Marianne Cantwell works from her laptop. One month she’s in London, the next she’s hanging out on a beach in Bali, and the next she’s on a boat off the Australian coast. Wherever she is, she’s working on a business she loves: helping others to escape the ‘career cage’ of employment and start making money from their passions -- on their own terms. Whether you want to travel the world or just have more time at home with your kids, Free Range Humans can help you get there.
Free Range Humans is Marianne’s first book, but she’s holding nothing back. This is a full-tilt, comprehensive guide that takes you step-by-step through the process of pinpointing your business idea, quitting the career cage and living a free-range life. Whatever questions you might have about Free Range living and working, the answers are in here somewhere. What do you have to offer the world? Why is a free-range lifestyle more secure than the career cage? How do you go about branding yourself? Do you need a business plan? How should you set your prices? Marianne skillfully balances big personal development questions with acute business savvy, crafting a masterful and holistic examination of what it really takes to have a business and a life you love.
Her writing style is light-hearted and friendly, but the content packs a punch with every sentence. Reading her words feels like hanging out with a close friend; the kind who makes you laugh one second and then delivers a hard-hitting truth the next. You know you’re talking to a real expert when they can explain a complicated concept in simple English -- and it’s clear from her relaxed, conversational style that Marianne really knows her stuff.
Free Range Humans is multimedia, too! In true location-independent style, in many chapters you’ll find scannable QR codes, which take you to extra online resources. These, combined with the simple exercises in each chapter, make the experience interactive and all about you.
If you’ve read widely on the subjects of location independence, startups and career-change, much of the content in this book will be familiar territory to you. However, Free Range Humans brings it all together in a succinct and focused style, making it one of the best resources available for potential career renegades anywhere.
Our Top Takeaways
Having an employer does not make you safer: When you’re employed by someone else, your livelihood is in their hands, not yours. Your job security is dependent on their business decisions and their financial savvy. “For most people, employment is the equivalent of being self-employed with only one client (your employer). And as any business expert will tell you, being 100 per cent dependent on one client, in a turbulent market, is a very risky business. If they get into trouble, there goes your income”.
You don’t need a business plan, you need a business: Business plans are great ways to waste time: you research for months, write and research some more, and all that time could have been spent road-testing your idea in the real world. The truth is, you learn most about your business from the people who are using your product or service -- so if you don’t have customers, you’re stabbing in the dark. You’re better off just getting started: aim to make your first £50 as soon as possible, and then tweak as you go. It’s far easier to make small adjustments to a small business than it is to explain to your five-figure-funders why things don’t look the way they did in your business plan (which took you a year to write, was based on other people’s businesses rather than your own, and is now totally useless).
Give the ‘beige army’ respectful space: The ‘beige army’ are the people in every Free Ranger’s life who are dismissive/disbelieving/critical of the life you’re trying to build. They’re scared of what you’re doing, so they do their best to make you feel small, naive, and attempt to undermine your dreams with critical words and sneers. Rather than wasting energy trying to prove them wrong, agonising over their attitudes or doubting yourself, simply acknowledge them for what they are and carry on. Listen to what they have to say, speak with integrity and commitment to what you believe in, and keep taking action towards the life you want to live. “This isn’t about winning an ideological battle with a group of terrified people. It’s about getting around the big, critical blob of a barrier in your way so that you can live your own life.”