What does freedom mean to you?
To me it’s not at all about NOT working, it’s about having the space to do work where and when I want it. I know this isn’t ideal for all work situations, and certainly can make team collaborations a little trickier, but for a long time I’ve been highly suspect about the efficiencies of the traditional 9-5 environment.
How much of that 9-5 is actual spent in “zone of genius” work and how much of it is pushing paper and busy tasks to fulfill the expectation of looking busier, more efficient, and like a better worker than those around you? We have, in our society, an obsession with glorifying busy. It's how we define our self-importance, it's how others assess our value as well. But when it comes down to it, busy doesn't lend itself to success at all.
I could be sitting in an office park, post 30-60 minute commute, post morning rush around my home, at my same computer, writing this same blog post. But I’m not at an office park, and i didn’t spend 30-60 minutes this morning in my car. I’m sitting with my computer on my lap, getting a pedicure as a gather my thoughts and take some time for stream-of-consciousness writing, generally the first step in all of my writing and blog posts. But, it’s not always this glamorous.
In our globalized, technology-driven world, how much of your work really needs to be done face-to-face? If our connections and our friendships and our relationships are originating and growing in digital spaces, why can’t our businesses?
All-too-recently I had what I call a “butt in chair” boss. He cared more about the fact that my butt was in a chair in what he deemed to be a prestigious office complex, than the work I did. Our clients, my team, the subcontractors I managed, were all remote-- but for me, butt-in-chair was still the policy.
There are studies that swing both ways— remote teams are better, office-based teams are better. Entire corporations have flip flopped on their policies based on leadership and what has and hasn’t worked for them.
But as you set up your business it’s important for you to decide what is more aligned with your vision and mission. You get to decide how you work best. Notice where your zone of genius shows up most consistently and pursue that with excitement and gusto.