A core component found in the “DNA” of successful entrepreneurs is the drive to expand their personal freedom. They want to be in control of the forward forces of their life, and they believe that the future is their property.
In becoming an entrepreneur, you make a fundamental decision to cross an invisible “risk line” where you move out of operating from the security of the “Time and Effort Economy” and into the “Results Economy.” In the Results Economy, there’s no guaranteed income—only the opportunities you create for yourself. This decision is brave. It’s bold. And it puts you in the driver’s seat for your future freedom, success, and happiness.
The Strategic Coach approach to freedom.
But with every jump in your entrepreneurial success comes the inevitable potential for increased complexity. It becomes more and more important to create a framework for determining what freedom means for you—a framework for working smarter, not harder.
The Strategic Coach approach to measuring entrepreneurial freedom is based on an insight Dan Sullivan had after striking up a conversation with a pilot. Dan asked the pilot how he managed to keep track of all the dials on the dashboard of the plane (from a passenger’s standpoint, it looked exceedingly complex). The pilot explained that there are really just five dials that you need to keep your eye on. If things are good with those five dials, there’s increased certainty that everything else will be in alignment. If one of those five is off, that becomes your cue to look beyond the five to assess the situation. Smarter, not harder.
So, much like the essential dials of a plane, Dan realized that there are only a few key factors (or dials) that are the leading indicators of entrepreneurial growth and freedom:
- TIME: Being increasingly in control over your time and having the freedom to devote it to whatever activities you choose, both personally and professionally.
- MONEY: Having confidence that there is no upper limit or restriction to how much money you can make.
- RELATIONSHIP: Aligning yourself with the people you want to work with—people who give you energy and support your bigger future.
- PURPOSE: Creating an entrepreneurial company that’s not just for your business career, but a vehicle for increasingly living your life the way you want to live it and achieving the things that are most important to you.
Successful entrepreneurs are constantly resetting and refining what represents freedom in each of these areas in order to create a future that’s bigger than their past.
Barriers vs. boundaries.
As you expand and grow your entrepreneurial freedom, barriers will naturally emerge. Barriers are obstacles or circumstances that prevent progress. As an entrepreneur, you’re wired to push through the barriers—to innovate strategies and solutions to break through the complexity, uncertainty, and discomfort that accompanies growth. In this way, barriers become the raw material for actually achieving your goals.
The unexpected key to making progress, however, is establishing and maintaining clear boundaries. It’s easy to see barriers and boundaries as the same thing—something you need to push through—so you may have a tendency to resist having both. After all, you became an entrepreneur for the possibility of unlimited opportunity. Why would you want to limit yourself by setting boundaries?
There’s a natural tension between limits and growth. The mindset shift comes in realizing that where barriers prevent progress, boundaries protect it. A key strategy to both protect and expand your freedom is identifying the boundaries and limits that allow you to simplify, giving you a strong foundation to multiply. Knowing the rules for the game you’re playing increases your ability to win. Creating boundaries creates certainty and confidence. And confidence is key to entrepreneurial progress.
What boundaries around your time, money, relationships, and purpose are important for you to strengthen right now? You get to decide what’s important and what’s not—the future is your property.
The Strategic Coach Program is all about enhancing your entrepreneurial freedom. We’ve got new workshops starting in Toronto. Find your group here.