How to Find Your Own Independence Day

image of American Flag

If you’re in the U.S., you’re probably taking today off — it’s our Independence Day.

So when you get back to work, will it be awesome or … not so much?

Will you be using your best gifts? Doing work that energizes you?

Are you proud of what you do every day? Or do you dream of doing something much bigger, much better, much more meaningful?

If your daily work and business life isn’t reaching “awesome” yet, there’s one thing you have to do in order to find that satisfaction and independence you’re looking for …

Start treating your business like a business.

Stop apologizing and shuffling when people ask you what you do — tell them loud and clear.

Stop agonizing over spending small amounts of money on necessary tools for your business, when the cost doesn’t come close to your monthly Starbucks tab.

Stop pretending you won’t have to learn how to sell. You’ll have to learn how to sell.

Stop telling yourself you’re going to start taking it seriously some day.

This is your life. Every minute you waste is a minute you can’t ever get back again.

I don’t care if you run a multi-million dollar software company or you sell a few copies of your ebook every month.

You are a business owner. Own it.

Start treating your business like a business and it will start to grow and flourish. That’s how you’ll create the independence you deserve.

Happy Independence Day!

picture credit: Hugh

About the author

Sonia Simone


Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

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Comments

  1. Thanks Sonia,

    I needed that extra kick in the pants today. I have definitely been too passive about actually turning my business into a real business, and my progress has definitely been hindered by that. Happy 4th!

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking too :-) Short, sweet and to the pointed boot.

      Thank you, Sonia. I’m printing it out & will read it twice a day until I firmly say This is what I do, and then do it.

      • Brock, and Lara – completely agree and yes, every minute is one we won’t get back so let’s use it wisely :-)

        • Great tips, I have printed off about 40 of your articles and have read them all. Thanks

    • For me it was the fear of telling people what I do as my side business. In the day I am medical professional but in the night I am trying to make a website that help can people in my industry. For the longest I did not speak about my website to people. I just dint have the courage and will to answer their question. When I started asking some revenue from it I gathered some courage to speak to other ultrasound techs I know, this really helped me. I was mainly getting visitors from search before but now I also get some direct visitors by word of mouth.

  2. Love the article. Sometimes we need to get a hold of our values and see where we can get further.

    Many just like the stay at the same place, where they are.

  3. Now, this is the wake up call I need on such a fabulous day and thanks for sharing it: “..This is your life. Every minute you waste is a minute you can’t ever get back again.” I believe in the end, we’re all in the business of finding freedom.. as in financial freedom. Happy Independence!

  4. What an affirmative message! Happy 4th!

  5. Thanks for this inspirational post!

    You’re right, we need to treat our businesses like businesses, especially those of us who own freelance writing businesses. Learn how to say “No, thank you” to writing projects. Set your fees and stand by them but also know when you need to negotiate, know how to negotiate. If an editor rejects your query letter, send it to another editor. And yes, learning how to sell is necessary. Get over the fear of sales and marketing. You can do it. :)

  6. By the way, excellent graphic, Hugh! Happy 4th!
    Sonia, thanks for the link!

  7. You are so right Sonia. I have to stop treating my businesses as my hobby. Maybe I can charge more money if my web design clients see me operate as a businesses. Just because I do what I love does not mean that I should get paid less for it!

  8. That is something I’ve been needing to hear for a very long time. When people ask me about my business, I tend to change the subject quickly or make a joke of it, like I don’t want them to know that I am trying to get a website business off the ground.

    After reading this, it’s given me the kick in the ass that I’ve needed. Time to man up and get a handle on this.

    I’ve now added a ‘Stop Apologising and Pretending – Own It!’ notice to my notice board.

    Time to get my own independance day!

  9. I love it :-) Yes, I DO sell a few copies of our ebook every month. So yes, I *am* a business owner!

    Thanks for the kick in the mental pants Sonia. Happy 4th!

  10. Amen!

  11. I guess I am the only one who took acception to your message. I guess since it was received on the 4th of July you feel that you are the only one working. I would tell you what I think you can do with your message but then it would not reflect well on me would it?

    • I’m sure you’re not the only one to take exception to it, and you’re welcome to disagree with me. :)

    • You’ve not understood her messagge at all.
      She wasn’t implying that you shouldn’t take days off like the 4th of July and saying she was the only one working, she was saying that you should stop pretending to work at a business and instead be proud that you re business and work hard at it, tell people and work hard for it. Some people are embaressed to tell their friends what they want to do as they lack confidence.
      It wasn’t a personal attack at people who were celebrating or taking the day off.
      It was her words to spur you on and make a real business and stop playing at it and then you can be independant of working and choose when and what you do and when you work rather than be controlled by work.

  12. Thanks Sonia, loved the article. I sometimes treat my business like some sort of thing that I don’t feel like I have enough credibility to, so a lot of what I do depends on me convincing people I know what I’m doing. Know what I mean?

  13. Reminds me of the original ones who signed the Declaration of Independence. They weren’t afraid to take a chance. Great writing from Sonia Simone, of course.

  14. Love it – shared it! Happy 4th everyone!

  15. Thank you, Sonia! This is just what I needed to hear today. It’s like you’re speaking to me. :) Happy 4th!

  16. I love this one! Sonia speaks the truth that if you want to feel successful in business, you need to act that way. Happy 4th of July all!

  17. Sonia, I enjoyed your mini-sermon. I’m just glad electricians, carpenters, brick masons, and welders don’t require this kind of jousting to show to the job come bright and early July 5. How many shelters we use everyday would never be built if they they did? Let Freedom Ring.

  18. This is one those things that create that “Aha!” moment for us. I definitely say “Yes!” to independence – in every aspect of my life, most specially for my business ideas.

  19. Sonia – great article!

    Being from the UK, the independance day aspect isn’t as relevant, but the message of “treating your business like a business” rings clear. There comes a point in any business where this needs to become a reality if success is the desired outcome.

  20. “You are a business owner. Own it.” OK, I needed that.

    • you did? but if you own a business that means you provide value and people pay you for it right? What else is there to “own” about that?

  21. “Stop telling yourself you’re going to start taking it seriously some day.
    This is your life. Every minute you waste is a minute you can’t ever get back again.”

    Very well said, when I was reading the above sentences I suddenly felt like I was in a room where you were speaking, I even stood up. You have just made me realise why Chatterclub has not been growing, it is not growing because I have been telling myself that one I would focus more on it.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  22. Sonia,
    This is an amazing article. Thank you so much for writing it. I think we all need a push to be clear about what our objectives are.
    Storm

  23. Sonia,

    Your writing inspires me to be more than I believed I ever could. Thanks.

  24. I really enjoyed this post. As it happens, I was in France on July 4 giving a social media training (in French!). It was a great experience and I thought to myself how wonderful it is that I love what I do. I appreciate the reminder to stop sweating the small stuff and focus on creating products and services of which I can be proud!

  25. Inspiring as hell! And totally true, I can attest. I really love the comparison of expenditures to my Starbucks bill, ha!

  26. Glad to see you all are charged for victory! Do epic stuff. :)

  27. Create article, and there’s so much truth in it. I see way to many people who treat it like a hobby yet expect business like results. You don’t have to work 24 hours of the day to make this happen. You just need to dedicate yourself, and stop wasting time. You can do a hell of a lot in 3 hours, strategize and plan and you’re much more likely to start seeing the results you desire.

  28. Thank you for that adrenaline rush…needed that! Great use of butt in chair advice.

  29. I created my Independence Day in Aug 2003. Not exactly sure of the actual day!

  30. I’m still working on my Independence Day. Ive learned so much from you, Sonia and Jon about writing and bettering myself.

  31. This reminds me Sonia of the classic quote in “Spider Man”….”With great freedom comes great responsibility.”

    Independence comes if you work to gain freedom. This means spending hours of your life working intelligently, toward a freeing end.

    Then it means working more, and more….lol…..I live in Costa Rica now and have traveled the world for 2 years running because I made being free a priority.

    I did what it took – 12, 15 hour days at times – to be free.

    If you work a business, work your business. View your online venture as if you ran a corner store: 7 days a week, 6 or more hours a day.

    Persist for months, or even years and you too will become independent.

    Thanks Sonia!

    Ryan

  32. Thanks.

  33. The American Colonial Army was outgunned and out-manned, yet they were undeterred. Through changing their tactics to best suit the conditions, self sacrifice, and sheer force of will they were able to Adapt, Improvise and Overcome! Your business deserves the same from you.

  34. Wow, lots of comments about this post. Seems like you really touched on some things people needed to hear today. I think this message is relevant any day of the year and for anyone in the world. Just because you posted it today which is the day that Americans celebrate their independence as a nation should not offend people, nor should it confuse the fact that this is good advice for anyone in business.

    Andrew @ Massiv3.com

  35. Very motivational message. Independence is something that has to be earned and requires continuous effort to hold on to. Whether it’s a young person striking out on their own for the first time, or a new business venture trying to get off the ground, this is a good reminder of how important it is to renew your focus and commitment on a regular basis.

  36. Sonia,

    Excellent post, and extremely inspirational. Nothing else to really say, other than great work, and a great way to kick of the 4th of July!

    Jake Johnson

  37. J.M. Stickney :

    Amen! Happy 4th of July!

  38. Thanks Sonia. I love your way with words. You spur me to action, yet I’m smiling about it the whole time.
    Hope you have a great day!

  39. My needed motivation for the day! Things that all business owners already know, but continue to disregard, like the worrying about small spending and splurging on Starbucks drinks.

  40. Thanks for cheering us on. So agree, it’s time to own all that we are, all that we’ve worked for, our gifts, our talents, our skills, and offer them to a world that needs them, needs us. When we’re on our own, independent, self-doubt can creep in and we can undervalue ourselves. And as you say, hesitate to invest a little…even though we’ll get that $4+ Starbucks. Nothing wrong with that, but if we put a little aside each day for re-investment into personal/professional growth, classes, tools, it would be well worth it!
    Thanks…Oh and I am actually a July 4th baby, but definitely no longer a baby!

  41. Murray Johnston :

    Sonia,
    Nice Post. However, you just guilted me into going back to working on my copyblogger Authority work.
    By the way, at fist glance I thought that was another Neil Armstrong picture … talk about a big step, that was on July 20th 1969 … 44 years ago … with much of the work being done using slide rules.

    But back to you … thanks for making Independence Day a little more special.
    Murray

  42. Archan Mehta :

    Sonia,

    I don’t see how anybody could actually take offence to your message here, but again that is only my humble opinion.

    I think you are merely being optimistic and hopeful here on. the 4th of July and encouraging others to become independent and autonomous in their lives. And there is nothing wrong about such a call to action, to be sure.

    Despite the odds, we must keep on moving forward and remember that setbacks are only temporary. We must persist in our efforts anyway.

    It has been a pleasure to read your work and thanks for your contribution here: your post is relevant and appropriate and gives one the necessary shot in the arm.

    We all need to take more responsibility for our lives instead of just doing a job and being blown away by the winds.

    This post made me feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Your sense of hope and optimism makes our days seem brighter and shinier.

    Cheers.

  43. Great article it really helped me!

  44. Thanks for the awesome post. Short and powerful.

    Own it…

    These 2 words go far beyond the simple act of ownership. The meaning extends to owning up to the responsibility of ownership.

    Whether you own a home or a business, there is great responsibility that comes along with the potential for great rewards.

    Respectfully,

    Chris

    P.S. I just got the urge to watch Pursuit of Happyness again.