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Sanj Modha

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I'm currently reading The E-Myth by Micheal Gerber and it hit me. I run 7 figure businesses and I thought I had it 'made'. But there's something in that book which is an eye opener for me. Michael says, "If your business cannot run without you then you do not own a business. You own a job".

If you think about it - he's right. Your life isn't your business. Your business creates your dream life. I've been looking at this the wrong way for a long time because my businesses cannot exist without me.

The book also talks about The Franchise Model and how every business should be run like a franchise i.e. anyone can take the process manual and replicate your business.

I'm going back to the drawing board and changing how I do things now. I need better processes that can operate without me. It's tough but it's necessary.
 

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I just got the audiobook yesterday, almost done with it.

It's really come at a perfect time as I'm laying the foundation for my next business. It's a perfect opportunity to create a business system rather than a product.
 

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I own a F*cking job. Sure I can take a day off and it won't really affect my paycheck because a good chunk of my current income comes from retainer clients that I report to via the Internet. But I can't take the month off because the next month would be $0 income. Everyone around me, except for FLF guys, say that this is perfectly normal and it's how it's supposed to be. But I know it's not.

@458 opened my eyes when he said that the system has to be able to be run by people dumber than me. I'm not the smartest tool in the box but I know that without my experience, I wouldn't be able to hold this mess together.

Felt good to get that off my chest. I need a new direction. @Andy Black
 

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I own a F*cking job. Sure I can take a day off and it won't really affect my paycheck because a good chunk of my current income comes from retainer clients that I report to via the Internet. But I can't take the month off because the next month would be $0 income. Everyone around me, except for FLF guys, say that this is perfectly normal and it's how it's supposed to be. But I know it's not.

@458 opened my eyes when he said that the system has to be able to be run by people dumber than me. I'm not the smartest tool in the box but I know that without my experience, I wouldn't be able to hold this mess together.

Felt good to get that off my chest. I need a new direction. @Andy Black
We should have another chat @The-J ...
 

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Everyone around me, except for FLF guys, say that this is perfectly normal and it's how it's supposed to be. But I know it's not.
Yes, it is normal, and is the reality for most business owners.

But clearly, you want more than normal.

If you want abnormal results, you need an abnormal business.

Working for clients can end up being very similar to working for a boss.


@458 opened my eyes when he said that the system has to be able to be run by people dumber than me.
A mistake I've made in the past, is underestimating what employees, or VAs, can be capable of. Sometimes, business processes I think are complex, can be broken down to be simpler or more efficient. In the process of trying to teach someone else how to do a process, you seem to uncover all of it's inefficiencies, that you personally have just ignored and dealt with, because it was easier than taking the time to come up with a better process.
 

The-J

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In the process of trying to teach someone else how to do a process, you seem to uncover all of it's inefficiencies, that you personally have just ignored and dealt with, because it was easier than taking the time to come up with a better process.
That explains my situations to a T. Rep+

I've been a pussy dealing with the inefficient processes. Example: I have a few freelancers, but they take a half a day to do something whereas I take a half an hour to do it. I hate it and so do my clients. It's, by its nature, inefficient. They wouldn't take half a day to do it if they had a better process to work from.

There's like 10 other examples in my business (sales = all me; project management = all me, client liaison = all me, financial management = all me, delivery = 50% me, etc) and it's rough because it doesn't equate to very much money. The entire system is held by duct tape and my full time job is keeping it together. That's problematic, and I know it. I just haven't taken the full plunge because I depend on the income from this business and income shortfalls affect my life negatively. I've trapped myself.

Luckily, I'm not fully trapped. I've got additional time. @458 suggested a way to keep client acquisition going without spending so much time on it (client acquisition is like 20% me at this point as it is, not even really a problem). My time isn't mostly spent on delivery, and there's a lot more that can be outsourced. But knowing that this system, without radical changes, won't lead to Fastlane wealth is kind of damning.
 

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I'm curious what everyone's definition of "running without them" looks like.

Sometimes I get the impression people want to build a magic machine that can run forever once setup and just sends them checks in the mail while they sleep without ever needing maintenance. Which sounds cool but also a really high bar to hit.

I see the ideal business kind of like a car. I'm the driver, telling it where to go. It will run on whatever gas I feed it but if I never fill it back up it will eventually stall out and stop. It should work most of the time without me but it still needs the occasional oil change and regular maintenance. If I want it to go faster or work better I need to be the one to put the new engine in it.

Whereas I see a typical job more like a bicycle. Push the pedal, move a few meters, but if you stop peddling for even a few seconds you are done.
 

Young-Gun

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I'm curious what everyone's definition of "running without them" looks like.

Sometimes I get the impression people want to build a magic machine that can run forever once setup and just sends them checks in the mail while they sleep without ever needing maintenance. Which sounds cool but also a really high bar to hit.

I see the ideal business kind of like a car. I'm the driver, telling it where to go. It will run on whatever gas I feed it but if I never fill it back up it will eventually stall out and stop. It should work most of the time without me but it still needs the occasional oil change and regular maintenance. If I want it to go faster or work better I need to be the one to put the new engine in it.

Whereas I see a typical job more like a bicycle. Push the pedal, move a few meters, but if you stop peddling for even a few seconds you are done.
Excellent metaphor - personally I've been guilty (many times) of hoping for the PURE-passive income. But reading an older interview with @MJ DeMarco I saw that he was constantly moving his millions around, researching different global wealth vehicles, and so even when you have the RAW CASH, it's still not purely passive.

Life is about action. Things that stop moving, die... or already dead.
It's good to look for an efficient business system that "coasts" extremely smoothly and profitably.
But, if ALL you do is "coast", you'll be in for trouble.

And that is the natural way of the universe for all living things and systems.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I'm curious what everyone's definition of "running without them" looks like.
I think ultimately it ends up about choices and having the freedom to decide your day/week.

Take for example this work schedule where the entrepreneur is in full control over his days...

Monday I will work 12 hours. (Business made $300.)
Tuesday I will work 1 hour. (Business made $1200.)
Wednesday I will go surfing.(Business made $900.)
Thursday I will work 8 hours.(Business made $1300.)
Friday I will work the morning.(Business made $200.)
Saturday I will work 12 hours.(Business made $600.)
Sunday I will volunteer and then go watch football with my buddies.(Business made $400.)
Monday I will sleep in and take the morning off , will work 6 hours starting at 1pm. (Business made $700.)

It's like the toil of work diminishes when you can dictate the terms.
 

Duane

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Something I've discovered with my business is that if I'm not committing a decent amount of hours per week on checking on the people running the operation, bad things will happen.

If I don't commit time into marketing, the business isn't going to grow any, it'll be stagnate. The more hours I put into growing it, the more it grows.

I'd rather work 9 hours a day 6-7 days a week and every few months go on vacation and build a massive business in 5 or 6 years, sell it and then invest the rest into passive streams to preserve my wealth and truly be free. Rather than run a mediocre business that gives me just enough to get by and consider myself 'financially free' until the business goes under and then I'm back at the drawing board.
 

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oimate

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I'm currently reading The E-Myth by Micheal Gerber and it hit me. I run 7 figure businesses and I thought I had it 'made'. But there's something in that book which is an eye opener for me. Michael says, "If your business cannot run without you then you do not own a business. You own a job".

If you think about it - he's right. Your life isn't your business. Your business creates your dream life. I've been looking at this the wrong way for a long time because my businesses cannot exist without me..[/QUOTE

You didnt need to read the E-Myth to realise that-Thats one of the main points in MJ's book!

My take away from MJ's book in summary was-
-Automation-Create something that makes money whilst you sleep and only requires a few hours a week/Month/Year to keep running
- Ultimately we all all slowlaners/sidewalkers because thats how we've been conditioned-Its only when you read MJ's book that you realise i'm a F*cking lemming following everyone else (government ideology) that we have to work until we're 65 (most likely 70)
- Bring valve to someones life/job that makes life easier and you're onto a good thing.

So yeah Sanj-congradulations on the 7 figure business dude and keep up the good work but perhaps think about ways to automate what you do or begin to inch away from day to day control (whilst maintaining a firm grip) and remember that in some occasions its the owners inability to relinquish some key responsibility and management that can drive away your top talent and hinder innovation
 

amp0193

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The entire system is held by duct tape and my full time job is keeping it together. That's problematic, and I know it. I just haven't taken the full plunge because I depend on the income from this business and income shortfalls affect my life negatively. I've trapped myself.
I've been there. It feels like it can't be done. But, just start with one process, the one that you dread the most, or the one that is the simplest, and hand it off to someone else. Take an hour or two, detail the process in a doc, or make a video of you doing it, that you could show to a VA. It feels like a waste of time to do this, but it won't be. @JasonR is a master of doing this.

It is amazing how much lighter you will feel, when just one of those thorns is taken out. You will get addicted. It becomes a game of "how little can I do".

For me, that was customer service. All said and done, it was taking 30min to an hour of my day, for repetitive work that I hated doing. Boy does it feel good to have someone else doing it.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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Something I've discovered with my business is that if I'm not committing a decent amount of hours per week on checking on the people running the operation, bad things will happen.

If I don't commit time into marketing, the business isn't going to grow any, it'll be stagnate. The more hours I put into growing it, the more it grows.

I'd rather work 9 hours a day 6-7 days a week and every few months go on vacation and build a massive business in 5 or 6 years, sell it and then invest the rest into passive streams to preserve my wealth and truly be free. Rather than run a mediocre business that gives me just enough to get by and consider myself 'financially free' until the business goes under and then I'm back at the drawing board.
This is where I'm at too. Don't get me wrong - the Franchise Model is great but my businesses cannot run without me. I've tried outsourcing ads management and it just doesn't work. A system is very linear and works within a specific set of guidelines - if this happens then do that...

But any business owner knows that the world isn't perfect. We all have to pivot from time to time. I have a process for nearly all my operations and I've recently hired a full time email marketing guy to take the load off me.

Let's see what happens.
 
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Sanj Modha

Sanj Modha

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I own a F*cking job. Sure I can take a day off and it won't really affect my paycheck because a good chunk of my current income comes from retainer clients that I report to via the Internet. But I can't take the month off because the next month would be $0 income. Everyone around me, except for FLF guys, say that this is perfectly normal and it's how it's supposed to be. But I know it's not.

@458 opened my eyes when he said that the system has to be able to be run by people dumber than me. I'm not the smartest tool in the box but I know that without my experience, I wouldn't be able to hold this mess together.

Felt good to get that off my chest. I need a new direction. @Andy Black
You know more than you think. Make a list and you'll surprise yourself. That's what I do on bad days.
 

Scot

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I am trying to make my own business during 2 years. But at this stage of age I can't do it. But I have a govt. job which I am currently doing.
Can't? Why can't.
 

JAJT

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But at this stage of age I can't do it.
A 12 year old in my city just got a $500 government grant and started a news-worthy business renting out Lego sets to people who want to build them but can't afford to buy them outright.

Most of us on this forum probably land in that 20 - 40 age bracket and a quick google search will show you that many (most?) people hit their real business strides in their 50's.

Why does age matter again?
 

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I'm curious what everyone's definition of "running without them" looks like.

Sometimes I get the impression people want to build a magic machine that can run forever once setup and just sends them checks in the mail while they sleep without ever needing maintenance. Which sounds cool but also a really high bar to hit.

I see the ideal business kind of like a car. I'm the driver, telling it where to go. It will run on whatever gas I feed it but if I never fill it back up it will eventually stall out and stop. It should work most of the time without me but it still needs the occasional oil change and regular maintenance. If I want it to go faster or work better I need to be the one to put the new engine in it.

Whereas I see a typical job more like a bicycle. Push the pedal, move a few meters, but if you stop peddling for even a few seconds you are done.
Excellent post, my thoughts exactly.
 

JAJT

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You are right I think. This could be happen to someone but not all the time. :)
Perhaps it would be a good idea for you to start an introduction thread and let us all know where you are at in life, in business, your goals, your problems, anything you are planning to do about it in the next little while, etc...

It sounds like you have some long-held beliefs about who can be successful and who can't. I don't want to assume anything, of course, because I'm sure you wouldn't be here if you didn't believe you can better your life, but I think an intro thread would be a great first step :)

All the best,
 

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minivanman

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My cleaning business was a business, it would run itself.... Lord knows my ex wasn't smart enough to do it so it had to run itself. :) The last 2 years that we owned them all I didn't work in it at all. Omaha was our flagship and I didn't work at the Omaha branch for 3 or 4 years. We were in 3 cities. We sold Omaha, sold Kansas City and just kind of let Lincoln die out because we couldn't find anyone to buy it. While the cleaning ran itself, I usually was trying 1 or 2 other businesses. Most could have worked and probably been self running but lack of interest on my part. The appliance business I have now, I don't want it to run itself. I'm retired and this is something for me to do with no fuss, no stress. This is my racing money. Marcus destroyed the sprintcar last week so all the appliance money goes in to building a new one. Like I said in another thread, I could make this a franchise business but I'm done with all that stress. If I did that, I'd have to find me another little business to work at.
 

Andy Black

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theag

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I'm curious what everyone's definition of "running without them" looks like.
IMO the only time where you truly just "own a business" and not have a job is if you literally just own the shares, get quarterly/yearly reports from a manager and dividends paid out. As soon as you do anything remotely related to operations that goes beyond telling management to make you more money or else you will replace them with somebody that will, you have a job / are self-employed.
 
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huven

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I own a business and I am doing well on running it. But I am currently looking for manpower to apply leverage and have them work under me to help expand my business. I am planning to have branches as well.
 

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I own my job. I recently took a crack at adding more people. It didnt work out, I had the right person in place, but the client in another direction. I lost about 100K of potential revenue. I'm dusting myself out right now for a try again this summer. All my hard work took strain on family and health, as I was hospitalized for dehydration. I'm re-tooling right now and will come back stronger. Threads like this keep me pumped, but I have to get my family and health in order so things can run smoothly.
 

minivanman

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I own my job. I recently took a crack at adding more people. It didnt work out, I had the right person in place, but the client in another direction. I lost about 100K of potential revenue. I'm dusting myself out right now for a try again this summer. All my hard work took strain on family and health, as I was hospitalized for dehydration. I'm re-tooling right now and will come back stronger. Threads like this keep me pumped, but I have to get my family and health in order so things can run smoothly.
So you had all your eggs in 1 basket and then put an employee in charge of that 1 job? If that's the case, I wouldn't suggest that for anyone, even if it worked. What you should have done is continue to work and have your base money while... A) Getting another account for the worker. B) Starting a new company and letting workers run the new company. C) Buy an existing company that already has workers. Good luck next time.
 

lifeNchoices

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Not exactly. It was new client, they had a extra need so I brought on somebody on. I'm still there, but I had planned on removing myself completely from this customer.
 

JacobBW

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I sold my business 15 months ago, it was definitely a job.
I've taken a contract this year in the same role where I actually get paid MORE than when I owned my own business with the option of 'switching off' when I walk out the door at the end of the day. Although I have a time for $ deal at the moment, not worrying about the management of that business means that I'm now sifting through other biz/investment ideas - yes it might be slow lane, but it gives me the flexibility to work on building something new.

I'm curious what everyone's definition of "running without them" looks like.

Sometimes I get the impression people want to build a magic machine that can run forever once setup and just sends them checks in the mail while they sleep without ever needing maintenance. Which sounds cool but also a really high bar to hit.

I see the ideal business kind of like a car. I'm the driver, telling it where to go. It will run on whatever gas I feed it but if I never fill it back up it will eventually stall out and stop. It should work most of the time without me but it still needs the occasional oil change and regular maintenance. If I want it to go faster or work better I need to be the one to put the new engine in it.

Whereas I see a typical job more like a bicycle. Push the pedal, move a few meters, but if you stop peddling for even a few seconds you are done.
I read The One Thing recently and started listening to the podcast - they talk a lot about this kind of thing.
The ideal solution being that you have a maximum of five people reporting to you at any one time and they're all Empire Builders who really get after it. They're working on what you need them to for the company, freeing you up to work on whatever is most important for you to do... if that means golf, or chilling on the beach, who's to say? But there's still going to be some amount of communication between you and those five people.
 

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