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Entrepreneurial Friction As Raw Material For Freedom

Experiencing friction is a fundamental aspect of being an entrepreneur. But, instead of denying or fighting against entrepreneurial friction, how do you embrace, identify, and transform it to unlock your desired future? In this episode, Dan Sullivan and Shannon Waller take a deeper look at the meaning of friction, examine the ways it manifests, and explore its relationship to the Four Freedoms.

Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:

  • Friction holds you back, slows forward momentum toward your goals, and is inevitable along your entrepreneurial journey.
  • Dan Sullivan’s simple exercise for identifying your frictions and how to transform them into freedom.
  • All friction is the raw material for creating future freedom.

Show Notes:

  • Obstacles can become friction when they’re internalized.
  • Friction doesn’t always occur at the level of intellect and brainpower but within your energetic and emotional centers.
  • Friction arises when you do things that simply aren’t in your wheelhouse.
  • Because you’re always doing new things and entering new territory, you’ll likely always experience friction. The key is to learn how to transform that friction quickly and effectively so it can be a lever for progress.


The 4 Freedoms

Unique Ability

The Strategic Coach Program

Episode Transcript:
Shannon Waller: Hi, Shannon Waller here, and welcome to Inside Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan. Dan, I love our conversations. I know lots of other people do too. And you were just talking about something that I find pretty fascinating, which is, you said that friction is the raw material for freedom. So let's talk about that. We often talk about obstacles are the raw material for achieving your goals in our Strategy Circle. But this is a whole other take on achieving freedom.
Dan Sullivan: Yeah, well, first of all, the word friction, depending on which dictionary you look at, the definition of friction is anything that stops or slows down progress, You want to make forward movement, and something hold you back, you know. Your feet are sticking to the ground, there's friction. And it's a fundamental dimension of being an entrepreneur. Okay? And the reason is because the basis of entrepreneurism is that you're creating something new: you're creating a new company, you're creating a new product or service in the marketplace. You have certain skills, but to really be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to have a company around you. And one of the frictions is that you don't have the right people or-- In Strategic Coach, we structure everything from the standpoint that the reason why entrepreneurs do anything that they do is for freedom, of which there's Four Freedoms. You have greater Freedom of Time, okay, and that would be both personal, your work time—you have greater freedom in your work to do what you really want to do and which is most effective. Number two is money. There's a quantity issue, how much quantity of money you're getting. And then there's the other thing is the quality of how you're making your money.
Okay, so what happens to entrepreneurs if they're successful is they have more and more quantity of time just for them to focus on what they're really good at. And the second thing is the quality of who they're doing the work with improves. And that brings up the third freedom, which is Freedom of Relationship, and that would be internal relationships with your team. And then it would be external relationships with customers, with suppliers, with vendors, with collaborators in the marketplace. And then there's all the freedom of relationship outside of work in your personal life. And then the fourth one is Freedom of Purpose that, as you become more and more successful, the other three freedoms—Freedom of Time, Freedom of Money, and Freedom of Relationship—actually start defining where the sweet spot is for you for the future of who you're becoming, what your company is becoming. That's where the meaning of being an entrepreneur really comes from, is that there's a overriding purpose. And this is not a temporary thing. This is something that's long term, you know. Why are you spending your life being an entrepreneur? What's it gonna do for your whole life? And in all four of those freedoms, there's always friction that is preventing an expansion of your freedom in all four areas. Okay, and so entrepreneurs can get very frustrated. Yeah, I mean, if you have friction that you can't solve, then it's very frustrating. So, that's the thing, and everything that I've said, if I say this in a group of entrepreneurs, I've got their full attention.