My definition of “Business Autonomy” is…
- doing what you want,
- when you want
- with whom you want
- and being paid what you want
and to be quite honest, that is pretty much my reality these days.
Of course, none of that happened by accident. I actually set out to make business “work” for me not me “work” for business a long time ago, although my “reasons” have changed as the years have passed.
For example when I was a kid starting out with a young family, I wanted to earn good money and provide well for my family without the business stealing my life, with me seeing little or none of my family.
That’s why in the first place, I invented the “Start, Buy, Build and Sell” model where business is concerned. This model allowed me to work hard for a short period of time, then sell the business for what could be described as a massive profit and then have 6-12 months off before I did it all again.
It was always about “autonomy” for me. These days, my “autonomy” looks a lot different to that. In fact, it’s very much as I’ve described it above in the bullet points.
It’s sort of a reward for all my efforts over the years.
The subject of “autonomy” is a dangerous but important idea.
You’ll be mostly criticized for having it by people who don’t have it, although their problem’s not with the idea of autonomy itself, it’s just they don’t like you having it!
I’m going to be blunt.
People don’t approve of autonomy and autonomy is in conflict with our own condition.
The sort of comments I hear and you would have heard of is “Who died and made you king?”, “What makes you think you’re so good?”, “Do you think the world revolves around you?” (well that was my plan!), the list goes on.
You see I’ve deliberately set out to make sure the world does revolve around me. In fact, everyone at Streetsmart Marketing would know that and agree with that statement. They’re here to enable me to do what I do that they can’t do.
And I’m a kind and loving parent in the process where they are concerned. (Daisy is doing the typing and giving me a hard time here with a smile on her face.)
So staff are either enabling or inhibiting. If they’re inhibiting someone’s got to go and it can’t be me because I can’t fire me.
Where clients are concerned I’m a kind and loving parent once they pay me money, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
You see there’s an exchange of value going on and you’re paid according to the value you deliver to the market place.
I’ve got a bit of a litmus test where clients are concerned, it’s “3 strikes and you’re out”. You see, if I wake up in the morning thinking about a problem client 3 mornings in a row, then someone’s got to go and again I can’t fire me.
You see you’ve got to figure out, if your autonomy is up for sale and subject to compromise.
So I can’t afford to take on any “diseased or dumb” clients because unlike red wine, they don’t improve with time. We’ve all done it, haven’t we? Taken on a client when our intuition told us we shouldn’t and of course we got to regret it.
Because these clients suck up and inordinate amount of time, money and profit when compared to your “ideal” client who pays you what you deserve and behaves themselves in the process.
I say try and train them but if that fails, it’s… NEXT!
It’s not as if there’s any shortage of staff or clients out there.
It’s called the Principle of the “Swift Sword”, it should apply to clients and staff, particularly if you believe in “autonomy”.
I say “swift” and “violent” response to anything that represents a danger to your “autonomy”.
Personally I’ve had to watch out for my own weaknesses over the years. Sob stories used to see me weaken when I know I shouldn’t. Fortunately, that’s a thing of the past.
Another weakness of mine is chocolate and ice cream, so this year for the whole of 2014, I’ve sworn off both. As of writing this, neither have passed my lips, although I’ve got some so called friends and clients who know of this resolution and who continue to tempt me to crack (and they call themselves “friends”!)
Okay, in no particular order…
Here are 10 Big KEYS for Achieving Complete and Utter Autonomy
Firstly and it’s a biggie, you’ll need…
1. IMMUNITY TO CRITICISM
As I’ve mentioned above some people particularly those who don’t have autonomy will be appalled by the fact that you do have it. You’ll offend some and outrage others.
The reality is “autonomy” and “slavery” coexist. Of course, my take is you get to choose which group you belong in.
2. CLARITY OF PURPOSE
If you buy into the whole concept of “autonomy”, then it has to influence everything in your business life and be the chief overriding governing objective.
Everything MUST revolve around the concept of “autonomy”.
3. CONSTANT EVALUATION AND RE-EVALUATION
Let’s face it folks, opportunities are dime a dozen. Every time an opportunity comes across my desk and yours from now on, you must endlessly evaluate it in terms of whether it weakens or strengthens your autonomy
After all, if you do anything, it either pluses or minuses your “autonomy”. There is no neutral.
4. FIGURE OUT WHAT BUSINESS YOU’RE REALLY IN
Most business have a very narrow definition of that question like “I’m a plumber.”, “I’m a hairdresser”, “I’m a jeweller”, “I’m a personal trainer”
The first breakthrough comes from realizing there’s NO money in being in any of the businesses I’ve described above. ALL the money is in the marketing of that.
The second breakthrough comes from realizing you’re an entrepreneur and what business you’re in doesn’t really matter and once you master the skill of marketing, you can make it work in any business.
Of course I advocate all businesses aren’t equal. You want to be in a racing car not a jalopy when it comes to wealth creation.
You can tell when someone’s an entrepreneur with a much broader definition of what business they’re in by simply revisiting their business a year or two later. You see it won’t look anything like it looked like before.
An entrepreneur “can’t leave well enough alone” because they’re entrepreneurs. You will be criticized for that by the way.
Okay, this blog is dragging on. I’ll wrap it up with the 5th KEY here and then I’ll get back to you with another 5 KEYS later.
5. A COMPREHENSIVE COMPLEXED PROVEN AND TESTED MARKETING SYSTEM
I can literally stump everyone right here. I can’t remember the last time someone could show me their marketing system as I’ve described it above. What I see instead is “random acts of hope and prayer”.
People constantly seek out simple solutions to complex problems particularly where having a marketing system is concerned.
The simple fact is having a comprehensive complexed marketing system will recession proof and competitor proof your business.
After all, even if you laid out such a system bare to your competitors, they’ll never copy it. In fact, they’ll run in the other direction at the sheer thought that that’s what it takes to achieve “autonomy”.
Look the way I see it is “you get one life and you can make the rules.”
Watch out for the next blog where I’ll reveal 5 more KEYS for achieving complete and utter “autonomy”.