In this post we discuss the nature of your identity and how it impacts your business. We’re going to talk about how The Freedom Principle will help guide you into a proper understanding of what the nature of your identity is, how it is formed and how to regain control over it, because what you are also going to see is how your identity can be taken over or taken from you.
The lack of knowing your center imprints itself on your business and affects the dynamics from all levels.
Identity Part 1 Audio Only
First and foremost, freedom begins in the mind. That’s why the fundamental question of The Freedom Principle is: do I own myself?
The only thing nature provides you with to survive on your own is your mind. The mind is man’s only means of survival. Its his only means of achieving significance.
A cow is born knowing who it is and how to survive. Man is not. He must use his mind to invent his means for survival.
Those of us who choose to go into business know this in a very first hand experience type of way. Your business is a reflection of who you are. The real reason behind why so many businesses fail and some do not is that most businesses are owned by people whose mind is at odds with what they think they need to do vs. what actually needs to be done.
They think of their business in terms of the trade of what their business does. They don’t stop to consider that their actual trade is the trade of business.
This is further compounded by the fact that a business has an identity, and all to often that identity passively mirrors the identity of the owner by a manner of default rather than design.
Its really as simple as this: you can usually diagnose the problems of a person based on the problems of their business, and vice versa. Once you understand the inner struggles of a person, you can more readily correct the transference of those issues in a business.
Because that’s what happens. Your issues, you the owner, your inner turmoil imprints itself into the identity of your company, unless you act to intervene, but in most cases, most business owners are completely unaware of this.
The life of the owner, and the life of the business are symbiotically linked.
Identity tends to be at the heart of most problems that people face, and the root of self-identity problems is fear. Fear of not being who you were meant to be. Fear of missing out. Fear of doing the wrong thing. Fear of hurting people. Fear of taking advantage of people, fear of upsetting people, fear of not being good enough for people. Fear of disappointment. Fear of being ashamed.
Essentially the root of all problems in life, in one way or another, is fear.
The quicker you can get to the root of fear in your life and break off the agreements you have made with that fear, the quicker you will be able to get onto the road to recovery. Because what you hold into and don’t deal with in your own life will inevitably be transferred over to your company.
What you fear in your life, you fear in business too, and your people will learn to fear it just as much as you do, and what’s worse is your business will tend to attract people with the same fears because that’s what you project.
What you fear, what you believe, will manifest itself all over the walls of your boardroom, break room, shop, service vehicle, skillet, dishwasher or whatever you have in your business. You will literally see it everywhere, especially once you know what to start looking for.
The Freedom Principle shows us that identity is an expression of the mind and that it tends to rest on three pillars: Passion, Vision, and Purpose.
And I am actually going to talk about the last of these three in this post.
Where many people tend to run into trouble is with purpose. People are obsessed with purpose in their life. Good purpose, bad purpose, right purpose, wrong purpose. You name it.
Most self-help books are oriented around endowing their readers with a greater sense of purpose, of how to live a purpose driven life.
The problem with purpose is that its subjective. If you, me, and eight other people were to sit down and analyze what Donald Trump’s or Barak Obama’s purpose in life is, we would all come up with different answers. Not one of them would be the same.
The truth is, purpose is meant to be a lesser thing in the scheme of your life because purpose is only something that a creator can provide. Whether you believe in a god or not isn’t the point. The principle still rings true. A hammer cannot make itself. Neither can you.
The reason why purpose creates such a stumbling block in people’s life is because it opens your life up in a way that that gives that purpose control over it. You essentially abdicate your identity and hand it over to purpose.
The question is, who’s purpose?
Purpose alone is not enough to sustain a satisfying, meaning-full life. No one ever did anything on their own account because of purpose. And the people who do engage in such behavior are those who are ultimately controlled by that purpose, which is to say, the purpose of other people lives through their life.
That’s not freedom.
You can’t be free while the seat of your mind, your identity, is controlled by external factors at the same time.
This really strikes home in terms of why most people choose to go into business. Many of them have a hope, built on unverified assumptions about what its like to be in business, rather than working a job for other people, and the reality sets in, turning out to be a very bitter disappointment.
In a very simple, very basic example, that is what debt is. It represents other people’s plan for your money, for your life. The bank had a vision for your life, they have an intense passion for making money, that’s why passion is the first pillar of identity. What are you passionate about? What activates you?
Now that they have identified their passion they a vision for how they are going to make money. You are the center of their vision. They see you begging them for permission to go into more debt.
So they, in turn, put a purpose on you, to your time, your money, your life by getting you to, not just willingly, but beggingly sign up to go into bondage paying them off every month for the rest of your life.
That’s what a mortgage is. It’s a death note. That’s what the “mort” part of the name means, death, and that’s what people do who get mortgages for homes, they line up and beg for a good rate, beg to drop the PMI, beg to change the debt to equity ratios, beg to change the debt to income ratios so they can go into bondage for a house, for a car, for a cell phone, for just about anything these days.
Debt is a physical manifestation of a mental condition called bondage. You don’t believe you can get the things you want any other way. So you buy into their marketing and the vision they cast for your life, you assume their purpose without even realizing it. Happens people every single day, all the time, with all kinds of things.
We accept it because we have been trained to accept. We consume because that’s the purpose that was put on your life. Isn’t that what you were told in school? You have to stay in school, get a college education so you can…what?
Get a better paying job? Why? So you can create a financial plan for your life? Start investing in a retirement account so you can quit your job with dignity and retire to live a comfortable life? Of course not.
You were taught to get the better paying job so you could spend more.
Don’t believe it? What school teaches children how to invest and save for retirement? None that I know of. There might be 1, if so, let me know and I’ll hold it up as the exception.
Now this is the way you’ve been trained to think about life and money, and you’ve brought that belief into your business. You’ve passed that belief along and it’s part of your business’ identity.
What is the underlying belief?
The belief is that money is hard to come by. In fact, people believe the line about getting a good paying job so much that they think there’s no other way for them to gain wealth than to go out on their own.
So they start their business with a vision of poverty because that’s the purpose and identity they were given in school and told to receive.
That’s why you have to be very careful with purpose. When you are accepting other people’s purpose, in a very real way, it ceases to be you who lives, and others who live through you.
Instead, real purpose, your purpose, is meant to be revealed in its proper time. Purpose is always the effect of things. Its never the cause. Meaning, it’s the result.