Want Freedom From the 9-5? Just Say No to It and Be Location Independent!

Want Freedom From the 9-5? Just Say No to It and Be Location Independent!

Apr 13, 2022

Just say no and start on the path to freedom from the 9-5.

For us GenXers, “Just Say No” brings back memories of a petite but tough First Lady telling us all how bad drugs are. I can still picture Nancy Reagan sitting on the couch in the White House with her husband talking about this. And the words “Just Say No” have stuck with me all these years. Now I’m re-applying them to my life of freedom from the 9-5 and living location independent.

I even created a checklist to help others escape the 9-5 in 6 steps because if 9-5 life is testing your patience at best or, at worst, harming your health and well-being, just say no.

Just say no to all those things that are stressing you out and making you wish for a “better” life. I want to help you do it with this blog.

Grab the checklist here.

Brittany Burgunder quote you don't have to stay committed to something because you're good at it

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Going from employee to entrepreneur is a process and checklists are great guides in any process.

In my corporate life, I loved checklists. My friends and former colleagues reading this know that! I worked in a position that brought corporate ideas and programs out to the masses (members of our organization) and checklists were the easiest way to share concepts in a way that:

· is easy to read
· make implementation feel less cumbersome
· decrease the overwhelm that often comes with change

So as I have been moving through my “process” of being location independent in a life free from the 9-5 (or 8-6, 7-7 and weekends!), I’ve realized a pattern. One that made total and complete sense to compile into a checklist, both to my coach and myself as we were discussing my cornerstone post, the foundation of this blog, and how to put something valuable together for others in one concise document.

RELATED: My cornerstone post outlines the purpose of the Free At 50 blog and all the resources and inspiration you can find on it. Click here to read it.

coffee pen and blank paper

Photo by Freddy Castro on Unsplash

Step 1 on the Free At 50 checklist is knowing your why: freedom from 9-5 is the foundation of mine.

It sounds simple, freedom from the 9-5, being location independent, and of course, earning income. That is everyone’s why for ditching corporate life right?

No, it isn’t that simple.

Freedom from the 9-5, including the ability to be location independent is the foundation of my why of course, but digging deeper into it, why do I want those things?

For me, it’s about:

· Family: Having the ability to drop everything on a dime and be there for my family (especially my aging parents who live across the country) – and do it without asking for time off, having to sneak onto conference calls or Zoom meetings instead of being 100% focused on their needs and not having to find coverage for my “work” obligations.

· Experiences: We left Michigan and live in Colonial Williamsburg Virginia! (FYI potential future blog!). I no longer have to be "in the middle of the country" or within reach of a hub airport.

I love history. And here, I have it on my doorstep every single day.

But it goes deeper than where I live, it’s about truly being location independent and the chance to go anywhere anytime. If I am inspired or want to complete a project, I can do it from the Outer Banks, D.C., or my parents’ house- wherever I am visiting or hanging out!

· Productivity: I’ve always been the type that works best in the flow. I’m guessing most of us are. Being a blogger has gifted me the opportunity to be at my best when I am “working” – in quotation marks because it usually doesn’t feel like work!

Having the ability to step away and recharge when I want and need to is invaluable to my productivity.

message about productivity

Photo by kris on Unsplash

· Health: If I’m honest, I may not be super-healthy BUT I am way better off than I was my last few years working for others. Escaping the 9-5 has allowed me to sleep without an alarm, move to a place with a better climate and more sunshine, even leave the anxiety of what will be in my email behind.

And so much more. In fact, that could be a post in itself!

RELATED: This is touched on in my post about joining a challenge where I talked about the mental cleanse I did and how many of the things were already built into my new life. Click here to see it.

horses of Colonial Williamsburg have a calming effect

photo: Colonial Williamsburg horses, by Daphne

Steps 2 through 6 will move you through your personal journey and get you into your ideal life.

Once you have your why down on paper, I guarantee you will be inspired and motivated to work on every single step of the checklist.

Step 2: Shift your mindset. Going from employee to entrepreneur requires a new way of thinking. You’re in charge. No C-Suite or boss to “give approval,” no need to request budget or support, no legal or accounting team to keep you on track. Imperfect action is not only OK, but mandatory!

Embrace it. The checklist will help.

Step 3: Narrow your options. You have way more skills than what is on your resume or CV. Use the checklist worksheet to organize your thoughts and determine how you want to approach options for your next chapter, marrying your skills with your passions.

Step 4: Research the best fit. There is SO much online! That’s one reason I compiled the checklist so you can really focus on what you need, when you need it, limiting distraction.

The resources I share are meant to assist in your research and honestly, are some of the best I’ve found. But one reason I have the Facebook group: continue to find more and offer up a community for you all to share what you find with each other!

Step 5: Build your toolkit. Once you get on the path to a specific business idea, you’ll need tools. While I believe the two most important are a business coach and the technology you need (Groove for me!), you’ll need all kinds of tools.

Tracking them, saving good ones for when you need them, and using them efficiently is vital.

Step 6: Take action. Yes, I have this as step 6 but truly, just using the checklist step-by-step is taking action.

Having this as step 6 is intentional. Write down your next step, or leap, into your future! Then revisit as you take each big step.

Even if you are already out of the 9-5 and building a business, the checklist can:

  • re-invigorate you
  • prompt new ideas
  • and importantly share resources focused on your success

In fact, this is not a one-and-done thing. Keep your checklist handy (both printed and online!) to re-visit, assess, and work on throughout your journey.

If you want to discuss taking action and want help getting organized, book a free call with me here and type "checklist" in the booking notes!

In the Facebook group, we’ve even done videos discussing each step in detail!

Below is the one I did with blog coach and entrepreneur Margaret Bourne about building your toolkit. (and yes, you can watch it before you even start the checklist!)

Take action and use the Free At 50 world to “Just Say No” and escape 9-5 life.

Have you downloaded the checklist yet?

Do it here.

And use the resources in the checklist.

Share your wins, your ideas, and your questions in the Ditching the 9-5 Facebook group here.

When it comes to your needs, your life, and your family… just say no to corporate and find your version of professional freedom!


Photo by Akhilesh Sharma on Unsplash