I Believed I Had a ‘Business’ for Far Too Long
The focus of my work with clients has taken some interesting turns over the years, but none so empowering as what has happened over the past couple of years…
You see, I’ve been what I thought was an entrepreneur for over 20 years.
I’ve always created my own income by serving my clients and I thought that that was what you did when you were an entrepreneur.
I was totally wrong.
Instead of creating, owning, and building a business, it turns out that all I did was create a J-O-B for myself. Oh! How that little 3-letter word triggers me!
A job where I felt like a prisoner.
A job where I had the worst boss…
**I didn’t take vacations, because as soon as I left my ‘business’ (see how that word sounds so good but means nothing!) there was no income and no sales;
**I worked every day and would re-arrange my schedule for any wish my client’s made and I was afraid if I said ‘No’ they would fire me;
**I worked all-day because there was *always* work to be done – it was never enough;
**And worst of all, I was paid almost nothing after the ‘business’ expenses were paid.
(maybe that feels familiar…)
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I finally realized:
I didn’t have a business, I had a j-o-b. I was self-employed, not an entrepreneur.
I wasn’t an entrepreneur. Not really. Not even close.
Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth Revisited, describes this common dilemma as being a ‘technician having an entrepreneurial seizure’ – a skilled employee who decides to go out on their own and earn income and who ends up trapped in a 24/7 job pretending to be a business.
And that’s what I did.
For TWO decades.
I didn’t even question the hard work, I just put my head down and worked harder… through the adrenal exhaustion and burnout, through the emotional ups and downs, through the deaths of my parents, through the relationship fights and failures, and through year after year of making just enough to scrape by.
It was the only way I knew how to do it.
Finally I got it, really got the horror of it:
**I made WAY less than I would as a corporate employee,
**I worked WAY harder than a corporate employee, and
**I was building nothing that would last or be sell-able or support me when I wanted to retire.
In fact, I realized I would never be able to retire… I’d just keep struggling as hard as I could until I dropped dead from exhaustion and heartache.
One day, I decided that that future was NOT OKAY.
So, yeah, I’m pretty passionate about building a *real* business.
I’m equally passionate about helping my clients who have built their businesses turn them into something sellable so that they can liberate themselves from the day-to-day employee functions and experience life as an Owner.
And I will stand on the rooftops and shout it out and do everything I can to snap people awake that what they are building is… nothing.
If you can’t leave it, it isn’t a business.
If you can’t sell it, it isn’t a business.
If you don’t make profit on top of your salary, it isn’t a business.
Sometimes that triggers people, and that’s okay.
Sometimes the realization makes them cry, and that’s okay too.
We need to talk about it.
We need to get real about it.
I’m not going to stop shouting it out and working with my clients to change their destinies from struggle to success. This work is too important.
Dear beautiful soul, it’s time. Time to get really honest with yourself: do you have a j-o-b or do you have a business?
Could you sell it now if you wanted to?
Which one do you really want?
Are you ready to change what you have into what you dream of?
Let’s build you something amazing with the end in mind.
Questions? Thoughts? Drop me a line and let me know.
Read Similar ArticlesPosted in: Advice for Business Owners, Daily Life and Reflections, Exit Planning
Tagged as: burnout, business, exit planning, exit strategy, secession, self-sabotage, selling my business, work life balance