

And not just any constraints, but my own, personal constraints. The key that
unlocked my business success was discovering my own personal constraints and
structuring my business around those. With that foundation set in place, my
business decisions have become a lot clearer. We’ve even used tools to help
folks uncover their business-killing constraints.

And I’ve made this the cornerstone of my coaching, as well: When we can “get
out of our own way,” we can make serious progress toward accomplishing our
goals and fulfilling our dreams.

Thanks to Keith Rhys of Transform Nation

26. It’s All About Doing What You Love

“Freedom” to me means doing what I love, while still have plenty of time to spend with the people I love (my family). I started my business because I am passionate about bringing people together, fostering personal relationships while providing the absolute best in personal service, delivery and quality. I also knew that starting my own small business would allow me the flexibility in my schedule to make time for my family.

My tips for others to find freedom in their work is to make sure they love what they do. I understand that not everyone is going to start their own business tailored to fit exactly what they love, so it is important that in your job you find some aspect of it that satisfies one of your passions. If you have no passion in your work, you will have no sense of freedom.

I also believe it is important, despite a busy work schedule to make time (at least one half hour a day) to allow yourself the time to pursue what makes you happy outside of work. Whether you spend your time reading, working out, shopping, engaged in a hobby, it is important that you allow yourself that time to do what you enjoy.

Thanks to Mari Luangrath of Foiled Cupcakes

27. Freedom Is Having Choices

My definition of freedom is choices. I have the choice of whom to work with and which projects to work on. If you’re working for someone else, the flexibility of which projects/clients you work with is often not an option. I have the choice of where to work and when to work (for the most part). During the tax season those of us who prepare taxes live in the office. Between May – Dec all of us work from home as much as we want. Most of us only come into the office to meet with a client.

The best strategy for achieving this is to become successful. Once you start making a good reputation and money then the freedom will come. When I first started, I tried working on projects that I wouldn’t now. Nothing that I felt was against my morals or ethics. But having to generate revenue meant taking on headache projects. Now we’re at a place where we decline almost as many projects as we accept.

The tangible tips would be to develop policies. Everything from a work at home policy to a policy dictating the type of projects/clients you will or won’t work with. It may seem like you’re limiting your income potential. But you’ll never get it all anyway. And you’ll feel much better about yourself and your business.

Many people’s definition of freedom is the “20 or 30” hour work week. I work about 70 hours a week, but do so on my own terms which is as free as I can be.

Thanks to Augustus McMillan of McMillan Consulting



Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your business freedom strategies! We hope to hear from you again.

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6 Comments

  1. Posted November 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great advice from all. But ultimately it depends on what works best for each person to determine how free they will truly be in their company. Being self-employed I find freedom in knowing that I am not stuck in an office for a set number of hours. I can work from home and meet with clients that we both agreed upon the day and time. I like that I don’t have someone telling me when to eat lunch either. THat’s my freedom.

    • Posted November 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You are correct! Freedom has different meaning for each person, and I am thrilled to read that you have found it in your business too. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment! Shannon

  2. Posted November 27, 2011 at 12:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very interesting article. Of course freedom is essentially an inside concept as well – freedom of and from the mind. Too many of us live in the future, hoping for a day when we can one day be ‘free’ when essentially we could be right now if we change our thoughts. Easier said than done!

    • Posted November 27, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Mike! The Europeans more clearly understand the concept of freedom, blurring the lines between work and time off. They don’t work their entire lives to be free — they live freely throughout their lives. As you mentioned, it is much a matter of perspective. Shannon

  3. Posted November 4, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    Fiverr is a great place for outsourcing as well as making some good money. You are right about it.

    • Posted November 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your comment! I’ve had great success working with a couple of people at Fiverr and you can’t beat the price. 🙂

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