Even if you’re independent, are you free?
With Independence Day coming up next week, I’ve been thinking about the distinction between independence and freedom.
In terms of the holiday, we kind of think of independence and freedom as the same thing. But they’re different.
I believe that most men have cultivated both the virtues and vices of independence while mistaking independence for freedom.
And that’s a mistake The Lions Pride is mission-bound to correct.
In this article, I’m going to look at the difference between independence (a virtue and vice) and the higher value of freedom.
And I’ll show you how some men sacrifice freedom in the name of independence.
More important, I’ll tell you how to get more freedom without sacrificing your independence.
In fact, what I’m about to tell you will amplify the positive traits of an independent man while diminishing independence’s negatives.
Ready? Let’s go.
Independence as a virtue/vice
We’re about to celebrate a holiday based on independence.
Independence is highly valued in the U.S., especially for men.
And that’s mostly a good thing.
Independence is the reason driven men like you build a business. It’s the reason you work hard and sometimes sacrifice your personal comfort to build a better life for you and your family.
You think that if you’re more independent, you’ll be more free.
And that’s true, to an extent. If you harness independence correctly.
Thing is, independence is also the reason you say “no” to your family when they invite you on a weekend outing to splash in the surf or breathe the fresh mountain air on a hike.
You’re so independent that you heap tons of responsibility on yourself without allowing the freedom you deserve.
At work, sometimes independence is less a synonym of “freedom” and more a cousin to the word “distrust.”
You’ve cultivated your independence so long that you don’t trust others to do a job well. You independently shoulder more of the load than you can or should.
I’ve lived through the 60- to 100-hour work weeks. So I know how painful independence can be at work.
Struggled through the deep fatigue that stings your eyes and clouds your brain.
Even lived with splitting days-long headaches that I had to work through anyway.
Why? Because I was so independent.
Who did I trust?
Why didn’t I trust anyone else?
Because I was Superman.
Why didn’t I ask for help?
Because I always rationalized that the problem would go away if I worked harder.
After all, what independent man will ever ask for help?
We uphold independence as a virtue, but when it comes to work, it can be just as much of a vice.
Independence vs. freedom
Freedom and independence can go together if you mix the right quantities.
But independence may mean working long hours with a stress headache to cross every item off your to-do list.
Independence is taking on more responsibility because you’re the only person you can trust to do it right.
On the other hand, freedom is the ability to walk away from your to-do list at any moment because you’re so far ahead on your work.
Freedom is surprising your wife with a warm, tropical vacation that won’t make you feel guilty for what you’re spending or the time you’re taking off work.
Freedom is leaving the office on time every day to wrestle with your children while dinner cooks, sending savory aromas your way.
See the difference? Independence tends to steal your time while freedom gives you more.
Finding a balance between freedom and independence
To strike the right balance between freedom and independence, here are three steps you can take.
1. Ask for help from people with more experience
Ask for directions. Don’t be afraid to.
You’re probably good enough to figure anything out on your own, but is “good enough” good enough? There are a lot of people out there willing and able to push you higher faster.
The turning point for both my business partner Robert and me in our careers came when we decided we could no longer do it alone.
That’s the decision that pushed us away from thinking that independence and freedom are the same thing.
3 steps to more freedom and more healthy independence.
Specifically, we hired coaches who showed us, through their own experiences and insights, how we could improve ourselves and our businesses more quickly.
I’m sure without my coaches I couldn’t have sold my last business for eight figures.
Learned interdependence gave me more independence. And freedom.
You want that? Let’s talk. We give away 10 free calls per week to men who decide 100 percent independence isn’t the best course of action.
2. Become a productivity ninja
Every man wants to be a productivity ninja. Few men are.
Productivity is the gateway to more freedom and healthy independence. You’ve always sensed it.
So you push yourself to work long hours and tick a few more items off your to-do list.
But working longer doesn’t mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re less free.
And that’s the trap most men find themselves in. I was stuck there for years working crazy hours with little to show for it.
I trudged through fights with my wife who was sick and tired of never seeing me.
I nearly lost her and my kids when she’d had enough.
But even among men who try to implement a productivity system, we’ve never met someone who couldn’t improve their productivity enough to save themselves hours per week.
In fact, the lack of a sophisticated time management and productivity system in most men’s lives is the reason we launched the 30-Day Accelerate Your Productivity Challenge.
This challenge is designed to bend your habits toward more productivity, freedom and growth by spending only 20 minutes per day.
3. Delegate and automate
Delegation leans more toward freedom than independence. You can’t feel 100 percent independent when you ask someone to do something for you. That’s interdependence.
But delegation is a key to true freedom and growth.
Delegate things to people who are better than you while you stick to items within your zone of genius where you’re at your best.
Automation is an investment in time freedom as well. And time freedom can make you more independent (in a good way).
Get more freedom this Independence Day
Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice yourself to the idol of independence. You can be independent and free at the same time.
So this Independence Day, do what it takes to get more freedom by following these three steps.
Make more money in less time:
Put more hours in your day with the 4-week Accelerate Your Productivity Challenge.
Even if you feel like you're moving quick at work, we offer the Ferrari of productivity.
An elegant, sophisticated, yet simple system that ties together the most important areas of your life.