The first thing I should say is that I don’t care about money. Or rather, I only care about money as a means to an end: social freedom. I did not decide to become an entrepreneur and help build a free nightclub events discovery app to make money for money’s sake!
Life was passing me by…
When I started working and earning a living, it didn’t take me long to become disillusioned with my job. I wasn’t doing horrible or dangerous work (that would have been more exciting!). It was more a case of me asking myself, “Could I really mentally accept doing work like this for another 45 – 50 years? Essentially just to line the pockets of people already at the top? What am I even doing this for?!” It felt like life was just passing me by!
I knew that I didn’t care about lavish items, cars or bling. I quickly realised that I wanted to do something meaningful, help people and really experience what this world has to offer! I wanted a kind of social freedom that would enable me to do all of the above. This is what would make me happy and satiate my craving for a purpose. However, because we live in a capitalist society, money is the only realistic way to create the circumstances in which doing all these things is feasible. There are always costs involved with living that kind of life, not to mention the fact that money is needed to live, eat and pay rent!
It became increasingly obvious to me that to rise above the system through which today’s society functions (capitalism) and not need a job, I would need to work within the system to find an alternative method of raising money that didn’t mentally destroy me every day or take up the majority of my life!
So when I say I wanted to get more money because I craved social freedom, what am I talking about???
Social freedom has been described in the following way by the scholar and philosopher, Felix E. Oppenheim: ‘An actor is free to act in any one of several ways, provided there is no other actor who makes him unfree to perform any of these actions.’
I believe that capitalism itself is this second actor, making us “unfree”.
You may think I’m just being pessimistic or melodramatic. “Surely we are free to not work? Surely we are free to travel at any time instead of working for someone else? Surely we are even free to go and live somewhere in the middle of nowhere and be outside the system?”
Well yes, we are“free” to do all those things. But we are still far from free of the clutches of capitalism. When you actually drill down into our freedoms, you realise we are not as free as it may seem (unless you’ve got Mummy and Daddy’s monetary safety net to fall back on). In my opinion, anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or deluding themselves!*
If we should leave our jobs, never to return to the workforce while relying on benefits, we would always be at the mercy of what any current government deems a suitable amount for those on benefits. In the majority of cases, we would also still need to be actively looking for work to receive those payments.
If we should decide to travel, we would inevitably run out of money when paying for tickets and food. We would eventually need to get a job to finance our escapades.
If we should leave the capitalist system and live in the middle of nowhere, we would enjoy none of the comforts of modern society, we would probably have to say goodbye to everyone we know and we would really struggle to return without getting a job or the goodwill of those we left behind.
These are just a few examples of the freedoms we “enjoy” that are not as free as they may seem because capitalism dictates that money is required to enjoy them. The majority of us are slaves to the system because we don’t have deep pockets!
As I say, I had come to the conclusion that for me to be happy, I needed to rise above the system in which we live; I wanted to find a way to game capitalism and earn enough money to find social freedom. The only solution I could find was entrepreneurship. It was time to take the responsibility of my own life into my own hands!