Monday, July 03, 2017

Embrace Your Entrepreneurial Freedom(s) on Independence Day

It’s the eve of Independence Day in the U.S.  We know most of you are secretly toiling away trying to tie up loose ends before rushing out to barbecues, boat trips and fireworks. You may be at your beach house, lake house or mountain cabin, but you’re catching up on work because you are an owner, founding partner or team leader with dozens of people depending on you.
It’s what you do.

Let me repeat. It’s what you do when you’re trying to create real wealth, not just punch a time card or brown-nose your way up the corporate ladder. It’s not a burden—it’s part of your freedom and independence.
According to author and entrepreneur coach, Dan Sullivan, there are four basic freedoms that keep successful entrepreneurs going when others would give up:
1.       Freedom of Time.
2.       Freedom of Money.
3.       Freedom of Relationship.
4.       Freedom of Purpose.

While most of the world’s wealthiest people are self-made entrepreneurs, money isn’t what motivates them to go off on their own with no guarantee they’ll be successful or even solvent. According to Sullivan, it’s freedom. Let’s take these four types of freedom one at a time:
Freedom of Time. You want to spend your working life doing what you really enjoy doing and minimize the amount of time you spend doing what you don’t enjoy—or working with people you don’t respect. You also want the freedom to spend time NOT working too. You need time to pursue other interests and have a full life.

Freedom of Money.
 According to Sullivan, you don’t want a ceiling on how much money you can make for doing a great job, for coming up with valuable new solutions or inventions. And if your efforts generate money, you don’t want anyone dictating how much of that money you can keep, argues Sullivan.

Freedom of Relationship.
 Sullivan’s point is that there are certain people you love working with—both inside and outside your business—and you want to spend more time surrounded by people you mesh with (and respect) and less time with people who don’t. Entrepreneurs have that freedom. Most other working stiffs (both blue and white collar) don’t.

Freedom of Purpose.
 This enterprise you’ve created is not just a job or a career. Sullivan argues that your enterprise is a vehicle to all sorts of things that relate to your fundamental values and ideals in life. This allows you to have a tremendous sense of purpose for being on this planet. According to Sullivan, “entrepreneurs are the greatest contributors of money, opportunity, and capability to communities all over the world, in every field of human activity.”

We all get swept up in the day-to-day minutiae and it’s easy to lose sight of your four essential freedoms. Sullivan and other experts say this is what clouds your thinking, causes you to hit barriers and encounter complexity.

Take advantage of Holiday-disrupted weeks like these to review your Four Freedoms and bring your life back into focus. Your life will get simpler and each step and decision you make will have more meaning. The U.S. may no longer be No.1 in many areas, but it’s still a much better place to live, work and build wealth than the vast majority of other countries.

What’s soccer have to do with entrepreneurial freedom?

Patriotic pride has been on full display the past several days and no better example was the U.S. vs. Ghana Men’s soccer match I attended on Saturday in East Hartford, CT. A rowdy, but well-behaved crowd of about 30,000 cheered on both sides in a tough, well-fought final tune-up for the World Cup qualifying rounds. Several thousand green and black-clad Ghanian supporters mixed in boisterously, but peacefully, with the red-white-blue home fans who chanted U-S-A throughout the stadium and in the parking lots.

Opposing players helped each other up after each hard tackle. Flopping and yellow cards were kept to a minimum. Beer-soaked spectators saluted each other after each opposing goal was scored. Scores of Yanks wearing American flags took selfies with their new Ghanian friends in traditional robes. If you’re keeping score at home, the U.S came out on top 2
-1, with “highlight reel” goals by emerging American stars Dom Dwyer and Kellyn Acosta, who each scored their first international goals and U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan saved a penalty kick. Expect both teams to surprise some folks in the 2018 World Cup.

After Saturday’s soccer match and tonight’s fireworks, I’m reviewing my Four Freedoms and thinking that maybe, just maybe, there’s still hope for the world.

Best, HB


TAGS:  4 Freedoms, Dan Sullivan, USA Men’s soccer, entrepreneurship

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