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Monday, 12 August 2013

What do Freedom in Business & Adventure in Life Mean to me?

30 day challenge
Day 3 of the 30 day Blog Challenge.

This is an interesting question for sure.  As someone who has run my own business and been self employed for the majority of my career I am relatively clear as to what "Freedom in Business" means to me.  

The first JellyBean catalogue 2003
 A lot of people think working from home and or running your own business would be wonderful, and they are correct, it can be.  However it takes a lot of discipline and a lot of hard work.  When I ran my own business from 2000 until 2007, I had young children and one of the blessings of working from home was the ability to be more flexible with my hours so I could spend more time with the children.  It didn't mean I worked less hours, far from it, I actually worked more hours, just at different times of the day.  I would get up early (which is not one of my favourite things to do) to get on the phone and speak with my clients who were in the eastern time zone, get things done with that group of clients, talk to my eastern sales reps etc. and then at around 9:00 in the morning my children would get up so I'd take a break to make them breakfast and be with them until the nanny arrived.  After they left I'd go for my morning run (yes, I used to do that on most mornings) and then get back to the office, shower and dive right back into work.
My daughter & I with one of
the JellyBean Infant Slings

I would quit early in the afternoons to spend time with the kids and then when they were in bed I would go back down to the office and do paperwork, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.  So, yes I had freedom in my day, and could choose when I put my hours in, but I still worked lots of hours.

This worked for me, and continued to work for me over the years, particularly with my career as an advisor for Sun Life.  Now that my children are older, they are more independent, but they still need me to drive them places (Taxi Driver Mum) and give them money (Bank Mum), so I still need flexibility in my day.  I am very disciplined however, I don't get distracted by laundry that needs doing or other little things that take me away from work.  I had (and will have when I go back to work in September) a very organized week that set aside one day a week for paperwork, three days a week for client meetings and one day a week for booking future client meetings.  By working hard when I was working I allowed myself the freedom to travel and take days to myself when I felt I needed it.  
A page from the  catalogue

In a nutshell, "freedom in business" to me means, the ability to work when I choose, but to work hard and be successful which in turn allows me the freedom (financial) to take time to travel and enjoy life.  This leads to the second part of the question.  

What does adventure in life mean to me.  Again, a pretty simple question for me as I have spent many hours on this one.  Adventure in life is travel, seeing the world, swimming in warm oceans, biking across many landscapes and feeling free as a bird.  This is what I love to do, dream
The kids & I Disney 2007
about doing and am working towards being able to do freely (in other words, without having to worry about how I will be able to afford it).  So I guess I should win the lottery.  Seriously though, I truly believe that to travel the world is an education and I want my children to experience that with me.  One day when I am old and grey I would love to say I have been to over 200 countries on this wonderful planet, and still have enough wits about me to remember most of them.
 
Disney's private island 2007
  
Sounds to me like the perfect life and writing this blog is one way to help me define it better and eventually live it.  As I sit here in my office writing this post I am imagining myself five years from now sitting on a beach somewhere writing a different post and listening to the sound of my family just waking up for breakfast.

Aaahhhhhh  Bliss!
Enjoy the day!
Michelle

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