, Newburyport, MA


April 3, 2014

Defining freedom not an easy job


A liking for expensive toys or houses or lifestyle is appealing to most of us. Although it is possible to be miserable while being affluent, it’s not the way to bet. A college friend of mine who was preoccupied with getting rich said, “Yeah, I know money won’t guarantee happiness, but if I am going to be miserable, I am going to be so in comfort!” One mildly cynical view is that happiness is a positive cash flow.

My own desire for freedom led to founding a small boat design and building company in 1974. I had worked for others for some 20 years and although I had achieved some success and some autonomy, calling my own shots had great appeal. The company has achieved some success and a good reputation, but did not provide the wherewithal to so some things I wanted to do, e.g., flying my own airplane.

As a small business owner, one would think there would be a surplus of freedom; however, the demands of employees, vendors, federal, state and local government make running a business less desirable than imagined by many who have not had the experience of meeting a payroll.

Policy-wise and product-wise, one can do what one wants if the money to do so is available! Large corporations generally have plenty of money to do things, but the competition to get what you need for your pet project is fierce. The golden rule applies meaning that the one with the gold rules. Being your own boss or being a good-sized wheel in a prosperous company usually requires long, hard work. Hence a noticeable freedom is the freedom to bust your buns!

Jonathan is correct. There is no easy way to define what freedom means.


Jack Winninghoff, owner of Winninghoff Boats, lives in Rowley.

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