If you’re reading this you’re most likely a dreamer, a big thinker, a grand visioneer.
I know, because I’m one too. And you know what they say: birds of a feather.
So here’s the thing: when we think big, we often imagine the life that we are going to lead when our visions turn into reality. This life might include traveling the world, spending time with people who expand our hearts and minds, and giving back in ways that nourish our soul and the souls of the recipients of our gifts.
And often, our imagined futures include becoming well known.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be well known for your contributions.
Here’s the problem, though: a lot of people are chasing fame because they think it’s going to give them the lifestyle they want. But they’re chasing the wrong thing for all the right reasons.
There’s a big difference between fame and freedom.
For today, I’m talking financial and lifestyle freedom. (Emotional and spiritual freedom are topics I LOVE to tackle too. And it’s all connected. But for today we’re talking money and lifestyle.)
When I say financial freedom I mean the ability to wake up in the morning and do what you want to do with your time. (Click here for my recent post on what financial freedom means and how to get it.)
If the idea of being able to wake up every day and do the things that most speak to your heart without worrying about how the bills are going to get paid doesn’t speak to you, then read no further.
But if you’re like me, and millions, quite possibly billions, of others on the planet, and you want the ultimate freedom, CHOICE, then read on.
There are people making millions, even billions, a year who are not free. And some of these people are household names.
And there are people living in a way that you and I might see as just scraping by who are totally and completely free.
I see some version of this desire, or marketers marketing to people who have this desire, a lot: “I want to be rich and famous.”
Let’s examine this one for a moment, shall we?
So I have this kind of well-known mother. She’s been on Oprah ten times. She’s written two NY Times Bestsellers. A lot of people know who she is.
I’m super proud of my mom and she deserves all the recognition she’s received because she’s helped millions of women around the world tap into the wisdom of their bodies. My work stands on her shoulders and I’m eternally grateful.
Early on, though, my mom figured out that going from book advance to book advance and speaking gig to speaking gig while waiting for Oprah to call was not the kind of life she wanted. She wanted freedom. So she created a real-live business that sustains her whether she’s doing anything or not. Of course she works on her business a lot because she loves it. But the key distinction here is that she doesn’t HAVE to.
The quality of the work she puts out is far more powerful because it comes from a place of choice instead of from a place of necessity.
I’ve spent a lot of time with people who are considered “famous.” And you know what? They’re human.
I want to inoculate you against thinking that being famous inevitably leads to wealth or freedom (or happiness, for that matter. But that’s a whole other conversation.)
The good news is that we all get to define for ourselves what rich means. Perhaps your version of rich includes lots of time to spend sorting out the mysteries of life with your girlfriends over delicious oolong tea. Maybe it includes unlimited time cuddling with your man and your little ones in the morning. Maybe it includes private aviation and Christian Louboutins.
If you’re like me and so many people I’ve met and worked with, your version of rich has something to do with quality of life. And that lifestyle doesn’t include being on the road 300 days a year, having to sell your next book to pay your mortgage, or having someone else tell you who, where, why, when, how, and how much.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making as they build businesses is that they’re shooting for fame instead of freedom.
You may want to be recognized for doing great work in the world. That’s awesome. I think you deserve that.
You may want to feel seen. Rock on. You are a divine being worthy of that.
But what if you could get your needs for recognition and being seen met in other ways and build a business that allows you to live the lifestyle you desire?
This is not a what if. You can have this. I know because I help people do it.
The secret ingredient that the vast majority of people miss when building a business is this: Dispensability.
It’s the opposite of fame, my friends.
If you want freedom to live a life that’s deeply nourishing, you have to build systems and assets that pay you whether you’re there or not. You have to make yourself dispensable.
This probably flies in the face of every career preparation seminar you’ve attended and most “how to get ahead” types of advice you’ve ever read.
We’ve been taught that to be “successful” in life, whatever that means, we must make ourselves totally indispensable:
Impress your boss so you won’t get replaced!
Make yourself so necessary to the organization that they’ll keep you forever!
Do what you do so well that nobody could possibly ever do it as well as you!
Build FAME so that you can be rich!
The conventional wisdom has it all wrong.
If you want to make art, do that. The world needs your unique creative voice. The world craves the solutions that only you can offer.
But please stop steering your ship towards fame so that you can have freedom from a financial and lifestyle perspective.
Instead, build your business so that there are systems in place that bring in revenue with or without you. And then enjoy the expansive creativity that comes through when you’re no longer having to be physically present for income to come in.
When you free yourself up financially you can be more present to your purpose on the planet. (Click to tweet.)
Listen, your karma may be to become famous. And you may do some amazing service to your soul and to humanity by living in the spotlight. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Follow your path and shine, baby, shine!
Just don’t confuse fame with freedom. The two are very different.
From a financial perspective, you create freedom to live the life of your dreams through building systems that make you dispensable. That’s it.
Getting famous is not a magic bullet to bring money in the door, or to keep it once you get it. And it certainly doesn’t ensure long-term, sustainable income.
So how do we create these systems or assets that pay us long term whether we’re present or not?
And the best teacher of leveraging the internet to create a business that pays you whether you’re working or not is Marie Forleo.
My man and I have done tons of research in the internet marketing world and have spent tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, vetting out the best of the best. Marie’s the real deal.
Marie’s third free training video in her B-School launch series drops today. In it, she tackles some of the common concerns that hold many women back from starting or growing a business. Plus, watch through the end of the video for a chance to win a free spot in B-School. Marie’s giving away scholarships and one of them might have your name on it!
Remember, if you’re thinking of doing B-School, keep an eye out next Wednesday morning, February 20th, around 10:30am EST for an email from me revealing the bonus I’m offering to those who sign up through my link. It’s the most valuable bonus I’ve ever given, it’s never been available to anyone before you, and it’s specifically designed to be the perfect compliment to B-School to help you launch your business. We’ve been cooking this one up for months, and really it’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned and created since I started my business when I was 18. And I want YOU to have it. So stay tuned next Wednesday for the details and the link to buy through to get it with B-School.
The take-home message is this:
Most people on earth want to live a life that allows them to choose how they spend their most valuable resource: time.
If you want that, build towards freedom, not fame.
I shall leave you with this final sentence a beautiful young lady said to Leonardo DiCaprio playing J. Edgar in the 2011 film of the same name:
“All the admiration in the world can’t fill the space where love goes.”
Go for the love. Go for the freedom. And trust that the rest will work itself out.
Did this stir you? What do you think of freedom and fame? I’d love to hear it so leave a comment below!