Nearly ten years ago, I cashed out all my stock options, collected my bonus, and left my cushy corporate career to start my own business. It was 2008, the economy was not looking great, but Austin was still expected to grow about 2%. Starting a business in a down economy was not easy, but it did provide me with FREEDOM. Freedom to work with people I like and respect, freedom to work when and where I wanted, and most important to me the freedom to provide the service levels that people deserve.

As we approach our nation’s Independence Day, let’s talk about your freedom. In your career and business, you have the freedom to choose where and how you use your time, energy, and resources. Over time, we may give up some of that freedom. Here are a few areas where I see leaders forget their freedoms:

Do meetings seem to consume a significant portion of your time?

We have all sat through meetings and at one point or another thought “Why am I here?” Perhaps you have nothing to add to the conversation or there appears to be no objective to the meeting. I challenge you to review your meeting schedule. Find meetings that you may not need to attend or could delegate to someone else. On meetings that you originate, reduce the attendance to those necessary and set others free.

Do you waste energy with worry and over-thinking?

A business owner I recently worked with had a client leave after an acquisition and immediately went into worry-mode when he read about the acquisition of another client. This is pre-worry – when you worry about something that might happen in the future. Worry and over analyzing are not a good use of your energy. Calling the client and determining whether a transition plan is necessary is a much better use of his energy.

Are you underutilizing your team?

Are there activities that are best delegated to a member of your team? Perhaps you need to hire an assistant to help with the detailed report writing, information gathering, compiling, and analyzing data. Make a list of all tasks that you could easily delegate to someone else. This serves two purposes: helps to grow a potential successor and frees you to lead and develop your team.

Gratefully, we live in the freest country in the world. Where do you want to start exercising more freedom in your business or career? Start freeing yourself today. Contact me to discuss how you can better utilize your time, energy and resources.