- have done so at the expense of their personal freedom or well-being and happiness, which makes them feel over-worked and out of balance; or
- are limited in terms of growth as their business lacks scalability.
The visual I always seem to come back to is a hamster wheel. I remember watching my brother's hamsters when I was young. They would run and run in that wheel, but could not get traction to move anywhere! Some would run so hard that they'd fall asleep in the wheel.
As I meet people I see some of them in wheels too. They are hard workers and they are smart, but they are in a wheel and many of them don't even recognize it.
Some have even found their way out of the wheel and moved forward to create great success in their business only to learn that they created a BIGGER WHEEL!
They now find themselves in a painful place because the success that they’ve created has come back to hurt them. They are spending way more time in their business than they want to. They are doing things they may not want to do in the name of success and they find their business is running them rather than them running their business.
They've lost the freedom they were seeking when they became an entrepreneur.
The saddest thing is that when they get sucked into working this way, they often find they are lacking in other things. They may find that relationships start to crumble or they feel guilt for not participating in other areas of life.
Even worse, their health could be affected, that was what happened to me. I was doing this over and over in my corporate life and then when I became a solo entrepreneur I found myself doing it again because I'm a super achiever go-getter. I'm really great at what I do, but I got sucked in and let the business take over me and my life, and I nearly died. I know that is an extreme statement, but I was literally given a year to live if I didn't turn this way of living and being around.
One of the guiding questions that I focus on and teach my clients is
“Is this guiding me to my ultimate freedom or am I running back to that hamster wheel or worse, making a bigger wheel?”
I'm on a mission now to teach as many entrepreneurs as I can to recognize where they are and be okay with that and put strategy and systems in their life so that they don't have to experience the pain of success but they can experience real freedom, ultimate freedom in their life.
What would that mean to you? How would you define ultimate/real freedom in business and life?
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday