The Underside of Freedom Keeps Us There

As a youngster, my mind spiraled out of control when considering the notion of freedom. What would it be like without an authority figure around me, watching each step I took? Would I open the refrigerator and cupboards all day long, eating sweets and crispy snacks? Would I buy anything I SHOULD or only what I WANTED? My head told me I may not have the discipline to be on my own, for I may fall short in domestic tasks, perhaps lacking fiscal responsibility as well. Nonetheless, I craved the time when I was on my own, out in the world, with nobody to account to but myself.

Entrepreneurs and other mavericks seeking autonomy have short-lived bliss. We love the boundless structure of our days. Get up when we want, get to work when we want, leave when we want. What a shift from our adolescent and young adult years! We have no boss (except the client), and soon learn this false sense of freedom is a facade. Without the necessary boundaries at work in our time structures, we have no sense of managing ourselves. And when we don’t manage ourselves, business and life go to hell.

We quickly forget accountability while focusing on living through the next interruption. Without structured systems of self-management in place, we lose track of time and priorities, letting others dictate where our focus goes. With each tweet, email, phone call, Facebook posting or text message, our mind shifts to the urgent instead of the important. And quickly we’ve noticed we just lost an entire morning, or afternoon, day or week. That’s when the bills start coming in, the vendors call to collect and we stare into an empty pipeline.

Can the entrepreneur ever get freedom back? Yes. It’s called discipline. It’s called focus. It’s called doing what it takes to develop the underside of that beautiful, sought-after experience we dub “freedom”. And it requires answering some pointed questions from the authority within us, or even outside of us:
What are our short and long term goals and how will we see them through? What does it take in a month to gain the next customer/client? To satisfy and motivate staff? To feel as though our work has been worthwhile?

My services are based on first appearing credible while also gaining trust, so cold-calling is out. Networking, face to face appointments, presentations and writing about experiences keep my pipeline building. These tasks demand I schedule my days to support each item. I can’t whittle away my time. I must keep it full of these tasks as well as client time. So it’s essential to translate my discipline into daily application.

I don’t have staff, yet I must make profit from my efforts. What are the numbers I’m after, how am I doing with the process I’ve implemented and who do I account to as a sole proprietor? On the big picture side, I have to know why I’m needing the discipline. Although I can simply report to myself, I haven’t made good habits of that through my life, so I know that when I report to nobody, chances are good I’m making little progress. It’s more meaningful when I report to others, hate it or not.

This is why Master Mind groups, Business Owners Accountability Groups and boards of directors designed to regularly support and influence business and entrepreneur management are not just important. They are mandatory.

Want to continue to be free to own your own business? Develop the underside – the part that is accountable to another authority.

For information on the accountability groups named above, contact Merri.

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On February 1st, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by