Agency: Ownership and Freedom

Agency

The freedom to be happy.

Agency means that you have freedom to choose your actions and create your own destiny. This is the key to happiness. Happiness is not sitting in traffic at 9 AM, Monday morning, wondering if the torture of going back to work each week will ever end. And, it is not worrying if some gatekeeper in your life can take everything from you at any moment on a whim.

Reduce the gatekeepers.

The problem of people and organizations having power of your life in various gatekeeper positions is a difficult one. It may be impossible to fully eliminate all gatekeepers. Therefore, the best we can do is to reduce the number of gatekeepers that we allow into our lives. This is an ongoing effort.

Ownership is freedom.

Agency is possible through ownership. What does this mean? Think about where you put the majority of your efforts throughout the day, every day. Are you working on something that you own? Or, are you putting your precious time and hard work into an enterprise that belongs to someone else? I recommend that you always work towards being in a position of ownership. This should be a major theme in your life.

Why is ownership important?

It comes back to the issue of gatekeepers. If you are employed at a job, you have one or more gatekeepers in the form of employers. These people control many aspects of your life. When you wake up, when you get to return to your home, what you are allowed to do throughout the day are determined by your employer. If you rent your home or place of business, you have a gatekeeper in the form of a landlord. If you own your own company, but you pay an advertising company to get you customers, there is a gatekeeper that controls the success of your business. When you stop paying the marketer, your source of new business dries up instantly.

What if ownership is not possible?

You may be in a situation where you are in debt or you are in a contract with an employer that prevents you from starting a new company. The possibility of gaining freedom in this area may seem impossible. It is not impossible. Do not think about it in terms of quitting your job tomorrow. What you can do is to set a goal of leaving your job and starting a business. Then, make ownership the theme of your life. Any routine in your life that does not contribute towards your goal should be eliminated. Do not waste time. Make a little progress every day. It may be a year, five years, or ten years. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to make progress.

How is it possible to own your marketing?

If you own a company, you should own your marketing efforts. Do not depend on paid marketers to send you new business. You can pay for assistance in setting up your marketing mechanism, but make sure that your money and effort are directed towards your ultimate ownership of the system. You can start this process before you even start your new company. This can involve building authority in the online world in your field of business. You can create a website, write blog posts, articles, books. You can create videos. Podcasts, audio recordings and more are all possible. Answer questions, provide assistance. There may be a large effort in the beginning and it will mostly be unpaid work. It doesn’t matter. You are building your authority in your field. This is something of real and lasting value. It will be worth it in the long run.

Agency is happiness.

Some may disagree with this conclusion that happiness comes from agency. I do agree that happiness also comes from providing selfless service to others. Yet, freedom in your life is just as important. In fact, freedom in all of your affairs can make it more possible to provide service to others.

I believe that you should put your creative efforts, time and money towards building entities of business, such as online reputation and authority and intellectual property contributing to a lasting marketing system. This will ensure the longevity and value of your business which will support your freedom and happiness for many years to come.

Own What You Build

build your own

The most important thing of all.

If there is one thing that you get out of this website, it is this: own what you build. By build, I mean anything that you spend money or time on to improve your business. It seems almost obvious. Why would you do anything else?

It happens all the time.

At all stages of work, career and building a business, it is common to throw away time and money that can never be recovered. Take stock of where you currently stand and make plans to move forward. For your future success, you need to put your time, effort and money into your own creations.

What to do if you are working a job.

If you are currently working at a job as an employee or contractor, think about what you are building that belongs to you. It is possible that you are in a contract where anything you create belongs to your employer. It may be hard to separate out what belongs to you. All is not lost if you are in this situation. You can learn from a job and develop skills and experience. You can work at home on ideas and intellectual property to be developed for the future, when you are free from employer and contract.

If you are building a business.

If you are a business owner, take inventory of the areas in which you spend money, time and effort. One area that can be difficult to resolve is real estate. You may not own your building and it may not be reasonable to do so. Put this aside for now, but even your work space ownership is something to strive for eventually. Next, consider you marketing strategy. How are you reaching customers? Are you paying money to various advertising agencies? Is social media a source of customer contacts?

Be careful where you spend your time, money and effort.

Building someone else’s business. Be careful how much time and effort you put into social media. Especially personal time. These sites are designed to draw you in and take up as much of your time and mental energy as possible. That is what fuels their success. If your time and effort converts to new customer contacts, it may be worth it as part of your marketing strategy. Just keep in mind that when you use social media, you are working on a platform that does not belong to you. You are giving away your materials for free to multi-billion dollar corporations to fuel their growth.

Build your own.

In developing a marketing strategy, the best plan is to build your own platform. This can start with a simple website. Then, you need to consider driving traffic to this site. Be creative. Look for ways to do it that cost little or no money. You will also want to start a blog and contribute to it regularly. Writing a book in your field of expertise is also a great idea. All it takes is a few hundred words each day. Before you know it, you will have a busy blog and a finished book, ready to publish. Make your own videos. You don’t need a production company. Are you a musician? Record your own music. Artist? Create your own art.

Practice makes perfect.

As long as you are the owner of your creations, they have the potential to evolve in new directions and lead to new sources of business and profit. You don’t have to be the best. With practice, you will get better. And, you will own your work. As you attract customers, followers and fans, start to build a community. Consider hosting a forum. Forums can be a source of income all by themselves. When your community gets large enough, you can offer different levels of access and services.

Brainstorming.

Never stop thinking of new ways to build and promote your business. Think of ways you can grow into new areas, starting from where you are now. The important thing is to always refer back to your compass and make sure you are going in the right direction. I am talking about the compass that tells you if you are going towards building things that you own as opposed to building things that belong to other people.