The Business of Freedom

This week we’re wrapping up our look at some of the key aspects of Black History Month and how we can apply them to successfully running our businesses. Today we’re looking at one of the overarching topics from all of African American history: that of freedom. I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons many people start a business, myself included, is because of a desire for freedom. Maybe it’s freedom from a restrictive boss, maybe it’s freedom to be with your kids, maybe it’s freedom to set your schedule, maybe it’s freedom to make as much money as you want, or maybe it’s a desire to set your customers free from what they struggle with through the product(s) and/or service(s) you offer.

So where does freedom start for you? Does it start with a desire to have freedom for yourself or to give others the freedoms they desire? One of my favorite sales insights is shared through a question/concept that I heard from Darren Hardy, although others probably could lay claim to the example as well. He asks why you would buy a drill. Most people don’t buy drills because they like how they look or sound or because they want a tool lying around the house. No, they buy the drill for what it can get them: a hole. Seems very simple doesn’t it?

But that’s the truth about being in business: what you do should be helping people achieve their goals. We all have goals and if we work together we’ll be better able to achieve them. With currency as a more universal system it’s enabled us to get what we want easier and we no longer have to barter or trade with a bunch of others until we get what we need in order to trade or barter with the person who has what we want. Now you can give people the resources, tools and support they want and they can give you the money you want.

So where is this leading? Don’t be ashamed of your needs, desires and goals as a leader. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s a bad thing to want freedom, to say no to get what you want, to sacrifice until you can have what you most desire and to pay well and ask to be paid well for a job well done. We all want to have freedom, isn’t it time to stop seeing other’s desired freedoms as obstacles and rather as opportunities to make your life, their lives and the world a better place?

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