I have had a rock on my desk with the word freedom on it for the last 20+ years. When I first bought the rock, I taped it on my desk phone (think landline) on the handheld receiver. I was an outside salesperson working a full-commission sales job. I chose a full-commissioned sales job so I could have more freedom. That “freedom” landed me in the poor house pretty quickly, as I didn’t have the same discipline I had when I was working for a “boss.”
You see….my new job full of freedom illuminated I wasn’t as disciplined as I thought I was. If I was tired and wanted to sleep in…I did. If I wanted to quit early, no one cared. If I didn’t feel like making calls, I didn’t.
Turned out the electric company in Norman, OK, had their own version of freedom too…as they didn’t feel like leaving my lights on when I didn’t pay my bills. (Also, worth noting the City of Norman turned off my water for the same reason. Someday I will tell you about the water being cut off when a friend of mine was at the house dying her hair…then ran to the apartment swimming pool to rinse the dye out because our water was shut off. Yes…the swimming pool…with chlorine in the water. More later when I can find a picture of her with green hair)
Anyway……I finally figured out that freedom didn’t mean I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to do it. I realized that I have the freedom to make good choices (and some bad), but most of the time, it’s a good idea to operate in a structured, responsible, and disciplined way.
Here are a few examples to make my point:
- I didn’t like prospecting, but I certainly loved the commission checks. (Yes, I got a lot better at selling)
- I didn’t like cold calling, but I loved the relationships I formed with many of my clients.
- I don’t like eating healthy stuff, but I love having pants that fit.
- I don’t like getting up early, but I love not feeling rushed all day.
- I don’t like paying taxes, but I love driving on paved roads, city parks, etc.
At the end of the day, I realize this…. having freedom means having a little more structure than the word implies. Freedom requires a few rules and regulations for sure. We all have the freedom to make good choices, and it’s up to us to choose wisely.