Back when I was starting my first business, I changed the desktop background on my laptop to a photo of the D-Day landing on Omaha beach. Over the photo was in big block letters "Harden the Fuck Up."
The goal with the image was to provide a constant reminder in my times of struggle that my big problems weren’t really big problems, that as little as two generations ago, men my age were stepping off a boat to immediately watch all of the men around them die in a hailstorm of bullets.
But there was also a deeper, more metaphorical meaning behind the picture for me. And that was the idea that freedom goes hand-in-hand with sacrifice. Yeah, it was a bit melodramatic, but to my 24-year-old mind at the time, I was struggling through 16-hour days, sleeping on couches for the promise of a greater future financial freedom.
There’s a common saying in the US: “Freedom is not free.” The saying is usually used in reference to the military and wars fought and won (or lost) for values of the country. It’s a way of reminding people that, hey, this didn’t just magically happen, thousands of people …