When you are self-employed (or run your own business) you’re already quite special. Let’s face it, not everyone has the courage and conviction to ‘back themselves’.
So when someone finds out you ‘run your own show’, you know what they’ll say:
“That’s amazing! How’s it going?”
What’s more, you already know how you’ll respond:
“It’s going great, thanks – we’re really busy!”
Isn’t it interesting?! Isn’t it curious how ‘busy’ has come to mean ‘successful’?
When was the last time you woke up in the morning and said, “my purpose for today is to be as busy as possible!”?
Was ‘to be busy’ the reason you started up the business in the first place?
Sure, it’s unlikely. So it begs the question …
Why DID you start out on this path?
What WAS the purpose of your business?
When I speak to rooms of independent business owners I often ask these questions. The answer is typically revealed with slightly blank faces, and eyes averted downwards.
I hear vague answers like “to make money” (which often isn’t always working out that well!).
Maybe we don’t know the reason?
Or maybe we’ve forgotten and lost touch with it?
The Reason We Start a Business
What I’ve found by working with business owners for over 15 years boils down to these THREE reasons.
I call them the 3Fs.
And they come in this specific sequence. Here’s why:
Not ‘wealth’ (I often hear “I’m not greedy!”).
Just ‘security’. Enough to cover all expenses with some left over to enjoy.
Doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?
What does it feel like without Financial security?
I love this analogy: “money is like air – it’s no big deal … until you’re not getting enough.”
When you don’t have enough air, that’s where all your focus, your energy and your effort goes.
Same when you lack Financial security – ‘money’ becomes your obsession.
There’s a reason why many independent businesses don’t have financial security. This is a shame because it’s not meant to be tricky.
There’s a simple method. You can find more about that here.
One of the many advantages of having a successful (3Fs) business is being able to choose when and where to work.
If these aren’t important to you, chances are you’d be perfectly happy in a job, working for someone else. It’s quite possible to feel like you have Financial security in a job.
(Reality might be different, of course, but it probably feels like security.)
There’s nothing wrong with working for someone else! After all, as a business owner, you’ll want other people to work for you!
But when you’re wired up to be your own boss, Freedom is likely a high priority.
As I demonstrated earlier, when you don’t have Financial security, that’s where your energy and focus goes. Hence, it’s self-evident you can’t have Freedom without Financial security.
That’s why the 1stF comes before the 2nd. Financial security before Freedom.
Which brings us to …
When I mention ‘fulfilment’ to independent business owners it’s common for them to say, “Oh, I LOVE my work!” This seems to be what they expect ‘Fulfilment’ to mean.
However, that’s not the 3Fs sense of ‘Fulfilment’.
Once you have Financial security and Freedom, life seems ‘pretty sweet’. You have as much money as you want. You can afford the experiences and material rewards you want.
More than that, you get to choose when to work, without risk to your Financial security.
In other words, “you’re sorted.”
For many starting out on their self-employed journey, this seems like ‘the final goal’ … the dream.
And yet, when you’ve reached those 2Fs, the familiar response is “Is this it? Surely there must be more to life?”.
This is where Fulfilment comes in. It’s where our energy, our focus and our intention moves ‘outside of self’.
We connect with a cause bigger than ourselves.
Such a cause could be anything – helping a friend, family, local group, charity, national movement or even international development.
Our own cause is to help the poorest girls in Uganda. Through our foundation, Gift of a Future, they’re able to have the education which is their gateway out of poverty.
That’s ours, but each 3Fs business owner will have a cause unique and personal to themselves.
What Will You Achieve?
Today’s world is so full of opportunity! Anyone with the courage to make their break for ‘independence’ can achieve the 1stF: Financial security.
It may take some guidance, but it’s always possible.
Some of them will also achieve the 2nd F: Freedom. True freedom, no longer bound by traditional work rules.
And when that happens, they’ll have the resources and the resourcefulness to make an impact. It’s uplifting.
The reward is the 3rdF: Fulfilment.
That’s why the 3Fs come in this sequence.
Financial security, Freedom and Fulfilment.
In reality, only a small proportion reach all 3Fs. And that’s a shame because it’s not meant to be difficult.
Yet it’s clear that most stay in a loop aiming for the 1stF: Financial security.
When you hear someone say “It’s going great, we’re really busy!” you may now wonder how great it really is.
For those who are ready to move to their ‘next F’, the guidance, direction and mentorship is available.
All it takes is the courage and commitment to make the first step. Send us a message and let’s see where you are. Maybe we can help you move along those 3Fs quicker, more certainly and more safely than doing it on your own?