Just about every business owner I know is a hostage to his or her business. How do we break free? By first becoming a willing prisoner in your business.
It sounds nuts. How am I a hostage, and how does becoming a prisoner put me on the road to freedom?
Shrinks tell me that six months as a hostage has more lasting negative effect on someone that a number of years in prison. Why? A hostage has no idea when they will get out, the rules change every day, things that got them relief on one day get a whole different reaction the next day. It could all end badly tomorrow without notice. Everything is up in the air all the time, chaos reigns, and the lack of any knowledge about the future makes it all seem futile and endless.
Sound like your business? Most business owners are hostages to their business with rules that change daily, a reactionary way of doing business, and no end in sight.
A prisoner knows exactly how long they are in for, what the rules are and even how than can get out early for good behavior. It’s difficult for a hostage to be encouraged and have hope because the future is a big unknown. A prisoner always has hope and can be encouraged that every day is a step closer to freedom by just doing the right things.
You need to become a prisoner on the way to freedom in your business and here’s how:
He who makes the rules wins.
Most of us let our business create the rules for us and we simply react to everything coming at us. To fix this we need to believe we can start setting the rules for our business and have it start reacting to our needs.
The only way I know to do this effectively is put in place the biggest thing that differentiates a hostage from a prisoner – an end date, or what I call a Business Maturity Date. Decide what your Ideal Lifestyle looks like and when you want to be there. This is the first step to moving from hostage to prisoner to business freedom (see other posts here on picking a Business Maturity Date).
Working toward a date at which your business will begin to be mature can change everything in business for you. Without it you’ll just be a hostage for decades to come.
But what if I “fail” to get my business to maturity (the business can make money and function without me while I’m on vacation) on that date? The only failure is to not try. If you decide you don’t want to take the risk to build a mature business by a specific date, you are ensuring a 100% failure rate for ever getting there.
A man still finds his destiny on the path he chose to avoid it.
Pick a business maturity date, move from being a hostage to a prisoner, and that will ensure you will get to freedom.