Entrepreneurs & the Pursuit of Happiness: Building Something for Yourself

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Entrepreneurs are sometimes just creative problem solvers that got bored trying to solve someone else’s problems.

Entrepreneurs of the world: How many of you started your professional career in a corporate job, and why?

For OdeCloud community member Ryan Longenecker and his wife, Lindsay, the most significant reason behind why they left their corporate life was their desire to spend more time with their daughter.

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They adapted their skillsets so that they were able to work remotely, launching their creative agency, Collective Mind Technologies, just over a year ago.

Reflecting on how his life has changed since leaving corporate, he’s adamant that he sees no reason to ever go back.

“It’s definitely not a 9-to-5 job, 8-to-5 job. It’s definitely not driving downtown everyday and dealing with multiple layers of management. It’s figuring it out on your own,” Ryan said.

“Every single system that a company that you work for already usually has something in place, and it’s been thought of. As a small business owner, freelancer, entrepreneur, you have to think about everything — which I think we (Ryan and Lindsay) both enjoy.

“You get to reap the fruits of your labor because you built it all: You marketed it, you networked, you created a product or a service. It’s all on your shoulders.

“You live and die by the work that you put in, and it’s just more exciting than sitting at a desk, building someone else’s dream. You’re building your own dream.”

At the heart of Ryan’s story is simply that: He and his wife wanted to share in the love, pride and joy of building a family; so rather than limit their careers to someone else’s beck and call, they opted to start their own company, which would actually allow them more time to spend together as a family.

And not only were they able to find the freedom to grow a family, they found professional freedom in growing their own business. For many of the freelancers and entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to, these two things — building a family and a building a business — often parallel each other.

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That’s where they find their most fulfillment. That’s where they find their happiness. And I think that’s the true beauty of freelancing and entrepreneurship.

They encourage anyone that feels stuck in their lives to pursue their own happiness as freelancers and entrepreneurs, and they extend an opportunity to join them to anyone willing to share in their vision.

“I think the biggest thing for us when we left our jobs was to be happy and to do things that were happy and that we enjoy. I think the biggest hopes that we can have is to keep growing the business while staying happy doing what we’re doing and find people that want to join us and become a part of it.

“Other people that might not be happy doing what they’re doing, but they have a skill that can contribute to our business, and you know — they want to work from home, or they don’t want to be in the environment that they’re in anymore, and they want to become a freelancer.”

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