Success Is Freedom.
Success is freedom. Freedom financially, freedom with how you spend your time. Freedom with who you choose to work with. Freedom to pivot within your business when something is out of alignment. Freedom to do only what you love and nothing you don’t.
I talk to business owners sometimes who believe they HAVE to do what they’re doing even though it’s tearing them apart. They feel an urgency or a calling of sorts and they can’t let go of it. Maybe it came from an idea they had of themselves many years ago that has changed but they aren’t ready to move on. Maybe it’s expectations they feel from people they care about. Maybe they’re trying to prove something to themselves or to those around them that they haven’t proved yet. Whatever it is, it’s totally out of alignment with their current needs and desires but they keep going anyhow.
My advice to them is never to simply give up and let go. I understand it’s far more complex than any cookie cutter response I could give. What I urge them to do instead is to dig deep into their motivations. What is their WHY. I also encourage them to consider where they want to be in a year. Not where they think they’ll likely be if they keep on the same path, but where they desperately WANT to be. Answering these questions honestly can serve as a compass as you move forward.
Another really simple question I like to ask people is, “What do you want your ideal work week to look like?” It’s amazing to me to realize how many people have never stopped to think this through. Did you know you have control over your work week? It doesn’t have to be in control of you!
My ideal work week looks like this:
Mondays - mostly off (I try not to schedule appointments) / catch up day
Tuesdays - appointments with potential and current clients but no more than 3 and none before 9am
Wednesdays - same as Tuesday
Thursdays - connect with Tessa / team time / internal operations
Fridays - mostly off
Saturdays - off unless I have a few photoshoots set up
Sundays - afternoon call with Tessa after I drop my son off at his dad’s and then lots of writing! I love Sundays for creating blog posts, newsletters, social media ads and more
The things I love to do with my work time are: 1) sales (content creation included), 2) internal operations and goal-setting as well as organization, and 3) photoshoots & editing and 4) teaching (classes/workshops/1 on 1 calls with clients) - If I spend the majority of my time each week on these 4 things then I feel like I’m doing what I’m best at and love the most. I know I’m off base when I get consumed with tech support, troubleshooting client issues, creative content for clients, and too many meetings with people who aren’t clients.
Here’s how I ensure I stay on track:
I hire support for the things I need done in my business that aren’t most efficient for me to do
I check in on those people/things on a weekly basis to make sure we’re on track
I delegate right away - even when it would be “easier” for me to just do it myself quickly
I ask myself each week, “Are we doing too much of what we don’t love?” If the answer is yes then we re-prioritize and shift our offerings/services/expectations with clients so that we are back in alignment
Something I’ve become known for with my friends and clients is being a person who “gets shit done fast”. After I work with someone I send out a testimonial/review form for them to fill out and if I had a penny for how many of them come back with this line, “Meg gets shit done fast!” I would be a rich woman. Here’s the thing though: I had to pay a large price for that piece of feedback. I would get a text or email from a client and I would rush to my laptop and fix whatever needed fixing or do whatever needed doing immediately. This included when I was with my son, on the weekends, first thing in the morning, late at night, on vacation… whenever!
I felt like I had to do that to build a reputation of reliability and trust. The cost was: a lack of balance in my life, a constant state of “being on”, and less time doing things other than work. Another consequence is that I created an expectation in my clients that wasn’t realistic or sustainable. When I finally decided to respond to texts and emails during normal business hours I realized my clients felt out of touch with me! I had to take time to re-establish expectations and communicate clearly with everyone about what I could do and when. I also used Tessa to support me by referring people to her when it was appropriate to do so. Initially everyone wanted to work ONLY with me. Over time they learned that the people supporting me are AMAZING and that they could be trusted as well. Now there are times when Tessa has more one on one contact through calls and emails with my clients then I do and my clients adore her.
When I talk about success I am not just talking about money goals. We all have a number in our mind. “When I get to x amount of money THEN I’ll be successful…” but it’s so important to remember that success is also tied up in how much freedom you have to make choices that are in line with your joy. You don’t want to work on your finances every week? Set up your life so you don’t have to. You want a 3 day weekend every week? Make it happen. You don’t want to take on clients that drive you nuts? Don’t! Having the ability to make these choices IS FREEDOM and that, my love, is its own form of success. Can I get an amen???
Curious about learning how to create more freedom in your business? Reach out!