Independence is a Responsibility

Independence is a Responsibility

July 7th, 2021 // 3:40 pm @

Independence is a Responsibility

Thank you for the incredible feedback from last week’s Independence Edition of my Weekly Business Newsletter.  I would say, based on the comments, it was my most shared article to date, so thank you.

If there was only one you could share, it would have been this one.  Everyone needs to be reminded of what real Independence means.  Embracing those principles has far-reaching effects.

There are endless lessons that should be taught about American Independence, which unfortunately are so often now hidden and suppressed or even worse shamed.

You’d be happy to know that one of the songs Saylor and I sing just about every single night is “Proud To Be An American” and yes she can sing the chorus all by herself.

Her favorite part is the line at the beginning that says, “and they can’t take that away.”  For some reason she latched onto that particular phrase.  She says, “Say, can’t take that away,” over and over.  Of course, I don’t let it go unsaid about why and what all of that means for her.

Here’s the thing, it’s not enough to talk about independence or even sing about it.  It is more important to actually be independent.

You have a right to independence, but somehow people find themselves beholden to all sorts just to skirt obligations.

My question for you today, having just celebrated our nation’s independence…

How are you actively practicing independence?

What responsibility do you dodge at the cost of other freedoms?

What tradeoffs are you making that limit your opportunities?

As I pointed out last week, there are those in society that believes their independence is from responsibility instead of realizing that the independence IS a responsibility to choose, to act, to embrace, to succeed.

Some business owners take as little responsibility for their business as possible.  They treat it like a job not an investment.  A burden not a business.  An accident not an asset.  An obstacle to life not an opportunity to create a better one.

As an entrepreneur, the greatest way you can celebrate your independence is to be as successful as possible, to live your life on your terms, and help other people do the same.  One of the principles that made Zig famous was, “You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

I think the nature of most business owners is to fall into a routine of going through the motions of doing what they do and even resenting the restrictions that their business puts on their lives instead of recognizing and really appreciating the freedoms that being a business owner affords because of the sacrifices you make and the responsibilities you take.

One of the greatest lessons, among many, that I got from Dan Kennedy was that “reward = responsibility” and to me that is the equation of independence said very clearly.

There’s a great quote from Jim Rohn that I love where he said, “If you aren’t willing to risk the unusual then you will have to accept the ordinary.”

And America is an ‘unusual’ idea filled with risks and responsibilities.  Those that aren’t willing to own either, are left with a life controlled by others.  The more responsibility you shoulder, the more independence you earn.

Now, you don’t have to accept the ordinary and you can actually choose to not accept anything that you don’t want to as long as you are willing to envision and then create something different, whether a result or a financial outcome or a lifestyle or a business altogether or all of the above.

It’s always a powerful and refreshing experience to listen to a first generation American and hear what they have to say about America.  They truly value their independence here because they know what the alternative is.  They gladly accept the price demanded for true freedom.

Independence is about the opportunity it provides, not some pre-determined guaranteed reward.  You get to make it whatever you want and there really are no limits – if you are willing to do the work, accept the risk, and own the outcomes.

At times, it will be difficult to see this a true gift.  Perhaps you are down on your luck, seemingly an uphill battle with everything stacked against you.  Yet, what our flag and country stand for can’t be taken away, only you can choose to give them up.  You will always have the chance to win again, as long you accept the responsibility it requires.

Let us celebrate Independence by celebrating you and your willingness to take the risk and chase a dream that’s only possible in America.

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