We live in the new Renaissance yet we are asleep. Innovation sweeps our shores yet we bury our heads in our phones. A new kind of opportunity is upon us yet we hide in our cubicles. A movement has emerged and we can either rise up and be part of it or remain motionless and be run over.
The choice is up to us and therein lies the problem.
It is hard to make choices. To have a choice means you are in control. It is much easier to be a victim of momentum. Momentum is a powerful force and when it catches you in it’s current can push you toward a future you never expected or, frankly, ever wanted.
This is most apparent in our careers. We spend youthful nights dreaming of our adventures as an archaeologist or soldier or doctor. Yet, when we grow older, Friday becomes a cause for celebration because we survived yet another week of robotically going through the motions in a job that neither captures our imaginations nor funds our future.
But what other alternatives do we have?
We have a mortgage. We have hungry adolescents. We have college tuition bills. We have responsibilities or excuses or both. Of course we have been stung by a surge of passion and spent one glorious night outlining a plan for a new business or book or invention. But alarm clocks are killers of muses and today’s burdens mock our ambition. It is much easier to succumb to momentum, relinquish control and go with the flow, even if it takes you in a direction you don’t want to go.
And yes we have seen a Ted Talk. We know that there are entrepreneurs who are throwing caution into the wind and are starting new businesses. But they are not us. They fail. And even the ones who succeed – the ones with the glowing profiles on Forbes or Business Insider – are not us either. They are young, hoodie wearing, kale chip eating Californians who want to raise millions of dollars to build the next unicorn. They are trading one form of indentured servitude for another without even knowing it.
I do not blame them for not knowing. Television, music and media bombard us with false idols. If only we were rich we could buy happiness. If only we were famous our voices would matter. This leads us to spend our spare time pondering how to become rich and famous when we should be thinking about how we become free.
This is why we struggle. There is no path to follow, which is the point entirely. We must create one. The game, as it is currently constructed, is rigged. We must rewrite the rules.
Let me introduce you to a new type of entrepreneur to admire, an entrepreneur who rejects the caricature and the status quo.
These are people like Julie Parenteau, a graphic designer, yogi and garlic farmer, who experienced many of our worst fears: she was laid off from her job. Instead of curling up into the fetal position, she crunched some numbers and realized, by freelancing, she could work half as many hours and still make as much as she did with her supposed “full-time” gig. She used this free time to pursue her passion of yoga and became certified and began teaching classes. Throw in the sales of her garlic – yes, she is the person to know if a vampire apocalypse happens – and she was shocked to realize she was making more money and enjoying a more balanced and fulfilling life.
These are people like Mike Bulboff, a Princeton graduate who followed the crowd to Wall Street as a hedge fund analyst. But in the evenings tapped into his secret passion: the accordion. Having learned to play his father’s accordion as a teenager, Bulboff always felt they were an under appreciated musical instrument in contemporary America. But their popularity was still large around the world. Leveraging the global access the internet provides, Bulboff began repairing people’s accordions in his spare time. The success of this venture led him to open Liberty Bellows, an accordion store in downtown Philadelphia. He now plays global match maker between accordions and enthusiasts around the world.
These are but two examples. The list goes on and on if you know where to look. A good place to start is looking here. FreetoStart is a website that aims to bring these types of successful entrepreneurs out of the shadows and to share their stories with you. We want you to be inspired. We want you to be informed. We want you to take your first steps toward financial freedom.
We believe financial freedom is a gateway and the tool that allows you to walk through is the internet. The internet has made every business a global business and, if you have access to the internet, you can build a passive income business today… in your home… for next to nothing. No, we’re not talking about a building a billion dollar company. We’re talking about a side hustle that can net you a few thousand dollars per month, which can increase the overall quality of your life, take the stress out of the future and give you more flexibility to enjoy the fleeting moments .
We want to teach you how to do this.
But why now?
Technology is changing the world. This can be liberating or frightening. You can use technology. Or it can use you. Your smartphone can give you unprecedented flexibility or become your noose. If we can learn to harness these tools and use them for our own benefit then we can shape a new type of world in which work becomes a character actor in our life story and not the protagonist. We can save that leading role for our family or our hobbies or our community.
We’ll admit though that it is not easy to overcome the momentum of modern society and the addiction to work and the connection our devices brings us. To control technology, we must first control ourselves. And that control begins with self-reliance, a skill set quickly disappearing from our society. On this blog, you will discover stories of self-reliance in the context of business – an entrepreneur must have unwavering self-confidence- but in other aspects of life as well.
We believe that the ability to make a fire, alone, in the wilderness or change the spark plugs on a motorcycle are as important as understanding wordpress plugins. Entrepreneurship is a full contact sport. If you want to succeed, whether you’re running a Fortune 500 or a passive income website or publishing an ebook, you’ve got to go after it. You have to fight the crowd and to do that you need to believe in yourself.
We need to return to a people of exploration who don’t buy into the BS that you can’t make a brilliant scientific discovery unless you have a BS. We need to remind ourselves that freedom is not a landing spot that you arrive at by accumulating a certain amount of stuff. Freedom is knowing that you can handle any situation and that you are in control of your life. We believe the first place to begin is with your own online business. The best part: you are free to start at any time. This site is the first step.