ICS Magazine

Freedom Is Just Another Word For Success

March 8, 2001
Focus on using your cleaning/restoration business as a vehicle to achieve financial freedom, rather than burning the years away just making a living.



More than six billion people share this planet, which are exactly how many definitions there are of success. Nothing is more personal than an individual’s analysis of their own life, and their own Holy Grail of personal success.

Many people (far too many) define success based solely on financial power and assets. But of course, other success parameters can and should include family, friends, educational and professional accomplishments, recognition, etc.

Yet, there is one common requirement running through all these different success definitions—the need for freedom. That’s right, achieving enough financial resources to live the rest of your life exactly the way you wish to live it. Simply put, most individuals never have “options” in their life.

Think about your friends: Wonderful people, probably reasonably satisfied with their daily lives. Yet, if given the chance, would they live their lives differently? The sad fact is most people today would prefer to make changes in their lives but can’t because they’re chained to financial obligations.

So how about a one word universal definition for success? Options. In other words, having the freedom to spend the rest of your life in exactly the way you choose to live it (within reason, that is). Chances are you’ll never marry Cindy Crawford, ride the space shuttle or play poker with Bill Gates!

So in one important sense, success always comes back to money. Achieving financial freedom will give you the options that everyone in this system craves. Then you’ll be able to live the rest of your life exactly how you choose. Of course, your definition of success may include pushing a scrub wand till the ripe old age of 85! But wouldn’t it be nice to have the freedom to make the choice to keep working instead of being forced into it?

As a business owner, you have a huge advantage over your friends who are “wage slaves.” Sure, they’ll be able to retire after 30 long years with the company…maybe. But you have the freedom (there’s that wonderful word again!) to decide how, when and if you will leave your business.

Just like you, I’ve had some great days in my life. My wedding day, the days when my two children were born, and the day my wife and I bought our first home. Memories to be treasured.

However, one red-letter day for me was Nov. 22, 1991—the day I sold my carpet cleaning and restoration company and achieved freedom. Freedom from 16 employees (and their families), freedom from thousands of customers, freedom from running a 24-hour emergency response company, but most of all, the financial freedom to live the rest of my life according to my definition of success. For the first time, my family and I had options. It was an incredibly satisfying feeling.

Wow, having options and freedom in life sounds great! And yet very few individuals achieve this elusive goal. The challenge is we all become ensnared by the urgent instead of focusing on the important. Sure, it’s urgent to get the employees out the door each day, keep the trucks running, make payroll and deal with a million other daily crises. But as the old saying goes, “When you’re up to your rear in alligators your original purpose was to drain the swamp.”

What was the important “original purpose” of your business? Very likely it was to enrich your life daily and give you future financial freedom. Every day of our lives is a precious gift that all too often we squander without appreciation. Fretting about the future can rob you of all the little daily joys and pleasures of life. However, it’s also an incredibly joyful feeling as you make steady progress toward your original purpose of achieving financial freedom.

So how about you? Do you want to rise above most of the other six billion folks out there? Would you like to spend your future life exactly as you choose? You can, you know. You’re in a great industry with incredible potential. It really is up to you and your desire to be free!

To Your Success will focus on using your cleaning/restoration business as a vehicle to achieve this financial freedom. After all, you’re burning the years anyway just making a living. Why not simultaneously create a constantly appreciating business asset out of your company that can fund your retirement? Then, you’ll be able to utter some of the most exciting (and frightening) words in the English language, “I feel wonderful! Finally, I’ve found freedom!”