DIGEST THIS! THE ESSENTIAL IDEA:
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, said: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present … then dies having never really lived.“
So you quit your job. You sack your boss to build your own business, envisaging a life free of the demands of others, a life on YOUR timing, determined by YOUR choices – a life of freedom. “Sacking your boss” does not, however, equate to freedom. If you don’t design a business that truly aligns with what you want you could end up becoming a slave to your creation, working more hours than before, an employee again – you as the boss having become your own jailer. “Sack Your Boss” is a metaphor for change – use it to design a life better suited to you, a life on YOUR terms.
The book outlines a practical 5-stage process for “Sacking Your Boss” and creating your own business aligned to a lifestyle you truly desire. This book summary focuses on the initial phase before taking action – the key questions to consider before making a change, whether that be shifting from employee to self-employed, or pivoting your current business – to ensure you design a lifestyle that provides the freedom you crave. And to avoid unwittingly creating yet another golden cage.
- The allure of the golden cage
- The 5 freedoms – 1 freedom unlocks the others
- Think curiosity rather than passion
- Own a system
- Think scalability – think 1-to-many
- Bigger doesn’t always mean better
- Success – a real life game of snakes and ladders
ARE YOU LIVING IN A GOLDEN CAGE?
- A frog put into a pot of boiling water will jump out immediately, an instantaneous reaction to a harmful environment. But a frog put into cold water that is gradually heated, lulled by a warm but false sense of security, will find it harder to leave. Having gradually grown accustomed to its environment, it finds it harder to recognise the point at which its surroundings have become harmful to its survival, its internal guidance system masked by a cunning offering of comfort.
- Do you find yourself in your own pot of warming water? Are you staying in a situation that is not conducive to the growth of your true potential, one that has gradually eroded your core dreams, replaced by the trappings of external success – a great salary, prestige, other perks of the job – a golden cage?
WHAT IS YOUR LONG-TERM VISION? WHAT WILL YOUR LEGACY BE?
- How much do you love your job? If your employer stopped paying, would you still turn up due to a passion for your work?
- If you keep continuing on the path you are currently on, will you be happy in the long term?
- If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” (Jim Rohn)
- What legacy do you want to leave behind?
- How will you know you have escaped (the rat race)? Feeling excited to wake up every day? Feeling on flow, feeling that you make a meaningful impact, being surrounded by people who you feel connected with? Feeling on purpose, doing something remarkable? Why are you here?
CHOOSING YOUR PATH
- Choosing the path that suits you involves experimenting – you may not find your ideal work or business on your first try. You will likely need to try several strategies to find out what truly works for you.
- However, avoid “shiny penny” syndrome. Often when deciding to make a change people can become seminar junkies, attending seminar after seminar, course after course, attracted to the next shiny offering – in endless experimentation, erroneously thinking they are progressing with their business. At some point you will have to take action and choose a path.
- To minimise wasting money, think of any training or course purchase as an investment. What will the return on investment be? How will you know? Will it contribute to your long-term goals? What do you expect to get out of it?
- If you are contemplating “sacking your boss” to start your own business, but are hesitant, try writing a resignation letter to your boss (without sending it). How do you feel?
- Life can be like a game of snakes and ladders – sometimes you have to slide down a snake – the wrong path for you – and begin at the bottom to find the right ladder to truly fulfil your potential – which is true success.
- Know your values to choose the right path -“It is not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are” (Roy Disney).
- “When you live congruently with your highest values, your voice and vision on the inside becomes louder and more profound than people’s voices and opinions on the outside” (Dr John Demartini).
- Be curious to choose your path: Trying to find your one elusive “Passion” or “Purpose” can feel overwhelming and weighty, and lead to analysis paralysis. Instead try the Kaizen approach and ask a smaller question – think “What am I curious about?”
DESIGNING YOUR BUSINESS – WHICH FREEDOM DO YOU WANT?
- Make sure you design a business that will give you the lifestyle you truly want.
- Otherwise you can end up yet again becoming an employee of a business, the only difference being you are employing yourself.
- Often people who want to have their own business seek one or more of the following freedoms:
- 1. Financial Freedom
- 2. Time Freedom
- 3. Location Freedom
- 4. Relationship Freedom
- 5. Freedom of Choice.
- Achieving financial freedom often unlocks the other freedoms.
- If time freedom is key, focus on owning a system. Robert Kiyosaki defines a true business owner as someone who owns a system and has other people working within it, so that if they were to take a period of time off, the business would still be operating, if not better than before.
- Bigger doesn’t always mean better. The Fisherman and the Businessman tells the story of a fisherman who catches enough fish to feed his family, with the rest of each day to spend with his loved ones. A businessman offers to make him “more successful” by industrialising and expanding his business, spending more time at sea, catching more fish and thereby becoming richer. AFTER which he would be able to retire and spend time with family and friends. The fisherman replied “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
- What does success mean to you? Your path depends on what you truly want from life, not on what is deemed as “success” by society or others.
MORE MONEY OR MORE TIME?
- Trading time for money limits your wealth. You are limited by the number of waking hours you have in a day. The only option you have to increase your wealth from time is to increase your hourly rate.
- The most valuable asset we have is our time. “You can get more money, but you cannot get more time” (Jim Rohn)
- “Don’t work hard for money, make money work hard for you” (Robert Kiyosaki).
- “Working because you want to, not because you have to is financial freedom” (Anthony Robbins).
- If time freedom is key for you, think about scalability when designing your business.
- A job is not scalable – when you’re not working, you’re not earning.
- Furthermore, some self-employed work isn’t scalable – e.g. coaches , trainers, consultants – the 1-to-1 model only allows you to work with a certain number of clients until you run out of hours in the month – you hit a revenue ceiling. Instead, think about designing a business where you work 1-to-many – e.g. train and deliver to groups, create a webinar, course or digital product and earn whilst you sleep.
- When you own assets e.g. property, your own business, you have the opportunity to generate income 24/7.
- Wealth isn’t how much money you have. Wealth is what you’re left with if you lose all your money” (Roger Hamilton) Your wealth is in your value as a person. A truly wealthy person, on losing money, can make it back again and again through being who they are – they are their own asset.
- True wealth begins in the mind, believing you are worthy of what you truly desire.
WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU CHOOSING TO SOLVE?
- Focus on who your customer is and what problem you are solving for them. You only have a business if you have a customer. You don’t have a business if you just have a product.
- “Success must be attracted, not pursued” (Jim Rohn). Think about how much value you will deliver for your customer? To earn more you need to become more.
THERE’S NO SUCCESS IN SOLO
- Remember you will need others – no one becomes successful without having a team– make sure you have a support network.
- Stay in your lane – do what you do best and leverage the skills of others to get you and your business further.
- Reach out to people who have done what you want to do and learn from their successes and failures.
YOU WILL NEED TO TAKE ACTION
- “The cost of inaction” (Tim Ferris) – consider the cost of not changing, of maintaining the status quo. Most of us focus on fears of what could go wrong from a change rather than the cost of doing nothing, which is still an (expensive) decision.
- Be aware that fear can sabotage you. It can make stop you from making a needed change. To overcome this fear, take small steps and ask small questions.
- There’s pain in either direction – in staying in a career – the status quo – or in taking a new path and starting your own business. There are sacrifices on either path so you might as well choose the direction that’s going to be more positive for your life.
- Just take action. Your first business idea likely won’t be the one that brings you success. That doesn’t matter – it will open doors to new opportunities. You will either earn or learn.
- Remember, it’s easier not to change.
YOU WILL NEED TO KEEP GOING
- “Success is a lagging indicator”- you need to keep at it long before you see the results of your labour.
- Things always take longer than you think. They just do. If you were to know after quitting your job and starting your business that it might take years before seeing true signs of success, would it deter you from starting?
- At some points along your journey you will fail. “I never lose. I either win or learn.” (Nelson Mandela)
- It takes discipline to reach your goals. It’s better to suffer the pain of discipline than the pain of regret.
YOU WILL HAVE TO SAY NO
- What are you willing to sacrifice in order to make your business a successful one? This could include holidays, socialising with friends and family, a pay cut.
- Power of no – “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything” (Warren Buffet).
- Power of “no for now”– use this if you are facing a difficult dilemma, buying yourself time and allowing you to take up the opportunity at another point in the future.
- “Focus on the opportunity that can make you the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time” (John Keller). Which of your opportunities will generate the most income and grow your business? Focus on this – say “no” to everything else.