Why do most contractors and entrepreneurs turn their backs on the 9–5 grind of working for other people? Is it to build their own dreams? To have more money in the bank? To not have to answer to other people? All of the answers could be yes, but ultimately, it all boils down to one word . . . FREEDOM.
Freedom is something every entrepreneur and business owner strives for, but achieving it can be elusive. Why do some build prosperous businesses and fruitful personal lives, while others struggle to maintain the day-to-day business operations necessary to stay afloat? I recently sat down and talked about this with my client and fellow entrepreneur, Dave Bernstein. Dave was running a successful custom home building business, but he was lacking in one important thing: Freedom.
Although his business was growing, Dave felt overwhelmed. He was heavily involved in all of the day to day practices of the business. He was stressed and looking for a way to claim his freedom. That’s when Dave came to 4 Level coach for some help. When I began working with Dave, he jumped right in and committed to using the strategies, techniques, and coaching he was given. The first thing we had to tackle seems almost obvious…
Before You Can Have Freedom, You Need to Define What It Means
A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners identify freedom with money, and although this is a piece of the freedom puzzle, it is not the entirety of it. Dave’s business was making plenty of money. He was working plenty of jobs, but the problem was… DAVE WAS WORKING A LOT OF JOBS! He was heavily involved in the day to day processes of the business. Dave quickly realized that freedom was a lot more than just financial freedom. It was freedom of time, freedom from stress, freedom for time with family, and time to actually GROW the business, not just keep it afloat.
So how do you define what freedom looks like for you? You do the same two simple steps I did with Dave. First, ask yourself what freedom looks like for you right now?
- Would it mean having more time to spend on actually growing your business rather than handling the day to day operations?
- Would it mean having more time to spend with your family?
- Does it mean having your jobs lined up in a way that you aren’t grinding to gain new clients, but your marketing is actually working for you?
Any of these goals or visions can help you identify and define what freedom looks like for you now. In Dave’s case, he wanted the ability to breathe and not feel stressed out over his growing business. Dave was handling a lot of the day to day operations and as the business grew, so did Dave’s workload. Dave’s immediate freedom goal was freedom from stress.
The second step is defining what freedom looks like in the future. Dave knew the first step was relieving the stress and then setting up his business in a way so he would never feel that way again. Dave wanted the business to grow, without having his daily responsibilities grow.
- Is it an abundance of financial resources and the ability to step away from your business, while it continues to grow?
- Maybe it’s to have a business that is marketable, franchisable, or sellable.
Define what the immediate and long term freedoms look like for you and your business. Do you have something in mind? Good, now that you have the destinations in mind, setting up the road map is made not only possible but much more simple.
At each destination along with the road map to freedom, the obvious necessity of hiring for your business’ daily processes becomes more and more evident. Removing yourself from the day to day processes can seem foreign and difficult at first, but it becomes necessary for the next evolution of your business. In other words, learning how to let go, sets you and your business free for optimal growth.
The Art of Letting Go — How Other People Bring YOUR FREEDOM
One of the hardest things for an entrepreneur or business owner to do is admit they may not be the best. Of course, you can get the job done, but the belief that you are the best person for all of the day to day tasks in your business is a recipe for servitude, not freedom. The KEY TO FREEDOM is through your hiring.
Dave, like many entrepreneurs and business owners, had a hard time letting go. He believed his business was him. He believed his clients only wanted to deal with him and that the other contractors only wanted to deal with him. Having to deal with all of the day to day processes forced Dave to wear multiple hats and never master or specialize in any of them.
Helping Dave understand the value of hiring specialized personnel for the day to day operations was key. When you do this, you will actually help improve your product or service and give your clients a better experience. Once you see that happening, you can slowly start removing yourself from the business operations. In other words, the more you let go, the more freedom you will obtain. This new-found freedom will allow you to focus on exponentially growing the business and developing systems and processes.
Success with this process requires an understand that hiring the best teams may take away from your individual financial freedom, at first. You will have to take some of your earnings and reinvest that into amazing new hires, people who are specialized. If you’re hiring process is set up to find the best person for the job — and if you take care of them in a way that produces a potential lifetime employee — it will always be an investment, not a cost. With the right teams in place, your business will obtain new and better clientele because the service and product will increase in quality. Therefore, the return on investment for the initial hires becomes exponential. This is especially true if you are devoted to using the freedom you are gaining from removing yourself from the day to day processes to set up systems and procedures to ensure your staff’s success.
Schedule and Repeat; How to Stay on the Path to True Freedom
One of the things I specialize in at 4 Level Coach is helping business owners jump off the hamster wheel and actually own their business, instead of owning a job within it. This happens by systematically removing them from the production part of the business so that the value of the business is not them! So the business is then set up in a way where it continues to grow and produce as if there was no change at all.
This is a process and it takes time. However, how long and difficult that process is completely depends on your drive, plans, and strategies to reach your goals of freedom.
What we teach at 4 Level Coach is a Schedule and Repeat framework to assess progress. With this practice, no goal is too lofty when you set the systems up to reach those goals. This framework also helps you take directed action. Taking action for action’s sake could be wasted energy. Instead, try following this framework to ensure you are always moving toward your targets.
- Ask yourself: “ What’s working? What isn’t working?”
- Ask yourself: “ What is the vision?”
- Establish: What the new vision will be.
- Then Evaluate, Improve, Change, and Repeat.
Do this process over and over again. Break down your 3–5 year goals into yearly goals, then quarterly goals, then weekly goals, and follow this framework.
When Dave originally came to us, he wanted to double his business in 3–5 years. Dave needed help setting up the systems to gradually remove himself from his business’ day to day operations. By following the guidance we gave him, his hard work and taking massive directed action, Dave was set up to triple his business in less than 90 days. Now sure, Dave is a hard-working man, but this is not outside of your reach, or anyone’s for that matter. Sometimes, like Dave, you need to know when to ask for guidance. If you feel like you need help developing systems like these or finding out more about what they look like, That’s something 4 Level Coach would be happy to help you with. In the meantime, here are 3 tips you can start using today to work towards your freedom.
3 Tips to Start Your Path to Freedom Today
1. Take Care of Yourself
Sounds simple enough right? However, a lot of entrepreneurs don’t do this. They focus entirely on the business and growing the business. However, if you aren’t on your A-game, your business will likely suffer. The easiest way to do this is simple.
- Get on a sleeping schedule. Make sure you are routine about your sleeping pattern, it will help you maintain your A-game and provide you with mental clarity, rather than fogginess.
- Being properly nourished is another thing you can begin doing immediately. Fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to keep you sustained and energized, rather than sluggish and lazy. Remember, you are what you eat.
- You are the sum total of your five closest friends. Surround yourself with people who have dreams and goals bigger than yours. Choose good people who aren’t doing things to distract you from the prize of true freedom. Birds of a feather, flock together, choose a flock that is heading toward success!
2. Get Up Earlier and Structure Your Time for Success
Not enough hours in the day? Then make more, simply by getting up an hour or two earlier every day, you can increase your productivity. This, of course, is contingent on you being productive during this time. Waking up one hour earlier a day will result in 6.5 extra work weeks a year. If you wake up two hours earlier a day it is the equivalent of 13 workweeks a year. Imagine what you could do with 13 more work weeks, 520 more hours in a year. This one simple practice’s potential to enhance your personal and business life is only limited by your drive and determination to make the most of the new time. Make the most of the time structure yourself for success in every way possible. Just make sure you don’t defeat tip #1 by not getting enough sleep.
3. Realize You Are Not the Best at Everything
So it all comes back around full circle. Realizing you are not the best and that you could improve is the first step in a mindset shift necessary for optimal growth. The achievement of true freedom personally and professionally demands this mindset shift. When you surround yourself and your business with people who are better, smarter, and more skilled than yourself, your services, systems, and your life will all systematically improve.
Through his tenacity and desire to change, Dave took the expertise and coaching strategies we gave him and ran with it for phenomenal results — in a very short time. He exceeded his own initial goals in record time and is now set up to be truly free. Not only did he obtain the freedom he was looking for, but he also set his business up for growth that was 3X that of his previous records.
Did you learn something new? Does this leave you wanting more about how ANYONE can obtain true freedom in their personal and professional lives? For more advice on steps you can take now to achieve these kinds of results for your business, then head over to https://4levelcoach.com/randy-stanbury/podcast/ and listen to the entire podcast where Randy and Dave share even more tips and tactics than those summarized in this article — and detail how anyone can obtain true freedom.