Be A Free Range Human Book Summary - Be A Free Range Human Book explained in key points
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Be A Free Range Human summary

Marianne Cantwell

Escape the 9 to 5, Create a Life You Love, and Still Pay the Bills

4.3 (282 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

Be a Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell is an insightful guide to building a career and lifestyle on your own terms. It provides practical tips for creating a fulfilling work-life balance and leveraging your unique strengths to create a successful and satisfying career.

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    Be A Free Range Human
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    Self-employment makes a lot more sense when you realize that there’s no such thing as a secure job anymore.

    “Sure, I’d love to live freely and do what I want when I want, but that’s just not in the cards. In the real world, I’ve got responsibilities and bills to pay. To do that, I need a stable job, and a steady income.”

    If you’re stuck pursuing a career you hate, but just can’t see an off-ramp to a different destination, there’s a good chance you’ll have said something like this at some point. It’s the logic that keeps millions of us cooped up in offices doing work that bores us stiff. But that's better than missing the next mortgage payment, right? Well, not quite – in fact, you don’t have to choose between safety and fulfillment.

    The key message here is: Self-employment makes a lot more sense when you realize that there’s no such thing as a secure job anymore.

    Work used to be a simple bargain. In exchange for knuckling down and doing a job you didn’t enjoy, you received a reliable salary and a decent retirement to which you could dedicate your true passions. This was the career-cage deal, and for many years, millions of workers were happy to accept its terms and sacrifice their freedom for stability. But then things changed.

    Work hours got longer and longer while people found they could be let go with less and less notice. Suddenly, jobs weren’t as safe as they had once been. Take a look at your contract. How much notice is your employer contractually obliged to give you – one month? Three? That’s not a whole lot of security, when you get down to it.

    Retirement plans aren’t what they once were, either. In fact, experts now predict that children born today can expect to work into their eighties. This isn’t necessarily a problem if your job is a source of fulfillment and happiness, but what if it’s not? That’s a long time to spend doing something you don’t like in return for. . . what, five or ten years of freedom near the end of your life?

    The breakdown of the old career-cage deal means that counting on a “steady” job just isn’t a smart play anymore. If your employer isn’t giving you real stability and security, you’re effectively self-employed, but with one major difference: you only have one client. Like freelancers, you’re shouldering huge amounts of risk. But unlike freelancers, you’re betting everything on an income source that a market crash or board decision could wipe out in an instant.

    When you look at it that way, going it alone suddenly doesn’t look as risky. But where do you start? Let’s find out!

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    What is Be A Free Range Human about?

    Be a Free Range Human (2013) is an escape manual for the caged and cooped up. Addressed to mid-career professionals trapped in boring jobs and overwhelmed by responsibilities, it offers an alternative approach to life. Call it free-ranging: doing what you love, every day, when and where you like. The best bit? You can do all that and earn enough to cover the bills!

    Best quote from Be A Free Range Human

    The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.

    —Marianne Cantwell
    example alt text

    Who should read Be A Free Range Human?

    • Would-be entrepreneurs in need of inspiration 
    • Professionals who’ve had enough of the nine-to-five grind
    • Oddballs, misfits, and visionaries looking for alternatives

    About the Author

    Marianne Cantwell is a free-range human and an expert in helping others make the switch to a life they love. A popular speaker and consultant, she regularly runs courses on escaping the “corporate cage.” Her work has been featured on the BBC and in dozens of British and international newspapers and magazines.


    © Marianne Cantwell, 2013, 2019. This Summary of Be a Free Range Human, second Edition is published by arrangement with Kogan Page.

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