How Could I Be Even More Stupid
I'm writing this from my hotel in Mexico City. My wife's on a business trip here for the next month and I tagged along. If you read my article yesterday, you learned that I had a slow second half of last year. It was a struggle and "getting a real job" was, and still is to a lesser extent, something I need to consider. Yesterday's headline, "How Could I Be So Stupid" discusses how I could have lost my focus so much that sales and marketing suffered on account of my day-to-day work.
Today my headline, "How Could I Be Even More Stupid" refers to the flexibility and freedom I would give up. If I close up shop and take a "day job" it's hard to get up and move like I just did. Obviously, the upside for working a job is you get predictable, steady income. The downside is reduced freedom and flexibility and potential for the bigger bucks.
My wife and are almost empty nesters. Our kids are grown with our youngest finishing college soon. My wife and I love to travel and have never visited Mexico City. We know people here and are looking forward to connecting up with them. Getting to know a new city with the help of locals is a real treat.
If I were working a job, even with a job that gave me a lot of flexibility, working from Mexico City like this would be tough. I work for myself and this gives me this option especially since my Internet business doesn't tie me to a location. If I can get good Internet connectivity, I'm open for business. A few years back, I did something similar in Milan, Italy. The time change worked to my advantage. It enabled me to wake up early, interact with my US and Canadian customers and then visited Italy with my family in the afternoon and evenings.
I recently spoke to my daughter's college class covering entrepreneurship. I shared with her and the class the perks. Yes, we have flexibility and freedom. Running your own business "can" give you that. Notice I used the word "can." Running my own business has been the hardest thing I have ever done. My work hours are longer today they they were for any job I had working before. Customer can be more demanding than the worse than any of my former bosses. It does open up the possibility of a lot of freedom.
The key is, and that's my top priority now, to focus on 100% replacing myself in the business. I don't have any immediate plans to replace myself as the sales and marketing machine for the business. I plan to stay involved in defining customer solutions. However, everything else is open game. I want to make it so no one needs me for production work, delivery of solutions to clients and all the administrative work.
I still have a long way to go, but I'm starting to see glimpses of that freedom with my trip here to Mexico. I can see making considerable strides this year.
Do me a favor and share with me your struggles running your own business. Let me know the steps you've taken to get out of your own way so your business isn't so totally dependent on you.