Do you have a job or a business?

10th November 2014

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.