Archive for November 17th, 2012

Offering A Service vs. Running A Business

You need money if you are going to live in this society. To this end, we trade a certain amount of our free time in the pursuit of money. Most of us do jobs working for someone else. We do some specific skill for an agreed to sum of money. The job is ours so long as we don’t screw it up too much too often. It’s a fair arrangement as you risk very little and have the opportunity to earn an income.

But at some point you may want more. Maybe you can work harder and get some over time. Maybe you can get a raise. Maybe you can get a promotion. These are all fine approaches to earning more income when you work from someone else. If you are an effective worker you will gain the success you work towards. You may not have an option but to work for someone else - public service roles, executive role in large or established companies - or you may choose to let someone else carry the risk while you continue to gain experience.

Sometimes what you are looking for cannot be achieved through more of the same. I love training people and did well when I worked a lot. But it is exponentially draining the more you do it. Even when someone else was carrying the risk, it was too much for me because those carrying the risk were collecting their share of the money - I don’t have a beef with this at all as they were creating the possibility for me to train. I just can’t do it for a living anymore.

It has been 9 months since my father died and I have adjusted a lot of things in that period of time. It’s now time to get back to building and running a successful business. The great thing is that we have a product - an acoustic panel - and there is a market that we have not begun to capitalize on.

Ben, one of my mentors, mentioned that as I move forward with this endeavor, unanticipated challenges are going to pop-up, certain things are going to be a lot easier than I expect, certain things will be a lot tougher than I am capable of considering at this point in time and that, after a few years of sustained hard effort, I’ll likely wonder what the heck I was thinking when I started. But he pushed forward the notion that IF you are in a position to reflect and consider the journey a crazy one, you’ve hit a milestone - if you have time to think, you’ve actually accomplished something. The unknown isn’t scary for very long because it becomes a challenge once you know what it is.

I’m grateful for both the opportunity to have worked with so many people, to still have the skills I acquired during my time as a trainer / coach and to now have the chance to run a business that doesn’t have me working for someone else. It’s exciting to be moving in a different direction feeling more alive and more clear about what I need to do in order to be happy.