Business owners: can your business be a conduit for true freedom, not just for yourself, but for all of the people you employ as well? Yes, if you choose to change the paradigm and welcome true freedom for all those who work “with you” instead of holding on to the false belief that “they” work “for” you. Teamwork makes the dream work, but only if you realize (as a business owner) that you are part of the team, not there to be served by the team.
The dark shadow of freedom… 12 years ago, I made the decision to step into my own personal sovereignty by creating my first business—a law practice. I knew nothing about business or how to run one other than what had been modeled for me by the restaurant general managers and law firm partners I had worked under in my prior jobs as a waitress in high school and college and then a law firm associate after law school.
What I learned from those jobs and the bosses I worked for was that freedom was available to those at the top, but for everyone else, freedom was a mere illusion. I swore I would do it differently when I built my own business. But for the most part, I failed for many years. Someone always ended up trapped—either me or the people who worked for me.
As I’ve gotten to go behind the scenes as a trusted advisor to high-level business executives, lawyers, and company founders, I’ve seen this trap replicated. In most cases, the business owner doesn’t even know (or maybe doesn’t care) that the people supporting them in their business are trapped. In most cases, the people who are trapped may not even acknowledge to themselves that they are working in jobs they don’t really want because, well, it’s a paycheck, right?
Over the years, as I have coached and guided thousands of people to start their own businesses, to find their own personal sovereignty, and get on the path to their own financial liberation, I have seen a pattern repeated over and over that is simply another trap. There is an inherent belief that if you are not the owner of the company, at the top of the hierarchy, that you aren’t really free. That you aren’t really successful. That you can’t have full sovereignty. And far too often, those who are building the businesses are more trapped than ever, but they’ll never show it because to do so would hurt the business.
As a result, even those who have no business building businesses dive in, sacrifice their lives, their happiness, and yes, their own personal freedom to do it. Mostly, they struggle and never quite get there, thinking there is something wrong because they can’t figure out how to make it work. Sometimes, they succeed, but at what price?
As we move into a new paradigm, we have to find another way—a way in which the business supporters, the business connectors, and the business guides are able to create and enjoy as much freedom as the business creators, and vice versa—a way in which we all get to share in the fruits of the labor and take on the full personal responsibility that comes with a life of personal sovereignty—a way in which we can all be truly free, to be all of who we are, to live the lives we really, really, really, REALLY want, and to work together in harmony beyond competition to experience it.
On this day of celebrating independence in the US, I urge you to consider whether you have truly created a life of freedom. And if so, is it at someone else’s expense? Or are you perhaps trapped by your own definition of success?
Where do you see this shadow side of freedom in your own life? And what ideas do you have about how we can shift it?