I would like to be my own boss, but I’m having a hard time getting started. I feel like I have so many false-starts and so many different ideas that my friends and family are losing faith that I’ll actually succeed in just one. I know I can be successful, I’m just not sure HOW to do it. How do I get over this hump?
“Plan your work, and work your plan.” — One of my father’s gems…along with “Do your homework” and “Remember the Golden Rule” this phrase has stuck in my head over the years. My mother, sister and I got so sick of hearing over and over that we finally took a vote to have him change his catch phrase. He then created, “Work towards the Objective.”
The problem is, most people head into business without knowing what their objective is, (other than to make money) or how to set one up. They have an idyllic notion that they think will make money, and just assume, “If I build it, they will come.”
My experience has mostly been working with artists. They love to create, they want to earn an income off their art, but very rarely do they know how to set something up so that they don’t have to manage the business aspect, and can focus on what drives their passion. They become so bogged down with the day-to-day grind of running a business that they forget why they got into it in the first place. Their art is no longer their passion, it becomes a means to a paycheck. Frankly, it sucks.
Let your primary objective be to create a system so that your business can run regardless of whether you are present to answer phones, clean the washrooms, or handle invoices. You can either purchase an existing system, create your own system, or work within an established system. If you have a ton of ideas, think through each one and determine which is the easiest one to create a fully executable system. Start with that.
The best example of Purchasing a System are franchises: McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway, etc. If I mention McDonald’s, you know, intuitively, the washrooms are generally to the right of the kitchen, the french-fry fryer is by the drive-thru, there are established trash cans near the entrance-ways, the menu is above the counter…if you buy the #2 Happy Meal in Detroit or Dallas, you know you’ll be getting the same food. Everything has already been established for you.
When you purchase a system, you’ll be given the rules and regulations for following the system. It’s pretty cut and dry. Especially with the large name corporations, you’re pretty much guaranteed success, as long as you’re in a high-traffic area. As long as you follow the rules of the system, you’ll be just fine. The downside of this aspect of business is that it doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity. You are part of a larger corporation, and they aren’t too keen on people deviating from the norm. The costs can also be quite astronomical, you have to pay for the land you’re using, the franchise fee, and some require a yearly fee as well.
Creating your own system takes more time and creativity, but can be well worth the rewards, since you don’t have to cater to a looming “big brother.” When you’re creating your own system, think about how to make it as automated as possible. The best way to do this is with an Internet business. You don’t really have to hire employees, your shop is open 24/7, and customers check themselves out. If you’re business is selling tangible goods through the Internet, you can sign up with a service to process the payments, and only be stuck with shipping and marketing. At first, of course you’ll have to do it yourself, but you can always hire independent contractors, students, and traditional employees to do this work for you. That way, you can focus on other aspects of the business….or just take a vacation 10 months out of the year.
Working in an established system is really one of the best ways to create long-term financial freedom. MLM and Network Marketing companies are solid resources for working within a system. It’s the middle ground: You’re not completely alone, as with establishing your own system, but you’re not completely smothered with rules and regulations, as with a franchise. There might be some guidelines about marketing and promotions, but mostly you’ll be able to have freedom to steer the business in whatever direction you’d like.
The nice thing about working within an MLM and Network Marketing company is that you are able to find others who are interested in being in business with you, and actually earn commission of off their sales. Wouldn’t it be nice if Subway allowed the managers a percentage of every sandwich sold by their employees? Or if a gas station gave each attendant a percentage of the gas sold? This is the concept that MLM follows. There are literally hundreds of companies that are available for you to choose. The appeal of these types of businesses aren’t just the residual income, but the fact that the start-up costs range from $200-$1000. It’s very doable for an average person, just make sure you research a company thoroughly before joining.
Whether you choose to create your own system, purchase a franchise, or work within an MLM, the very first step of your business is to create a system that will allow your business to run in your absence. Because if you don’t, you’ll basically just own your own job.
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