What does freedom mean to you?
We all have unique challenges and dreams to pursue. For years, we’ve worked with people across varied industries and I’ve seen the concept of freedom can be as distinctive as every individual. No matter how you define freedom, there are many ways you can achieve it. Take the time to see how each of these ideas fit into achieving a sense of freedom in your personal and business ventures.
Freedom means clarityWe all have a reason WHY we do what we do. Your WHY is the fundamental reason you exists. Knowing and living your WHY enables you to work how you want and with whom you want. It doesn’t necessarily remove you from the everyday stress in your office– this is part of running a business. But being free means that you have the control to do the things you love and know how to set the boundaries when things get off tangent from your WHY. By knowing your WHY, you can clearly identify WHO you are helping, WHAT results you are providing them with and exactly HOW you can deliver to your customers. So when an opportunity presents itself, you can do a quick check: “Is this in alignment with my WHY?” Being clear on your WHY means being true to your values and having a strong focus, knowing what you should do and what you should not do.
Freedom means working on your termsFor some, freedom means being able to escape the 40 hour week and take long weekends with their family or just have quiet ME time in a hammock by the beach. And who wouldn’t want that? One of the major grievances of every business owner is not having enough time. You started your business because you dreamt of freedom and the perks that come with being your own boss. But sadly after a while, you realise that running a business is slowly eating up your time rather than giving you more of it.
Having more freedom in business does not necessarily imply that you should work less hours in your business. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs still work 30-40 hours a week! But being free means having the capacity to work on your own terms, making your goals and reaching them. Set your priorities each week and don't deviate from them.
Freedom means letting goHaving the right people in your business is important if you want to free yourself from your day-to-day chores. Creating freedom in your business won’t be possible if you are still burdened with tasks that are not tied to your WHY. Are you still doing your books? Do you still prepare client reports or marketing flyers? If you are still afraid to leave your front doors at the thought of ‘missing something’, maybe it’s time to hire or train someone to do these things for you. Be willing to let go and start trusting other people, so you can use your time efficiently. Don't be afraid to outsource if necessary e.g. employ a virtual assistant to help with marketing etc.
Gradually remove yourself from the day-to-day operations and let your team take it from here. To achieve this, you need to inspire leaders in your business and encourage your team members to step up and work on the business for you. Soon you will realise it is okay to let go of tasks that are not giving you the fulfilment you long for.
Freedom means having no financial worriesWe know you would agree if I say there is more to freedom than having a hefty bank account; high income does not necessarily guarantee financial freedom. Wikipedia describes financial freedom as a ‘state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities.’ Put simply, it is the ability to spend our resources as we desire without having financial limits.
You can achieve financial freedom when you are no longer forced to actively work in your business to cover all your expenses. Financial independence is more than having money. It is the ability to do what you enjoy in life.
Probably one of the best books I have read on financial freedom is Robert Kiyosaki’s "Cashflow Quadrant: Guide to Financial Freedom". In this book, Kiyosaki explains that the only way to escape the unending cycle of INCOME and SPEND, is we need to make a significant shift from having an active income to a passive income. To be financially free we must be willing to move beyond being ‘secure’ and begin to find our own world of financial freedom. I believe the following words sum it up:
You only have so many hours in a day and you can only work so hard. So why work hard for money? Learn to have money and people work hard for you, and you can be free to do the things that are important.- Robert Kiyosaki
Freedom means having the right choices to choose fromPeople usually associate freedom and choices. Freedom means you are free to choose. It means you are free from boundaries. And it follows that the more choices we have, the more freedom we have.
Does it really work that way?
Having more options means having to invest more time and energy into making sound decisions. Your focus and attention are often consumed by making everyday choices which leave you with less time to live your life. Reducing our options in our daily routine can help us divert our attention to more important things.
Making challenging decisions and choices in life is no easy job, but you will know you have made the right choice when everything feels right. Learn to trust your instincts and believe in yourself.
Your turn: Tell us what does freedom mean to you, and what has been your single best strategy for achieving it?