Four Freedoms of Entrepreneurship that Drive Success and Growth


All over the world, entrepreneurs are stimulators of economic engines. Consider individuals like Aliko Dangote – Dangote Group, Jeff Bezos – Amazon, Richard Branson – Virgin Group, and Steve Jobs – Apple. They and many other successful entrepreneurs took resources from one low level to a higher level of productivity and yield at one time or another. What drives their ambitions? What motivates their successes? And, how do they sustain growth? Well, the answer to all the questions is Freedom; the four freedoms of entrepreneurship. Let me explain.

As with every good thing of life, there is always a price to pay. Entrepreneurial success, growth, and freedom are no exceptions; they come with a lot of risks. The risks notwithstanding, people admire successful entrepreneurs for several reasons. First of all, they have the time to do whatever they choose. They have the money to buy what is important to them and their loved ones, and there is no limit to how much money they can make. They choose the relationships they keep, both at work and at home. And, successful entrepreneurs enjoy life to the fullest and leave legacies to whom they care for.

Most people desire the benefits of the four freedoms of entrepreneurship but cannot have them. Why not? Because they cannot pay the price of entrepreneurial freedoms. The four freedoms of entrepreneurship founded by Dan Sullivan; The freedom of time, freedom of money, freedom of relationship, and freedom of purpose come at a price.

Understanding who the entrepreneur is

In 1803, Jean-Baptiste Say, a French Philosopher describes an entrepreneur as “Someone who takes resources from a lower to a higher level of productivity and yield”. In line with Jean-Baptiste, entrepreneurs are individuals, who transform ideas into real value, either as products or services. Entrepreneurial individuals do not leave resources the same way they meet them. They take the risk to transform and add value to them. That is why entrepreneurs are value creators in the real sense of it.

Being an entrepreneur, therefore, requires significant qualities, the most important being the ability to judge and or assess market needs. It also requires a good understanding of how to satisfy the needs in the marketplace. In return for effective coordination of the factors of production and taking on associated risks, entrepreneurs earn a reward called profit. But, the successful ones go beyond profit to enjoy the four freedoms of entrepreneurship in addition.

The four freedoms of entrepreneurship

The four freedoms of entrepreneurship attributed to Dan Sullivan are – freedom of time, freedom of money, freedom of relationship, and freedom of purpose.

Freedom of time

You cannot build a company that sustains itself in the long-term unless you have a full gripe of your time. I am not talking about “Time Management” in the sense of how corporate executives understand it; the entrepreneurs’ time system is different. In Corporate environments, it is common to focus primarily on “To Do” lists, dairy, and all manner of time charts. But the freedom of time allows successful entrepreneurs to simply divide their days into Time Off, Planning Days, and Production Days. Each day represents a 24-hour in which the entrepreneur execute certain activities.

That approach of experiencing time allows successful entrepreneurs to focus on doing what they love and enjoy best. Can you imagine Aliko Dangote or Richarch Branson going to work in the morning to make marketing calls? They will possibly not. Why not? Because their various Freedoms of Time allows them to perform only tasks they have a strong capability for and enjoy. The better part is, they could perform such tasks/activities for the rest of their lives.

If you want to enjoy the freedom of time, start by freeing yourself up from low-productive activities. Then, focus on activities that you have a strong capability for, which also bring the most money into the business. Until you do that, you might be constrained from paying attention to your money-making activities.

Freedom of money

Once you free yourself up from low-productive activities, it is time to go one rung up your freedom ladder. The freedom of money is the second of the four freedoms of entrepreneurship. It is the freedom that enhances your creative capacity to innovate new solutions and get paid for them. So, the freedom of money takes your entrepreneurial innovativeness to a whole new level of problem-solving and reward. Having enough time on your hand (Freedom of Time), means you are at liberty to make more money by doing what you love. It increases your ability also to develop longer-range plans with bigger and better possibilities for the future. The freedom of money enhances your capacity to bring more value to the marketplace and get paid for them. The better part is, there is no limit to how much money you can make with your freedom of money.

Freedom of relationships

Successful entrepreneurs have the capacity to make as much money as they want. But such capacity depends more on each entrepreneur’s ability to broker high-end relationships. This is where the Freedom of Relationships, the third of the four freedoms of entrepreneurship comes to play. Freedom of relationships comes with the freedom to choose whom you want to work with; people and organizations, who appreciate the value you bring to the marketplace. Although every client is important, the freedom of relationships absolves you from any obligation of working directly with everyone. Instead, you are freed to spend quality time being surrounded by people of “similar DNA” as you. Clients, suppliers, and organizations that love working with you, and you love them working with them also.

Freedom of purpose

The fourth of the four freedoms of entrepreneurship is Freedom of Purpose. Every entrepreneurial adventure ends up somehow with creating a company. But one big tragedy of entrepreneurial thinking is believing that owning a company means working hard and making money. Quite often, entrepreneurs think that the companies they create represent their jobs or careers. Unfortunately, they are not! In fact, your entrepreneurial company is simply a channel through which you live out the ideals to the fullest. As vehicles, your company allows you to accomplish everything that synchronizes with your core values, including creating solutions that positively impact people and communities in different ways. That way, entrepreneurs contribute to society, leave legacies, and have a sense of fulfillment. But, you cannot attain freedom of purpose in isolation of the freedoms of money, time, and relationships.

Attaining the four freedoms of entrepreneurship

If Jean-Baptiste’s definition of entrepreneurship is anything to go by, then, “the entrepreneur” is the number one resource that must be taken to a higher level of productivity and yield. Why not? Because, in a dynamic and uncertain environment, entrepreneurs need new levels of capabilities to keep bringing new solutions to the marketplace and growing. To do that effectively, today’s entrepreneurs need to develop new skills to overcome entrepreneurial obstacles and challenges. Being part of the global coordinators of economic systems, investing in your own personal development and growth is a competitive advantage that many others undermine.

In my one decade of experience of coaching successful entrepreneurs to accelerate growth and freedom, I discover that entrepreneurs who take the risk to hone their entrepreneurial skills build self-sustaining companies. On the other hand, those who crave to succeed outside the four freedoms of entrepreneurship hit barriers and encounter complexities that stop their growth. But you can decide to expand your four freedoms of entrepreneurship from today. Making such a decision will greatly deconstruct your life and clarify your direction. Not only will you have a clear vision of the future, but your communication and influence on growth will also get bigger and better in every area of your business and life.

Entrepreneurs who take the risk to hone their entrepreneurial skills build self-sustaining companies.

To learn more about how you can expand your four freedoms of entrepreneurship and build a self-sustaining business, attend our Free 10X Business Club workshops.

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Author: Nkem Mpamah
Nkem Mpamah is Nigeria's #1 business coach, leadership, and strategy consultant for the services industry. Nkem coaches successful entrepreneurs to improve performance, increase competitiveness, and expand their entrepreneurial freedoms. He is the founder of Cognition Global Concepts, and creator of the Growth Syndicate Program." Nkem is author of "The ART of Achievement and Fulfillment", and "The Entrepreneur".

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