I like that I’m sending you a blog about entrepreneurial freedom while I’m taking two months away from A Squared.
I’m going to be gone until early February, but I’ll still pop up here every week with a post I created and scheduled before leaving. It’s my way of staying connected with you without having to log on and write something in my newborn-driven sleep-addled state.
Is A Squared still running? Yes! Am I deeply grateful for a team that makes that possible? Double yes.
Most of us started our businesses because we wanted these kinds of options – the freedom to decide when, and how, and how much, we work. The autonomy to do work that means something to us. The chance to align our work with our true priorities.
It’s really hard to actually live out that kind of freedom, though, isn’t it?
I’m really proud that I’ve built a business that can run without me for two months. But I haven’t hit the mark all the time. I had a call scheduled this week with a client. I wasn’t able to fund my own maternity leave, so I’ll be skipping two months of payments. My team is carrying a lot, and there are some things that are just on pause until I get back.
This journey is ongoing and imperfect. It’s worth it.
Life in Phase Five of the journey to entrepreneurial freedom isn’t just a sequence of daiquiris on the beach (though those might be involved). There’s always room to grow and change. But it’s such a fun phase because you get to experience the payoff of what you’ve worked so hard for. You can unplug from your business with confidence and trust in the power of your team.
Here are two of the strategies I’m learning as I step into a season of time away:
Strategy One: Define and redefine what freedom means to you
When you think about time freedom, different images might come to mind. It might be a spontaneous lunch with a friend. Or a week off the grid. Or the ability to adjust your life easily around new opportunities or sick days. Or shutting down your business for the entire summer.
Whatever your definition might be, you can design your business around it. But take some time periodically to revisit that definition – has it changed? Have new priorities shifted things around? If so, you can adjust your business, too!
Strategy Two: Don’t stop fighting for freedom
Freedom is possible at any stage of your business, but it’s never automatic. Once you’ve experienced Phase 5, you’re not likely to backtrack easily, but we can all be tempted to soften our boundaries “just for now” during an especially stressful season. But as we’ve all experienced, that season can often bleed into another, and another after that. We have to stay on guard and actively protect the lives we’ve built.
With that, we’ve wrapped up our series on the Five Phases of Entrepreneurial Freedom! I’d love to hear your thoughts…which phase resonated most with you? What are you taking away from this idea?