Hey friends, it’s Marie here jumping on this lovely summer day to talk to you about Juneteenth and freedom. As you may notice we’re still in June. I think oftentimes when people talk about freedom, they associate it with the 4th of July. But freedom doesn’t always look like what you think it does, right?
I think this really applies to folks who are considering or trying to jump into entrepreneurship and you’re probably thinking, “oh, you know, I’m gonna start my own business, I’m gonna have so much freedom. I’m going to have freedom of time and all of these wonderful things that come with having my own business.” So they say, but freedom doesn’t always look like what we think it does. Case in point, it’s the end of June. Those who follow along on the blog or on Facebook knew that the month of June has been dedicated to a midyear checkup on how your business is doing.
We’ve talked about checking in on your finances in a number of different ways. Including checking in on your service delivery rate, how you’re doing with clients and following up with them. We’ve talked about checking in on your mission and your vision, but today I want you to really check in on how you’re doing with your freedom, with your time freedom.
Do you know what is Juneteenth?
This topic came to me the other day because, it is June and last weekend there were a lot of Juneteenth accelerations in my area, I’m in New York and Brooklyn and in Harlem. There was a lot going on, parades and block parties and the people out and about and in the street. If you’re not in a really active black or brown community, then you may not even have ever heard of Juneteenth. My sister-in-law had posted something about it on her Facebook page and told people, you know, “Get off of Facebook long enough to go and Google this and educate yourself.” And because people don’t do those kinds of things so she even dropped a link so people could read up about Juneteenth.
Contrary to popular belief, the emancipation proclamation did not free the slaves. So July 4th isn’t the day that most Americans gained any type of independence from anybody. If you’re someone like me, whose parents come from the Caribbean or really any immigrant family, then a lot of these American holidays that come up and speak about freedom don’t really apply to you, right? That’s not where your freedom originates or comes from. But Juneteenth kind of struck me, one, because it’s current – we’re in the month of June. It comes around every year. It’s still not a national holiday. Most kids are still in school. And so it always just kind of gets bumped to the nearest weekend for people to celebrate.
The History of Juneteenth
But why is it that it’s 2019 and most people still don’t even know that this date in history exists? People still don’t even acknowledge the lack of freedom that this holiday represents. How are we examining and understanding where our freedom comes from and how we source and tap into that and what does that even mean? I mean, even when the word did finally to get to Galveston in Texas, that the slaves had been freed. As of that moment, the slave holders were now going to be in an employee-employer relationship with their former slaves. That was the arrangement. And so some of the slaves immediately fled. We’re like, “Great, we’re free, we’re out of here. We’re going to head north, we’re going to create our own lives, we’re gonna do all these things.”
But why did some of them stick around??
And others stuck around waiting to see what the new employers were willing to offer them. Can you imagine? I’m having a hard time imagining it. Like, you’ve been a slave for your whole life or a good part of your life, and someone tells you that you’re free, you’re no longer beholden to this person or this place. And you say, “I think I’m just going to hang out and see how it goes.” Like, if that’s not the epitome of scarcity mindset leading from fear, I don’t know what it is. And I would like to think that if I were one of those slaves on the plantation around that first Juneteenth, that I would have been one of the ones who are like, “Bump this, let’s go out and make some magic happen. We’re out. This wasn’t working for me. I’m going to go find something else.”
But that’s not what a lot of them did. They didn’t know what was out there. And so they stayed. So it’s interesting because all of us in our careers always have access to freedom. We always have the ability to walk away and create something else. But when given that opportunity, more often than not, a lot of us let the fear sink in and say, “Well, let me just stay right where I am a little bit longer and see if anything changes.”
But if nothing changes, then nothing changes.
The change you’re looking for in your career and in your business, that has to come from you. But when is that breaking point? When do you declare your own independence and finally start creating those things that will make you free?
What does Freedom really mean, for an entrepreneur?
Now I’m a business owner, I’m an entrepreneur. My life is kinda great. It’s something I take for granted now because this is my day-to-day. You’ll see today I’m broadcasting to you from a different location. I am in lovely New Jersey. I’m hanging out with the in-laws today. We’re grilling up some burgers and spending some time with my niece and nephew. Kids are running around. Life is fantastic.
I know not a lot of people have this life. I forget sometimes because I meet people and they ask me what I do and I say, “Oh, I work for myself. I’m a coach.” And they say, “Oh, I’ve heard of that. I know someone who’s a coach. I thought about blah, blah, blah.” Then when we get into it and they say, “oh, where do you work?” I’m like, “Well, mostly from my house, other times from office space, other times I go to a couple of coffee shops that I like, but I do whatever I want and my schedule is whatever I want and the money I make is also whatever I want and whatever I create it to be.” And that’s freedom.
Freedom is not being without responsibility. Freedom is taking full responsibility for what you want to create, do and be in the world, which is scary, right? Which is why after being a slave your whole life, someone offers you freedom, you might just not move very quickly.
But I would like to think that if you’re watching this video, that’s something that you’re cognizant of and something that you’re trying to address in your life.
How do you define your freedom? How do you go out and get your freedom?
Because I guarantee you, you deserve it. I guarantee you, you have access to it.
And I guarantee you that if you stick around and are waiting for the status quo to change something, someone will be waiting there, completely willing to take advantage of your gifts and talents. So in other words, shit or get off the pot. But also I challenge you to really think about what does freedom mean for you and in your business? I get it. Being a business person is hard. Running your own thing, being responsible for all the things is hard and scary. But it’s also a way that you get to level-up and step into who you were meant to be and show yourself and the rest of the world what you’re capable of. And you don’t do that by sticking around with the master.
You do that by taking your destiny into your own hands. If you’re finding yourself stagnating in your business, if you’re finding yourself not hitting your goals, not moving forward, then I would really like to compel you to reassess what freedom means to you. It doesn’t have to be entrepreneurship. I would say at the very least, it probably is intrapreneurship right? You could still work for someone else, but be fully accountable and responsible for how your talents are going to be used and the results that you create. But waiting around for someone to tell you what to do or to give you what you want just seems silly.
What does Freedom mean to you? And your business?
In the spirit of the original Juneteenth, I want to wish all of you a Happy Independence Day! And I hope that you really do take that to heart. All Right, friends, do let me know your thoughts on independence. Are you a July 4th celebrator? Do you hang out for the Juneteenth business? Even your thoughts on the emancipation proclamation or just entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, where do you ride on that journey? I’m very curious about your thoughts. How does this play into your career path? And do you have as much freedom as you aspire to? And if not, what are you doing about it?