It’s 5:55 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I’ve been up since 4:00 a.m. due to horrible neck pain!

Last night at CrossFit I did some stupid workout where you go from a Power Snatch position to a position where you lower the barbell behind your head and rest it on your shoulders.

In my zeal to keep up with the class I broke form and hurt myself. Now I can’t turn my head in any direction without pain shooting down my neck and back.

Yes, physical pain sucks. But there’s a different type of pain I actually hate worse:

The pain of not having freedom.

Let me explain…

I quit my 9–5 job in May 2011 to become a freelance copywriter.

One of the main reasons why I left my “safe and secure” job was because of the high value I have for freedom, especially time freedom.

I hated waking up at 6:00 every morning, rushing to get on the road by 6:45 and spending an hour fighting traffic so I could go sit in front of someone else’s computer for 8 hours.

I hated “asking for time off” to go on vacations.

And I hated that if I was 2 minutes late that I had to make up those 2 minutes on my lunch hour. I felt like a caged animal!

Fast forward six years and hear I am, a full-fledged freelancer. Nobody tells me when I have to wake up (well, nobody except physical pain in my neck, or my 1-year-old crying for a bottle…), ok but no “boss” tells me when I have to wake up. Ha!

No more traffic. My office is a 34’ 2007 Four Winds Hurricane motorhome parked outside. I have a 20-second commute.

But if I’m honest with myself I am not free. At least not to the degree I want to be.

Sure I’m free to work from anywhere in the world (as long as I have WiFi). I took advantage of this last year by taking a 2-month RV trip down to San Diego with my wife and kids.

And I’m free to decide what I want my work schedule to be and what type of projects I accept.

But that’s pretty much the extent of my “freedom.” I was reminded of this when I woke up today with my throbbing neck pain.

I’ll just relax and take it easy today after I go to the chiropractor, I thought.

And then I remembered all the projects I needed to work on today:

  • I have a bunch of revisions I need to make on an article I’m writing.
  • I have to finish writing a case study.
  • I have a video script to edit and a new one to start.
  • I have an email campaign I need to edit.

Not to mention all the emails I have to respond to, sales follow ups to do and marketing of my own to do.

So now here I am, unable to turn my neck and realizing I don’t even have the luxury of “calling in sick.”

Does this make me want to quit freelancing to go get a normal job? Ha! Yeah, right!

I have absolutely no desire to do that.

However, I do desire true FREEDOM!

I want to be able to just take a day off in the middle of the week. I want to be able to take a 2-month RV trip with my family without working the whole time so I can really relax.

I still want what I want when I quit my job over five years ago: time freedom.

And yes, I also want financial freedom. I see these two types of freedoms as being joined at the hip. I have a wife and three kids to support. My wife is a stay at home mom and so I’m the sole breadwinner. So I can’t afford to just “forget about money.”

I need money. About $7,000/month to be exact. This allows us to meet all our obligations without being stressed about money.

And I can do this freelancing. I’ve had months where I’ve made far more than $7k. But I’ve also had months where I’ve made less.

But that’s not really my point here. The bottom line is I want to find a way to make at least $7,000/month without me having to do all the work.

In other words, I want to make money as someone in the Business Owner Quadrant instead of the Self-Employed (aka Freelancer) Quadrant.

I realize this will require major mindset shifts. It will require partnering, delegating and automating things. It means I must exchange my Craftsman Card for an Owner Card. To go from being a copywriter, to CEO, to owner.

So even though my neck still hurts I can feel the pain decrease as I think about my future in this context. I don’t have to spend another five years as a freelancer. I get to be an entrepreneur – if that’s what I really want. And I believe it is.

What about you? Do you feel stuck as a freelancer? Did you quit your job only to create a new job for yourself? Maybe you love it and wouldn’t change a thing… if so, that’s great! More power to you.

But if you’re like me and you crave true freedom then I think you’re going to enjoy the posts to come. I plan to document my journey from being self-employed to being a business owner. From freelancer to entrepreneur.

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