Everyone wakes up in the morning and goes to work because they think they want to make money. That’s why some people get jobs; that’s why other people start businesses. But that’s not actually correct. No one does anything FOR money. Rather, we do everything for the stuff that money buys.
Want to know why your employees show up to work and what makes them tick? No, it’s not the paycheck. It’s the stuff that the paycheck buys.
And, that’s the same reason you started your business. You wanted to make money—not for the money but because it would buy you something very specific…
Freedom is the ultimate end-goal of every business owner. It’s the reason you step up to that leadership position and take on all the risks and headaches and stresses… to get freedom.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, most business owners forget about freedom and they just end up working 24/7 in their businesses out of inertia. This 24/7 work is hurting your health, your family, and everything else you hold important. If you’re stuck in a hot truck on a summer afternoon while your kids are playing at the beach… remember: you started this business to get freedom. So let’s see if we can get you that freedom so you can join your kids at the beach.
How To Become Free
There are several strategies you need to become free. I’ve discussed some of those strategies in previous blog posts, like the blog post I published recently about how to generate more wealth. Make sure you’re following the steps I outlined in that blog post.
But freedom is not just about generating a lot of money in your business, it’s more than that. It’s about the ability to step away from your business and the confidence that your business will continue to run even while you are away.
Does your team support your freedom? Start by looking closely at your team and deciding whether or not they are empowering you to become free or disempowering you. If your team members are constantly vying for your attention and need your help then they are keeping you from being free. Train your team to make better decisions themselves so that they don’t need you so much. Give them the tools to know what to do in situations when they typically come to you for help. Here’s a wake-up call: if you are constantly cleaning up the messes left by your team, you may need to do more than train. You might need to choose which trainable employees to keep and which untrainable employees to relocate out of your business.
Cut back on interruptions. One of the best things you can do to minimize interruptions is to decide what is worth interrupting you for. I use a powerful but simple “1-3-5” rule in my business. Whenever someone wants to get in touch with me they just text or email and tell me whether something is a 1, 3, or 5—with 5 being absolutely the most important and urgent thing that will impact money or service in the company; 3 being important but not urgent; and 1 being a simple discussion of the weather or what’s happening on the weekend. Implementing this will help you to focus so you can get more work done and that will lead to freedom.
Build systems: Systems are a series of steps that happen over and over in the same sequence. You already have an unconscious system for just getting into your car and driving to work (for example, you open the door, then sit in the car, then put on your seatbelt, then put the key in the ignition, then turn the key, etc.) Build systems like this in your business for everything and for everyone. The most systems you have, the better. Creating systems empowers you to quickly run through things without having to make constant decisions on inconsequential things.
Delegate and measure: Delegate more responsibility to your team and set up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure their progress. KPIs are a useful way to measure performance without making it subjective. Either your employee achieved their KPIs or they didn’t. Measuring performance by KPIs will also keep you from looking over their shoulder constantly. Instead, you can simply review to see if they achieved what they were supposed to or not, then you can congratulate them for their success or you can train them to do better next time.
I’m only scratching the surface of ways that you can start making changes in your business but if you start with 4 changes, and keep perfecting them over time, you will be amazed at how much more time you have to focus on the right things, which will create more freedom for you.
I know these things work. More than three years ago, after working on these things in my company, I no longer have an office at my company. Yes, I still own and run the company but my team handles the day-to-day activities and I just check-in regularly… and enjoy my freedom with my family.