As far as I remember, for some reason, I became obsessive with freedom since the very early years of my first job. And in my late twenties, I quit the job once to follow my dream. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much saving at that time and more importantly I was not prepared myself to cope with emotions and social pressure. After nine months or so, I had to get back to work, feeling like a failure.
A few years after that, I got a chance to write books and sell them as part-time business. It was relatively so successful that I reckon it could become a full-time business quite easily. So, I quit the job for the second time. This time I had larger saving and more experience to cope with my own feeling. I became an independent writer and continued to be so until now.
The first four years of being self-employed went very well. I was very enthusiastic, waking up every morning excited to do my work. I also love the feeling of being one’s own boss whereby you were in charge of yourself and fully responsible for it. I exceeded my financial targets. It was one of the best times in my life.
Anyway, I got bored with the book business after that. Sooner or later, every career became like a routine. I realised that passions are a type of emotions and all emotions are subject to change.
I could live with my saving doing nothing but then I discovered that such a lifestyle is even worse than being a salaryman. You could go shopping everyday or travel around the world, which sounds like a terrific life, but sooner or later you would feel very empty. There was a study showing that most of the people who retire early to travel around the world stop traveling after no later than four years. They end up stay home everyday and regret that they retire early because they will have to live a boring life for longer period than ordinary people.
These days I really hate the concept of early retirement and financial freedom. People don’t really need these things. What people really need is a career that they can enjoy in some way and take pride in it. Being totally free is not enough. We need to feel useful, too. And your work is the primary source of your own self respect. That sort of work does not have to be a self-employed at all. If you already enjoy with the career path at your current employer, you are already on the right track. If not, you should plan how to move to a more enjoyable and fulfilling career in the future. This has nothing to do with being or not being a self-employed and/or having or not having financial freedom.
To me, the luckiest person in the world is the person who has and enjoy and take pride in his career for his entire life. That’s all.