Freedom of Choice
To honor American independence and July 4, CircleAround is collaborating all month long with NAWBO (the National Association of Women Business Owners) in a series of posts exploring the following prompt: "What do liberty and independence mean to me as a woman business owner and female entrepreneur?"
Freedom of choice is at the foundation of my daily life. A few years ago, I had the privilege of watching that choice in action during commissioning day at the U.S. Military Academy. Initially, my focus was dedicated to my son’s ceremony, but as we packed up to leave, I saw the same ceremony being repeated all over the post. Hundreds of families gathered in small groups, each holding a flag, to witness their sons and daughters commit themselves to protect and defend our freedom. I realized there was a common thread that day: choice. Those young men and women made the choice to raise their right hands and serve. They made the choice to protect our freedom. That very freedom that gives me the opportunity to succeed or fail.
"It means I could choose to be a business owner. I could choose a path to shape the future for my family and my business."
It means I could choose to be a business owner. I could choose a path to shape the future for my family and my business. Freedom of choice fosters an environment that allows my business to focus on creativity and curiosity. It creates the opportunity to look at an issue and craft a solution unencumbered by layers of management, bureaucracy, or committees. Ten years into this adventure, I appreciate that each day I have the freedom to decide what to do next. It is my hope that most of those decisions improve a few lives along the way.
I have a small ritual at the end of every day: Before I lock the door, I survey the office and give a silent nod to the space to honor the fact that I get to do it all again the next day. And the best part? I have the freedom to choose who joins me on the journey.
This post is part of a series produced by CircleAround and NAWBO. Founded in 1975, NAWBO is the unified voice of over 10 million women-owned businesses in the United States.
Margaret Strong is co-owner of Afineol IT Consulting, an IT-managed service provider based in Sacramento, California.