I have talked in the past about the importance of tracking progress and milestones.
I think it’s super important to be able to see where you’ve been because its easy to lose site of it from day to day and not learn anything from it.
Today is a big one for me, and I almost forgot but I was saved by Facebook
4 years ago today was the last day I worked for someone else.
(Interestingly if you check the blog post I linked above you will find that the year before that on August 19th is when I made my first $1,000 doing marketplace freelancing)
I could go into my whole story but I have told that before (though I think that only goes up to about 2018) so instead I thought I would get some insight into the lessons I have learned in that time as I feel that will actually be beneficial to you rather than me just giving you a mini-biography. These are in no particular order but are probably the most important things I have picked up in the last 4 years.
4 Lessons Learned In 4 Years Of Freedom
Your Board Of Directors
A therapist I know exposed me to this term, though I already understood the concept. Your board of directors are the most important people in your life and business. The ones you go to for consultation, guidance, and rely on for the important decisions. These can be anyone that you can count on for support and direction. For me some are my mother, my business partner, and a couple of very close friends. When faced with a major business decision, or changing direction in your life these are the people that will help you make the best decision because they genuinely care about you and will help you without any thought of what it is in it for them. Look around your business and life and identify whose these people are for you; as I said it can be a friend, a family member, a professional colleague, a mentor, a spiritual mentor, or anyone else. Figure out who this in your life and lean on them, and take their advice when needed because you can’t do it alone. Not being able to do it alone brings me into the next thing I have learned.
Network And Team
My instinct is to do it myself. On everything. That served me well for the first 38 years of my life and even the first year or so of being in business for myself. But it has a very low ceiling, and I hit it pretty quickly. I made my first hire (reluctantly) around that time… and it was an almost instant game changer. By bringing on a talented new team member I was able to focus on filling the business with customers, coming up with new offers, setting the course for the business, and… sleep! Since then the team has grown a lot to 12-15 people at various times, with more positions being filled soon. All of them super talented at what they do and committed to the long term vision for the company which segues into the third lesson.
Having A Long Term Vision
When I first got out of the day job and on my own it was all about survival. I just had to make as much money as I was making at the day job so I could live my life. That’s fine at that level and is often what is needed at the beginning. But if you stay like that forever you end up having just created a job for yourself, rather than being an entrepreneur, you are barely even a business owner.
If you don’t have an End Game and just stay stuck in survival mode without any sort of vision you will eventually hit another ceiling, will only think short term, and will limit the amount of money you make and the number of people you can help.
Which brings us to the last of the four lessons
Help As Many People As You Can As Often As You Can
This may sound like woo woo new age stuff but it has been shown over and over again to be the truth. The more you give the more you get. The last 4 years I have had what feels like to me, an extraordinary amount of success. If I could point to any one thing that has lead to it, it is giving back, and being helpful. Sometimes I lose site of this… when people I know are doing the same things I do for free or very low cost at sometimes 1,000x the price I sometimes wonder why I am not doing the same.
Then I get a message from someone telling me how they were able to rank their site, or pay for their grandfather’s surgery, buy a new house or car, or make their daughter’s year because he bought them a few hundred Tik Tok followers and I remember why I spend as much time helping and teaching as I do.
Re-reading that last paragraph makes it sound like I am patting myself on the back and that’s definitely not the goal. I just want to illustrate that I realize I could do things differently and probably add another 15 million dollars a year of income to myself… but that would literally not change my lifestyle at all.
My goal is to help as many people as I can… my team, my family and friends, my customers, and the people that I will never even directly interact with. I know as long as I do that I will continue to be given the amount of success that I need in order to be fulfilled myself.
So there you have it, 4 Years Of Freedom 4 Lessons Learned.
Truthfully I could probably make this list 20, or 100 or more but I wanted to make sure I covered the essentials that more than anything have and still continue to guide me. I hope you can take some value from it, apply some of it to your own journey to freedom, and help find whatever fulfills you and those around you.
After all you owe it to yourself, and you owe it to the world.