It’s not a trick question. I promise.
Many self-employed people automatically assume they have a business. After all, you have more control over your time, more reward from any profits you generate – all good stuff, surely?
I used to think like that, until I read an excellent book called ‘The E myth’ by Michael Gerber. He puts it like this:
Many people have what he calls an ‘entrepreneurial seizure’, basically thinking ‘I can do this by and for myself,’ and kick off on their own. After a while they realise that what they are doing is simply what they used to do in a job, except:
- with no sick pay
- with no holiday pay
- with more risk
- with no set hours and no time when you can completely, utterly, switch off.
Sound familiar? In effect, you’ve not got a business, you’ve just got another job with worse conditions.
The business element comes in when you’ve built something bigger than yourself. Something with – almost inevitably, however much it worries you – staff. And systems, procedures. Something that keeps running, keeps serving customers, keeps generating profits, even when you’re not there.
Something that’s bigger than yourself. That’s a business. That is what can free you from the tyranny of an entrepreneurial seizure that’s turned into a hassle or a nightmare.
Of course, deciding to build a business has to be a deliberate choice. It’s not something you just drift into. And it’s hard work. But the eventual rewards make it so worthwhile.
If this rings a bell or raises any questions, you could do a lot worse than pick up Michael Gerber’s book. Or, as always, give us a call on 01634 540040 to talk over what your way forward might look like.