Although entrepreneurship isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, most small-business owners will tell you there’s no way they could ever return to a 9-to-5 gig. Why? In large part, it’s due to the freedom that being a business owner can provide … even if it means working on an occasional holiday.

On Fourth of July, we celebrated America’s birthday by asking successful young entrepreneurs across the country to complete this sentence:

“My small business is my independence from _________.”

Being the Master of my own Destiny

“My business is my independence from having my destiny controlled by someone else. With my business, I can design my own destiny however I want. I can travel and live the life I want, and provide for my family all at the same time.”

Benji Rabhan, Austin-based founder and CEO of scheduling solutions company Apollo Scheduling

“My business is my independence from a life of restrictions. The only person I have to worry about getting in my way is myself!”

Drew Gurley, co-founder of Redbird Independent Agents Network from St. Louis

“My business is my independence from a life without purpose. My previous job left me feeling I was only serving myself and my pocketbook every day, which ultimately led to a life not worth being excited about. Only after I started my business did I realize my personal ‘why,’ which is to serve first in helping others achieve their goals.”

— Benjamin Davis, founder and CEO of Dallas men’s grooming and lifestyle club The Gents Place

Creating a Workplace I Love

“My business is my independence from negative work environments. Being an entrepreneur has allowed me to create and work in the kind of culture I believe in. We are working toward being zero waste, we believe that criticism should also be delivered with advice, we respect each other, we honor each other’s abilities and experience, and we give grace for life’s hardships.”

Faithe Dillman, founder, marketing collective Marbaloo Marketing

“My business is my independence from controlled creativity. Having the ability to create and customize solutions to deliver to clients without restriction is something I never want to give up.”

— Michael Dash, President and CEO of Salt Lake City-based staffing company Parallel HR Solutions

“My business is my independence from a long commute and office desk job. We value freedom to work remotely and recover the commute time into what is valuable: kids, travel, or just peace and quiet.”

— Kuty Shalev, CEO of New York-based technology company CleverTech

Living a Life Without Limits

“My business is independence from people telling me what I can’t or shouldn’t do. Being a female entrepreneur feels like I’m constantly having to prove myself. Now I just operate with a ‘Bring it on!’ attitude, because without challenge I’m bored anyway.”

Lean Startup Company co-founder Heather McGough, whose San Francisco-based business helps other entrepreneurs

“My business is my independence from mediocrity. Consistent growth is derived from excellent market fit, continuous innovation and the right group of people that value meritocracy in the workplace. Corporates are often too large and complex to maintain the flexibility needed to achieve this.”

— Ismael Wrixen, CEO of Boston-based website broker FE International

“My business is my independence from a capped salary and wages. It allows me to work hard and be rewarded for that work without having a cap on what I can make based on what some job title says I’m worth.”

— Jake Jorgenson, founder of Midway-Utah based construction company Jorgenson Builders