My father came from nothing.
I grew up watching him build a business employing 200 people at its peak. He began selling life insurance on the internet as it was still being sold predominantly door-to-door back in the late 90’s.
In my house, hard work was a privilege and an honor. It gave meaning to our family.
My mom was a criminal defense attorney before halting her career to raise my sister, brother, and I. She returned to her trade as a private investigator in the fierce Chicago scene.
Her father had to change his last name – Cohen – on his business card in order to get clients because of his Jewish heritage.
He was a military veteran and built a great family construction business still run by her two brothers and their sons today.
Hard work runs in my veins.
When you work hard for a number of years, you begin to recognize your abilities to create. You can project visions into the future and bring them to fruition.
It’s easier for law of attraction to act in your favor when you’re working for it.
With that being said, the other day, a friend of mine shared another perspective I don’t think about often.
He’s a very successful entrepreneur and he stated what he believes to be a common misconception:
“My business works for me. I don’t work for the business.”
In his view, too many entrepreneurs are chained to their business.
He literally stopped.
He’s present if needed, but he’s removed from day to day operations free to live his life however he pleases. Hang with people who inspire him. Travel or spend time with his wife. Whatever he pleases. He’s sold a company, owns a couple more, and has made dozens of successful investments.
Not everybody has the same luxury of the accessibility he’s created for himself.
We all are born with different starting places on the y-axis of a graph, but we ultimately choose our trajectory.
Entrepreneurship is typically much harder than most jobs. It has infinite responsibility and wraps many job descriptions into one. At times, there is nobody else to rely on except yourself.
However, being an entrepreneur also affords you freedom. Freedom to set your own schedule and decide how much money to make, as well as the freedom to hire and train.
In fact, in most cases, entrepreneurs have the ability to train themselves out of their own job responsibilities in order to focus on whatever they deem as most important. But do they see the possibility of this? Does their ego enjoy feeling needed too much?
The most successful CEO’s (a bit different than entrepreneurs) were actually more skilled in capital allocation than they were in operations. Look no further than Warren Buffet and the other 7 CEO’s chronicled in the Outsiders.
In addition to being highly skilled in choosing where to spend their company’s profit and creating leverage, they also were masters at staying out of operations, focusing on decentralization as much as possible – In one of their own words, “hire the best people and leave them alone”.
We all like the idea of passive income. Who wouldn’t? But my friend wasn’t speaking of passive income. He was speaking of an active intent to create an operations pipeline, which remove himself completely.
As somebody who was raised to work hard, I rarely consider this possibility. In fact, even if I wanted to, I might go crazy as I like to be involved, active, and working. But the point is, you don’t have to be involved in every detail or involved in day-to-day operations of a business in order to generate wealth.
Since artist management is a service business, this is likely not possible for most managers, but instead a message targeted for non-specialized-service entrepreneurs. One rule of thumb to maximize effectiveness is to refrain from doing jobs others can and will do for minimum wage.
In closing, the entrepreneur referenced above had this to say:
The main mistake entrepreneurs make is they start a business that is their business and that should work for them. But they ultimately end up working for the business.
They get paid last. They work the hardest. They don’t end up doing what they enjoy and they never get time off.
Even just a tap on the shoulder to remind them the reason they started the business is for freedom and that the business works for them is important. Entrepreneurs almost always get it backwards.
My main point to you and others is not that people shouldn’t work. Of course that’s a great option. But that when they are working they need to remember that there is a balance. And almost all entrepreneurs forget.
This is your business! Set your schedule! Follow your goals and dreams! Make money! We forget that.