To Grow, You Have to Let Go
How to Escape the Job Trap & Build a Real Business | Part 1
Are you a business owner or an employee? Think that through carefully.
Let me put it a different way: What would happen to your business and income if you were to leave today and take a three-month vacation?
If your business would fall apart and your income would stop, you’re an employee—even if you technically own a business entity. The truth is that the vast majority of professionals, and even many entrepreneurs, think they own a business but in fact it owns them, as what they really have is a job.
They have to be physically present and doing the work or the income stops.
They spend their time working in the business, rather than on the business.
They don’t have the right people or systems to duplicate themselves.
They couldn’t sell the business because it wouldn’t survive without them.
Robert Kiyosaki explains the difference between a job and a business in a parable:
There was once a village with a problem: It had not water unless it rained. To solve the problem, the village elders decided to solicit bids to have water delivered daily to the village. Two people volunteered and the elders awarded the contract to both of them.
The first, Ed, immediately bought two buckets and began running back and forth along the trail to the lake, which was a mile away. He immediately began making money as he labored each morning hauling water from the lake. Each morning he had to get up before the rest of the villagers awoke.
The second man, Bill, disappeared and was not seen for months. Instead of buying buckets to compete with Ed, Bill had written a business plan, created a corporation, found four investors, employed a president to do the work, and returned six months later with a construction crew. Within a year his team had built a large pipeline, which connected the village to the lake.
Bill’s pipeline delivered cleaner water than Ed’s and it supplied water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bill was also able to charge 75 percent less than Ed.
Of course, Ed ran ragged while Bill was able to enjoy life—making money even while he was on vacation.
So the question is: Are you hauling buckets or building pipelines?
Now, let’s be authentic about this: Building a business is no small task. It’s incredibly difficult, particularly for trained professionals and personality-based operations. When you know as much as you do, you’re as skilled as you are, and you care more than anyone, it’s very challenging to replace yourself. But it is possible.
The most common thing I hear from FastTrack members in this regard is that “it’s different for chiropractors and dentists.” I realize that there are some differences between highly-trained and skilled professionals and McDonald’s, but it’s still possible to build a business.
It’s a classic case of hard/easy, easy/hard. It’s easy to just show up and do the work every day, but that makes your life much harder over time. It’s hard to build a business, but it makes your life way easier over time. But doing so requires a totally different mindset. It requires that you do things that don’t immediately pay off. Running a business means to be efficient and quick, but building a business is methodical and slow.
Freedom FastTrack is a similar business to professionals, in that it is highly-technical and personality-based. But over time I’ve been able to escape the job trap. And trust me, it hasn’t been easy.
For me, it was much easier to do a coaching call myself than to train a new coach. But I knew I could only be in one place at one time, and I wanted to impact more people. I’ve had to be committed to building a business. There is still progress to be made, but I rarely do coaching, and I have the time to go on trips, work on the business, and focus on the things I love doing most.
Here’s how you can do it, too:
1. Build the Foundation of Culture
First, you want to be very clear on who you are, what you stand for, what you stand against, what you really want to define your organization. Write down your non-negotiables and never allow anyone in your organization to stray from them.
For example, we have everyone that works with us read our style guide, which details our values, vision, and culture. We also do several interviews before hiring, and we emphasize values over talent.
2. Hire the Right People, Train them Meticulously, Treat them Right
There’s an informal debate in the business world right now between Michael Gerber, the author of The E-Myth Revisited, and Seth Godin, the author of Linchpin.
Michael Gerber says that building a business is all about systems. He teaches to make your systems so simple that you could insert pretty much any warm body to run them.
Seth Godin says it’s all about finding the right people—what he calls indispensable “linchpins.” Linchpins are proactive, responsible, and smart. They see needs and fill them. They’re full of ideas for improving your organization.
My take is that any business needs both, but I side with Seth when it comes to hiring. You don’t want the lowest common denominators that will be the cheapest to pay. You want the best and the brightest who can adapt to change and proactively improve your organization. You want people who think like trusted stewards upon whom you can depend to make good decisions.
The way to find the right people is to first create the position you need filled. Understand the mindset and skills that will be required to fill that position. Then hire someone whose Soul Purpose fits that position.
Be willing to allow other people to express their Soul Purpose by building Soul Purpose networks and teams. There are some things you hate doing in your business that other people will love. Hire them, train them, and let them shine.
And always remember: Culture is more important than talent. Yes, you want A-players, but not those who will destroy your culture. We’ve fired two of our best-performing salespeople because they were arrogant or refused to play by the rules.
Also, never forget to treat your team with the same level of respect and give them the same energy as your customers and patients. This creates loyalty and empowerment.
In the next part of this article we will address defining and documenting processes, how to leverage and utilize technology that minimizes redundant human labor, what types of technology allow you to educate your customer and maximize your profits without hiring more people, and the big reward as you let go.
I am doing an in depth video on the 10 key components to build equity in a business while reducing your involvement in many of the components of your business so you can be focused, take some time away, and still make money. To find out more go to www.freedomfasttrack.com/cfw.