I was at a networking meeting the other day and I asked people what made them set up a business in the first place and what do they enjoy most about being self employed.
Almost to a woman they said “being my own boss” ” in control of my own destiny” – in other words, autonomy.
Autonomy or a sense of control over our lives is a key motivator in our lives. More so than money ( whose benefit can be short lived or even detrimental to performance), more so that the carrot or stick which are all external and often do not work.
Think about why you do your therapy business… would you do it whether you were paid or not? If so you have an internal motivator that will carry you through and make work engaging and interesting to you.
In the excellent, interesting, accessible book ” Drive” by Daniel Pink he states that in a workplace ( or indeed in our outside lives) there are different areas where we can have autonomy and be self directed:
Autonomy of Task… where we can control what we do
Autonomy of Time… where we can chose when we work (as a single mother I like to time shift for example so I can work in the evening when my daughter is bed and am available to her to chat and talk about her day when she comes home from school).
Autonomy of Technique… that is where you can decide how you go about your task
Autonomy of Team… with whom we work.
Businesses that give their staff autonomy outperform their competitors.
In the book Pink cites businesses that give workers 20% time ( Google being the most well known) where people can work on their own projects, with whom they like and deliver results. Through these projects completely new features have been added to the portfolio of products on offer ( for example gmail).
Autonomy not just leads to additional motivation and performance it also builds loyalty and job satisfaction. Even if you do not have staff there are areas where you can make sure that you do the area of the job you really like to do on one day a week, or maybe one afternoon a week.
How can you give yourself more autonomy about what you do?
Pink states that even in a hospital environment surgeons were permitted to spend half a day a week doing the part of the work they like best and reported a large increase in job satisfaction and job related illness.
What can you outsource?
If there are parts of the job you absolutely detest ( and I know for many that is doing the bookkeeping) what can you do to outsource that part so it can free you up to do the parts of the job that you love.
To get a copy of the excellent book, ” Drive” by Daniel Pink click on this link here.