It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and start to lose time and control over how you spend your life. However, there are daily practices that can help you live more consciously and take back ownership of your life, after all… you only have the one.
Twenty years ago I had my first entrepreneurial thought. I was in high school getting ready for my day of learning and I distinctly remember this particular day, I was observing my father while he was heading off to work.
Every day until this day I didn’t think much of it, but on this day I thought to myself, ‘Is that what the future holds? Heading off to work every day for the rest of your life? Being owned by someone else.’
When I asked my father about work and how he perceived it, he told me ‘It is what it is. Life was never meant to be easy, so you just do what you need to do. That’s why it’s important you get good grades at school so you can have a job that pays well like being a dentist, doctor or lawyer.’
Now, I love my father, he’s a man who has taught me a lot and did everything he could with what he knew best. However, we evolve, so the advice he gave me I will not be passing down to my little ones.
Upon reflection, I realised that this was the day that changed everything. A pivotal moment that left me questioning everything in life. Do I really want to be ‘working’ every waking hour of my life?
It wasn’t for another few years after finishing high school, 4 years of studying mechanical/aerospace engineering and 18 months as an analyst for Accenture before the entrepreneurial flame inside of me was reignited.
“I was wiser, more mature and now having had a taste of the ‘job’ grind, I knew I didn’t want to be just a cog in the system.”
The flame began to burn hotter and hotter by the day and it wasn’t long before I acknowledged it and allowed it to take control. I sucked up the courage and left a very high paying role at one of the world’s most prestigious firms to start a group fitness training program at Coogee beach.
My family and friends all told me it was a ‘ridiculous’ move. They shared their disappointment, they told me it was a mistake.
I know this was a cry from love on their behalf as I was heading out there with no plan. No strategy. No idea. Other than the fact that I knew I was destined for more and I was hungry to learn.
“And so began my strong love affair with entrepreneurship.”
I’m sure if you’re still reading this you can relate. It’s why this post has found you. We’re wanting to do something bigger than just work for someone else. We’re searching for an outlet that allows us to follow a dream and create a life by design.
I’m also confident that the dream you have boils down to creating your own rules. Your own business. Your own life.
You see, the game of entrepreneurship actually boils down to one simple concept … “Ownership”.
I’m sharing this with you because it’s an imperative concept you must know. I didn’t understand this powerful concept until months after the sale of my first ‘successful’ business when I took a year off to find myself, reflect and learn. This lesson was learnt 7 years after my first business and I wish I had known this back then.
You see, all my business ventures, even the successful ones, all had something in common that I only became aware of now looking back in hindsight: I was ‘owned’ by these businesses.
Every day I was always chasing my tail. I didn’t have the freedom to do what I wanted. I didn’t have a specific plan that was being followed. The dream life I was trying to create was far beyond what I was actually living.
My business slowly but surely crept into my entire life and took over.
My life was being owned from the time I woke up and checked my emails, taking calls during family breakfast time, checking Facebook and Instagram to see how our business page likes were going while playing with the kids, through to dealing with customer service enquiries at very inconvenient times when I should have been present with my friends and family.
In all honesty, my life was simpler, easier and less painful when I was working for someone else. But I knew there was more, I just had to find it.
An exhausting and very uncomfortable realisation that I only figured out during my past year searching for answers to understand my life purpose.
I’m here sharing this message with you right now in the hope it will give you a new light on this challenging game we call entrepreneurship.
“As entrepreneurs, we set out to be our own boss, by creating a dream business that allows us to live our ideal lifestyle.”
We leave our ‘jobs’, we walk out on our bosses because we don’t want them owning us.
Unfortunately for most of us, we’ve moved away from having a job and boss that owned us to working in a business that now owns us.
Sadly we’ve become a slave to the dream we set out to create, we’ve allowed our business to dictate when we work, how long we work for, when we sleep, eat and live. Our business quickly pulls us away from the key areas of life (health & wellbeing, family & friends) in order to make us a slave to it’s beaconing needs.
You can stay doing what you’re doing and hope that something changes, or you can start the climb back to control second by second.
Here’s what I know … That dream you have is possible and it’s time to start taking back ownership.
OWNING your business.
OWNING your decisions.
OWNING your life.
It all starts with taking back your life second by second, minute by minute. We begin by taking back ownership of our mornings and our evenings and then building out from there.
It’s a simple concept but can be extremely hard to implement and stick with.
Like someone tackling Mt Everest, it begins with a small step in the right direction and then having the mental strength to continue step by step as you head towards the summit. We focus on that next step and not be overwhelmed by what lies ahead.
Here are 12 steps you can immediately put into practice to help take back and keep control over your life:
1. Create a morning ritual and take back control of the first 1-2 hours of your life.
2. Exercise for 15-30 minutes, this is as simple as a walk and observe the natural world around you.
3. Journal on 3 things you’re grateful for and 3 things that will make today great every morning.
4. Take 5 minutes to reflect on the amazing life you’ve lived so far. Listen to music while thinking about this.
5. Take another 5 minutes to listen to a power song and tell yourself today is your day!
6. Call someone you love to let them know you appreciate them and why they’re important to you.
7. Creat an evening ritual and own your last 1 hour of the day.
8. Journal on 3 amazing things that happened today at the end of every day.
9. Plan tomorrow by chunking your calendar into hour blocks and add in what you’re going to do in each of those hours.
10. Take 30 minutes to read or listen to something spiritual.
11. Kiss your kids, kiss your partner and let them know how much you love them from heart.
12. Let go of everything you need to do, it’s now on your list, close your eyes and enjoy your sleep.
We’re not trying to hit almost impossible home runs here. We’re focusing on hitting our daily singles that add up over time. Developing new habits that allow us to slowly take back control and build a life by design.
And so it all starts by being honest with the fact that perhaps our business owns us and it’s time to make a change.
Do yourself a favour, start tonight, take back your mornings and evenings. Start the journey of living the dream life that you deserve.
Here are more recommended articles for you:
– Why You Need to Stop Lying to Yourself and Your Business
– The Myth of Lost Time
– 5 Steps to Building a Business That Doesn’t Rely on You