Free Range Human

I came across a term in a book recently that really struck a chord with me, and that is the idea of a free range human.  I know I’m free range organic, what are you?

A thousand apologies to the author, I cannot find which book it came from to credit your idea, if anyone knows throw me a link in the comments and I will give credit where credit is due.

What Is A Free Range Human?

Do a search of the net and you will see loads of definitions from vegetarian, to organic only eaters, I want to give you my definition regarding our “accepted” working situation.

This is why I think soloprenurs are free range

Space to run about – as a happy free range human, I’m not confined to one space (an office or factory) I have the opportunity to be location independent, to work where I want when I want.

Variety of feed – the free range chicken is supplied feed, but they can also scratch around in the grass and hedges, the solopreneur can bring in multiple streams of income, some passive, some active, there is just one salary for the battery person.

Not housed wing to wing – the modern working place forces people together whether they like one another or not, we are forced to modify our behaviour, to fit in and conform.  We are forced to reign in our reactions to other people’s terrible practices.

We bottle up our natural fight or flight response, this causes a build up of stress and eventually comes out as sickness or a huge fight in office.

As a solo business owner I don’t have that stress building because I’m forced to work with someone, if I like you I keep working with you as a supplier or client, if not we part ways, no aggression,  no stress.

We attract a premium – just like free range eggs, our unique nature lets us attract a premium rate, not one set by some faceless person in an office.

Out unique services and products make us stand above commoditised mass produces offerings.

The fox can get us – we can fail, our business might get eaten by the fox, but at least we fail on our feet as a free range human, we don’t die a lingering death fighting for food in an overcrowded barn.

The barn may protect you (or so you think) but at the end of your profitable days, there’s a trip to the slaughter house waiting for you.

No cages – we are free to run and grow, we can choose our clients, our projects, our location, our pay rates.

It makes consumers happy – people who buy your good and services can feel proud they are supporting a free range human rather than a mass produced result from the human meat grinder corporate culture.

The Barn Raised Human

There is a beautiful euphemism used on British egg boxes to describe a battery farmed chicken and the eggs they produce, and that is a “barn raised egg”.

This conjures a delightful idyllic pastoral scene of a wooden barn with happy chickens clucking from the rafter, but in reality it means chickens raised in industrial complexes to produce eggs in the most efficient way with no concern for the animals welfare other.  Profit, not compassion in farming is the order of the day.

We are sold the idea that a barn raised human, a human working inside of a company is a happy and healthy way for a person to live their life.   They get fed, and watered well on a regular basis.  If they produce well, at the end of the tunnel is retirement and no more egg laying for them.

If you are anything like me and have a shred of rebellion in your soul working in the barn is not for you, in my opinion, I think the modern working situation is toxic, it is a terrible way for people to spend a huge amount of their time, it does not nourish the human spirit, it bottles it and makes is conform to a system producing exactly identical widgets on command.

The farmer tells you what to do when to do it, and if you play by the farm rules, you get your feed/pay.  If you don’t voluntarily head into the barn and start taking crap you are for the chop, how can that be a good place for a thinking feeling human being?

The Re-Hosing Project

I spent a week on vacation staying on a farm.  The people who ran the farm had re-housed a large number of battery chickens that were no longer profitable, they were not producing enough eggs.

The chickens were taken in and given a free range existence pecking around the farm, wandering around the farm buildings, finding cool places to lay their eggs.  Having a genuinely excellent chicken time.

When they first arrive there is a period of adaptation, of fear of leaving the cage.  They are pail, their cockscombs are droppy, they are missing feathers from fights with other fowl in the overcrowded conditions, they are pale in colour, but after a couple of weeks they begin the metamorphosis from battery to free range.

I’m thinking of solopreneurial as a re-housing project I want to take the barn raised humans and show them how to be free range through creative self employment.

By the way, my kids collected some of the eggs from the re-housed newly free range chickens and they were some of the best I’ve ever tasted.  Extending the metaphor, I believe free range humans can create some of the tastiest services and products on the market.

What Are You Free Range or Barn Raised?

Are you outside of the industrial complex, happily clucking about, pecking at amazing opportunities in the hedgerow and growing as a person, or do you voluntarily march into the barn to be fed substandard rubbish all day long in return for a poultry payment once or twice a month.

Are you able to explore exciting opportunities outside of the barn, or are you confined to your cubicle/cage for eight hours a day.

remember when the chicken stop producing the required level of eggs, when they are no longer profitable, what happens to the chicken?  (Insert special effect, I’m running my finger over my throat and making a wet sucking cutting noise). It’s exactly the same in companies when you are no longer profitable, when your function can be done offshore, when your service is computerised, the red pen on the spreadsheet can fall.

I hope this poultry themed wake up call is making you uncomfortable, it’s designed to do that. I need you to start your own solopreneurial enterprise and become a free range human.

Here is my call to action, share this with someone you know that is unhappy with corporate employment.

Image by kriztofor – look in the eyes of the rooster, he is free range that’s for sure

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