Before I get to today’s essay — have you given your feedback yet?
I sent you a note this morning, asking you to help me help you. I’ve put together a short (couple minutes) online feedback form.
I want to know how I can make what I do more useful, helpful, and impactful for you.
Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming…
The vast majority of “entrepreneurs” are not actually business-builders…
For evidence, all you have to do is look to the Small Business Administration stats.
In America, 78.5% of all businesses are considered to be non-employers. That is, they may have the legal structure of a business, but the only person working in the business is the owner.
That means out of the 27.1 million businesses in America today, less than 6 million actually have any employees!
Furthermore, most small businesses that have employees also require the owner to show up on a daily basis for the business to function.
And in fact, many business owners are doing the exact same work they were doing for someone else before they started their own biz…
Just think… The car mechanic who couldn’t stand his boss, so he quit to open his own shop. The chef who didn’t like her employer’s restraint on her creativity, who opened up her own restaurant. The software engineer who wanted to make her own apps, so she started a software biz on the side. The copywriter who couldn’t stand the 9-to-5 grind, so he launched a freelance business.
The list could go on. Online, offline. Craftspeople who wanted more control over how they plied their trade. And so they launched a business simply so they could write their own rules.
Then, they went to work.
And before long, they were doing the same things they did for their old boss. And that part — the independence — gave them some satisfaction. But then they realized everything else that comes with running a business. Bookkeeping. Marketing. Management.
It really leads to doing TWO jobs. The job they wanted to do without a boss. And the job of being the boss and running the business.
While you have every right to be proud of doing your own thing, you must recognize that this is NOT a business!
Yes, technically under the legal definition, it is. However, every business that meets the description above is really just a glorified job for the person who owns it.
Even if it’s relatively scalable. Even if they’re earning so-called “passive” income through the work of their employees.
None of these actually make it a business.
What makes it a business, and not a job, is your ability to step away from its day-to-day operations.
Is your business built on YOU? On you practicing your expertise? On you exercising your own skills? On your management and initiative?
Then it’s not really a business.
It’s a glorified job.
The real secret to creating a BUSINESS (and not just another job) is PROCESS…
Yes, you create the business. You start it. Your input is essential in the first few years, in getting it up and running.
But along the way — if you want it to be a business — you have to be thinking outside of yourself.
How can you bottle up your expertise such that any reasonably-competent staff member could deliver it instead of you?
How are you able to deliver the ideal result to clients and customers through processes and systems you create, rather than you being there?
What will it take for your business to be able to run for weeks or even months without you there? And — gasp — even GROW and develop and mature without your constant nurturing?
A business built on one person is inherently limited in its scope and capacity. It can grow to a million, maybe a couple million before it starts to come unhinged. And at the same time, the Chief Everything Officer will come unhinged with the business, because the only way it grew was through more and more work of that one person.
It also will never become an asset — when you are required for the business to function, it’s almost impossible to sell it.
A business like this can be a great job and a great accomplishment.
But it’s not really a business.
Whatever you are building, make sure you plan it…
In 2010, when I launched my freelance copywriting business, I was happy to have a job that gave me all the freedom and flexibility I wanted.
It’s been great.
I’ve been able to be there for my kids in their youngest years. I make a great living. I control my schedule.
I’ve also worked with some incredible clients. The best-of-the-best in direct marketing. My heroes.
And yet, deep inside, I’ve been hearing the call growing ever-louder. “Build a business,” it says. “Create something bigger than yourself.”
Interesting things to come.
If you wanted to wait until the end of this email to click that feedback link, you can just click here and give me your feedback now.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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