Have you ever truly thought about what makes people free?
What makes people who love what they do so free? What makes them enjoy the process so much that they’re willing to risk all the “perks” that the normal, status quo route provides?
And why is it that they risk it all for the journey and sacrifice countless opportunities to continue that journey?
Well, the fact is, the price of freedom is actually, well, priceless. Freedom is a concept on a completely whole other level that only people who are truly tying their bigger picture to it, can fathom this concept.
I can tell you first hand, it’s not about the money, although it is a tool that certainly helps the cause. And it’s not about the fame, although one’s influence can impact millions.
Freedom, to us, is about carrying out one’s true purpose for something that has long-term positive effects on countless people around the globe. It’s about changing lives and innovating forward. It’s about expressing oneself creatively without judgment and harnessing the power of community to bring that expression to the entire world.
Let me give you an example.
Nearly 3.5 years ago, my business partner Stuart Ross and I, were presented with an incredible, multiple 7-figure buyout offer for our brand new company that we had only founded 6 months prior.
Let me repeat that, “multiple 7-figure buyout” and after only 6 months. I know most people reading this would immediately jump to the conclusion that we’re crazy and they’d take the money.
Well, the fact is, would you? I’m not so sure. You would if they were paying you for my company, but if you were tied to something so great that gave you purpose, believe me, you too would think twice.
See, we were wined and dined in 5-star NYC restaurants and hotels and had our egos massaged and stroked by important men backed by big money and big names.
We were also presented with an opportunity to be part of something big; I mean really big.
What we had, was the final piece of what they were missing. They needed a community of people to take their cutting-edge digital marketing solution to market.
Except for this final piece of the puzzle, they had everything in place. Well, almost. Young, dynamic, and talented leaders that could be the face of the new company, were also lacking and they needed us to bring them forward.
We were offered a lucrative buyout with shares in the new company. I would run US operations and Stuart, the UK, and European division. It was flattering, exciting, and beyond our wildest dreams.
We finished our meetings late and were up early the next morning.
In the elevator of the Thompson LES hotel – on the way down to check out the next morning – we (Stuart and I) avoided eye contact with each other. Neither of us said a word.
My heart was pounding, and my stomach was in a knot. I was beyond conflicted, and the weight of the decision was smothering me. As the doors opened, I looked up, and I saw the look on Stuart’s face. It was blank, and I knew exactly what was going through his mind.
We looked at each other, and we both shook our heads, “No.”
Phew! An immediate relief flooded came over me. Had we seen this decision differently it would have ruined our relationship and business. I mean, let’s face it, coming to an agreement on a decision worth millions of dollars at stake is no small thing.
Three and a half years later and I’m incredibly grateful. Not only for a partner that I respect and admire, but one that also shares the same vision, mission, and life priorities as I do. Especially after three and a half years.
See, as entrepreneurs, our top priorities in life include the likes of being happy, being independent, not answering to anyone, and having freedom and control.
Had we taken the money, we would have compromised these priorities, and we would have found ourselves “working for the man” again. We would not have been happy, let alone fulfilled.
This, my friends, is the price of freedom. In this case, it cost us millions to say “no”, but at the end of the day – if you think about it – what really matters? Let me tell you this right now. No amount of money will ever be worth your happiness and inner peace. None! Quite the opposite.
If you do not have inner peace, you will always be chasing time; you will always be chasing a life you want, instead of just naturally flowing and living it. You will never be present, as you will always be working for something that has yet to come, while not noticing exactly what’s right in front of you.
In short, chasing will always provide you with the feeling of “never enough, ” and that is not freedom.
I’m glad we made the decision we made, and I’m proud of what we are building with you, our wonderful friends and family from around the world. We love and appreciate your confidence and belief in us more than you know.
So, I leave you with this. I want you to truly think about this for a moment.
What is the price you are willing to pay for freedom, happiness, and fulfillment?
What is it that ultimately fulfills your soul?
What is it that you can imagine that will not only make you happy but have a lasting effect on the world at large?
Once you “allow” yourself to think like this and become clear, the world will start to take notice. Then it will just be about you taking the steps towards fulfilling those thoughts. You will come to find that your actions will bring you results that you could never have imagined and the price of that freedom will be priceless.