As we all get back to work from a long weekend, it’s a good time to talk about freedom – in life and in business.
July 4th represents to me not just a chance to celebrate our nation’s independence but also gratitude for the rights we enjoy. While my parents (the WWII generation) instilled in me a strong appreciation for the freedoms we possess, they also encouraged me to exercise those freedoms thoughtfully.
Entrepreneurs tell me that one of the reasons they chose business ownership was because they wanted flexibility; the ability to do what they want when they want. Yet the most frequent complaint I hear is “I have no life!” Small business owners feel tied to their business 24/7 and ask for more balance in their life. What happened to flexibility and freedom?
Most often, the loss of freedom is self-imposed. My kids have heard me say many times “Everything is a choice.” Although it feels like flexibility at the time, choosing two hour lunches can result in the loss of freedom later at deadline time. That’s the time the business owner feels like they’re working all the time.
Just because we have the right to free speech, it doesn’t mean it is right for us to exercise that right at all times. In the same way, just because we can do household chores in the middle of the day doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Look at your time from a longer view: what schedule, what work flow, what accomplishments would cause you to feel that you have reached the flexibility and freedom you craved? Personally, I used to get caught up with errands – I hate an undone task lying around! When I realized I was feeling overwhelmed with too much to get done in not enough time, changing that one habit helped tremendously. I now have a small notebook with me to jot down errands and to dos. Clumping them together, or delegating them, has played a part in my reclaiming my flexibility and freedom.
I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend. When it’s time to go back to work, choose wisely. Your freedom is at stake.
– Helen Dutton, Business Coach