Sunday, 17 August 2008

Choosing To Be In Control

I was talking a friend this weekend who has taken the Leap to work for herself, and I was reminded why so many people choose to go it alone.

To be in control.

Increasingly we want to take control of our lives, from designing our own homes to growing our own vegetables. So it’s no surprise people take the Leap! to be in control of their own destiny, to shape what they do, how they do it and where they do it from.

It may sound clich├ęd but when you start working for yourself you really can shape and create your own destiny. You need to ensure you make the necessary investment of ideas, enthusiasm and talent in order to create a success. It’s a direct result of what you put in.

When you start working for yourself the relationship between your personal and business self is very intimate, it’s intricately linked. There is no separation as you might have had in your old job, you can’t just say, ‘oh well that’s a work thing’ because business becomes a life thing.

When you hit problems, challenges or obstacles it may threaten your whole well being. You are your business and that means you can’t help taking knocks personally.

So you just have to focus on what you can control to resolve the problems. Being in control is such a positive force, if you control your working life, your working day, you can make a choice. A choice about how hard you work. A choice about juggling work with childcare; juggling work time with playtime. If you start work at 07.00, you can choose to finish early.

My father’s generation went off to work in the morning and came back in the evening. Work was pretty much separate from life. In the scrambled up world of work it’s all mixed up.

When I was a small boy I struggled to understand the concept of work. I thought workers like my father were given instructions at the train station each morning for what they had to do once they got to the office. I didn’t understand self-enterprise, autonomy or responsibility. I never could have imagined how things change and that no-one except yourself tells you what to do. That there is that freedom to manage your own time. Adjusting to that is an important discipline; you have to ask yourself if it’s okay taking a day off for your birthday; the holiday request forms go in your own in-tray.

That’s a lot of responsibility but at least you get to make the decisions.


These themes are much of the territory of my first book 'Leap!'; in 'Juggle!' I will show you the importance of choosing to be in control, whether you work for yourself or for a company.

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