I was a slave to my business – 3 things I did to get my freedom back

TL;DR — You’re not immediately free once you quit your job. You have to grow a business and get your time back over time. These are the 3 things I did to free myself in my company.

When you quit your job, ahhh… You expect to free yourself.

But what comes next requires a lot of hard work. And if you’re not careful, you could end up trading time for money just like you were in your 9-5.

A lot of business owners feel this at some point in their journey:

  • chained to their offer
  • constantly hustling but not getting ahead

Trust me, you’re not alone. I’ve been there. I was there.

But here’s the good news – I broke the chains. And you can too.

Here’s the story of how my business enslaved me and the 3 things I did to break free.

How I became a slave to my own business

I quit my job to control my own destiny. I knew I could do it. And immediately I proved it to myself by earning $13k in my first month.

All good, right? Not exactly.

At that time, I was a marketer. I offered everything under the sun to whoever needed more customers. My network helped me find new customers and I got more referrals every single week.

But as soon as those temporary project dried up, I was caught with my pants down. I had to go out and search for new customers.

It was a never-ending cycle of get-the-work, do-the-work and find-more-work. Not ideal when I’d heard so many entrepreneurs talk about how carefree their business was. How free it made them feel.

I didn’t feel free. In fact, I felt pretty similar to when I had a job.

So I had to make some changes to get my time back and grow my business to where it is today.

If you’re just starting out in your business, I’d recommend following these 3 steps to ensure you’re as free as you imagined when you quit your job.

my workplace while traveling

1. I specialized in one service

Jack of all trades, master of none.

It’s cliché because it’s true.

For the first 6 months of my business, I did all kinds of different things:

  • Content creation
  • Facebook ads
  • Ghostwriting
  • Google My Business management
  • Newsletter delivery
  • Social media management
  • Web design

Literally, I was a marketer. And in the world of marketing, that means nothing.

You can’t be everything to everyone. You want to be something to someone.

Specialize. Niche down.

When I decided to specialize in one specific service, things started to shift in a big way.

I figured out …

  1. what I was best at,
  2. what would make me a living,
  3. and what people needed help with.

The magic trio 🪄 For me, it was writing.

Once you establish your service and find a market to serve, you’ll be unstoppable.

People pay you for your expertise. You have a much easier time talking about and positioning yourself. And you can charge a premium price for a premium service.

That’s freedom.

2. I productized that service

For the love of god, stop offering temporary or hourly projects. This is the difference between a freelancer and a business. (⬅️ Your goal is to transition to the latter.)

A freelancer is on a wheel constantly having to search for new projects and clients.

A business is always at self-dependent. Meaning even if you’re not present, it continues to operate.

This step is critical – You have to package your service (whatever it may be) like a product.

For example, I’m a writer. I create content for entrepreneurs and creators. Tell me the difference between these two:

Service: Hi, Mr. Client. What content needs do you have?

Product: Hi, Mr. Client. Every month, I create four SEO-optimized blogs for your brand and repurpose those blogs into content for every platform where you want to grow an audience. Plus, I’ll track your analytics on each platform to make sure we’re growing and hitting KPIs. This service is a $2500 monthly retainer.

The difference is clear. So what do you have to do in order to move from service-to-product?

  1. Standardize your onboarding process and ongoing service
  2. Create clear packages of your services. Set realistic yet high prices. This makes it easy for clients to understand what they’re getting.
  3. Set up a monthly or quarterly retainer model. Create a consistent income and build long-term relationships with clients.

That’s the process by which I escaped the time trap of the first few months of building my business. SO critical.

landscapes to take the best photos

3. I hired an employee

First things first, you can’t do it all alone. You can try, but let me tell you from experience – it’s a fast track to burnout.

I was told by a few people ahead of me:

Your biggest limiting belief is thinking you can do it in solitude. You’re not a lone wolf and neither is your business.

I realized I was spending far too much time on mundane stuff instead of growing the company. I needed help.

Before you find someone to fill your gaps, figure out what that position looks like.

  1. Identify what you can delegate — Think about all the tasks that consume your day – email management, social media, invoicing, customer service, blah blah blah. Would your time be better spent elsewhere? If the answer is yes, it’s time to delegate that stuff. Important: Document this stuff very carefully. You only want to have to train an employee once.
  2. The hiring process — Don’t rush this. Take your time to find the right fit. A virtual assistant who works a few hours a week is completely different than a full-time employee. Figure out what you need. Then hire for that.
  3. Train and manage — Once you’ve got your employee or VA, provide them with clear instructions and expectations. From the get-go, they’ll need hand-holding. But over time, they’ll become an expert in your processes and services. Don’t forget to check in regularly and provide feedback.

This step is only for advanced folks. I waited a year and a half until this step, and it came at just the right time.

cool spots while traveling

Let me know if this is helpful. Which section can I break down farther? What questions do you have? Email or DM me on Twitter.

Get essays, event invitations & other resources in your inbox

When you join the Freedom Files (it’s free), I’ll personally send you my list of 17 considerations for moving to a new country or city.

You may also enjoy ...

Shocking predictions from this 1997 book & how I'm preparing for the future

Shocking predictions from this 1997 book & how I’m preparing for the future

The Sovereign Individual made some mindblowing predictions (like cryptocurrency and tax havens) about the future. And they were right. Here’s what they said and how I’m preparing.
Welcome to the Freedom Files

Welcome to the Freedom Files

Freedom Files is here. I’ll document my journey to building a life of freedom through time optimization, entrepreneurship and world travel. Learn from my mistakes and lessons.
Quit your soulsucking job – with confidence: 4 steps to opting out of modern slavery

Quit your soulsucking job – with confidence: 4 steps to opting out of modern slavery

I quit my job in 2021 without knowing what I was doing. In hindsight, I'd recommend you follow these 4 steps to make sure you quit your job with absolute confidence.

What should I cover next?

I have a question for you:

If I were to dedicate the next Freedom Files YouTube video to you and one challenge you’re facing right now, what would that issue be?

Typically, I get something like the following:

  • I can’t find a remote job
  • I don’t know the right long-term location for me
  • I don’t know how to start a business
  • I am a digital nomad but haven’t settled in a country
  • I pay way too much in taxes and need a solution
  • I want to invest in countries before they are popular

Let me know by emailing or DMing me. I’ll write about it publicly because many others likely have the same challenge as you do.

Location freedom is near

I started an online business, lived in 10 countries, learned a new language, bought international real estate, and got residency in Latin America – all within 2 years.

It’s possible! I made a checklist to help you live your relocation dream. 

I’ll send it to you ASAP. Just fill out the form below.