This is only going to be a short post today because I have an injured dog to look after, but I wanted to tell you of a concept that changed everything for me.
And that concept is the difference between having a “business” and having a “job”.
Now, I’m not talking about a job in the traditional sense. For example, if you are an employee then you obviously have a job and not a business.
Instead, I’m talking about those who think that they have businesses when in actual fact, they haven’t built a business at all.
What is a business?
A business is a series of processes and functions that work together to create a well-oiled money-making machine.
What is a job?
A job is a task or a piece of work that someone carries out in return for payment.
What’s the difference?
The difference is that a business should not need you to function.
Also, a business is something that you can sell and exit from should you choose to do so.
If YOU are the business and the business NEEDS you in order to function, then you’ve not got a business, you’ve got a job.
Why does this matter?
A business, in the ideal sense, should be a form of passive income. After you’ve built it and created the processes, you should, in theory, be able to sit back and let it make you money.
A job, on the other hand, is simply trading-time for money. If you’re not working, you’re not getting paid.
A business is also scalable. Whereas any task that requires you to trade your time is not scalable.
Most people who run small businesses, who are chained to their desks every day, probably aren’t aware of this concept. They’re just on a conveyor belt. Doing the same daily tasks without ever looking at the bigger picture, hoping that one day their “business” will magically grow and they can sit back and enjoy the rewards.
What they don’t realize is that THEY are the business, and without them, the business will fail to function. They haven’t created the series of processes and functions that a business demands, instead, they’ve created a job that requires their time in exchange for payment.
Yes, a lot of businesses will, and have, started off as one-man-bands where the founder has been required to do everything. This is perfectly normal and acceptable as long as the founder has the intention to build the required processes (using technology, automation, and/or labor) so that it can run without them needing to babysit it every day.
However, what we tend to see more of is people running “start-ups” for 4, 5, maybe 7 or more years with the dream of growing it but remaining chained to their desks because the “business” can’t function without them. So, they remain with their job, and the business that they created is their boss.
I like to call this The Happiness Exclusion.
If you are absolutely head-over-heels in love with what you do, then this concept is irrelevant.
In which case, congratulations! You’ve got yourself a nice little self-employed role (even if it’s within a Ltd company) that you can live out your days doing.
Who cares if you are trading your time for money if you are enjoying what you are doing during that time.
I have dabbled in many businesses (which is a polite way of saying that I have started, failed, and closed many businesses) but none of them were actually businesses at all.
Instead, I created many jobs for myself; jobs that demanded my attention for 70+ hours every single week and that kept me permanently chained to my laptop or smartphone.
I naively thought that when I grew these “businesses” I could take a step back. This would have never been possible because I stupidly continued to build the businesses around myself to a point where they wouldn’t have been able to function without me.
Don’t make the mistake I did.
If you have a business, ask yourself honestly, is it actually a business? Or have you created yourself a job?
P.S. I like to always put a P.S. at the end of my posts, but this time, I can’t think of one…
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