There are literally millions of small businesses. Some are one person and some are a few hundred employees. There are so many small businesses, it almost seems that everyone is doing it. Almost everyone IS doing it. It is a smart thing to do, just for the tax benefits alone. But just because you are self employed and own a business, doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. The difference between an entrepreneur and a business owner is the mindset of how you go about building your business.
Take an example: an Interior Designer, an Architect, Lawyer, or even a Doctor. All could own their own business, large or small, but if the business depends on the talent of the business owner to be there and perform the work, then the person is just self-employed. As an entrepreneur, the mindset and therefore the daily tasks are slightly different. As an entrepreneur, your daily routine is working on designing the systems to keep the business running, and then putting those systems into action. In both cases the self-employed or entrepreneur might work 50-80 hour weeks. The self employed person works to make money, while the entrepreneur works at making money work for him.
Observe a day at your work. Are you building the business or are you running the business? If you find that you are running the business, don’t be surprised if you still are working the same “job” after 20 years and ready to retire with nothing to show for it. If you are simply running the business, your business is your “job”, with no fringe benefits paid for by someone else. However, if your mindset going into work every day is, “What system should I put in place to automate the [fill in the blank] part of the business today?”, you have a mindset of an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is an art. It takes practice and requires a lot of knowledge of disparate areas of business. It also takes a certain mind set, which unfortunately, many business owners never seem to learn. The baby boomers are now retiring, many of whom are self employed business owners with no money to retire. They ran successful businesses for 30 years or more, but sadly they never learned that running a business and owning an automated business are very different. And after 30 years they result in two very different outcomes.
Make the best use of your time today and every day. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime”. If giving the fish is doing the daily work of the business, while teaching others to fish means the work is now repeatable on its own, then be the one teaching others to fish. Be the one focused on building the systems that can be repeatable without you. That is where real value is created. And in the end, the sum of those values determines the worth of your businesses.