Freedom Fridays, vol. 3: why you should refuse the “normal” part of life

From a very early age, Justin Nault has been on a relentless pursuit of one thing… passion. His love for creating has guided his life, for better or for worse. Music, entrepreneurship, writing, entertaining, inventing, you name it – any way in which he could express himself and share his thoughts, feelings, and values with the world! 
Justin went on to graduate from Berklee College of Music, become a full-time Entertainer in Nashville, TN, release an album of original music, “It’s Just Me,” launch a successful YouTube Channel, land a Network TV show (ABC’s “The Big Time”), launch “Rock & Roll Pianos,” become a Certified Nutritional Therapist, Specialist in Sports Nutrition, and the Founder of the Clovis
He invented the popular product line, “The Perfect Paleo Powder” and has found success as a Podcaster, YouTube personality, writer and CEO. 

What does freedom look like for you?

“To me, freedom is really the absence of negative stress and feedback loops. Specifically, the things people tend to get “stuck” on… working too many hours, not enough money in the bank, bills piling up, no hobbies or vacation time, poor health… that sort of thing. All of these problems have somehow become widely accepted as a “normal” part of life. I refuse to accept that. Freedom means designing my lifestyle in a way that allows me to avoid the most common pitfalls of what I call, “Standard American Life.” I want to be 100% in charge of my time, I want optimal health & wellness, I want my careers to be my passions, and I don’t want to feel stressed when the bill comes at my favorite restaurant!”

The factory-worker model of education in America sets us up to be slaves to our jobs. To live lives in which our time is not our own. It is the antithesis of personal freedom.

Justin Nault

When did you realize freedom was important to you?

“When I was a Senior in High School. I remember it clear as day… I had performed at a local talent show. I played piano and sang, “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. Shortly after, I was offered my first paying gig as a musician. At the time, I was working at a shoe store for minimum wage. The bar owner offered me $150 to perform for 3 hours. $50 per hour at 17 years old?! I was absolutely blown away. That was when the “wage work” illusion started to dissolve for me. I quickly realized that money alone was not freedom. Being rich is not attractive to me at all if it means working 40+ hours per week. To be truly free, you need both money and TIME. That set me on the path of rejecting “wage work” and maximizing my per-hour earnings. I focused less on working more hours and focused more on increasing the amount of money earned per hour. My time has been almost completely my own since that day with the exception of unavoidable life obligations.”

What one piece of advice would you give to people that are in pursuit of their own freedom?

“Don’t listen to anything the mainstream tells you about finance or career paths. It sounds snarky, I know, but the deeper I dive into these topics the more I believe that statement. Not only do I think public schools and colleges are far less valuable than society tells us they are, but I also believe that virtually everything we learn within those institutions makes us less equipped to ever experience true freedom, fulfillment, and happiness. The factory-worker model of education in America sets us up to be slaves to our jobs. To live lives in which our time is not our own. It is the antithesis of personal freedom.”

As leaders in their space, they are always learning – what have you changed your mind/perspective on?

“That “experts” are no different than you and I. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my years as a self-employed entrepreneur, it’s that “experts” are just normal people who have devoted more time to learning about particular subjects than you have. Like most entrepreneurs, I used to suffer tremendously from “imposter syndrome.” No matter how much I learned, I always felt like others were light years ahead of me. I don’t think those feelings ever truly go away. They still sneak up on me from time to time but my beliefs around the entire idea of “experts” have changed significantly. Don’t get me wrong, there are world-class experts and we’re wise to learn from them! But they aren’t some kind of untouchable superhuman that we could never hope to be… that’s the big realization I had to have. We can all be experts in fields of our choosing, it’s simply a matter of how much time we’re willing to dedicate to the goal of becoming an expert. We can’t sit around and wish we were like the experts, we must execute… Wisdom through experience!”

Most influential book?

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. I know that’s a cliche answer but it’s honestly been the single most influential book in my life. Most of the topics in it are more “mainstream” in 2019, but remember, when it was released in 2007, it was cutting edge stuff! I read that book and for the first time in my life I stopped feeling like I was alone in the world. I had always felt “weird” because I didn’t see things the same way most of society appeared to. The idea of getting a 9-5 with a 401k a mortgage and a white picket fence sounded worse than a death sentence to me. I constantly felt like I was trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The 4-Hour Workweek open my eyes to the fact that there were actually other people in this world who were just like me! Who desperately wanted something more than the “status quo.” That book single-handedly kicked off my journey of personal development and entrepreneurship!” 

Giana Cambria

Author Upperhand Creative.


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