Entrepreneurship by Gary T. Hartfield

Entrepreneurship by Gary T. Hartfield

Freedom is owning the value of your own labor. —John Locke

Growing up my parents would advise me to follow the work model that they were familiar with – join a company, endure the ups and downs of a 30-year career, and then retire. But when I entered the professional arena after graduating college, I found it difficult to fall in line with this type of thinking.

I realized early in my professional career that this ordinariness never suited me. I knew my purpose was too big to fit inside of this box.

I was still a teenager when I first became a father. Shortly after my daughter was born, I realized that financial freedom would be important for my family to live the type of lifestyle I wanted them to have. I knew that in working for others I would not have control of my financial independence and I would not own the true value of my labor.

To change this, I created a vision that would allow me to fully exercise all of my skills and talents and allow me to fully own the value of my labor. I decided to create my own business.

Looking back, this decision was one of the best I have ever made. I’m now the proud owner of three businesses that are prosperous and provide well for my family. I also help my community by providing quality services and by employing dozens of people.

Now, let me add that my journey to entrepreneurial success was not a straight path. There were many challenges and quite a few hard times. I experienced setbacks so devastating that I wasn’t sure how I would recover. There were times that I questioned my ability and endurance. But I pressed forward because I believed that my PURPOSE had not brought me this far to leave me.

To get where I am today, I had to travel through what I call the three “zones” of life. It’s a journey that draws many parallels to the children of Israel in the Bible. The three zones are Egypt: The Zone of Never Enough; The Wilderness: The Zone of Just Enough; and The Promised Land: The Zone of More than Enough. I will address each of these zones individually in future posts.

It’s been my experience that you’ll go through these stages or zones on the road to entrepreneurship. It’s a requirement, this maturation process. It is not easy. It will require you to change in ways you had not imagined. After all, change stands at the heart of entrepreneurship.

But it is worth the risk. I can attest the growing pains of entrepreneurship helped shape and define me as a business leader.

For those of you who say you want to be your own boss, I have one question: are you ready for a transformation? Do you think you have what it takes to go through challenges and changes required for success?