Security or Freedom – you can’t have both

I recently met with a young man who was considering leaving his current job.  While he enjoys the freedom he has, he doesn’t feel he has much security.  The organization he’s working for can’t give him guaranteed raises, 401k benefits and a car allowance.  He’d prefer to be in an organization where he still has lots of freedom but where there is more security.

I tried to gently show him those two concepts are totally opposed.  If you want ultimate freedom to get up when you want to get up, decide what you’re going to do today and have no ceiling on your income possibilities – then obviously, you will have to work for yourself.  As soon as you expect someone else to give you security, you begin to give up your freedom.  The ultimate would be inmates in maximum-security prisons.  They have the most security and the least freedom.

  • As soon as you line up where they expect you to be there at a certain time in the morning, you’ve given up some of your freedom.
  • As soon as you demand a guarantee in income, you’ve given up the open-ended income possibilities.
  • As soon as you negotiate for a paid vacation, you’ve given up the freedom to choose when and how long you vacation.

I know “salespeople” who are guaranteed $10/hr and would scream if that guarantee were taken away.  And they consistently make $400 a week.  The salespeople I know who make $300,000 a year have no guarantee.  They just do what they do well and are paid according to the results they produce.  The people I see at the beach two months out of the year, who travel around the world at will, who work late at night and then sleep till noon the next day, or who take 60 days to write a bestseller, have no 401k plan, no provided medical insurance, no company car, no timeclock and no paid coffee breaks.  They just have freedom and the absence of ceilings in any area of chosen success.

This is not a “right or wrong” issue.  It’s just a matter of choice.

The more security you desire, the less freedom you will have.  The more freedom you want, the less security you will have.  You get to choose.

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