I was reading a post Polly Labarre wrote on the Mavericks at Work Blog. She said the NY Times ran an article about a law firm that's created a "Happiness Committee" to help brighten the day of the lawyers they have on staff. They go around handing out candy apples and milk shakes. Polly says that this is all well and good, but she goes on to say that...
...I’m not sure yummy snacks can combat a 20% rate of depression and the annual mass exodus of burned-out associates.
She also spoke to the fact that we need to make a shift from the old way of thinking about work, to a new way...
Old version: work hard (for a very long time), achieve success, earn freedom (to retire and do all the things you missed out on while you were working)
New version: find work that affords you freedom = success (Click here to read Polly's complete post)
This got me thinking about sharpening! The greatest thing about this business is the freedom it affords. The worst thing about this business is the obsession it can cause. Don't design your sharpening business to fit the old mold, design it to fit the new mold! If you find yourself down because your sharpening business is controlling your life, take back the control. If you don't enjoy sharpening for the customers you have now, look at reaching out to new industries that could use your service. If you want to make more money, look for new products you can sell that will increase your income without adding more sharpening to your day. Both of these will help to "mix" your day up a little and make it more fun.
You've heard me use the "F" word many times at meetings. Freedom! By starting your sharpening business, you've taken the first step in the direction of the "New Version" of work. You have the freedom, now what will you do with it?
The Image above is of the Magna Carta, one of the earliest documents limiting sovereign authority over commerce.