IH, why do you want financial independence?

Hi IH,

Are you conscious about WHY you want financial independence, other than the idea of being 'free to do what you want'?

I ask, because for me personally it has made all the difference to be very specific about:

  • What I want my life to be like
  • What that would cost me, and most importantly:
  • How work / entrepreneurship fits into that life without interrupting it.

TL;DR: Are most of you approaching indie hacking Lifstyle-first, or Business-first?


  1. 23

    I really dislike working for other people. Being forced to obey a schedule, dress code, etc. It feels like I don't own my life. What I want is freedom.

    1. 1

      Swiping in and out... Eurgh...

  2. 8

    I've thought about this a lot. I want the freedom to build things on my own terms, so in that sense I take a lifestyle-first approach. Basically I want more autonomy, competence, and relatedness (see Cal Newport's writing for more on this), and financial independence makes all those things easier.

    1. 1

      Interesting @jameschambers. Reminds me of Autonomy, Purpose, and Mastery from the book DRIVE. What would you build if you had the guarantee of success?

  3. 7

    To have the freedom to think and live different.

    Rethink how my lifestyle can be (live in 2/3 countries per year), how my time is distributed (not forced to a specific schedule) and how business is done (company structure, team complexity etc)

    Money is the modern food. We are lucky enough to live in a world where we don't need to fight for our food everyday. There are systems and tools to create wealth and put our survival needs on the autopilot.

    Finally I want my life to be chill. To worry about what matters. My family, my loved ones and my ultimate goal is to have plenty of time to do creative things outside of commercial business stuff. Building products is awesome, but drawing, writting music, reading and creating with your kids is fun too.

    More money => more time => more freedom => more ways to live your life by setting your own priorities

    1. 1

      I definitely would love to spend more time creating for creations sake too. Great answer.

      1. 3

        Yes! Many friends tell me "if you don't have to work you ll get bored" and I always reply "Creativity has many forms in life. I can create paintings for the sake of creating and expressing myself without worrying if they will have commercial success. I can go skateboarding/surfing/whatever."

        I think the key here is that creativity has many forms in life. And a successful business that sets you free (instead of burning you out), gives you the freedom to be creative without thinking about the commercial side of it. This way you protect in a way your creative self.

        Finally another thing to note is that you have plenty of time to create value for the world around you without thinking how to make money out of it. For example you can do open source for cultural projects or you can help people in the offline world and so on.

        I believe that if you have the luxury to stop thinking "how can this make money so that I can survive", a new world opens for you where creativity, and impact are the main priorities :)

        And that's beautiful!

  4. 7

    I've always wanted financial freedom to travel and do whatever I want(i.e. I would play volleyball all day if I could). However, since the passing of my beloved cat last year, I've found a new purpose to reach financial independence.

    My personal goal is to build no-kill animal shelters offering free/affordable vet care, especially for sick/elderly animals. In order to this I will need a lot of money and this motivates me to work harder.

    1. 1

      That's amazing, @tiffanywong! A purpose like this is sure to drive results.

      1. 2

        Ha, yup! That's the fun part.

  5. 5

    So I can get some sleep

    1. 2

      Sleep is nice! Something I dream of..

  6. 4

    So I can keep doing what I love rather than something someone said I have to do.

  7. 3

    I'll have to work after school or university. But right now no job is really appealing to me, so I thought I should find an alternative to the jobs.
    Also, I don't want to pursue a goal in a job, if it is not a personal goal, but someone else's.

    1. 1

      The best job is the one you create yourself ;)

  8. 3

    I hate working for other people and hate having to follow work hours that are set up by other people and not me. Also always want to do things my own way and hate being told what to do / how to do it.

  9. 3

    I’ve thought about this a lot as well.

    I’ve tried (and failed) to create ‘startups’. Each one taught me what I don’t want out of a company (and ultimately life). For example, I don’t want to be the CEO of some VC backed company with the pressure to blitz scale. That sounds like a nightmare.

    The failed attempts also taught me to couple my skills with my passions. I’m a cyclist and am trying to build tools for the cycling industry now. If I succeed I essentially paved a way directly into a life that I am in control of working on challenges that are in my interest zone.

    I love how the VC industry calls non-unicorn products ‘lifestyle companies’ as if it’s a curse - I WANT a lifestyle company ;)

  10. 3

    Cars and houses.

    Maybe a boat.

    1. 4

      And once you have those? 😉

      1. 2

        You could ask that same question to everyone.

        "And once you've travelled everywhere you want to go?"

        "And once your charitable foundation is up and running?"

        "And once you've made your family happy?"

        1. 1

          I agree. My point is there is rarely a destination, rather an activity that you can do indefinitely without loss of enthusiasm.

  11. 3

    Never focused on financial side of it. I wanted to own my time, it's far more valuable than money... there is infinite money in the world, but only have so much time. The financial part came about as well but it was never my focus.

    1. 3

      I agree. But then the question becomes: What will you do with that time?

  12. 3

    Spend more time with my daughter and wife, learn stuff and surf.

    1. 2


      For a long time I had a similar vision. Though I don't have children.

      At some point tho, I was afraid that it might feel meaningless after a while. Do you have those fears at all? Or does having kids change that.

      1. 1

        Well, I completely understand why you say meaningless.

        When I meant learn stuff I meant actually go and study architecture, which I dropped off, just because I moved to Finland.

        I would retake it, and keep studying, but without pressure but pleasure.

        also, yes, having kids changes that. Sometimes I work from 6 in the morning and I don't see her wake up, then I come home and she has to do her stuff, and then sleep, so is no time for us always. Then you realized that the time is running...

        Those fears are real, though...

  13. 3

    To make people I care about happy.

    1. 2

      What would that look like? Curious to hear!

      1. 3

        Whatever they need/want to be happy.
        Good education, good healthcare, nice home, creating the lifestyle they want, etc...

  14. 2

    I just want the freedom to work on my own ideas forever, without worrying about whether they'll be a financial success (or even just releasing them as free / non profits). I have a couple of projects in mind and view my ideal life as just getting these things out into the world. Working on generic business code for products I don't care about just doesn't get me going, and it's hard to find something that you actually believe in (unless you make it yourself!).

  15. 2

    I don't want financial independence because I already got that. I want to be rich so that I can donate more to health-extension scientific endeavors.

  16. 2

    To be honest, I don't need/want financial independence, I just get bored fast and I need to keep myself busy, but again, I'm not financially independent, so I dunno how that feels.

  17. 2

    To be able to create on my own terms, and to be able to share that freedom with those I care about.

    1. 2

      Same here. I'll never stop creating.

  18. 2

    Being able to enjoy tech without having to deal with the tech industry.

    1. 1

      That sounds complicated 😅 what does that look like?

      1. 4

        Tech minus the toxicity of dealing with tech bros, broken interview processes, scrum/jira nonsense etc.

  19. 2

    Because I want to build more products with social impact.
    Not because I need to earn money.

    1. 1

      What is the social impact you're looking to have specifically?
      Do you have a clear picture of it? Curious to hear!

      1. 2

        Sure - take a look at https://80000hours.org/

        I believe that we do a lot of things because we just need money. The whole world would be different if we do things which matter.

  20. 1

    A really great job is like a lottery ticket. You need to be very lucky. All stars need to align: pay, boss, company, work, coworkers. The only one you might be able to control is work if you have enough autonomy but even then it's only partial control. Your role may change. So it's easy to one or stars to go out of alignment.

    So 4 reasons for me:

    1. Lifestyle
    2. Creative freedom
    3. Deep work
    4. Learn / Curiosity
  21. 1

    I don't want to work 40 hours a week. 4-5 hours a day is plenty. More time to read, exercise, learn new skills, watch movies. Once my family is sorted, I want to help other people get there.

  22. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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