A recent item on the E-Myth Blog reminded me of one of the fundamental decisions that everyone who starts their own ‘business’ needs to ask: Am I really starting a business or am I becoming self-employed?
I have spent years of working with clients who fall into one or other of these categories, and even more who follow an uncomfortable path somewhere in the no man’s land between the two. They have been straddling these two approaches for decades, but not understanding the fundamental difference. As a result they are constantly frustrated at their failure to thrive and it is not until they have the E-Myth revelation that they realise where they have been going wrong for all those years.
This creates all sorts of stresses and misunderstandings about how the ‘business’ is run on a day-to-day basis and what the long-term objectives are. A great example of this is retirement planning. Many business people who are really self-employed think that they don’t need to save money or invest in a pension because they will one day sell their business. But a self-employed person will probably never have a business to sell, because the business is them, and they can’t sell themselves!
The most important point that comes out of this is: You must make the decision about whether you really do want to create a business, rather than being self-employed, as soon as you possibly can.
Before deciding which path to follow, you first need to understand the difference between these two approaches. A great way to do that is to read the E-Myth Revisited book. Or watch the Gerber E-Myth video, which you can see at our Business Development Workshops.
You can also read the blog which inspired this post – E-Myth blog.