This year I came close to closing my business, which means I nearly lost my five priceless soloist freedoms that come with running your own business.
I hadn’t applied for a job since 1996, but this year I drafted a CV. I had texted two clients and asked if they would be my referees.
The day after I sent the texts, two people signed up to my brand new service. Was that enough of a buffer for me to pause?
Yes it was.
Having come close to losing my freedom, I now relish working for myself more than ever.
Here’s what I mean by freedom in the context of running your own business.
This is the freedom to be part of the market, yet be my own person and create my own services. My brain (and yours) has infinite capacity for creativity. My business is an expression of my creativity. The only thing in the way of executing my ideas is people’s willingness to buy from me. I can create a new service and be promoting it within a week.
This is about independence and being my own boss. I don’t have to ask for a day off or time to see a doctor. I’ve been with my kids for all their school concerts and events. My commute time is now replaced with exercise such as walking and swimming.
Freedom of association
I get to work independently and personally with clients of my choosing, all of whom I admire. I choose the sub-contractors and suppliers who will become my valued team members.
Freedom to pursue my passion
My business exists in service to my clients and the market. I love working with business owners and I get to do this in a direct and unfettered way, free of red tape and bureaucracy. I am free to delegate tasks that take time away from the things I love doing.
Freedom to trust in life
Running a micro business is an opportunity to experience life as a flow. I’m close to my market, able to sense and adapt. I’m close to clients and close to my product. I have an opportunity to be closer to family, and be more available for them. You might work from home or even be partnered in business with your spouse.
There’s an opportunity here to create a weave of people, thoughts and actions which is deeply human.
When you’re running your own business you’re free to make that happen
I shelved my CV and didn’t send any job applications. I’m in flow with new and pre-existing clients and new services. Instead of telling my kids I might need to close the business, they now overhear me taking calls, signing people on and helping clients.
And after seventeen years in my own business, would I encourage my kids to work for themselves?
What are your favourite soloist freedoms of running your own business?