How much is Founder Freedom Worth?

They say freedom isn't free. As startup Founders, we know this price wholeheartedly and pay it, well, for what feels like forever!

October 2nd, 2019   |    By: Wil Schroter

Often when the chips are down and we're not getting paid, racking up debt, and wondering whether our startup has a future at all, it's easy to forget how valuable that freedom is.

So, let's talk about it.

What kind of freedom are we talking about here?

We're talking about the freedom to do whatever the hell we want.

If we want the whole company to work from home in our pajamas — that's what we do. If we want to take the product in a 180-degree different direction, we do. If we want to hire, fire, or promote anyone for any reason, we do.

We created this freedom so that no one could ever tell us what to do. It's amazing, and easy to forget about until we don't have it.

That said, freedom is damn expensive.

How many ways are we paying for this freedom?

It's ridiculous.

Forget about the endless debt we're creating for ourselves. We're paying for it in anxiety. We're paying for it in stressed relationships. We're paying for it in every missed event and moment we won't get back.

Founders don't have a monopoly on stress at the workplace, but we do have an extra level of risk that most people don't find in a W2 job.

That risk — and the anxiety that comes with it — is really our cost of freedom in a nutshell.

How do we know it's worth it?

Like any freedom, we only know the value when we don't have it. Yes, it's expensive. But the value of being able to be in full command of our destiny, and those that have entrusted us to captain this journey, is absolutely worth it.

Every time we're not sure, we look back to the moments when someone else determined our future and say "Oh yeah, that's why I'm doing this!"

In Case You Missed It

Things We Don’t Want to Do (podcast). As Founders, we spend a lot of time thinking about what we want to accomplish, but have you ever sat down and really given thought to using the freedom that comes with being a Founder to say, "Here are some things I NEVER want to do again?"

I’m Burnt Out. What Do I Do? When we hit a point of burn out it's important and ignore the problem, it only gets much worse. So let's take a look at what Founders do to deal with it head on.

How I Harness My Insane Startup Anxiety. A startup is a torrent of anxiety. We’re likely doing things we’ve never done before with products that have never existed before. So let’s start admitting we’re all freaked out and need to figure this shit out.

About the Author

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @ Startups.com, a startup platform that includes BizplanClarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual.  He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement).  After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do.  He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.

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