The Break Free Blog

Where you are not alone in Breaking Free

Archive for October, 2010

Give Everything You Have

Oct-31-2010 By admin

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A.Edison (1847-1931)

It has taken me a while to understand this but if you are to break free and find freedom it is going to take a bit of work. Sorry, but it is.

The best way of starting is to put everything you have into that work. If you are going it alone there is only one person you can truly rely upon – yourself. You have to become self dependent in order to find freedom and the best way to persuade yourself you can break free is to put everything you can into your purpose. To become single-minded: at least initially.

A one hundred percent commitment will set up the foundations, which will help you find freedom.

Some opportunities require more work than others but the truth is you need to put some work in. The best things always require you to pay a higher price. Indeed, the more work you need to put in, the greater the feeling of success when you do break free and find freedom.

My first job (many years ago) was working in a bank. The elderly manager, Freddie Northover, once told me he would look at the car of any business owner who approached him for a loan. If the man drove a rusty old beat-up car, he would get the money. If he drove a new top-of-the-range Mercedes or similar, he would get nothing. Why? Mr Northover said he looked for the man who had already put everything into his business and had taken nothing out: this would be the business that succeeded.

Often in the world of the job you are expected to work nine to five for five days a week (or perhaps set shift patterns). In any case, you are usually only committed to the job while you are at work. In breaking free, you must do the work that is needed. Only you are responsible for your success.

Having said that, you do need to take time out to recharge and enjoy planned rewards or you will be inefficient at your work anyway, but pleasure should never be more important than your break free goal.

In any case, the drive to break free and find freedom should make work less onerous, as you can always see where you are headed. Hopefully you will have chosen work that you enjoy anyway.

This is the lesson for me this week. To find freedom, I have to give up some free time to buy it back again. It’s a strange paradox that you often have to give up what you want to win it back permanently.

Tell those close to you what you are doing and why so they understand why they cannot see so much of you for the time being. Most times they will understand that breaking free means you can spend more time with them in the long term. Some I have spoken to find their families become their greatest cheer leaders once they understand – even finding their children nag them when they slack in their discipline!

This week I will start working 12 hours a day to push for my break free goal and find freedom. I encourage you to show commitment too: it will be worth it!

You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.

Warren Beatty

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Why Why Why Delilah

Oct-28-2010 By admin


Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes.

Kenneth Hildebrand

Now we get down to the basics. You are breaking free from the job market and you want to find freedom. But what does that mean to you?

Is it important? Actually, yes I think it is. If you are going it alone you need to produce your own motivation when things get tough. You will need to have something to look to which will help you understand why you are breaking free. What it is you want.

I have found that as definite a reminder as possible works well. Once you know why you are doing this, find a brochure of get a photograph that depicts what it is you want. Perhaps a representation of the life you want, a picture of your family, a brochure of the car you want would be there for you to look at and remind you when you need it: whatever it is you want, picture it, feel it, make it as real as you can.

My reasons are complex. I am not married and have no children and there is no chance of that changing so my motivation will not include a family (although I want my parents and wider family to be proud of me, of course). My house however is quite old and needs work done so I am getting prices for the work to do now and am including the plans as my motivation in breaking free. Of course above all else I want to replace my income so I can really break free from my job and find freedom, so I am motivated by the thought of keeping away from the job market.

But my goals go further than that. I started to think ‘what if I find freedom – what then?’ I have always had loads of interests and hobbies that I had to give up in my last job so I am now looking at making more spare time from my business to enjoy friends and my interests. Stuff that money cannot always buy, but time can.

Oh, and yes, I do want that dream car (in my case a TVR Tuscan S) so I have worked it out in detail and have the brochure and photographs too. The only thing is I have not driven one yet so I must organise that.

But it is wrong to want a flash car or some other material thing, isn’t it? No, why? It gives you something to aim for and can be used in conjunction with your other goals. Let me explain. I have already decided the TVR Tuscan will be bought AFTER I have completed the house. This makes it a marker for my life, an expression of arrival at a certain point.

I guess this is a very short post on a very important subject but I am sure we will come back to it later.

In the meantime, spend some time thinking why you are breaking free, why you want to be self dependent, why you are going it alone. Maybe write it down and look at it regularly.

Tell yourself why as often as you can.

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One of the (many) challenges I have found in breaking free to find freedom is organizing my home office environment. This video has some useful tips to help.

Also this video by the freelance writer Rebecca Sato is very useful:



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In It For The Long Run

Oct-25-2010 By admin

Yesterday I posted a video by the great Brian Tracy about the importance of persistence and I thought this is such an important subject to someone breaking free to find freedom that I would continue on the subject today.

You may recall the story of Robert the Bruce sat in a cave to escape the nasty English. He watched a spider spin a web and fail time after time before finally getting it right. This inspired Robert with persistence, so much so he leapt to his feet, walked through the spiders web (thanks, mate!), out of the cave and took up the struggle to find freedom. He finally beat the English and became king of Scotland. Hurrah!

Anyway, the point is to persist.

No matter what it is you want to achieve, you will have to persist to get there. Almost without exception. You may want to break free, become self dependent, find freedom, get a better job, succeed in a relationship, walk 100 miles or whatever: they all will require persistence. Why do so many marriages end in divorce? A lack of persistence: in my opinion too many give up on a relationship when things get tough.

I believe the greater the dream, the greater the persistence needed to get there. It is never going to be easy or everyone would be doing it. It is the person with the fire, the guts that will achieve it. With enough fire, determination and persistence anything is possible.

For example, I have been trying to find freedom for over 20 years now. I’m not saying you will be the same; of course, you probably are not as dumb as me! Whenever you fail you learn a lesson but I think I made the same mistakes several times to make sure!

The truth is I still want to break free and find freedom. Go back and watch the video posted yesterday and you will realise most successful businessmen have failed many, many times before achieving their goals. The more times you fail, the sweeter it will be when you find freedom, or whatever your dream may be.

In an interview with Martyn Lewis a few years ago, the legendary racing driver Jackie Stewart put it this way:

“You can still win through determination, through staying there. If you don’t stay there trying your best, you’re never going to do it; so you’ve got to stick with it, you’ve got to persevere, you’ve got to work at it. It’s not just a case of saying, ‘I’m not going to win so, hey, who cares?’ You should never, ever give up.”

The key is to keep your eye on the ultimate destination, the big goal so the obstacles don’t seem so big.

One of my heroes, and the subject of another recent video on this site, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, knows a lot about persistence. If you are going to walk unaided across the Antarctic ice, you are going to know A LOT about persistence!

In his fascinating book, ‘Beyond The Limits,’ Sir Ranulph explains it well:

“There is never any point crying over spilt milk because in order to win at some of your big goals you are bound to lose at others along the way.”

Something I have found useful in my recent efforts to break free by going it alone is to not only make my goals, my destination clear (‘what do I want to be like, to have?’) but also to consider what is the alternative should I give up. Would I really want to go back to a job, for example?

Believe in yourself and drive at it long enough and you will achieve a life you can only imagine now. But I believe it is there, waiting for you (and me) if you push long enough and hard enough for it.

Break free and find freedom, whatever that means for you.


“Don’t be put off by all the apparent obstacles. The very act of starting the ball rolling will shift quite a few of them.”
Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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Brian Tracy On Persistence (Video)

Oct-24-2010 By admin

One thing you definitely need in breaking free from a job and going it alone is persistence.

In this video Brian Tracy talks about this with Jerry Clark.


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Enjoy Your Rewards

Oct-20-2010 By admin

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Going it alone and breaking free from your job brings it’s own challenges. I have had many. One I have found in becoming self dependent is to motivate myself.

Now, I cannot pretend I have solved this problem yet but one method I am working on in my quest to find freedom is to reward myself.

No doubt you have a good idea what is your ultimate goal (and I’m sure we will look at this at some stage) and I would guess at least part of it involves breaking free from the job market and becoming self dependent.

So you have an idea what your destination is to be but does that sometimes seem a little far away? Do you feel you could have just a little break now and it won’t make a difference? Take it from me, taking an unplanned breather can disrupt your day and you never really recover.

Oh, sure there will always be interruptions in your drive to find freedom but you need to minimize these as much as possible.

I think the answer is to reward yourself. Of course achieving a small victory is reward in itself and many will say the real reward is in the person you become as you overcome obstacles. This is all true but I am talking about giving yourself a little something you like for reaching a smaller target.

An obvious example is to have a break regularly, say every hour. This is a reward for working diligently for an hour. You will know if you deserve the reward.

But there are other ways to reward and motivate yourself as you work to break free. Look at a project and decide that on it’s completion you will have a cup of tea and relax in an easy chair. Or go for a walk or eat that chocolate bar or any small thing that to you would be a luxury.

The key however is this: DO NOT TAKE THE REWARD UNTIL YOU HAVE ACHIEVED YOUR GOAL.

This has been termed ‘delayed gratification’ by those who know. In other words, you COULD have that now but if you if wait until you have achieved a pre-determined goal the reward will feel all the more sweet.

I know at times I have gone for a walk or relaxed before I should and have felt very guilty. If you are serious about going it alone and breaking free from your job then be determined not to treat yourself until you have reached the goal and you will feel a lot better.

Oh, a note here. Make the reward appropriate to the goal. In other words, don’t reward yourself with a new Lamborghini if you have made one sale worth £20. Overspending doesn’t make you feel good!

Sure, I still get it wrong, a lot, but I can tell you rewarding yourself is much better than not doing so.

I have not been able to track down the source of this, but I know a while back an experiment was undertaken where a class of young school children arrived in class to find a bag of sweets had been left on each of their desks.

The teacher stood in front of the class and asked them not to open the sweets yet (she was brave!) but that each child could eat the sweets in front of them when she stopped talking. However, if the children wished, they could return the bag to her and a much, much larger bag would be delivered to them later.

Interestingly, every one of the children dived into the bag in front of them and not one took up her offer.

And so it is with most adults. We prefer to take our rewards now when, if we practised delayed gratification and used our pleasures as a reward to a project completed they would be infinitely sweeter.

I also remember being told of someone who was striving to break free from her job and determined not to buy a new washing machine until they had earned a set amount of money. Don’t get me wrong, the existing machine was leaking and unreliable and she could probably afford a new one but the discomfort motivated her more to achieve the goal.

Needless to say, the goal was achieved and the new machine purchased. It is interesting to note that the lady concerned, and her husband, went on to find freedom and become multi-millionaires.

In this way you (and I) can build a staircase of rewards to the ultimate goal, which may well be breaking free and becoming self dependent. But you decide what is your goal.

It may be difficult to see your ultimate goal but you can at least see the next reward and work towards that. As you move forward you can also increase the value of the rewards too. Perhaps taking an hour off or eating a bar of chocolate might increase to a day off or even a dream holiday.

It is like only seeing the horizon. You walk to that horizon and can then see the next horizon and so on.

Now you know why some companies offer their staff holidays and cars for reaching a target.

It also makes breaking free and going it alone so much more fun!

Anyway, my timer has just gone off. I have worked hard for an hour. Time for my reward…

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How To Start A Business (Video)

Oct-19-2010 By admin

Okay, you want to break free from your job and find freedom. What business could you do in going it alone?

This video might help you.


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I Second That Emotion

Oct-18-2010 By admin

A challenge you face when breaking free from a job and going it alone is to control your emotions.

I frequently have to face this as I work to break free. In a job this is not so much of a problem but it can still affect your productivity. As you become self dependent you are entirely responsible for your work rate and you do not have the distractions you might have in a job. Of course distractions are usually bad but if you are in a negative mood there is less likely to be someone to help you avoid it (unless it is your long-suffering spouse or children!).

There are negative and positive emotions, as you break free, of course, so we need to understand which are useful and which are not. This is one of the keys in your search to find freedom.

Knowing this is important in many walks of life, including competitive sport and life or death situations such as war or working in the emergency services.

Positive emotions can be put to good use. These would include the release of emotion on success: celebration, if you like. This is the release of tension after an adrenaline rush and can be seen on the faces of athletes who have just won the title or world record or gold medal or whatever is their goal. You are allowed this emotion rush when you hit success: perhaps when you find freedom, are financially free and no longer need to rely on the job market.

Go on; celebrate!

Also enthusiasm is an excellent emotion to have to help you drive forward, as is love in all its forms. Humour is always worth developing, as you break free since this will put everything in perspective.

Even aggression can have its place if directed properly. You can overcome all sorts of obstacles by pounding your fists and swearing loudly – it can vent some of the negative emotions nicely.

Okay, so what are the negative emotions that can hold one back in the pursuit of breaking free to find freedom?

Firstly, the big one and my challenge – fear. I could write for hours on this one but will spare you on this occasion. Suffice to say fear can cause procrastination and hesitation and can hold you back from breaking free.

Fear can be beaten fairly easily, as I have found out a few times. If you act confident you feel confident. Other times you can use the technique I mentioned to swear your way through fear.

But perhaps the best way is to find out all you can about the problem you face. Susan Jeffers talks about this in her book, ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.’ Most fears are totally groundless and knowledge will prove your fears to be unfounded too.

Other useless emotions you may encounter as you break free include those created by sources outside your business. Events such as the break up of a relationship or maybe the death of someone close can really destroy your bid to find freedom.

Can I give you the answer? No, not really but in my efforts to be self dependent I seem to have developed the ability to shut down some of these negative emotions and put them away. How do I do this? Well, most times I try to concentrate on what I need to do, other times I may take a break and go for a walk or even watch a funny DVD before returning to my breaking free activities.

And, again, there is the aggression factor. Punch and swear or maybe go and do some violent sport or exercise (cycling or cutting back weeds work for me).

Be aware of the emotions you face, as you break free to find freedom and be ready to deal with them.

I admire the image of the ‘quiet man.’ This is a person, in my view, who has mastered his (or her) emotions and become self dependent to the extent that nothing seems to faze them.

To me, the most confident and dependable people are the quiet ones who largely keep their emotions under control until they are needed – perhaps in celebration or in private. I admire them, as they often are happier and more successful (however you define that).

I will finish with a video showing one of the quiet men I admire most – Sir Ranulph Fiennes.


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A very useful video on how to improve your self discipline as you are going it alone to break free:


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Break Free And Lead By Example

Oct-14-2010 By admin

There are many reasons for wanting to break free and to continue breaking free, nearly all of them selfish (but nonetheless worthy). These include the need to find freedom, to set one’s own income, to avoid the unreliable job market and weak economy, to be one’s own boss, to avoid office politics, to have better control of one’s time and simply to be self dependent among others.

However there are reasons for going it alone that are perhaps not appreciated and, indeed, I have only recently realised them myself. In breaking free from a job and going it alone, you have set an example and there are many people watching you to see how well you do.

Remember studies show that the majority of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs and are looking for something else. Most of the time of course they see nothing better so stay where they are. However when you break free and find freedom, all their eyes are turned upon you.

Who knows whom you might inspire? Every one of us, and I mean every one of us, has an influence on someone else. You might not think so but believe me, you do. Even if it is that one person you said ‘Good morning’ to as you walked to the shop earlier. You may have brightened their day up and they may then treat their children better and so on. In a relationship you influence your partner in countless ways, whether through love or through indifference. Your children will certainly respond to you and indeed emulate you.

There are literally billions of influencing words and actions made every day and the recipients will have their lives altered in some way. You will have provided many of them.

It’s worth thinking about. It gives you huge responsibilities. Take care.

Anyway, getting back to breaking free, all your family, friends and acquaintances will be influenced by what you do. If you are successful and you find freedom and become self dependent, there will be a proportion that will consider doing the same thing. If you screw up and return to a job (hopefully not) then you may shatter not only your dreams but also those of many the people around you.

There will be those who criticize you but be under no illusions they are also secretly hoping you do well.

It takes just one light to pierce the darkness. One success will bring hope to others.

Be sure you know the importance of your situation: you have the ability to create hope and change lives as you break free.

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)

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