As a business owner, do you truly believe you could have or even deserve freedom? Do you know what real freedom actually tastes like?
As a business coach for more than a decade, I have more often than not, discovered when talking to a new client—a business owner—that somewhere deep inside them they believe there are no other choices other than long hours, stressful working environments, challenging financial situations, difficult teams to work with, and the growing list never ceases to surprise me. These wrong beliefs about what owning your own business are all about, is simply not true.
Let’s take some time out to understand what freedom really looks like and the various options. So before we break down the acronym F.R.E.E.D.O.M, let us first understand what the difference is between Freedom of Choice vs Freedom to Choose?
Freedom of Choice gives you—as an individual— the opportunity to perform any action you want to take.
Freedom to Choose is dependent on external factors, for e.g. availability of time and/or money which will then give you the opportunity to do what it is you want to do.
How do you rate yourself as a business owner as we breakdown the acronym F.R.E.E.D.O.M:
Freedom of Choice or to Choose? What is holding you back right now from being able to make choices?
As a business owner, your business is the vehicle that should enable you to gain more time and more money so that you can have the freedom of choice. Is your business taking care of you?
Return on Investment (ROI) of Time and Money Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money but you cannot get more time – Jim Rohn
If you did a study of how you spend your time in a typical day/week/month, are you getting enough ROI of your time? Think about how much time and effort you put into an activity and then ask yourself if you have reaped the rewards of the effort you have put into this activity. How much time did it take you and how much income did you gain from it? How much was each hour worth? Is it in line with an industry standard for a certain activity/service?
Life is short so choose your time wisely. What % of your time are you wanting to invest in important areas of your life. What are you willing to invest (if you had freedom of choice) and what will that mean to you? If it is that important to you then ask yourself why are you not investing time and/or money into these areas currently and what needs to change right now.
Entrepreneurship The true definition of entrepreneurship is this: building a commercial, profitable business that works without you.
Why have you chosen to become an entrepreneur? Every functional, running business should bring a ROI to that business owner’s life, their family, and the wider community. That business needs to future proof the entrepreneur’s life so they are able to be financially independent throughout their existence and enable them to have the lifestyle they so richly deserve.
Evolve Have both you as a person and your business grown and improved since you started the business? When you started your school career you worked your way through school from Grade 1 through to Grade 12 and then possibly University too and only after that did you start your working career.
Have you evolved over time or are you doing the same thing you did when you started your career/business? Reflect back to when you started and map out your career path and see how you have evolved and what potential there is in front of you that you may not have seen. You may find you’re in a rut and haven’t realised that there is so much opportunity that may not yet be visible. What are you aspiring to and working towards and is it moving at the pace that you would expect?
Debt-free Kevin O’Leary—an investor in “Shark Tank” and personal finance author—said in 2018 that the ideal age to be debt–free is 45. It’s at this age, said O’Leary, that you enter the last half of your career and should therefore ramp up your retirement savings in order to ensure a comfortable life in your elderly years.
How are you doing?
OAR or BED As an entrepreneur you have two choices to make that will either result in the success or failure of your business – either take Ownership, be Accountable and Responsible for your success or you can Blame, Excuse or be in Denial of your failures in your business.
If you reflect back on the past 12 months, which option have you chosen, and is your life and business a reflection of this choice? What do you need to do differently?
Market-Related Salary As a Business Owner; are you paying yourself a consistent monthly salary? If not, why not? If yes, excellent! Then my next question is are you paying yourself a Market-Related Salary (what you would be paid if you were working for a company that pays you what you are worth based on your years of experience, knowledge, and expertise)? You will receive a monthly salary when working for an employer but sadly when one decides to go it alone and start your own business, one of the first things that are compromised is your salary and benefits that were enjoyed as an employee working for someone else. What was your hourly rate as an Employee vs what is it now working for yourself?
You have the Freedom of Choice if you take control of your Freedom to Choose!
I hope this blog will trigger something in you to sit and think about what freedom really means to you and what it really looks and feels like. If you would like to explore this more, let’s talk!
Credit: Marlene Powell, ActionCOACH Business Coach, KZN