I have a friend who lives in a small town and works for the biggest employer in that town. He told me how trapped he feels and how he basically has to go along with whatever is in the best interests of that company.

There are local issues with the school, other businesses, politicians and senior executives at the company. But my friend feels stifled from expressing his personal opinions and speaking up, even on seemingly unrelated issues, because of the politics inside his company. One issue is that a problematic local school board member is the wife of a boss at the company.

So my friend has to watch what he says. To anyone. Because word can work its way back to people in a position to make life difficult or who might even find a way to have his position eliminated or make him so miserable he just quits.

On top of all that, there is a corporate culture he hates. The company is an 800-lb gorilla in the community and the management acts like it. They bully people. And there are internal factions and petty backstabbing as a means to curry favor and move up.

That stuff makes my stomach turn. On top of everything else, it’s just a dumb, inefficient way for people to spend their finite life energy.

You can guess what my advice is to him.

When you own your own nano-economy, you have a relative handful of prospects and customers out of the 7 billion spread about the earth. They don’t know each other. All they care about is that you deliver value to them and do what you say you will do. You have all the control you need to keep those people happy customers who are eager to give you their money. Odds are, not a single one of them lives in your small town.

Therefore, you are not beholden to any local interests, or an employer’s special interests, or other unwanted external pressures. You are as free as you can be to speak your mind, resist conformity, and interact with people as you deem right and moral. Of course, it’s not a license to be a jerk. Nobody likes a jerk under any circumstances. But it does remove the stress of having to conform to other people’s agendas and priorities.

The younger you are, the more potential social and economic compliance you can avoid by having your own nano-economy and living on your terms. The entire traditional path (that was established before you were even born) – like college, corporate career, marriage, children and retirement – can all be re-evaluated and re-engineered according to what you really value and what you really want for your lifetime.

Traditional, old-economy employment often comes with a lot of strings. Sometimes those strings require oppressive conformity that can extend outside of the work environment and even into our personal lives. When we leave the rat race and own and control our own source of income, we achieve freedom from conformity.

In Part 8 we’ll discuss: Freedom from Confiscation

 

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