Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why we strike out on our own.

Yes, I am pissed off! (But it was several years ago.)

We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. William E. Gladstone

I won't, for a moment, suggest that I know why solopreneurs strike out on their own.  I will posit however that for some of us it comes down to a simple question of how we handle authority.

It was always a core belief of mine that to accept accountability in the absence of authority was a mug's game.  It still is for that matter and it's at least one of the reasons why I do what I do.  The picture above was taken a few years ago while I was visiting London, UK and while I was employed by one of Canada's larger design firms.  This shot was taken just moments after I foolishly answered a phone call while sitting Thames-side enjoying a pint of bitter with good friends.  The call revolved around my being held accountable for a program for which I had absolutely zero authority and this was a tipping point for me.  Within months of this photo being taken, I launched Grace Hanna Inc. and said so long, farewell to the corporate world - at least as an employee.

Since that day, there have been moments when I was almost as pissed off but never as a result of actions and outcomes over which I had no influence.  

Taking ownership of your outcomes is an empowering act.  Can it result in sleepless nights?  Can it bring about the 3:00 a.m. yips?  Of course.  If we don't occasionally experience those moments of discomfort it occurs to me that we're just not trying hard enough.

But, at the very least, we are not engaged in a mindless pursuit of power for the sake of power and that is why I so love this quote from Gladstone.  We can find peace as we operate our own businesses and at the end of the day our accountability is ultimately to our selves.  

At least, that's what I think.

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