The Ultimate Guide to Building Practice Freedom

Guilt-Free Time Off | Sustainable Growth | Trusted Team

happy owner

If you’re an ambitious professional in the legal, architecture, engineering, or healthcare fields who owns their business and wants to take it to the next level, but feels stuck or overwhelmed, you’re not alone.

Many successful professionals struggle with finding a balance between achieving their goals and avoiding burn out.

The more you work, the more money you make, which is great financially, but it can wreak havoc with the rest of your life.

It also creates a trap where you’re so busy and over-committed that you can’t quit, can’t take time off, and can’t even find a minute to think.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

This guide will show you the 9 steps you need to take to create the practice of your dreams.

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Table of Contents

9 steps to practice freedom

Clarity. Capacity. Command.
The 3 Cornerstones of Practice Freedom

clarity

When you have Clarity:

  • You know where you're going, how you're going to get there, and what you need to DO next
  • Your work has meaning and you're excited about your business and your goals
  • You find it easy to make (good) choices
  • You understand your financial numbers and use them to make sound decisions
capacity

Capacity looks like this:

  • You feel like your practice has room to grow - you can welcome new business, feeling confident that your systems and team can handle it
  • You have great systems and tech in place so that you feel organized and things run efficiently
  • You have a high-performance team in place that can not only run the place without you - they're actively engaged in helping you make your business better
command

Command looks like this:

  • You feel confident and in control of both your business and your life
  • Your business no longer takes over your life - you feel comfortable setting boundaries
  • You support and mentor your team, challenging them and providing feedback to help them grow
  • You've found the "productive pressure zone" where you accomplish a lot without burning yourself out
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vision

When you can clearly and concisely articulate your company's vision, mission, goals, and objectives – you are able to stay focused and lead your team to understand and act on your plans.

Visualizing your goals can also be very motivating! It makes the effort and hard work required to achieve them more worthwhile.

  • Start with yourself - complete a values exercise, energy audit, and strengths assessment
  • Consider your Quality Time Remaining: how do you want to spend it?
  • VET your goals before you set them by ensuring that they align with your Values, Energy, and Talent
  • Develop an inspiring 3-year vision
  • Articulate your mission, vision, and values to keep everyone on the same page. These also create "guardrails" to make decision-making easier.
  • Activate your Reticular Activating System (RAS) to help you get what you want
  • Reclaim "Day 1 Energy" - the feeling you had when you started your business
2

Reverse-engineering means you start with where you want to go and design your roadmap working backwards from that point.

Planning this way keeps you focused on the end result and makes it more likely you will get there.

  • Begin with the end in mind - get clear about where you're going (your vision) and develop a plan to take you there
  • Consider your eventual exit from your business: what happens to the company? Who will succeed you? What's your plan for retirement?
  • Take financial snapshots of both your business and your personal life. This will give you context as you make assumptions about the future.
    • Business: Compile and review your Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet for the past 2-3 years
    • Personal: what does it cost for you to live comfortably? What does Financial Independence look like to you?
  • Set milestones at 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, quarterly, weekly. Get granular to take the guesswork out of what you need to do next to accelerate your progress.
  • Develop a future timeline spreadsheet to map out various anticipated personal milestones against your business targets.
  • Keep your plans agile: we can't predict the future, so expect that you'll need to adjust your plan over time
Productive Pressure Roadmap Image
3
dashboards

As Peter Drucker famously said: "You can't manage what you don't measure."

Measure and monitor what you want to manage. A great dashboard gives you the information you need to make solid business decisions.

Your dashboard should be simple. Only track what you need to.

A good management dashboard will track both leading and trailing indicators.

  • Trailing indicators tell you what has already happened. You can think of these as the rear-view mirror.
  • Leading indicators predict what will happen in the future. These allow you to measure your progress in real time.
  • Pick your KPIs/OKRs/metrics and assign accountability for tracking and meeting them.
  • Choose & implement a method for tracking that is easy to use and share across your team (app/spreadsheet).

As you build your dashboards, remember: "garbage in leads to garbage out" - what you track needs to be accurate.

4

Your goal in developing a high performing team is to make yourself replaceable.

This will allow you to take time off and make your business more valuable in case you want to sell it in the future.

To do this successfully:

  • Make sure the right people are in the right roles.
  • Hire for cultural fit - you can train for skills!
  • Share the vision - clearly and often
  • Know your currency (and the currency of those around you)
  • Take Dan Pink's advice and motivate people with autonomy, mastery, and purpose
  • Cross-train wherever possible
  • Learn how to delegate, automate, & eliminate tasks and teach your team to do the same.
team
5
systems

Systems provide a scaffold for how your business is run.

They provide efficiencies, increase productivity, and make it easier to train new people.

The key to developing sustainable systems is to keep them simple.

  • Identify which areas to focus on and then improve those first
  • Simplify workflows as much as possible
  • Implement the right tech to improve your productivity (instead of hinder it)
  • Develop SOPs (standard operating procedures) for technology, sales, marketing, HR, compliance - and any other "departments" that are relevant to your business
  • Create checklists - refer to Atul Gawande's "The Checklist Manifesto" if you need convincing!
  • Plan for the "Fall Down Factor" - have contingency plans in place for unexpected events like sudden staff departures
  • Ensure that you have shareholder and operating agreements in place
6

Collaboration: working together to achieve a common outcome is good.

Synergy: when 2 or more people develop something better as a whole is magic.

The key to synergistic collaboration is transparent communication.

  • Promote knowledge sharing & debate - and learn to resolve conflicts professionally.
  • Use communication methods that are as seamless as possible - tech should support communication, not create barriers
  • Hold fewer meetings, but make them count! Make meetings something everyone looks forward to
  • Nurture camaraderie and build emotional intelligence
  • Develop a culture of mentorship - it benefits both the mentee & the mentor
  • Implement flexible approaches to scheduling and working. Give your team as much autonomy as possible when it comes to how , when, and where they work
synergy
7
leader

When you become a better leader, EVERYTHING gets better in your business.

Yesterday’s leadership won’t work for today’s professionals. The old-fashioned hierarchy is broken.

Badass leadership starts with leading by example.

  • Find your zone of genius and prioritize activities that let you hang out there
  • Demonstrate personal leadership by cultivating your own self-awareness, habits, and routines
  • Schedule thinking time!
  • Convene a personal board of directors
  • Gift your staff with responsibility. Let them contribute meaningfully - give them purpose & agency
  • Become a coach for your team - help them develop their skills. Recognize leadership potential and groom future leaders to take on more responsibility so they can grow with the company
  • Flip the hierarchy from being the person who “tells everyone what to do” and “has the answers for everything” and “shoulders ALL the responsibility” – to the person who focuses on supporting others so they can bring their "A" game.

This creates a winning situation for everyone. Your team grows and thrives and becomes more capable. You get to set down the burden of carrying all the responsibility

8

Balance is unrealistic. Integration of your work, your life, and your self is a more holistic approach

Business and home are both LIFE. They should support each other.

  • Complete the Wheel of Life exercise to get a picture of how satisfied you are right now with the various areas of your life.
  • Rethink the way you allocate your time and energy
  • Separate your identity from your role (you are not your business!)
  • Curate your inputs to maintain the "golden ratio" of positivity.
  • Prioritize making a life, not a living
  • Take real days off and real vacations - practice being unavailable
integration
9
productive

Productive pressure is just enough to ensure great performance without tipping over the edge into stress and overwhelm.

A healthy amount of stress is good for you!

The sweet spot is in the middle: sufficient pressure to crush your big goals - but not too much so you avoid burning out.

  • Appreciate the beauty of constraints & leverage them to make decisions easier
  • Make a "not going to do" list - if it's not a "Hell Yes!" it's a NO (or at least a "no for now")
  • Embrace the magic of sprints
  • Learn techniques to maintain focus & achieve flow.
  • Use time-blocking, Pomodoros, and build guardrails to create a schedule that supports your goals.
  • Reframe stress & pressure as an opportunity to make choices.
  • Prioritize mental fitness, not more resilience (you're already too resilient!).
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Ready To Ditch The Grind And Get Your Business Working FOR You? Let’s Talk!

Your first step is to book a complimentary and confidential Freedom Session.

Together, we’ll take a look at where you are now, where you want to go, and what needs to happen to get you there.

If it feels like a fit of both of us, we can discuss options for working together.

Dawn helped me develop a strategy and put operational components in place so that my business runs better

quotes

As a solo business owner, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with “all the hats I need to wear” & all the things I need to do. I feel like I have a lot of balls in the air, & I mostly just put my head down & work hard to avoid dropping any of them!

Dawn helped me develop a strategy and put operational components in place so that my business runs better.

By having a regular meeting with Dawn, I mad a lot of progress. We got into a rhythm of working together.

  • We’d review what happened over the previous week.
  • She’d help me brainstorm ideas and possibilities for what should happen next.
  • We’d consider the options and choose the right steps for ME.
  • She’d provide my path for the week; tasks I could complete or people I should connect with - along with tools or documents to help me execute.
  • We’d consider the options and choose the right steps for ME.

Dawn brought structure and an organized process. She would crystallize, distill and organize. I would execute. Each week’s work dove-tailed into the next and together we made progress quickly.
And yet, it want’s a cookie cutter program. Everything we did was customized to me and my business. She has a great deal of sensitivity to who she’s working with - she knows just the right resources and techniques to support me.
Dawn is authentic and genuine. She puts her heart and soul into her work.
I feel lucky to have the chance to work with her. If I could, I’d have her working alongside me everyday. She brings positive energy, reminds me of what I’m doing well, and generally creates a warm, encouraging, and safe environment that I can’t help but thrive in. I feel stronger with Dawn by my side.

Miriam Rainville, Rainville Design Studio

Read Additional Testimonials here : Testimonials for Dawn Bloomer