Skip to main content

Unlocking Entrepreneurial Freedom: The Four Phases Of The Freedom Cycle

What you’ll learn in this Multiplier Mindset blog post:

  1. The concept of the Freedom Cycle for entrepreneurs and the four phases of freedom: time, money, relationship, and purpose.
  2. How an entrepreneur’s purpose relates to their past, present, and future, and how to consciously choose what to bring forward from the past to support your purpose.
  3. The importance of being present and leveraging clarity on the past and future to achieve maximum results in the present, leading to innovation and creation.

Years ago, I asked our clients to describe what Strategic Coach is and what it represents. One word kept coming up: Freedom. In this post, I’ll discuss my concept of the Freedom Cycle, the four phases of entrepreneurial freedom, and how the Freedom Cycle connects to your purpose. This blog is based on a recent podcast that I recorded with Joe Polish.

Entrepreneurship requires courage and a massive belief in yourself to secure your own financial independence. The hard truth is, freedom must be earned and isn’t given to us.


Because it can’t be. Nobody knows what kind of entrepreneurial freedom you want except for you. Every individual has a different formula for what constitutes entrepreneurial freedom for them.

Entrepreneurial freedom falls into four categories:

  1. Freedom of Time: This is the entrepreneurial freedom to be able to do what you enjoy with your time, with no one else dictating how you spend it.
  2. Freedom of Money: To do what you love doing, you must have the money to pay for it. So, if you want more time, it will take money to pay for it. In the entrepreneurial world, that means you must pay for other people’s talents so you can be free to focus on your own talent, your Unique Ability.
  3. Freedom of Relationship: This is the entrepreneurial freedom to choose whom you spend time with, both personally and professionally. Freedom of relationship requires entrepreneurial freedom of time and money so that you can cultivate and enjoy those relationships.
  4. Freedom of Purpose: Entrepreneurs want their entrepreneurial life to integrate with their overall life purpose. This allows them to achieve the satisfaction and significance they desire. Entrepreneurial freedom of time, money, and relationship build up to enable the entrepreneurial freedom of purpose.

The origins of an entrepreneur’s purpose.

Entrepreneurs, generally, live for what they want, not what they need.

Let me explain. The human brain is constantly operating in the past, present, and future. Everyone handles these three time dimensions differently, which is what makes every human unique. Entrepreneurs have an unusually vivid sense of the future, and they often choose a future beyond what they’re capable of achieving right now.

This comes from their entrepreneurial purpose.

But it’s not an intellectual decision, per se. It’s the sum of who they are up until the present moment. It’s simply what they want, which can be justified as much as any other person’s desires in this world. The difference is that entrepreneurs don’t question their entrepreneurial purpose; they simply choose it, measure it, plan it, structure it, and go forward. That’s the big distinction.

Once you choose an entrepreneurial future, you then choose what you want to bring along with you from your past, whether that be lessons, teachings, or wisdom. As entrepreneurs get more successful, they free themselves from the need to justify what they want to others or themselves. This confidence is built from releasing things from the past that will hinder their ability to act in the present or see clearly into the future. Less successful entrepreneurs tend to get caught up in a justification cycle that keeps them stuck in the past.

To truly achieve entrepreneurial freedom of purpose, you must consciously decide what to bring with you from the past and what to leave behind. The word “decide” actually comes from a Latin word meaning “to kill off.” So, every time you make a decision about the future, you’re killing off some part of your past. Can you do it?

The Entrepreneurial Freedom Cycle.

The Entrepreneurial Freedom Cycle requires you to be intimately aware of the past, present, and future and how they hinder or support your purpose. So, decide what part of the past comes along to support your purpose. That puts you in the present, where you leverage clarity on the future and the past to achieve maximum results.

The present is the only place where you can act—the past and future are simply thinking tools for learning or projecting.

The world is becoming more and more innovative. By utilizing your clarity about the future and past to make the best possible progress in the present, you’ll be at the forefront of innovation and creation. This is the Freedom Cycle.

As an entrepreneur, you’re clear on your purpose. You want what you want and don’t need to explain yourself to anyone. To learn more about the difference between “wanters” and “needers,” and how the Four Freedoms relate to this concept, download my book Wanting What You Want.

About the Author

Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.

Profile Photo of Dan Sullivan