Starting a business and being the boss is a fairly common dream.
It is not so easy to be the boss, though. There is a vast difference between earning a salary and paying a salary. In that difference lies a lot of different stress and responsibilities. And different skill sets.
Let us unpack this.
Being an employee, you are paid for your skills. You trade your time and abilities for an income. Normally you are only responsible for doing your job according to your contract of employment and you have fixed hours. You pitch up for work, you put in the hours and you go home. You might not make a lot of money, but you have a certain freedom.
If you do not like the boss, you can resign. If you do not like the town, you can move. You are not really tied down.
Oh, I know about the frustrations. I have also formulated this rule:
Everything is easy to do for the manager who does not have to do it. Everything is difficult to do for the employee who does not want to do it.
Being a boss is different.
Being a boss is very much like being a parent! You start a business and you have to “nurse” it daily and care for it. It is a 24/7 responsibility. Then, finally it starts crawling, get onto its legs, wobbly, but it gets walking. It is out of diapers. Anybody with children can tell you that a parent’s responsibility never ends.
That is being the boss. As the business grows, your responsibilities grow. You are responsible for every aspect. Yes, as the business grows, you may have sales people on the road. But guess who is responsible if the salespeople do not perform?
You may have a cook to prepare the food. Guess who is responsible if the cook falls sick or resigns or mess up? Yes, you are right – the boss.
WHERE LIES THE DISCIPLINE?
As an employee, you have rules. You have set working hours and the discipline is external. In other words, the boss checks that you do what you are supposed to do. The rules are enforced. You go to work, even on the days that you don’t feel like it.
Being a boss is different. The discipline must be external. Even when you don’t feel like it, you have to work. Only, nobody is going to force you to work.
The above may seem trivial, but it is of cardinal importance. It is easy to work and grind when everything is still new and you are excited.
Let me use an example relevant to online marketing. Affiliate marketing. You do that course and you are excited. You do everything according to the book. You find a niche. You find a product. You create the website and sales funnel. You put it out on Facebook ads. And you check the affiliate sales every morning. Nothing. Nothing. NOTHING. NOTHING! Can you persist? Without anybody putting pressure on you? When you make that first sale and then the order is returned and you are back to ZERO, can you keep going?
That is what it means to be the boss!
|If you are looking for a business idea, head over to this website where there are more ideas than you can think of!|
IS IT A BUSINESS OR A JOB?
Many people don’t start a business, they just acquire a new job!
A mechanic once said to me: “Decades ago we had slaves. They worked for food, clothes and shelter. Then slavery was abolished and we became employees. Now I work for food, clothes and shelter. The difference is all the responsibility is mine. Am I really better off?”
What do I mean with “they acquire a job?” It often happens with people who are forced to find a new job, after retrenchment, for instance. Many people will have to look for a job after the Covid-19 pandemic.
They start a small business. They are the magic in the business. They are chief, cook and bottle-wash. It is difficult to scale or grow the business, for various reasons. So they become boss and employee. Financially the business scrapes by and they do not make enough money to hire people to help grow the business. That is a bad place to be.
Here is another rule: “Everybody dreams about a small business. A small business is like a small motorbike. A 50cc motorbike is infinitely more dangerous than a 500cc. A 50cc motorbike is always going at its limits, unless it is parked. There are no reserves to pull you out of difficult spots. You might not want to run a corporation, but to have freedom, you need a big(ger) business, like a 500cc or 750cc motorbike.
If you can grow your business from 150cc to 1000cc, you can sell it and make good money.
A business is scalable – it can grow and allow you to appoint people with the right skills to do the things you are not good at. That way you can do what you do best and the business can grow. You can grow a business to the point where you can have time and money freedom. But that takes time. It takes much harder work than any employee will ever put in.
Having said all the above, I still think it is good to have your own business.
At some stage in my life I had that small take-away (that is how I know about the 50cc motorcycle!). I bought my cigarettes from another cafe owner who also wholesaled cigarettes. One evening we were talking about the pro’s and cons of being self-employed. He said: “I do not know how much I will earn from month to month, like I did when I still worked for a boss. But one thing I know. I am not going to arrive here tomorrow and then a manager is going to tell me: ‘Sorry, you are redundant. Please pack your desk.'”
If you can, start your business part-time. It will reduce the stress and allow you to acquire the skills you need to run your own business. Skills such as marketing, selling, quoting for a job, closing contracts (the close the deal), financial management.
YOU ARE NEVER THE BOSS!
Nobody is ever the boss! Ultimately the client is the boss. Ultimately the client pays for everything. That is what business is. Business is find out what people need and providing in that need. Business is helping people. That is why I called my book: “Do it with pride and a smile.” I am proud of what I am doing – solving people’s short term insurance problems.
I am not the boss, my clients are. I have to keep them happy. But, as long as I keep them happy, and that is easy, because I like it, I am in business and have a good business!
To summarize. Being your own boss is a dream for many. Unfortunately, too many people don’t realise you cannot be a boss with an employee attitude. To be a boss requires certain skills, that is not part of most people’s education.
Fortunately, skills can be acquired and attitudes can change.
My ebook is simple and easy for people who have no business experience to find some business ideas for themselves.
I have started this website with business ideas and opportunities from all over. Head there and see if you can find something for yourself.
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