Before we dive into the time and growth hacks that will allow you to create a lifestyle business, it’s important to first define what it even means to have a “freedom mindset.” What is the “freedom mindset?”
“Freedom is a mindset, not a destination. You decide to have freedom.” – Denise Gosnell
What does this even mean?
This means that freedom isn’t a destination that you get to someday, after you’ve reached a certain goal. It is a decision you make – to decide that you are going to claim it – and you then build your business around what really matters to you.
Everyone deserves to do whatever makes them happy. The type of freedom we are referring to is when you get to choose how to spend time with those you care about and be present for all the important moments that really matter. Along with giving you plenty of time to do things on a whim – just because you want to.
Ask yourself these tough questions:
Do you feel like you have the kind of freedom we are talking about?
Do you have plenty of time each and every week to spend quality time with your loved ones, volunteer for causes that are dear to you or simply do the things that make you truly happy?
If you haven’t achieved true freedom yet, what is stopping you? Isn’t freedom the reason you became an entrepreneur to begin with?
The good news is that we are going to walk you through the steps you can take right now to claim true freedom for yourself. Today. Right here. Right now.
Step 1: Adopt the Freedom Mindset
It’s time for you to decide that you are willing to adopt the freedom mindset for yourself. This means that you need to be willing to look at your business and your priorities differently. It’s ok if you don’t know “how” to implement this yet. Just make the commitment that you are willing to learn how.
For example, wouldn’t it be nice to have 1-2 business days per week where you have nothing scheduled and get to decide what you want to do that day?
Imagine that you could spend this time doing all those things that you never have the time to get to…
But you always hope to.
You’ll be in complete control of your schedule, not the other way around.
That is what we call “Freedom Days”, because you are free to do whatever makes you happy.
And look…You don’t HAVE to take these days off work unless you want to!
Unfortunately, the feeling of guilt and caring too much about what others think are generally the biggest obstacles entrepreneurs face when adopting the freedom mindset, but you need to learn to free yourself from the judgments of others. So, what exactly does that mean?
It means you have to stop letting other people dictate your schedule and life. Just because someone sends you an email or asks you to have a meeting on a certain day, does not mean you are obligated to say “Yes” or respond within a certain timeframe. Why do you let the agendas of other people dictate your life?
Most of the pressure that we feel isn’t real anyway. It is in our heads. For example, do you really think that whoever sends you an email or leaves you a voice mail expects you to respond to them within a few hours? No, they don’t.
As another example, will there be dire consequences if you don’t finish your “to-do” list each day? Probably not. Your “to-do” list likely contains a lot of fluff that doesn’t really matter or a bunch of false deadlines that you are constantly criticizing yourself for missing.
I’ve learned first-hand that most of the pressure we put on ourselves is actually self-imposed, not external.
Now, it is time to choose specific days that you dedicate to your work, and on those work-days, identify specific ranges of time when you will conduct meetings or respond to emails. If someone asks you to meet with them outside of that range, let them know that you have a conflict at that time and suggest another time that you do have available.
Why does it suddenly become an emergency for you when someone else procrastinated on a project? Identify what you think is a reasonable turn-around, based on the schedule you have set for yourself, and let them know when you can complete your portion.
Most entrepreneurs would put the requested meeting into a time slot had marked off to visit their mom, or at another time you had planned to meet some friends after work to catch up. A lifestyle entrepreneur no longer robs themselves of freedom in order to suit someone else’s needs.
After all, it is no one else’s business what you are doing at all of the other times on your calendar. And it’s certainly not reasonable to expect you to drop everything just because someone else finally got around to sending you something after months of delay.
Everyone deserves to have free time in their schedules for what matters to them, so that means making other people fit your available time slots and your timelines if they want to work with you.
Of course, you still have to do whatever you have agreed to do with your clients and honor your contracts – but you can still do that and implement the freedom mindset we are talking about.
Now, it is time to put this mindset in motion. You need to plan free time for yourself each week and make a commitment to yourself by keeping these times sacred. One suggestion is to give yourself one or two freedom days per week.
One example may be to take Tuesday and Thursday and clear your calendar on these two days. Even if you don’t set aside two full business days, you can certainly start by setting aside several hours at a time for yourself throughout the week that no one else can touch.
As part of adopting the freedom mindset, you need to stop caring what other people think about your schedule, and whether others would consider you being lazy.
You might fear losing a few clients by adopting the freedom mindset, but this generally has not been the case when put to the test by fellow entrepreneur. And if you do ever lose clients or deals because of it, that’s OK too. You’ll be fine. The freedom you experience from letting go of the pressure from others is completely liberating.
Most of that pressure we put on ourselves about what other people think isn’t real anyway. Most people don’t expect us to cater to their schedules, and if we give them other options that work, they are fine with that. Most people are reasonable and don’t expect you to be their slave. If they aren’t reasonable, fire them as a customer or client, because they aren’t worth it anyway.
We hope you are starting to see how freedom is a mindset that you simply decide to have. But, it’s only a mindset when you start living it. You don’t have to wait until someday, maybe, you can get around to it when you have more time, or you have more money.
Step 2: Identify Your Someday Maybes
So many people think that someday, when they have more money, they can start to travel or do that thing they have always wanted to do. Or someday, when they have more time, they can work on hobbies or have quality experiences with their family.
Many people even equate retirement with freedom, and unfortunately often wait until retirement to do things that would have brought them so much more joy throughout their life. You should embrace doing what you enjoy while you are in good health and are making good money. Who is to say that you will be in good enough health or have enough money to do these “someday maybes” when you finally decide to retire? No one wants to look back and feel miserable because of the someday maybes that they put off forever.
I think pretty much every human has said this:
· Someday, when I have more money I’ll travel to more places.
· Someday, when I have more time I’ll spend more time with friends, family, and causes I care about.
Someday Maybes are future joy that you’re depriving yourself of for no good reason. Trust me, I get it. You’ve been too busy to get around to them, and the years just fly by. So, it simply hasn’t been a priority. And there is no shame in that.
But ask yourself this important question. If you don’t get around to doing those things that would bring you joy now, when will you ever do them? If you’re being truly honest, probably NEVER, unless something drastic changes.
Someday Is Not A Day Of The Week.
It is time for you to either decide right here, right now, to bring those Someday Maybes into today or give yourself permission to let them go and send them to the black hole and stop kidding yourself.
What are some of the Someday Maybes you’ve told yourself before? Stop for a minute and make a list.
Someday when I have [more time, money, etc.] I will [do the thing].
Now, take a look at what you wrote down. It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself. When do you truly think you will ever get around to doing those things?
You may be thinking, “that’s great, but I don’t have the money right now to go on that world cruise that I’ve always wanted to take”. That may be true, but isn’t there some part of it you can do right now? For example, you could start planning exactly what you want that trip to look like.
Or you could plan a smaller trip to fewer countries that you can afford right now. The point is to take SOME action that will get you closer to it and start bringing you joy as part of the process.
We are going to help you take action on this right now and make some decisions that could bring a lot more joy into your life, or at least cut off some of the baggage you have been carrying around in these lies you keep telling yourself.
So, it’s decision time. Refer back to your Someday Maybe list and decide which ones are keepers, and which ones are the losers.
Are there any you are still undecided about? If so, what do you think is causing you confusion? As my dad used to say, “It’s time to shit or get off the pot.”
If not now, when? So just DECIDE. Is it a keeper or is it a loser?
Now that you have a list of the keepers (Someday Maybes) that are important to you, it is time to brainstorm on some ways you can start incorporating them into your life.
Assuming you have free time to work with (which the later chapters will help you do), what parts of those Someday Maybes can you start doing now (like this week, and next week)?
My recommendation is that you add a weekly recurring appointment to your calendar right now so you have at least one hour set aside for these activities each week. You can name the appointment whatever you choose, such as My Someday Maybe Time. Then, in the description of the recurring appointment, put your list of keepers so you can refer to that list as a reminder.
I hope you’ll decide to step into true freedom today, and that you’ll also bring your Someday Maybes into the now. Remember, someday is not a day of the week.
Step 3: Create Your Epic Life Plan
Now that you have an idea of some of the activities you’ve been craving in your life, it’s time to create your Epic Life Plan.
I am sure you have created strategic plans for your business before, but how many strategic plans have you actually created for your overall life?
If you’re one of the few entrepreneurs who already has a detailed life plan that rivals the strategic plans
or business plans you’ve created before, then congratulations!
But if you’re like many other business owners, join the club. How in the world are we so smart at certain business skills, yet so dumb in other areas of life? Think about it. Doesn’t it make logical sense to have a detailed written plan for what you want your life to be, just like you do for your business?
Of course, it does.
Well, the good news is that today is the day you will finally treat your overall life with the same care and attention as you do for your business. If you truly want to become a lifestyle entrepreneur, this is a crucial next step.
In just 10 short minutes from now, you can have a rough draft of your very own epic life plan. And if you already have one created, you can take a few minutes and refine it. Make it epic — a life that would be fulfilling on every level.
Answer the following questions:
· Am I truly happy with my life?
· If I died right now, would I be satisfied with how I’ve lived my life, or would I have a lot of regrets?
· Are you happy with what you wrote above or are there aspects you’d like to change?
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably doing a pretty good job in some areas (like unlimited growth potential) and neglecting others (like time freedom).
If you haven’t quite claimed the freedom that you deserve as an entrepreneur, let this be your wake-up call. Don’t wait for a disaster to strike first. Remember that freedom is a mindset, not a destination you get to someday.
Today is the day to claim that freedom once and for all.
Your epic life plan should touch on the following categories:
1. Life Purpose
6. Wellness/Health & Fitness
7. Home Environment
Write down what you really want to have in each of these categories of freedom. Then think through the biggest obstacles that are most likely to stand in your way of achieving your plan. Once you know the biggest obstacle, you can identify the best way to overcome it and include those actions in your plan.
As you fill in what you want your epic life to look like, don’t forget to include the keepers from your Someday Maybe list. You want to make sure those activities you’ve always wanted to do are included in your plan.
Step 4: Design Your Business Around Your Life
Now that you’ve created a first draft of your Epic Life Plan, it’s time to start designing your business around your life. After all, the money you make and the time you spend growing your business…
…are only as valuable as the freedom that they give you to create a meaningful life!
Why did you go into business for yourself in the first place?
Was it to make a lot of money?
Or was it to challenge yourself, grow, and do something that you found meaningful in your life?
Many entrepreneurs tend to lean toward the second option…
And growth is wonderful…
But if you’re not careful then growth can quickly overtake your life…
…and it eventually forces your business to become your life.
But you really can have growth in your business AND plenty of free time, without having to pick one over the other!
You can actually get more done in less time if you limit the amount of time you’re willing to work in your business. It forces you to become super-productive, like you are when you are about to go on vacation.
When you implement the concepts covered in the chapters that follow, you will have the tools you need to transform your entire way of life for the better.
Now that you understand the freedom mindset, have identified your Someday Maybes and have created your Epic Life Plan, it’s time to put these in motion.
You may think you don’t have time to do so, but Chapters 2 – 8 will show you how to implement several time and growth hacks to make this possible.
In Chapter 4, you will learn how to achieve business growth by removing from your “to-do” list, not adding to it. This principle is called “Growth by Subtraction”, and when done correctly, it leads to “multiplication”.
In Chapter 9, you’ll learn the recommended next steps for creating the freedom lifestyle that you deserve. You’ll also learn the best resources (including a business growth coach) to support you in this process.