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This is my definition of owning a business. A business is an enterprise that makes money whether you’re present or not. If you have an eBay business or an Amazon business, this is the disconnect. If you cannot walk away from that business for a few days or a few months and income continues to come in, you have what is called a job. You are self-employed with a job.
Many people have a business that is really a hustle. I knew a gentleman who had a liquor store. Whenever he had to do something, he literally had to close the store. When he was gone, he was out of business. He had a business license, a liquor license, a location, rent and all of that. Since he and his wife ran it, when he had to do something, he shut his doors. He had a very documented hustle.
When you are building a business, the first thing you have to keep in mind is whether this business will make money when I am at home doing nothing. Many people don’t think that far and they craft an enterprise and create themselves a job. Comparatively, on holidays I make money while I’m gone. That is a business.
Some people asked if that is passive income. No. It’s residual income or it’s sales income. I have certain automated processes which means I do not have to be around.
If you want to have a business, you want to have an entity that is apart from you that makes money. If you are in your business and your business goes south if you disappear and the business falls apart, you have a job. You are self-employed with a job. I can’t stress this point enough.
When you get to the point where your business puts money in your bank account, day after day and year after year, without a heavy involvement of your time; then you have a business. You may have to work like a maniac for two, three or four years to get to this point.
I know a guy who worked like a maniac for seven years. It costs him his marriage. The family talked about him. He recently sold his business for $20 million. He’s still a relatively young guy.
If you want to start a business, you need to keep in mind that you want to serve as many people as possible that will benefit from your service or product. That’s goal number one. Secondly, you need to create processes where your business is working for you.
I have a unique set of businesses. I am a published author. I do consulting. I have YouTube. I have courses. Every now and then I hustle and resell products, because it’s fun. I’ve dialed that way, way back. I make money when I am not even in town.
If you’re a writer, you can create a business model like this. I’ll just give it to you really quickly. If you write 20 or 25 books in the same genre, you can create yourself business income from those 20 books that will continue to pay you for months and years.
A lot of small business owners have a hard time letting go of some of the business tasks. That is where a lot of small business owners are. They can’t let that stuff go. That kind of thinking slaps a limit on your potential income because you want to do what you want to do.
In the storage auction business, I was self-employed. When my partner and I got sick, the business went away. It was a great hustle. There were no processes in place to keep the business going when I got sick.
Going forward, not as many people are going to retire the same way they have in the past. They are not going to be in “sit on your ass” retirement mode. Instead, the smart people are going to have perpetual income streams.
As long as you continue to build your hustle and not your business, you are not going to have that long-term income. You do not have to have a brick and mortar business to have a business. You have to have a process that earns, collects and distributes money back to you with minimal involvement from you. In some cases, no involvement is required. That’s a business.
As long as you’re hustling and you’re pushing the activity button, it’s a hustle. When starting your business, you have to be involved. That’s just part of it.
When you are planning the end goal, you have to keep this in mind. You should build your life first and then design your business around those life goals. It’s much easier that way. When people do it the other way around, many entrepreneurs experience burnout, divorce and chronic mental illness. Being an entrepreneur can be very stressful. It isn’t for everyone.
You can build a business slowly while you have a job with less stress. You need a plan. This is one of the reasons entrepreneurs need business coaches. They need someone from the outside who can look in objectively and say, “Look buddy, This is what is going on with your business.” Many entrepreneurs are too close to the tree to see the forest. Planning should begin before you start the business.
People sometimes get caught up in the money and miss the boat on other factors. Freedom is also important to most people at some level. It is common for people caught up in a high-paying job or a business not to have a lot of freedom. That’s another reason I stepped away from resale and started working on a business that makes money when I am not around. I wanted that freedom.
Once you get a taste of that freedom, it is hard to go back to enslavement. It tastes so sweet, my teeth hurt. I’m not talking about a job. There are many business owners who are enslaved. The minute they take their finger off of the throttle, everything goes sideways.
But there are people who have a hustle that can turn it into a business if they take a few steps. You have to get rid of the mentality that no one can do it better than you can. That’s bullshit. There are people out there that crave to have a job.
You can find committed people that can even do it better than you can. That is your ego talking. You have to get past that or you will keep yourself enslaved in a hustle that could become a business.
When you are building a business, you have to have an end goal. I plan on living to 105 or 115 with advancements in technology. I will be making content until then, because I can do it at my own leisure. That’s why I love this business. That’s why I got out of resale.
Whether you build a hustle or a business is a choice. The litmus test to determine whether you have a hustle is if you shut your hustle down for a month. What happens to your money? If you can’t survive on what is coming in during that month, you don’t have a business.
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