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By Carlos Flores, Wayra Hispam, Head of Business Development Mexico
Timothy Gallway in his book “The Inner Game of Work” manages to exemplify with the following phrase the type of thinking and motivations that can accompany an entrepreneur on his journey longing for freedom at work:
“I have embarked on the search for free work. I am not interested in the conceptual notion of freedom at work but in something more practical, I want to honor that part of me that is inherently free, regardless of the circumstances. My search is to recognize this being and allow it to express itself at work ” .
“I do not see myself with a boss”, “I want to be the owner of my time” or “in a corporate I cannot achieve my objectives” are some of the phrases that motivate entrepreneurs from different industries and different stages to start their business; They may have ideals, thoughts and temperaments different from the corporate rules and dynamics, coming to see them as restrictions and obstacles to growth.
However, it is important to consider that the more successful startups are , the market itself will become a restriction, as well as its clients, partners, team and even its environment. That is to say, despite not “existing” a corporate boss, if there are “multiple bosses to report to”, that dream of freedom sometimes begins to feel like it has not been realized.
Despite having enormous drive and optimism, entrepreneurs can feel emotional exhaustion, since the management of startups It is extremely complex due to the infinity of variables that occur both inside and outside the organization, an example of the latter are the economic and social conditions of the environment, variables that inevitably cause frequent moments of tension with their “multiple bosses”. But what to do in such a situation?
Simon Sinek in the TED talk “Golden Circle” refers to the need to ask ourselves at all times “What for?” Therefore, a recommendation is to start by answering the questions: What am I here for? Why did I found this company? Why continue with this rhythm of work?
The answers will lead to the entrepreneur’s reunion with his initial motivators and / or to find new motivators, and thus avoid making modifications without a clear sense, changes and random responses that, most likely, will not achieve the expected results, generating greater frustration.
What am I here for? Why did I found this company? / Image: Depositphotos.com
As a second step to transfer reflection to action, it is advisable to review the findings and, from the full use of individual responsibility, choose: What do I want to do with what I feel? Do I want to continue with this business? do I do to feel more “free” living with -or despite- the restrictions? What actions can lead me – in my current circumstances and under my full conviction – to continue feeling free or to regain my feeling of freedom?
It is very important to take care of social-emotional well-being, motivation and mental health , as well as the product or the finances of the company, so it is very helpful after doing an introspection, carrying out an exercise of approach and conversation with partners, people trust, a mentor, or an ally such as Wayra , the innovation arm of Telefónica Movistar, which supports startups in its regional growth.
Many people with an entrepreneurial thinking stay in their corporate work, others take different paths, such as dedicating themselves to their own project, carrying out intrapreneurship or having parallel projects. Whatever the case, it would be important to ask yourself these questions and choose the path to freedom regardless of your job position.
Whoever is responsible for choosing and is congruent with his thoughts, emotions and actions, is being totally free. Hence the invitation to seek freedom wherever you are, in the company itself, as a freelancer, in the corporate or in the startup where you work today.