We all want a ‘Freedom Biz’ – but what does that actually mean?
Those of us who have chosen to cast off the shackles of the 9-5 life are – by nature – rebellious at heart. And that means it’s only natural that ‘Freedom’ is one of our highest values. We’ve weighed things up, and the perceived safety of a conventional job paled in comparison to the adventure and flexibility of the entrepreneurial life. So off we rode, into the sunset of business ownership, believing we’d never have to sell our soul to The Man ever again, and be blissfully happy forevermore.
So how is it that we so often feel trapped? Like we have created a box for ourselves that has us working even harder than we did in our jobs? Doing longer hours, holding onto more stress, lying awake at night worrying about this budget or that client?
How have we created an even more restrictive prison than the one we escaped?
As with all aspects of creating a truly aligned business, I believe the answer lies within a combination of taking the time to ask and answer those tricky, deep soul-level questions… and then taking solid action to create processes and boundaries that actually create the structure that helps you thrive in your business.
Yes – that’s right. Ironically, Freedom actually requires structure to blossom – we need to nourish it, understand it, make space for it, put boundaries around it, make decisions with it in mind, and protect it from ourselves and others.
If you’re feeling hemmed in right now, and like your past dreams of entrepreneurial freedom are receding rapidly in the rear view mirror, a good place to start is to ask yourself:
What Does Freedom Mean to You?
There are many different ‘flavours’ of Freedom to be enjoyed; some easier to define than others – but all perfectly possible to integrate into a business. Take a read through the following list, and see if any particularly resonate for you right now:
When you have Time Freedom, you have complete autonomy over your day.
- You are able to craft your schedule around your most productive times, and avoid feeling rushed, harried or ‘on someone else’s timeline’.
- You can get up when you wake up naturally, without an alarm.
- You allow yourself to take Wednesday afternoons off to go for a massage.
- You work a 4 day week and spend the fifth day with your family (or yourself).
- You block out 2 weeks a month for client calls and work, and 2 weeks for your own business building.
- You work your monthly calendar around your natural cycles, taking it easy when you need to and ramping things up when you’ve tonnes of energy.
The possibilities are endless.
If Time Freedom is really important to you, make sure you:
- Are careful to avoid over-scheduling yourself with endless meetings / calls, leaving you feeling squeezed and rushed.
- Decide on a work schedule that makes sense to you – and then stick to it!
- Protect your non-working hours from both yourself and your clients / team – spell them out in contracts, set out of hours periods for your phone notifications etc.
- Plan regular time off and vacations well in advance (including blocking calendars, arranging business coverage and planning you finances), so you are clear-headed and free to enjoy your holidays.
When you are Location Independent, you can – and do – work from anywhere.
Whether it’s in your pjs on the sofa, at your favourite coworking space, in your garden office, whilst taking care of an elderly relative, or during your six month sabbatical to Bali, your business fits in your pocket and goes everywhere with you.
The days of being chained to a desk, or having to ‘show face’ at the office are over; instead, you celebrate your nomadic nature and build a business that’s as well-travelled as you are.
You truly feel like a citizen of the world, and your favourite thing is creating once-in-a-lifetime spontaneous get-togethers with business besties and beloved clients in far flung destinations.
If Location Freedom is what tugs on your heart strings, be sure to:
- Equip yourself with rugged kit that can go anywhere with you and withstand the rigours of travel.
- Take advantage of systems and businesses that give your business a home base – even if you’re away – like PO boxes, call answering etc.
- Build a business model that doesn’t require you to be on calls at times of the day that don’t fit your updated timezone/s.
- Build in adequate operations expenses to ensure you have access to quality internet connectivity so your professionalism is maintained wherever you are.
There are many definitions for Financial Freedom but my favourite is this: being able to work as and when you want because your immediate needs are taken care of by low-input assets.
This is the ultimate goal for many of my clients – so if it gets you excited, you’re certainly not alone!
Although the online business world often peddles the ‘become an instant zillionaire with my six step formula’ shenanigans, reaching true financial freedom is possible for the average business owner – it just takes a strategic approach, clear numbers, commitment and time.
If this is important to you, you’ll need to think about:
- Getting clear on how much you’ll need each month to live a financially free life
- Calibrating your business for scalability, so that an increase in revenue does not necessarily equal an increase in time/effort
- Choosing to keep cost of living and business expenses low, building net worth and living below your means
- Educating yourself about investing and making regular payments into your investment accounts so your assets grow over time
- Carefully tracking and managing your business finances
Freedom of Association
This one revolves around being able to choose who you work and spend your time with – whether that’s clients, collaborators or team members.
If this feels like a priority in your business right now, you’ll need to:
- Start being impeccable with your own boundaries around taking on less-than-ideal clients
- Clearly specifying your boundaries in contracts
- Pre-qualifying leads through things like application forms and targeted funnels, only giving access to a call scheduler when you’re 80% sure they’re already a good fit
- Exercising discernment in the networking groups, masterminds, mentors and business besties you hang out in, ensuring that anyone who has influence in your world is positive and uplifting
Freedom of Direction
Perhaps the biggest one for entrepreneurs – and my personal favourite! Effectively… you get to choose your own adventure!
You have autonomy of why when and how to pivot, you can say no, say yes, offer new things, follow your curiosity and generally be the captain of your own ship.
If this is important, you’ll need to curate a resilient mindset and a strong connection to your inner voice. You can do this through:
- Staying away from comparisonitis
- Getting comfortable with uncertainty and embracing experimentation
- Build confidence in yourself and your decisions
- Working through fears and limiting beliefs
- Being willing to measure your success through different metrics than the status quo
Ultimately, Freedom for me comes down to knowing there’s nowhere I’d rather be and nothing else I’d rather be doing than using my time on the planet to explore the entrepreneurial adventure that’s here, right in front of me.
It’s Freedom from that nagging sense there’s “Something Else” you should be doing… or that you’re somehow currently ‘wasting your life’, rather than pursuing the dreams that are calling your name.
So which of the above feels most juicy to you right now? Let’s jump on a Reset + Refresh Session to untangle your business so you can fully embrace a new era of freedom. 50% off this April – go here to book!
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① Breathe, reset + create a 12 week roadmap for your business that feels juicy, exciting + completely achievable with a Reset + Refresh Session.
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