Do You Want a JOB or a Business?
I’ve been asked to re-post this by several of my subscribers. The latest employment figures showed that about three-quarters of the jobs created were part-time (30 hours per week or less). Now, more than ever, your financial success may depend on whether or not YOU control your earning potential.
‘Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.’ - John Maxwell
I often ask people: ‘Why do you want to be in business? Why on earth would you leave the security of a job (no matter how unpleasant) with regular pay and benefits to start your own business, with all the uncertainty this holds?’
I usually get similar answers. Mostly, people say they:
don’t want to work for someone else,
don’t want to be told how a job should be done,
are tired of having their income potential limited.
They do want:
flexible schedules to spend time with their families,
to do something they really love or gives life ‘meaning’,
unlimited income potential or to build a valuable asset for their families.
These are all valid reasons for starting a business. But, ironically, many business owner-operators end up with the complete opposite. They find themselves with little control. They discover their clients will often demand they work longer hours than they ever did when working for someone else. Most small business owners pay themselves less than they would be paid working for another company.
If you pay yourself too little, work long hours, and don’t take a vacation, you can wear yourself out. A high percentage of businesses fail within five years of start-up. Disillusionment gets the better of them. They go into business to set themselves free and find themselves with a virtual chain around their ankle. Not surprisingly, they decide they don’t want to do it anymore.
Here’s the problem: most people who fail to achieve financial freedom through their business do not have the right mindset.
Let me tell you about two friends of mine. One, we’ll call Jeff; the other, Richard.
Jeff and Richard opened businesses at the same time. Jeff opened up a small carpet cleaning service in the town where he lived. Fourteen years later he still had that small business and was still cleaning residential carpets 5 days a week and office carpets on weekends. Jeff was no better off financially and he still had to do all the work himself. But what worries me most is that Jeff, like so many other owner-operators, will wake up one day and won’t want to do it anymore. As much as he loves his work and his customers, something will happen that changes his ability to live off its income, for health reasons or, more likely, because he’s lost the passion for it.
Richard started an office cleaning business, got a few accounts, then hired a neighbor to help him a couple night a week. Over the years he’s gotten more accounts, hired a couple managers and several employees. He mostly spends his time ‘selling’ his company’s services, then turns the new accounts over to his managers. When he’s ready to retire, he’ll have a valuable asset to sell.
Let’s look at the situations of these two friends. Why did Jeff go one route and Richard go another? The key difference was the mindset. Jeff chose to employ himself in a job he enjoyed. He did not choose to build a business. Richard knew he wanted a business and created a lifestyle where he never had to worry about money again.
They both made their choice; probably without even realizing they had done so.
We make choices every day. The most important choice is one you may not have given much thought to – until now. Are you choosing to build a business that will pay you back or are you choosing to work for a living?
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