Do You Own a Business… or a Job???

Here is an interesting comment recently posted on LinkedIn that I thought might be of interest:

Do You Own a Business or Do You Own a Job?

This question was posed to me not long ago. I have often considered whether “I owned a Business or it Owned ME!”

But when I was asked the above question I must admit I was taken back for a few minutes trying to decide just what I was being asked.

When I asked for clarification I was then asked what would happen to my business if I were to walk away from it for 4 to 6 weeks. My response was it would stall out and likely crumble to nothing.

At that point I was TOLD I owned a Job! If I had a true business regardless whether I was out sick or just on vacation the truth was a business would run without me, maybe not as good or efficient .

But truth being told I was the business or in short I Owned a JOB!

More on LinkedIn…

Here are my comments:

I’ve heard this “argument” before, and frankly, I consider it a put-down.

What was the questioner’s agenda? Were they trying to sell you something? Or were they simply jealous that you were independent, while they were not?

So What? It’s YOUR business, job, or whatever you want to call it. It’s YOUR life too. Do what makes sense, and what makes YOU happy. If you want to grow, go ahead. If you want to stay small, that is fine too.

As a consulting engineer (partner – two person firm), I’ve spend the past 25+ years doing the latter. Some days it is a job, some days it is a business, but EVERY day so far has been a joy! No regrets either!

Finally, it sounds to me like you have your act together. Ignore the naysayers, and enjoy the journey, regardless of what you call it.

My sincere best wishes!

PS – Now blogging (sharing my experience) on how to start a consulting practice… or is it a business… or is it a job … or is it a lifestyle… or ??? 🙂

A subsequent comment quoted Michael Gerber — the E-Myth guru – who said “Most small businesses are owned by technicians who suffered an entrepreneurial  seizure.”

Gerber is a strong advocate of growing a business so you can sell it. (He even built a consulting firm around the concept!) Good info if that is your ultimate goal. Not so good if you just want to stay small and independent.

Here are my additional comments:

Read the E-Myth a few years ago, and found it interesting. But I was a little annoyed on his view of “technicians.” Not everyone wants to be a manager — many want to be producers. Society needs both.

What if every doctor wanted to run a hospital? Who would do the surgeries? What if every engineer wanted to manage? Read Dilbert lately?

About a dozen years ago, my business partner and I seriously considered growing our consulting firm. Business was good, and we were already subcontracting our overflow business.

But then we decided not to. Why? We both realized that while we enjoyed working directly with our clients, neither of us particularly enjoyed managing others.

Was it the right decision? For us, yes. Would we have made more money growing the firm? Not sure — but we were not making much money on the subcontractors anyway. But it doesn’t matter, as our little “technician” business eventually made us both financially independent.

So, grow if YOU really want to. Gerber’s book can help. But don’t do so just because some business “guru” (or anybody else) says you should.

Hope this helps!

An interesting discussion, and all very polite. So, what are YOUR thoughts?

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