July marks Canada Day as well as Independence Day in the United States and numerous other countries.
This time of year always prompts me to ask two questions:
First, what do freedom and independence mean to me personally, professionally, politically, and culturally?
Second, what do I need to do to increase my freedom and independence, and what do I need to do to support others in doing the same?
There are many answers to these questions, but let’s limit the conversation to the professional context. This is a great time to ask where you feel free or constrained in your practice, in the way you work, in your collegial relationships, and even in the way you approach business development. If you don’t like your answer, perhaps you should choose to declare your own independence this July. Questions to consider might include:
- Do you like your practice? If not, how might you shift your focus?
- Do you like your clients? If not, where could you find clients you’d enjoy?
- Do you like your colleagues—or do you wish you had colleagues? Is it time to build better relationships or seek out new ones?
- Does your business development plan fit you? If not, come up with one that does. A brilliantly conceived plan that you don’t want to execute wont help you reach your goals.
- Does your schedule give you the freedom you want and need as a professional, a family member, as a community member, as a professional? If not, can you find ways to use your time differently, perhaps incorporating the approach espoused by the book Total Leadership (which I reviewed here) to identify activities that serve multiple domains of your life at once?
- Does your life reflect your values? If not, exercise the freedom to change.
Once you’ve asked the questions and determined your answers, make a clear plan for any necessary follow-up activity. Your professional freedom deserves determined and consistent action.